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Best Undergraduate Economics Programs in the Nation

Read about the best undergraduate programs in economics. Find out which high-ranking schools offer bachelor's degrees in this field of study, and use the easy-to-follow table at the end of the resource to see what other universities in the U.S. have undergraduate programs in economics.

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School Information

The three schools highlighted below include a member of the Ivy League, as well as one public and one private university. Undergraduate programs in economics can lead to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Individual school features include opportunities for research or thesis tracks. Qualified graduates might find work in a number of fields, including finance, government or public policy, or pursue master's or doctoral programs in economics, accounting, business administration or law.

Best Undergraduate Economics Programs

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Harvard University is an Ivy League school that ranked first on the U.S. News & World Report's list of national universities in 2011. As determined by USN&WR in 2009, the university's undergraduate program in economics was one of four schools to achieve first place, a distinction it shared with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and the University of Chicago. Through the Department of Economics, undergraduates can pursue a primary or secondary concentration in the subject with either a thesis or an advanced course track. Outside of the classroom, economics majors can also participate in seminars and workshops.

2. University of Chicago in Chicago, IL

In 2011, the University of Chicago ranked ninth among national universities, as designated by U.S. News & World Report. As previously mentioned, the undergraduate program at the university's Department of Economics ranked number one in the nation, tying with Harvard, Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Department of Economics offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a thesis option and the chance to participate in an honors workshop. Program emphasis is on the scientific, mathematical and statistical aspects of economics; opportunities for research take place through assistantships and full-time, off-campus jobs.

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN

According to U.S. News & World Report in 2009, the University of Minnesota in Twin Cities, one of the largest public universities in the U.S., had one of the top ten undergraduate economics programs in the nation. The Department of Economics offers three undergraduate degrees in economics, including a B.A., Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and B.A. with a quantitative emphasis. The latter is similar to the B.S. in that it includes extensive coursework in calculus, algebra and econometrics. The school also offers seven minors in economics, including applied, general or monetary economics; international trade and development; econometrics and management. Additional educational opportunities include internships and undergraduate research.

List of Ten Colleges and Universities with Good Economics Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Harvard University Opportunity to study economics abroad in Asia, Europe, South America, Africa or Australia Cambridge, MA
Ohio State University Undergraduate honors program in economics Columbus, OH
Princeton University Distinguished visiting faculty from the Federal Reserve of New York, the World Bank and other organizations Princeton, NJ
Purdue University Joint program in management and economics West Lafayette, IN
University of California - Berkeley Current and previous faculty members have won Nobel prizes Berkeley, CA
University of Chicago Extensive series of economics-based workshops Chicago, IL
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Economics Student Organization (ESO) Minneapolis, MN
University of Pennsylvania Home of the International Economic Review, a national publication Philadelphia, PA
University of Texas at Austin Offers Master of Public Accounting (MPA) program Austin, TX
University of Wisconsin - Madison Four distinguished scholarships offered to undergraduate economics students Madison, WI
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