These Are the Best Colleges for Economics in the Country

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female economist presenting to a group of male businessmen

These Are the Best Colleges for Economics in the Country

Economics is a crucial subject that impacts our daily lives whether we’re aware of it or not. It’s this ubiquity and the sheer impact that encourages many high schoolers to consider pursuing a degree in economics. It’s imperative to know more about the best colleges for economics.

Whether you’re great with numbers, interested in how society functions, or want to run a business in the future, an economics major might just be calling your name. Although there are countless colleges and universities offering this degree, you’ll want to conduct some research before applying.

a college class where the professor is demonstrating and everyone is listening

Fortunately, we’ve already taken care of the leg work by identifying all the best colleges for economics in the country. We’ve listed these schools here and elaborated on their offerings and requirements. This way, you can spend more time improving your application and less time researching.

1. Harvard University

The Harvard University Economics Department is recognized as one of the best colleges for economics study. Students are inspired to be ambitious and manifest their learning experiences. The exceptional standard of Harvard undergraduates makes the learning setting thrilling for instructors and learners.

Candidates in the Economics Department are supposed to study beginner and preliminary economic theory coursework. The other course requirements introduce learners to diverse financial concepts and techniques. Students should gain the statistical abilities to test economic models using real-world data.

Here are the basic course requirements for an economic undergraduate major at Harvard:

  • ECON 10ABSophomore tutorial (ECON 970)
  • Junior Seminars (ECON 980)
  • Writing a Thesis (ECON 985)

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Senior instructors guide basic-level undergraduate economics majors while embracing the most current economic approach and results into their choices. The Department’s success is enrolling great undergraduates and preparing them for advanced study under economics and its theory in programs excellence. It is one of the best colleges for economics learning.

The undergraduate economics course commences with two-semester of a basic program covering theoretical and practical social economic and growth rate expertise. Extra teaching in microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, and econometrics is offered.

View of a desk with papers placed next to a each other next to a laptop.

Innovations feature courses on networks, environmental economics, and empirical financial economics and the launch of MITx’s first economics MOOC. The creation of two new majors, 14-2 Mathematical Economics and 6-14, is a notable addition to MIT’s economics offerings.

The Undergraduate Economics Association (UEA) provides a casual setting for students to engage and discuss various issues with academics. The UEA is conducted by and for economics majors and is approved by the institution.

3. Princeton University

Princeton University is considered one of the best colleges for economics. Studying at Princeton equips you with the professional and strong foundation you need to generate inventive and realistic ideas in the realm of economics

To be enrolled in the economics department, you must pass the required courses ECO 100, ECO101, ECO 202, and MAT 175 by a grade “C” or better in each. Economics is one of Princeton’s most popular degrees with more than 250 students enrolling annually.

Economics majors must finish the following coursework on a graded basis by the completion of their junior year:

  • Intermediate Microeconomics (ECO 300/310)
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECO 310/311)
  • Econometrics (ECO 302/312)

Students are also supposed to pass in five other fields by summing up two programs as cognates concerning their specialization goals

4. Stanford University

Stanford University has rightfully developed a reputation as one of the best colleges for economics majors in the country. Students can construct a broad economics background or a more specific focus depending on their interests and chosen degree path.

To major in economics at Stanford, you have to pass with 80 points in the set courses completed by the end of every year. The economics offerings at Stanford offer a variety of subfields.

To avoid confusion, these different subjects have been categorized in stacks: habits and inventive, universal and evolution, fact-findings, and strategy. The departments analyze learners’ progress by testing their learning skills and ability to demonstrate the following:

  1. Grasp of essential economic knowledge
  2. Ability to use qualitative data to test a challenge and generate the correct findings
  3. Ability to write eloquently and convincingly, as well as clearly explain thoughts
  4. The capability of examining theory and reviewing research within the subject

5. University of California—Berkeley

As an essential major in a growing market, the declaration of the economics major is admission-based, and applicants must meet the criteria set to get accepted. Students who want to pursue an economics major should have fulfilled or be actively enrolled in all essential qualifications.

Students admitted to Berkeley as first-year students need to register by their fifth semester of post-high school study unless they have fewer than 80 total units. Transfer students must pass the required prerequisites and apply to the major during their first semester at Berkeley, and they are exempted from the 80-unit limit.

3 MBA students talking to each other

The most essential checked courses include: ECON 100A, ECON 101A Economic sciences (Math In-depth), ECON 100B or ECON 101B Macroeconomics, ECON 140 or ECON 141 Econometrics (Math Intensive) or UGBA 101B** Macroeconomic Analysis for Operational Decisions.

6. Yale University

Yale has been listed among the best colleges for economics. Yale’s introductory microeconomics classes have no math prerequisites and, in general, no requirements set in any field, giving Yale students a great chance to receive a robust and comprehensive introduction to economics. This is especially helpful for students who don’t know what to study yet but think economics might pique their interest.

To enroll as a major in economics, a student must present a final thesis with an A- or better grade and receive A- or better rates in 3/4 of the core subjects, excluding math, micro and macroeconomics. To create a senior thesis, students must finish two semesters of econometrics.

7. Northwestern University

Northwestern University’s Department of Economics offers 12 units for students majoring in economics. First, you need to complete and pass the freshman programs, then move on to the intermediate programs, and the extra field including courses at the 300 level.

There is also a combination of other selective fields like social science, maths, and statistics, between 1 to 100 levels that economics majors must take. To declare as an economics major with Northwestern, you should book an appointment with a financial advisor and visit the Weinberg College Advising page for more information.

8. University of Chicago

Chicago University has been highlighted as one of the leading colleges for economics nationwide. The program covers a wide range of crucial topics in the field of economics including market theory, growth rate, economic history, econometrics, mathematics, calculus, and various additional topics such as environmental economics, health economics, public policy, and public choice.

Internships and research jobs are encouraged in the Department of Economics, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and NORC, allowing students to get hands-on, experiential learning to put their knowledge in a practical context.

The University of Chicago’s economics major is divided into five main components:

  1. Core Component: The core component is meant to present students with essential economic analytical tools.
  2. Methods: This section is meant to expose learners to the many software packages used by economists to analyze problems.
  3. Empirical Analysis: This helps students learn how to handle vital data through different analysis methodologies.
  4. Perspectives: This portion is intended to promote both the acquisition and use of enterprise knowledge.
  5. Electives: Students can adjust the program to their interests by gaining experience from other electives.

9. Columbia University

The Department of Economics offers six majors and one concentration to undergraduates. The majors are Financial Economics, Economics, Math, Philosophy, Political Science, and Statistics.

Students in this course learn how to perform formalized modeling of economic partnerships, test theories against evidence, and think critically about financial troubles and public policy.

students smiling while looking at the camera

Columbia University is also considered the best college for economics teachings and guidance. To receive economic credits, you have to complete and pass the introductory courses, elective classes from other fields, and graduate with a passing GPA overall.

10. University of Pennsylvania

The Economics Department of UPenn’s School of Arts and Sciences is rated among the best colleges for economic study in the United States. It is an innovative science study faculty. It is dedicated to the growth of economic science theory.

UPenn’s economics degree focuses on a variety of topics to empower students to become thought leaders and effective professionals in the field. Some of the main subject areas covered include:

  • The distribution of limited resources
  • Theories of how individuals, corporations, and other organizations make decisions and interact, taking into account behavioral constraints.
  • The determination of prices and quantities in various economies.

UPenns’ economics major consists of 12 CUs, including two calculus courses, two introductory economics courses (ECON 1 and 2), four intermediate courses (ECON 101, 102, 103, and 104), and four senior economics courses.

11. New York University

New York University’s curriculum is robust in Economic Theory, Macroeconomics, International Economics, and Economic Growth and Development. Students learn the principles of economic theory and how such an approach is applied by engaging with intensely involved instructors in research and analysis.

The economics department offers degrees in economics and dual majors with mathematics and computer science. The department’s fields are pursued in one of two concentrations: theory or policy.

Students in the economics major may be eligible for academic awards, subject to a GPA limit and after completing the honors sequence, which entails creating and completing research work under faculty supervision.

12. University of California–Los Angeles

UCLA’s Business Economics program is designed to motivate students for postgraduate study in business, economics, and law. The analytical, logical, and comprehensive perspective of economics controls the coursework.

The main program tackles a number of tips which include:

  • Investments in Economics
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Economists’ Guide to Probability and Statistics
  • Economic Reference Package

Successful major completion coursework includes a pass with a 2.5 GPA or above and a “C” or higher. It is important to note that your grade in Writing II is not factored into your pre-major GPA; however, you must receive a minimum grade of “C” in it.

For a letter grade, you should finish all required coursework sets. Learners also should have completed at least 72 quarter units, one 12-unit semester in attendance at UCLA throughout the session held.

13. University of California–San Diego

At the University of California, economic majors are categorized into four sectors, and to be able to graduate, learners should maintain a 2.0 GPA overall. Students can choose from the following economic-related degrees:

  1. The foundation economics degree assists in developing economists’ essential toolkits and how individuals, enterprises, corporations, and governments make decisions. Finance, trade, labor supply, environmental preservation, taxation, leadership, inequality, and other themes are discussed in electives.
  2. The Business Economics degree enables learners to work in firms and understand how firms function in marketplaces.
  3. The Math-Econ program is suitable for those interested in pursuing graduate studies in economics or commerce. It demands more math, especially calculus, than the Economics major. It follows the basic structure but digs deeper into the fundamentals of microeconomics and econometrics.
  4. The Management Science (B.S.) curriculum is designed for students who passionately want to pursue business analytics. It emphasizes the fundamental economics framework applied to management difficulties in the commercial and public sectors.

14. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

Before declaring an economics major, students at the University of Michigan must book an appointment with an economics department instructor. This typically happens after freshman year.

Students are required to complete specified criteria and have a GPA of 2.0 or above and a C or higher in ECON 101 and 102, as well as MATH 115. MATH 120 cannot be used in place of MATH 115.

Candidates passionate about advanced economics are strongly advised to continue their mathematical studies beyond MATH 115. MATH 116 (Calculus II) is required for ECON 451, while MATH 215 (Calculus III) and MATH 217 (Linear Algebra) are required for ECON 453.

As you can see, the University of Michigan places a strong emphasis on math in its economics studies which makes it a great fit for students with strong capabilities in math.

15. University of Wisconsin—Madison

The Department of Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is highly recognized and often considered one of the best colleges for economics learning excellence. Economics is one of the largest majors in the College of Arts and Science, with around 120 undergraduates and over 35 faculty members.

A jar of coins placed on a table.

Studying economics leads to gaining critical and communication abilities that will prepare students for profitable professions. Majoring in economics comes in two options:

  1. The Economics degree is a balanced course of study that, while in need of logical and arithmetic expertise, emphasizes the evaluation of policy and economics topics rather than experimental analysis or simulation.
  2. The Economics with Mathematical Emphasis option extends on the economics major by requiring students to have extra probability and statistics training. This choice is appropriate for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in economics, working as a professional economist, or working in an analytics-related field.

16. Cornell University

Cornell is one of the best colleges for economics majors that are interested in pairing this degree with other areas of interest. It’s common for economics students at Cornell to obtain a degree in other fields.

Some areas of study naturally complement an economics degree, such as math, computer science, statistics, psychology, and government. However, it’s not uncommon for Cornell students to pair an economics major with something not generally seen as “traditionally” paired with economics.

This is the perfect school to let your academic colors shine. Twelve courses provided by the Department of Economics or authorized by the student’s major advisor, all with C– or above, are necessary to graduate.

17. Duke University

Duke university has remained one of the best colleges for economics learning nationwide for years. The department’s research focuses on econometrics, micro and macroeconomic theory, and applied economics.

Specialized areas of study include environmental and ecological economics, cultural, agricultural, and natural resource economics, education, racial inequality, and labor and economic demography.

Students at Duke University can receive a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in economics. To be considered at Duke for economics study, you must finish the following:

  • 3-4 math courses
  • 1 statistics course
  • 5core courses in economics
  • 5 economics electives

Increase your chances of getting accepted into your dream school.

Whether you’re pursuing an economics degree or any other kind of major, you’re probably wondering about different ways to improve your application. With thousands and even tens of thousands (in some cases) of applicants competing for limited spots, it’s easy to feel confused.

How can you make your application stand out? Well, the admissions experts at AdmissionSight are here to help! For over a decade, we’ve helped students just like you nail the college admissions process.

We have an excellent track record of success with 75% of our students getting into Top 10 or Ivy League schools. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer and how you can benefit.



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