Best Applied Economics Programs: List of Top Schools

Jan 10, 2020

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.

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  • 0:05 Schools Overview
  • 0:55 University of Minnesota
  • 1:40 University of Michigan
  • 2:31 DePaul University
  • 3:12 Top Applied Economics Programs

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Schools Overview

Some of the best applied economics programs in the country can be found at the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan, and DePaul University. Students can find both undergraduate and graduate programs at these schools. 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 University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan, and DePaul University are three highly rated schools that offer programs in applied economics. Both the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan are considered top schools specifically for their economics graduate programs. All three of these schools were ranked as some of the top public or best value schools for 2020 by U.S. News and World Report.

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota in Twin Cities ranked 27th (tie) among top public schools, according to U.S.News & World Report's 2020 list. The school 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 undergraduate 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.

University of Michigan

U.S. News & World Report's 2020 list ranked the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor 3rd among the country's best public schools. The university 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.

DePaul University

U.S. News and World Report ranked DePaul University among the nation's top 59 best value schools for 2020. DePaul's Driehaus College of Business is accredited by AACSB International, or the Association to Advance College Schools of Business, and offers an MBA program with concentration in applied economics. The degree requires a total of 48 to 72 credit hours, depending on student's previously completed coursework. Two tracks are available in Applied Microeconomics and Policy Analysis or the Economic Environment, though students may take courses from both tracks. Evening and full-time programs are available.

Top Applied Economics Programs

There are a variety of other top schools that offer applied economics programs.

College/University Name Distinction Location
Pennsylvania State University Ranked 25th (tie) on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 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 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 tied at 31st among top public schools in 2020 Buffalo, NY
University of Cincinnati According to the school, more than half of graduates from its master's degree program in applied economics accepted a full-time job before graduation Cincinnati, OH
Washington State University 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

Students who are interested in pursuing an applied economics degree may take many things into consideration when choosing a program, such as a school's ranking, availability of flexible schedules, different program tracks, and fields of study.

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