Best Universities for Economics Majors

Learn about three well-known schools that offer bachelor's degree programs in economics. Find out about program offerings, research centers and school rankings. Schools offering Economics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of the Best Universities for Economics Majors?

You might look for schools that offer study abroad programs and opportunities for undergraduate research. You should also consider economics programs that have faculty members who are highly regarded in the field.

Three Top Schools for Economics Majors

University of Maryland in College Park

U.S. News & World Report ranked UMD among the top 63 national universities in 2019. As a UMD Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Economics student, you'll have access to tutoring resources, internship opportunities and study abroad programs. Potential coursework might include microeconomics, statistical analysis, macroeconomics and international markets. Students enrolled in the honors program are expected to complete a senior thesis. Economic research institutes include the Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland (INFORUM), the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector (IRIS) and the Maryland Population Research Center. The following degrees in economics are offered:

  • B.A. in Economics
  • MPS in Applied Economics
  • PhD in Economics

The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

U.S. News & World Report ranked UM 76th in its national universities category in 2019. Its graduate economics program was ranked 16th by U.S. News in 2019. Three bachelor's programs in economics are available through the College of Liberal Arts. A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Applied Economics is provided through the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. In the applied economics program, students select a specialization, like resources and environment, food retailing, trade and development, regional and public economics or marketing. Some students receive research grants through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

Undergraduates are encouraged to join the Economics Student Organization (ESO). The ESO hosts monthly guest speakers and sponsors other campus events. Economics majors have studied abroad in cities like Cairo, Paris, Florence and Barcelona. Available degrees include:

  • B.S. in Applied Economics
  • B.S. in Economics
  • B.S. in Economics with Quantitative Emphasis
  • B.A. in Economics

University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in Philadelphia

Penn was eighth among national universities in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 ranking. The institution was also ranked #12 for best value schools in that same year. U.S. News also ranked Penn's graduate program in economics 10th in the nation in 2019.

A Bachelor of Science in Economics is available through Penn's Department of Economics. The department has over 40 full-time faculty members with diverse research interests. The Penn Institute for Economic Research (PIER) and the Center for International Comparisons support faculty research. The International Economic Review publishes research on quantitative economics. Study abroad and research funding opportunities are available through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. The following degrees are offered:

  • B.S. in Economics
  • B.S. in Mathematical Economics
  • PhD in Economics

Ten Other Top Programs in Economics

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergraduate In-State Tuition*
University of Chicago4-year, PrivateChicago, IL$58,000
Princeton University4-year, PrivatePrinceton, NJ$50,000
University of California - Berkeley4-year, PublicBerkeley, CA$14,000
Northwestern University4-year, PrivateEvanston, IL$55,000
University of Michigan4-year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI$15,000
University of Wisconsin4-year, PublicMadison, WI$10,500
California Institute of Technology4-year, PrivatePasadena, CA$52,000
Brown University4-year, PrivateProvidence, RI$55,500
Duke University4-year, PrivateDurham, NC$56,000
University of Rochester4-year, PrivateRochester, NY$54,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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