Best Universities for Economics Majors with Program Overviews

Read about some of the best schools in the nation to offer economics programs for undergrads. Discover school ranking and program information to make an informed decision about your education.

School Overviews

Economics is a social science that deals with the production, allocation, and utilization of goods and services. Overall, there are numerous universities and colleges that have highly-regarded economics departments in the United States, including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Both of these highly-ranked schools offer special areas of study in the economics field and can prepare graduates for a variety of careers.

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: Along with MIT, Harvard tied for first-place ranking among schools offering economics programs, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2013.

Harvard University is ranked #2 on the U.S. News and World Report 2015 list of top national universities. Harvard's economics program is designed to make students analyze the world as economists, which is accomplished by teaching students to think in terms of transactions and incentives.

Students initially spend their first year in the economics program learning various aspects of microeconomics and macroeconomics, such as social analysis, theories and statistics. Upper-level coursework includes international, environmental and labor economics. After graduating, the majority of Harvard economics alumnus find employment in business, politics, teaching, and social service.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: MIT faculty conduct research programs for the National Bureau of Economic Research and other organizations.

Ranked as the seventh-best national university in the country in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's economics department has been training economists, educators and business leaders for over a hundred years.

The school's undergraduate program in economics begins with two semesters of introductory courses that focus on microeconomics and macroeconomics. In their second year, students can take classes in a variety of economic subjects such as public economics, health economics, international economics, economic theory and economic development. MIT's economics department also features the Undergraduate Economics Association, which serves as a forum for students to come together and discuss various issues with professors.

Top Economics Schools

School Name Distinction Location
Columbia University Columbia ranked #4 among all national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015. New York, NY
Cornell University Economics students can access six centers and institutes, including the Center for Analytic Economics and the Labor Dynamic Institute. Ithaca, NY
New York University NYU's economics faculty members include a Nobel Prize winner and twelve Fellows for the Econometric Society. New York, NY
Northwestern University In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked Northwestern #7 in the nation among schools offering economics programs. Evanston, IL
Stanford University Stanford ranked #4 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 list of best value schools. Stanford, CA
University of California - Los Angeles UCLA's economics department boasts strong alumni interaction, and in 2015, nearly 100 alumni returned to campus to work with undergrads. Los Angeles, CA
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Undergraduate economics students can win many scholarships and prizes, such as the Sims Honor Scholarship in Economics. Ann Arbor, MI
University of Pennsylvania UPenn earned the #9 spot on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of best schools for economics. Philadelphia, PA

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