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.

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.

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: Harvard provides opportunities to study economics abroad in Asia, Europe, South America, Africa or Australia.

Harvard University is an Ivy League school that ranked second on the U.S. News & World Report's list of national universities in 2015. As determined by USN&WR in 2013, 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

School Highlight: Chicago offers an extensive series of economics-based workshops.

In 2015, the University of Chicago ranked tied for fourth 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 in 2013, 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

School Highlight: Minnesota hosts the Economics Student Organization (ESO).

According to U.S. News & World Report in 2015, the University of Minnesota in Twin Cities, one of the largest public universities in the U.S., tied for the 11th best 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.

Top Economics Programs

School Name Distinction Location
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 Alumni have started careers at institutions such as Sears Holdings, Eli Lilly, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and JPMorgan Chase right out of college West Lafayette, IN
University of California - Berkeley Current and previous faculty members have won Nobel prizes Berkeley, CA
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 Three distinguished scholarships offered to undergraduate economics students Madison, WI

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