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Economics PhD Program Rankings

Learn about some of the top PhD programs available in the field of economics. Get detailed information on three of the best schools to offer these programs, and see a list of other highly ranked schools in the field. View article »

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  • 0:03 School Overviews
  • 0:57 Harvard University
  • 1:16 Princeton University
  • 1:40 Columbia University
  • 2:20 Top Ph.D. Programs in…

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Ph.D. in Economics programs can be found at many well-regarded schools and involve advanced coursework and high-level research in the student's subfield of interest. Most graduates go on to academic careers in the field.

Economics is a broad field of study focusing on how resources are used. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in economics are available at many colleges and universities across the nation, offering specialties in areas such as international economics, business economics, agricultural economics, and quantitative economics. Three top-ranked colleges to offer these Ph.D. programs include Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia; all three are Ivy League schools with highly selective admissions processes. They were all highly ranked for their graduate economics programs by U.S. News & World Report in the most recent rankings, which are from 2013.

Harvard University

Harvard University is a 4-year private school in Cambridge, MA. Graduate students can pursue a Ph.D. in Economics that includes intensive courses in both micro- and macroeconomics theory. This doctoral economics program is designed to be completed in three years and includes a research thesis requirement.

Princeton University

Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, is another top-ranked school. The Department of Economics at Princeton offers a Ph.D. in Economics. As with Harvard, admission into this economics Ph.D. program is highly selective. The numerous economic centers and programs at Princeton include the Political Economy Program, the International Economics Section, and the William S. Dietrich II Economic Theory Center.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Applied Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Econometrics
  • International Economics

Columbia University

The Department of Economics at Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers a Ph.D. in Economics that allows students to conduct research in a wide variety of economics subject areas. Both theory- and applications-based training opportunities are available. In addition to research and teaching, students participate in weekly workshops in subjects such as international economics, econometrics, and industrial organization, among others. Although the final award is a Ph.D., students also earn a Master of Arts and a Master of Philosophy along the way. Columbia was ranked #10 on U.S. News & World Report's most recent rankings of graduate-level economics programs (2013).

Top Ph.D. Programs in Economics

Ph.D. in Economics programs are also available at these top-notch universities:

College/University Name Location Distinction
Cornell University Ithaca, NY Has faculty consisting of 91 economists
Duke University Durham, NC Program features three grant-funded and faculty-run research labs for development and health economics
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD Students have access to the Center for Financial Economics, seminars, and lecture series
Northwestern University Evanston, IL Ranked #7 among graduate economics programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2013
Stanford University Stanford, CA Tied for a #5 ranking on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of best graduate schools offering economics programs
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA Along with Stanford, Berkeley placed #5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of top economics schools
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Students have access to archives and centers, such as the Penn Institute for Economic Research, the International Economic Review, and the Center for International Comparisons

For students who want to engage in advanced studies in economics, there are highly-ranked Ph.D. programs available at some of the best universities in the United States, including several Ivy League institutions.

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