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What Are The Top Applied Economics Programs?

In an applied economics program, you might study emerging markets and equitable resource distribution or address tradeoffs between human needs and conservation of natural resources. Continue reading to learn about some of the best programs in the field and what schools they are offered at.

What Are Characteristics of a Top Applied Economics Programs?

You might want to review websites of organizations like the Agriculture and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) to get an overview of career options. This can further direct the specific programs or courses you wish to take on in an applied economics program. Some schools offer international travel options, which may provide you with insight into issues in the developing world. You might also benefit from seminar series or research institutes. Since this social science discipline often helps to solve agriculture, development, and natural resource problems, you might want to look into federal land grant institutions like those below.

What Are Three Schools with Top Applied Economics Programs?

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

Cornell was ranked the 16th best national university by U.S. News and World Report in 2019, and 16th for the best graduate economics program in 2017. The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) offers a flexible bachelor's degree that permits a double major option in fields like agricultural, life or environmental sciences or applied social sciences. Graduate programs have close affiliations with the Emerging Markets Program, the Lab for Experiential Economics and Decision Research and the program for Agribusiness and Economic Development. These degrees are possible:

  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics and Management
  • Master of Science in Applied Economics and Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics and Management
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Economics and Management

Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR

OSU was tied for 70th among national public universities in 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is one of only two U.S. land, sea, space, and sun grant institutions. Although OSU offers a related agricultural business management undergraduate degree, applied economics is offered at the graduate level. A seminar series draws faculty from OSU and other schools with applied economics programs. Its Institutes for Natural Resources, Water and Watersheds, and the Environmental Health Sciences Center support interdisciplinary research programs These degrees are available.

  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy
  • Accelerated Master's Degree in Applied Economics
  • Master of Agriculture in Applied Economics
  • Master of Science in Applied Economics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Economics

University of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN

As an undergraduate in the Department of Applied Economics, you could major in applied economics or agriculture and food business management. You may be able to apply an internship toward your degree requirements. An Applied Economics seminar series is offered. You may be able to use the Statistical Consulting Service of the School of Statistics of AgEcon Search, a website built and maintained by the library system in your research. These degrees are available.

  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Food Business Management
  • Master of Science in Applied Economics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Economics

Ten More Applied Economics Schools

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
East Carolina University4-year, PublicGreenville, NC$7,000
Western Kentucky University4-year, PublicBowling Green, KY$12,000
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor4-year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI$23,000
University of Houston4-year, PublicHouston, TX$9,000
University of California - Santa Cruz4-year, PublicSanta Cruz, CA$14,000
Vanderbilt University4-year, PrivateNashville, TN$48,000
SUNY Buffalo State4-year, PublicBuffalo, NY$12,000
University of Arizona4-year, PublicTucson, AZ$13,000
Saint Louis University4-year, PrivateSt. Louis, MO$21,000
University of Massachusetts - Boston4-year, PrivateBoston, MA$18,000

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