The Best Colleges in America for Economics


Kate Sliunkova

AdmitYogi, Stanford MBA & MA in Education



5 min read

The Best Colleges in America for Economics


The rankings were determined by considering several important aspects of each economics program:

  1. Program Reputation: The overall reputation and recognition of the economics program within the academic community.

  2. Faculty Expertise: The qualifications, research contributions, and academic achievements of the faculty members in the economics department.

  3. Research Opportunities: The availability of research opportunities, such as research centers, institutes, and collaborations, that facilitate hands-on experience and engagement in cutting-edge research.

  4. Curriculum: The breadth and depth of the economics curriculum, including the range of courses offered and the flexibility for specialization.

  5. Student Outcomes: The success of graduates, including job placement rates, graduate school admissions, and career achievements.

With these factors in mind, we've identified the colleges below as the best in America for studying economics.


1. Harvard University

At the top of the list is Harvard University, renowned for its exceptional economics program. With distinguished faculty, comprehensive coursework, and extensive research opportunities, Harvard offers a rigorous and intellectually stimulating environment for economics students.

Curious about what successful Harvard essays look like? Eager to see what got people into Harvard's economics department. Check out this useful resource here!

2. Stanford University

Stanford University is known for its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, making it an excellent choice for aspiring economists who wish to explore the intersection of economics with other fields. Stanford's economics department offers a diverse range of courses and research opportunities, empowering students to develop critical thinking skills and innovative approaches to economic analysis.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT's economics program is highly regarded for its quantitative approach and emphasis on empirical research. The department's faculty consists of world-class economists who actively engage in cutting-edge research, allowing students to learn from the best in the field.

Curious about your chances at a school like MIT? With our acceptance rate calculator, you can assess your admissions chances at MIT and other institutions, and ultimately make informed decisions about your college applications.

4. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley's economics program combines theoretical foundations with a focus on real-world applications. The department's renowned faculty and vibrant research community provide students with valuable insights into economic policy, development, and international economics. Berkeley also offers a list of merit scholarships open to students, assisting aspiring economists in funding their education.

5. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago's economics program has a long-standing reputation for its rigorous curriculum and commitment to economic theory. With a faculty that includes Nobel laureates and leading scholars, UChicago offers a stimulating academic environment for students interested in economic research and analysis.

6. Yale University

Yale University's economics department offers a comprehensive and diverse range of courses, allowing students to explore various aspects of economic theory and policy. With a focus on critical thinking and analytical skills, Yale prepares students for careers in academia, public policy, or the private sector.

7. Princeton University

Princeton University's economics program combines a strong foundation in economic theory with a focus on applied research. The department encourages students to engage in interdisciplinary study, providing opportunities to explore the social, political, and historical contexts that shape economic phenomena.

8. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

UPenn's economics program offers a wide range of courses and research opportunities to cater to students' diverse interests. The department's emphasis on empirical analysis and data-driven research equips students with the skills needed to address real-world economic challenges.

9. New York University (NYU)

NYU's economics department stands out for its global perspective and emphasis on the practical application of economic theory. The program leverages the university's location in New York City, offering students access to a wealth of internship opportunities in finance, consulting, and other sectors.

10. Northwestern University

Northwestern University's economics program emphasizes analytical rigor and critical thinking. With a strong faculty and a collaborative research environment, Northwestern provides students with the tools and knowledge needed to excel in the field of economics.


In conclusion, choosing the right college for studying economics is crucial for aspiring economists. Each of the top ten colleges listed above offers exceptional economics programs, faculty expertise, and valuable resources for students. Whether it's Harvard's renowned faculty and rigorous curriculum, Stanford's interdisciplinary approach, or MIT's emphasis on empirical research, these institutions provide students with an outstanding education in economics. Getting into these colleges is difficult, but doable. By writing strong essays—and using resources like AdmitYogi to find examples of winning college applications—you can hopefully study economics at your dream school. Best of luck!

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Yale (+18 colleges)

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MIT (+14 colleges)

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Aileen Luo

Harvard (+19 colleges)

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