If you have decided upon studying economics as an undergraduate, you might start to wonder which college offers the best programs for you and your interests.
What are some of the best-ranked colleges for my field? What are the most specialized economics degree programs? Which school has the most prestigious department of economics?
These are all valid questions if you are diving into exploring more about where you would like to earn your degree in economics. The only way to answer all of these questions is to do a lot of research so Superprof is here to help you get started.
Through undergraduate programs for economics, you will have the chance to learn about economic theory and principles, economic models and methods of analysis, and much much more. A good program will not only help you prepare a foundation for graduate studies and a career in economics but also help you build a strong base of transferable skills.
Earning a degree as an economics student will increase your chances of having a stable career path. Right now students with degrees in economics and business are in full demand.
Colleges throughout the US offer economics as a major, some even with specializations in the field. But with so many choices, it might be hard to choose the right one.
We have listed the colleges that have been rated at the top of multiple lists and surveys for being the best universities for an economics major.
Dive right in and explore your opportunities as an economics major!

Harvard University

Coming in at #1 on lists by US News and World Report, Niche, College Factual, and Top Universities, Harvard has been declared as the best university for economics.
As one of the Ivy Leagues and the oldest universities in the US, it is not surprising that Harvard is at the top of so many lists. It is known for its outstanding economics degree as one of the best econ schools in the world.
Harvard prides itself on offering all of its students (if you are lucky enough to get in) very individualized attention, world-renowned faculty, and a developed economics program that has been around almost as long as the university.
small economics classroom
Harvard prides itself on providing its students with small classes and intimate learning environments. (Photo by Ilya Sonin on Unsplash)
At Harvard, those who choose to major in economics and its varied branches are referred to as “economics concentrators”. As a basis for this major, students are required to take mathematics preparation, the principle of economics, intermediate theory courses, statistics, and econometrics.
The Harvard experience is known for not only teaching their students the basic theories but helping them learn how to analyze and apply the theories to the real world. In order to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, students “discover the analytical frameworks and tools of economics, learn to apply them, and investigate and analyze economic problems”.
Electives within the economics major include some of the following:
  • Environmental economics
  • Economic History
  • International economics
  • Behavioral economics
  • Game theory
Some of these classes are based heavily on mathematical theories intertwined with economics, but if you are looking for a specialization that does not require too much math, there are some schools that offer economics courses where only basic levels of math are needed.
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Stanford University

On the other coast, there is Stanford University! This university located in the center of the booming Silicon Valley is home to a prestigious economics department. Stanford was founded in 1891 and has since then been leading in learning, discourse, innovation, and discovery.
Stanford university walkway
Stanford offers multiple tracks of specialization to their economics students. (Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash)
One of their best assets is their low student to faculty ratio, for every four students, there is one faculty member. This makes the average class sizes fairly small and allows for intimate class settings and more attention from professors.
If you decide to major in economics at Stanford, you will have to choose from five different tracks within their course work for those seeking a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. The program requires its students to take both macro and microeconomic theories. Through this they will also have the opportunity to choose some of the following:
  • The Economics of Labor Markets
  • Econometrics
  • Basic Price Theory
  • Public Finance and Fiscal Policy
  • Financial Markets and Institutions: Recent Developments
All of these courses are designed to teach students how to analyze economic theories and apply them to the real world by learning about economic problems and policy issues.

University of Chicago

U of Chicago was founded in 1890 and is a private research university. This university’s influence over the world of economics is so extensive that there is a school of thought and a set of theories named after the school - Chicago School of Economics. This is a neoclassical school of economic thought that focuses on the concept of rational expectations. Although this is one of the more popular schools of economic thought, there are other sources of economic knowledge and diverse economic theories.
The school has an impressive 90 Nobel Prize winners, six of which are professors at the university.
If you would like to learn from these world-renowned economists, the University of Chicago is the place to be. Their Bachelor of Arts program in Economics aids students in understanding and analyzing the modern economy. They are also shown how to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios.
Real world scenarios for economics
Being able to apply in-class knowledge to real-world scenarios is a focus of a lot the classes at the University of Chicago. (Photo by Duangphorn Wiriya on Unsplash)
The classes at U of Chicago for the economics major are grouped into 5 different categories. Each student needs to complete several classes in each of the following groups:
  • Fundamentals
  • Core Curriculum
  • Empirical Methods Sequence
  • Economic Policy Course
  • Electives
These class options are all customizable. Students can choose to take varying levels of mathematics and statistic courses based on their future career options.
Whichever university you attend, there will be some classes that are tougher than others. Some classes might require you to put in a little extra effort, this is where Superprof can help. We have a wide range of tutors that specialize in helping students with all of their economic knowledge needs.

Online Universities

Apart from these top schools, there are plenty of other options regarding economics, especially online. If you are looking to earn your economics degree at a more personalized rate and schedule make sure to check out the colleges that offer classes online for this field.
online economics courses
Online economic degrees can be an option if you would like to learn at your own pace. (Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash)
Taking online courses has a lot of pros! These remote courses are usually a lot cheaper than those taken on campus and they allow for more flexibility on the pace of the program. You can choose to do the program as quickly or as slowly as you like.
Here are a couple of top-notch schools that offer their course work online for students:
  • Washington State University -  apart from their courses on their physical campus, Washington State offers 12 online bachelor’s degrees, one being a Bachelor’s of science in economic sciences. The classes for this degree focuses on business economics, through courses such as introduction to financial accounting, labor economics, and industrial organization.
  • Colorado State University - In CSU’s bachelor of arts in economics, you will take economics classes that focus on "society, balancing qualitative skills and theoretical understanding of the influence of the economy on the environment and various types of communities".
  • Fort Hays University - Completing an economics degree through this college will include taking classes about business and international business as well as economics. Their Virtual College offers support services for their students including free online tutoring and access to the instructors.
  • Purdue University Global - This program offers a fully personalized coursework for all of its online students. The main market for this online bachelor's degree is working adults, as it allows you to work in every class at your own schedule.
  •  Ashford University - their completely online degree in economics, covers “finance, international trade, strategic planning, business life cycles, and more"
When looking into the option of online economics courses, it is important to understand that these types of classes take a lot of motivation and self-direction.
In addition, you will have limited face time with your professors and peers. With the help of Skype calls and FaceTime, this may be less of an issue now but it still means that you will have to adapt to interacting with your peers through webcam and online platforms.
Whichever route you choose to take, be it physical and online classes, deciding to further your education is always a great idea. Simply opening yourself up to more knowledge can lead to immense opportunities along the way.
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