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The 10 Best Economics Schools in the World [2021]

18 OCT 2021

Many students choose an economics degree because of its versatility. It’s a degree that easily translates into dozens of career paths. Although most top universities offer economics degrees, their offerings are not always the same. With so many options, it can be difficult to know which economics program is best. To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of the top economics schools in the world.

How We Got the Top 10 Economics Schools Ranking

We determined this ranking by averaging the rankings for the top 20 schools in both the 2021 QS World Subject Rankings and the 2021 Times Higher Education World Rankings by Subject of top economics schools. Both lists use different criteria, so we got a holistic view of the top 10 economics schools by averaging them.

The Top 10 Best Schools to Study Economics in 2021/22
Overall RankUniversityLocationQS World RankTHE Rank
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Cambridge, Massachusetts12
2Stanford UniversityStanford, California31
3Harvard UniversityCambridge, Massachusetts25
4Princeton UniversityPrinceton, New Jersey4NA
5*London School of Economics (LSE)London, United Kingdom67
5*University of ChicagoChicago, Illinois76
5*Oxford UniversityOxford, United Kingdom94
5*Cambridge UniversityCambridge, United Kingdom103
9University of California, BerkeleyBerkeley, California59
10Yale UniversityNew Haven, Connecticut88

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Let’s breakdown the top 10 Economics Schools to learn more about them, whether its for you and your chances of getting in!

10 Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Yale is one of the best schools for economics in 2021

Yale Department of Economics Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
$60,000/year (USD)~4.6%Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctorate Degree$81,400 (USD)

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About the Yale Department of Economics

The Department of Economics at Yale is a thriving network of professors, researchers, and students collaborating to predict the future impacts of US policies and solve some of the world’s most pressing economic problems.

Students study a diverse set of topics throughout this 4-year economics program and choose from a Bachelor’s degree in Economics or a Bachelor’s degree in Economics & Mathematics. Additionally, the university recently classified all Economics degree programs as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Through Yale’s summer or academic year programs, students can further explore and research economics topics that interest them and ones that will help further their career goals. During their final year, economics majors explore a subject of their choice for their senior thesis.

Learn more about Yale University.

Is it for you?

The Yale Economics community is collaborative and tight-knit. As part of this program, you will work with other students and have many opportunities to interact with faculty and professors. The program also provides resources to enhance the learning environment, including peer mentors and TA’s. The diversity of the coursework means you can study subjects that interest you and discover new areas of study.

If you’re still unsure if an economics major is right for you, you can take introductory microeconomics classes to learn more about the program and major.

See if you have the scores and grades to get into Yale. Try our US College Admissions Calculator.

9 University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

UC Berkeley is one of the best schools in the world for economics

Berkeley Economics Program Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
$30,000/year (USD)~11.8%Undergraduate (BA) Graduate (Masters or PhD)$63,000 (USD)

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About the Berkeley Economics Program

U.C. Berkeley’s Department of Economics began in 1903. Before 1903, faculty who taught economics were part of the Departments of History or Political Science. Since its inception, they’ve strived to stay ahead of the economic trends, looking for innovative ways to explain many of the world’s top economic issues.

Berkeley has always been a pioneer in education, boldly addressing hot issues like women in academia. This reputation remains true in the economics department as well. Berkeley Economics faculty are known for their extensive knowledge and creativity in the field.

With more than 1300 undergraduate students, the department is relatively large, offering students a broad range of classes. Through connections with other prestigious universities in the United States, many Berkeley Economics Ph.D.s find positions at Harvard, Yale, and MIT, the World Bank, and U.S. Federal Reserve.

Learn more about UC Berkeley.

Is it for you?

If you enjoy researching with fellow students and faculty, you might enjoy the Berkeley Economics program. Additionally, as part of Berkeley’s Economics Program, you can join the Undergraduate Economics Association. This organization is the oldest and largest student organization sponsored by the Economics Department.

Established in 1975, it serves economics majors and those interested in economics, providing a place for students to develop their passion for economics both on and off campus. The organization also provides academic and professional support. Events include academic events and workshops, professional events and workshops, committees, and social events. This organization is also a great way to find friends with shared interests and passions.

If you’re interested in UC Berkeley, check out our US College Admissions Calculator.

8. Cambridge University

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Cambridge university is one of the best schools in the world for economics

Cambridge Faculty of Economics Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
£22,000/year (GBP)~20%Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctorate Degree$68,081 (USD)

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About the Cambridge Faculty of Economics

Economics courses at Cambridge give students a foundational, in-depth understanding of economics through mathematical and statistical techniques. They also help students understand economics related to the real world by incorporating historical, political, and social data.

While this 3-year course focuses on economics basics, it includes many other disciplines, including mathematics and statistics, history, sociology, and politics. Due to their wide range of knowledge, graduates of this course find jobs in many highly desirable fields. Many graduates also continue their studies in one of the Master’s or Ph.D. programs.

As part of the economics program, students learn from some of the greatest economists of this generation. All faculty members are committed to improving public policy. Some of the recent staff are active members of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England and the Competition Commission.

Learn more about University of Cambridge

Is it for you?

As an economics student at Cambridge, you’ll develop practical skills you can apply to many industries, including government, management, finance. These skills are also excellent foundations for Master’s and Ph.D. programs.

The Marshall Library of Economics gives students access to a wide range of statistical databases and software and an extensive collection of economic books, journals, and papers. As a Cambridge Economics student, you can also participate in social events and informal lectures through the student-run Marshall Society.

If you’re interested in learning more about the economics program at Cambridge, consider attending Cambridge Open Days. This event allows you to visit the campus, learn about the economics courses, and ask questions about student life at Cambridge.

A Day in the Life: University of Cambridge Economics Student

Cambridge University’s Economics courses are some of the best in the world. See if you have what it takes to get in.

7. Oxford University

Oxford, United Kingdom

oxford is one of the best schools for economics

Oxford Department of Economics Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
£32,000/year (GBP)~17.5%Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctorate Degree$70,000 (USD)

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About the Oxford Department of Economics

While economics is an important part of Oxford’s long history, the department is relatively young. Established in 1999, it’s home to one of the largest and diverse groups of academic economists in Europe. Oxford’s Department of Economics is world-renowned for its teaching and research. It’s also known for its highly-respected international faculty, researchers, and lecturers.

Surprisingly, the department does not offer a solo Economics degree. Students in this 3-year program study economics along with one or two other subjects. Options include:

  • BA History & Economics
  • BA Economics & Management
  • BA Philosophy, Politics & Economics

Learn more about University of Oxford

Is it for you?

Since Oxford’s Department of Economics doesn’t include a straight Economics degree, you must choose a joint degree in economics and one or two other subjects. One of the most popular choices is the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program. As part of this program, you’ll also take classes through the Politics and International Relations, Philosophy, History, and Business Schools. By offering joint degrees, students get a more well-rounded education that easily translates into a successful career. The department also has 1000 undergraduates, so it’s considered a larger program.

As an Economics student, you’ll conduct broad-based research across a wide range of areas, rather than specializing in one particular area. You’ll be a part of an active and supportive research group led by a senior member of the department. Through this group, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in group activities, workshops, and seminars.

Do you have what it takes to get into Oxford?

6. University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

University of Chicago is one of the best schools to study economics

University of Chicago Department of Economics Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
$60,000/year (USD)~7%Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctorate Degree$83,000 (USD)

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About the University of Chicago Department of Economics

The Department of Economics at Chicago consistently ranks as one of the top economics departments in the world, boasting a large number of honors and recognitions. Students can choose the standard economics major or one of their newer tracks, specializing in Business Economics or Data Science. The undergraduate program equips students with the foundational tools they need to understand how the modern economy operates.

The economics degrees at UChicago give students a wide range of career and graduate degree options, including law, business, and medicine. Once students receive their undergraduate degree, they can also do graduate-level work in applied economics and economic policy or pursue an economic research career with a Ph.D.

Learn more about University of Chicago

Is it for you?

As an undergraduate in UChicago’s Department of Economics, you will conduct study and research using real-world scenarios and numbers. Professors understand each student’s goals are different. Some have academic pursuits, while others have plans in the public or private sectors.

If you choose a specialization, particularly in Business Economics, you will also take courses through UChicago’s School of Business and other courses across the university. Flexibility and options are what make UChicago’s economics programs unique. You may try out multiple paths until you find one that works for your interests and professional goals.

The economics program also offers several research opportunities in Applied Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, and Economic Theory. Faculty and students participate in these workshops.

UChicago’s Department of Economics is a leader in research. See if you have the grades and test scores to get into this prestigious university. Try our US College Admissions Calculator.

5. London School of Economics

London, United Kingdom

LSE is one of the best schools in the world for economics in 2021

London School of Economics, Department of Economics Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
£22,000/year (GBP)9%Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctorate Degree$70,000 (USD)

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About the London School of Economics, Department of Economics

As one of the largest economics programs in the world, the LSE Department of Economics is a leading research department representing all the main fields of economics. Due to its size, influential faculty, and commitment to staying at the cutting edge of economic developments, the LSE Department of Economics has remained at the forefront of nearly every major development within economics for the past 50 years. LSE’s research centers are the nucleus of the school’s research.

LSE Department of Economics graduates are some of the most successful business leaders and researchers in the world, boasting nine Nobel Prize winners. Graduates successfully find jobs in national and international organizations and business, finance, and government institutions.

Learn more about London School of Economics

Is it for you?

If you’re ready to change the world through economics and economic research, you should consider LSE’s Department of Economics. This department has tackled enormous global challenges like climate change and economic development and growth, often shifting policy and formulation. National and international media regularly feature students and faculty because of the department’s high profile and ground-breaking work. The department also brings in high-profile speakers through their public lecture series so you can learn from economic experts from around the world.

A Day in the Life: London School of Economics Student

LSE is a highly competitive university. See if you have what it takes to gain acceptance.

4. Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton is one of the best schools in the world to study economics is 2021

Princeton Economics Program Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
$55,000/year (USD)5.8%Bachelor’s Degree Doctorate Degree$80,000 (USD)

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About the Princeton Economics Program

The Economics program at Princeton is not only one of the best in the world; it’s also one of the most popular majors at the university. More than 90% of economics graduates accept job offers in consulting, public policy, or finance. Others continue their education in one of Princeton’s competitive graduate economics, law, medicine, public policy, or business programs.

All Princeton students, especially those in the economics department, pursue their studies “in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” Economics students want to make an impact on the world.

The popularity of this program stems from the fact that an economics degree is versatile and gives students both a technical and analytical background. They learn how to ask questions, research, and develop innovative and practical solutions.

Learn more about Princeton University

Is it for you?

Princeton’s Economics Department puts its students in the forefront, inspiring, mentoring, and training them to be future government, academic, and industry leaders. As an Economics major, you’ll work alongside some of the best minds in the world, including Nobel laureates. Their work in macroeconomics and econometrics has gained worldwide recognition.

If you’re eager to improve processes and change the world, you will thrive in Princeton’s economics program. You’re encouraged to think outside the box and develop new tools and methodologies to help advance economics, policy, and research. You’re also encouraged to pursue graduate work and even faculty positions within the university and at other leading research universities.

See if you have what it takes to get into Princeton. Try our US College Admissions Calculator.

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

harvard is one of the best schools to study economics

Harvard Economics Program Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
$50,000/year (USD)5.8%Bachelor’s Degree Doctorate Degree$78,800 (USD)

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About the Harvard Economics Program

Harvard’s Economics Department offers much more than academic excellence; it gives students the opportunity to help fight some of the world’s toughest problems through academics, study, discussion, and research. Students work with their peers and Harvard economics faculty on climate change, game theory, econometric methods, health insurance, stock market issues, politics, and global poverty. Faculty and professors encourage students to think beyond the classroom to reach plausible solutions for global problems.

All economics majors start with introductory and intermediate economic theory courses, so they have a firm foundation in fundamental economic principles. Students also take courses in economic theory, mathematics, and statistics so they can learn how to do their own economics research.

Learn more about Harvard University

Is it for you?

As one of the best economics departments in the world, Harvard’s Economics Department has led the way in innovative research and theories. You’ll have the unique opportunity to work with many professors with diverse interests, enabling you to study in virtually any area of economics. Students and faculty work closely across complementary fields like political science, psychology, law, and business. Since professors come from many different research backgrounds, you’re encouraged to pursue new ideas and theories and apply them to real-world issues.

Interested in Harvard’s Economics Department? Try our US College Admissions Calculator to see if you have what it takes to get into Harvard.

2. Stanford University

Stanford, California

stanford university is one of the best schools for economics in 2021

Stanford Economics Program Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
$37,000/year (USD)3.8%Bachelor’s Degree in Economics Master’s Degree in Economics Doctorate Degree in Economic$80,900 (USD)

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About the Stanford Economics Program

Stanford’s prominent and revered economics department rose to international distinction following World War II. Its recognition continued into 1960 when it became known as the center for economic theory. Today, the Stanford Economics Department’s missions are to “train students at the undergraduate and graduate level in the methods and ideas of modern economics, and to conduct both basic and applied research in economics that pushes forward the frontier of knowledge in the field.”

Since economics is a broad major, Stanford groups courses into focus areas: Behavioral & Experimental, Finance, International & Development, Government Policy Analysis, Quantitative Methods, Business Strategy, and Regulation. Depending on their interests, students can focus on one area or take a broad range of economics courses.

Stanford’s economics program includes both traditional economics theory and cutting-edge research. Stanford’s Economics program is highly quantitative, so economics majors receive a solid foundation that prepares them for many career paths, including government, public policy, business, and finance. Many undergraduates continue their studies through Stanford’s Ph.D. in Economics or Finance programs.

Learn more about Stanford University

Is it for you?

As an Economics major at Stanford, you will be surrounded by like-minded students in a rich intellectual community. The department offers weekly seminars, student research workshops, and many opportunities to meet and discuss relevant topics with other students and faculty.

If you want to expand your learning experiences, you can take courses in complementary departments, including the Department of Statistics, the Graduate School of Business, and the Department of Sociology.

If you’re interested in collaborating with students and faculty in Stanford’s medical and business schools, the Economics Department is highly interdisciplinary and frequently collaborates with other departments. As part of the Economics Department, you also have access to the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). SIEPR regularly hosts visiting scholars who collaborate with Stanford students and faculty to support their research a

Interested in Stanford’s Economics Program? Use our US College Admissions Calculator to see if you have what it takes to get in.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Cambridge, Massachusetts

MIT is the best school for economics in 2021

MIT Undergraduate Economics Program Overview
TuitionAcceptance RateEconomics Degrees AvailableMedian Starting Salary Undergraduates
$75,000/year (USD)4%Bachelor’s Degree in Economics Master’s Degree in Economics Doctorate Degree in Economic$85,000 (USD)

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About the MIT Economics Program

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the world’s most elite colleges. Their Department of Economics ranks #1 in our Top 10 Economics Schools in the World list. For more than 100 years, MIT’s Department of Economics has led the world in research, public service, and economics education. MIT’s third president, Francis Amasa Walker, first introduced undergraduate studies in economics. Not only was he a leading economist, but he was also the founder and president of the American Economic Association. In 1950, MIT’s Economics Department became the nucleus of the newly established School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

MIT’s undergraduate economics curriculum provides a foundational introduction to modern economic theory and the US and world economy. Through quantitative research and study, students are encouraged to think independently about economic policies and problems. MIT’s stellar economics program prepares undergraduates for advanced studies in law, business, or economics and employment in nearly any industry or government career.

MIT’s Economics Department has a highly decorated department faculty with Nobel Prize winners and Fellows of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Econometric Society. Faculty are equally committed to graduate and undergraduate education. Senior professors even teach introductory undergraduate courses.

Many faculty have also written textbooks that are used in colleges and universities worldwide.

Learn more about MIT

Is it for you?

Innovation is a crucial component of the undergraduate economics curriculum at MIT. Since research is ongoing, you’ll learn in “real-time” through newly developed courses. If you enjoy challenging independent research projects, MIT’s economics department might be the place for you. Through these types of projects, you’ll not only increase the depth and breadth of your economics knowledge, but you’ll also learn how to develop writing and presentation skills.

Additionally, the Undergraduate Economics Association (UEA) invites undergraduates in the Economics Department to participate in its informal forum. Through this group, you’ll meet with faculty and explore current topics in economic policy.

If you’re interested in graduate students, nearly 20% of MIT economics undergraduates choose graduate programs in economics or finance. About half of the graduates first gain experience in various business fields before getting a postgraduate degree. Law is another popular career path for MIT graduates.

See if you can get into MIT? Try our US College Admissions Calculator.

Final Thoughts

While you can’t go wrong with any school in our Top 10 Best Schools to Study Economics list, it’s important to carefully evaluate each program to determine if it meets your academic and career goals. Some offer intimate class sizes, while others provide a broad range of courses and research opportunities. In addition to examining each program, don’t forget to research the university as a whole. Make sure you also like the school’s location, size, community, and extracurricular activities.

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