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Best Applied Economics Programs: List of Top Schools

Learn about some of the best schools in the nation to offer degree programs in applied economics. Go over program specifics, degree levels and school rankings to get a more complete overview.

Schools Overview

Many colleges and universities offer applied economics programs through their business or agriculture divisions, since these programs focus on how economics can be applied to fields like labor, agriculture and health. The top schools for economics in general include the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan. Both schools are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report specifically for their economics programs.

1. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

School Highlight: The University of Minnesota ranked 27th among top public schools, according to U.S.News & World Report in 2015.

The University of Minnesota offers undergraduate and graduate programs in applied economics through its College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences. The graduate program includes a Master of Science in Applied Economics and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Economics. The fields of study are health, labor, consumer behavior, trade, marketing and policy. The school's undergrad program also offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics, which has emphasis in marketing, food retail, management and finance, environment, trade and public economics.

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

School Highlight: In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Michigan 29th among national universities.

The school offers two degrees in applied economics at the graduate level. The Master of Arts in Applied Economics is an interdisciplinary degree focused on practical policies. The degree can be used for entrance into a Ph.D. program; however, it is not an intermediate step. The Ph.D. in Applied Economics coursework takes about two years to complete and is ideal for those interested in academic and research pursuits. Fields of study available include microeconomic theory, advanced macroeconomics, econometric theory, organizational economics, economic development, public finance, international economics, labor and natural resources.

Top Applied Economics Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
DePaul University The Driehaus College of Business is accredited by AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). Chicago, IL
Pennsylvania State University Penn State ranked 27th on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 list of schools with the best graduate economics programs. University Park, PA
Oregon State University Students have access to WealthWorks Northwest, which provides leadership training opportunities throughout rural Oregon. Corvallis, OR
University of Arizona The school is home to the Economic Science Laboratory, the Institute for Behavioral Economics and the Office of Economic Education. Tucson, AZ
University at Buffalo U.S. News & World Report ranked the school 48th among top public schools in 2015. Buffalo, NY
University of Cincinnati According to the school, 88% of graduates from its master's degree program in applied economics find a job within three months of graduation. Cincinnati, OH
Washington State University The school has contributed articles to journals such as Econometrica, American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Journal of Econometrics. Pullman, WA
Western Michigan University Students can join the Economics Student Association to brush up on current economic affairs. Kalamazoo, MI

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