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2022 Best Economics Doctor's Degree Schools

122 Colleges in the United States
1,219 Doctor's Degrees
Economics is of the hottest doctor's degree programs in the United States, coming in as the #25 most popular major in the country. So, there are lots of possibilities to explore when you're trying to determine where you want to get your degree.

For its 2022 ranking, College Factual looked at 122 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for economics students pursuing a doctor's degree. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 1,219 doctor's degrees in economics during the 2019-2020 academic year.

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Choosing a Great Economics School for Your Doctor's Degree

Best Economics Doctor's Degree Schools The economics doctor's degree program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Overall Quality Is a Must

The overall quality of a doctor's degree school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges for a Doctor's Degree ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 13% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 5%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 37 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Average Early-Career Salaries

Average early-career salary of those graduating with their doctor's degree is one indicator we use in our analysis to find the schools that offer the highest-quality education. That is, everyone wants their doctor's degree to be worth something, and salaries are one measure of determining that.

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on economics students vs. other majors.
  • Major Demand - The number of economics students who choose to seek a doctor's degree at the school.
  • Educational Resources - The amount of money and other resources allocated to students while they are pursuing their degree. These resources include such things as number of students per instructor and education expenditures per student.
  • Student Debt - How easy is it for economics to pay back their student loans after receiving their doctor's degree.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized economics related body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for economics students working on their doctor's degree.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The economics school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best Economics Doctor's Degree Schools.

Best Schools for Doctorate Students to Study Economics in the United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for economics students seeking a a doctor's degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

18 Top Schools for a Doctorate in Economics

#1

Duke University

Durham, NC
18 Annual Graduates

Duke University is a great option for individuals pursuing a doctor's degree in economics. Located in the city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #14 out of 741 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

With 18 individuals who completed this degree in the most recent data year, Duke University is one of the most popular universities to study economics in the United States.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Duke University

#2

Yale University

New Haven, CT
16 Annual Graduates

Yale University is a great decision for students interested in a doctor's degree in economics. Located in the city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #4 out of 741 colleges nationwide means Yale is a great university overall.

There were roughly 16 economics individuals who graduated with this degree at Yale in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Yale University

#3

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
39 Annual Graduates

It is difficult to beat Harvard University if you wish to pursue a doctor's degree in economics. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the midsize city of Cambridge. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #3 out of 741 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great university overall.

There were approximately 39 economics students who graduated with this degree at Harvard in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Harvard University

#4

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
17 Annual Graduates

University of Pennsylvania is a great choice for individuals interested in a doctor's degree in economics. Located in the city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #11 out of 741 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

There were approximately 17 economics students who graduated with this degree at UPenn in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from University of Pennsylvania

#5

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
14 Annual Graduates

Stanford is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large suburb of Stanford. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #1 out of 741 schools nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

There were roughly 14 economics individuals who graduated with this degree at Stanford in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Stanford University

#6

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
20 Annual Graduates

Cornell is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Ithaca. This university ranks 2nd out of 46 colleges for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of New York.

Cornell University is one of the most popular universities to study economics in the United States with roughly 20 graduates in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Cornell University

#7

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL
37 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #5 out of 741 schools nationwide means UChicago is a great university overall.

There were approximately 37 economics students who graduated with this degree at UChicago in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from University of Chicago

#8

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ
10 Annual Graduates

Princeton is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the city of Princeton. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #6 out of 741 colleges nationwide means Princeton is a great university overall.

There were approximately 10 economics students who graduated with this degree at Princeton in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Princeton University

#9

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
20 Annual Graduates

Northwestern is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Evanston. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #7 out of 741 colleges nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were about 20 economics students who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Northwestern University

#10

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
6 Annual Graduates

Johns Hopkins is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Baltimore. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #16 out of 741 schools nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great university overall.

There were about 6 economics individuals who graduated with this degree at Johns Hopkins in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Johns Hopkins University

29 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #12 out of 741 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were roughly 29 economics individuals who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Columbia University in the City of New York

20 Annual Graduates

U-M is a fairly large public university located in the midsize city of Ann Arbor. This university ranks 1st out of 20 colleges for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Michigan.

There were approximately 20 economics individuals who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

#13

Rice University

Houston, TX
5 Annual Graduates

Rice is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the city of Houston. This university ranks 1st out of 44 colleges for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Texas.

Rice University is a fairly popular university to study economics in the United States with about 5 graduations in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Rice University

#14

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
4 Annual Graduates

Located in the suburb of Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #13 out of 741 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great university overall.

University of Notre Dame is one of the most popular universities to study economics in the United States with roughly 4 graduates in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from University of Notre Dame

#15

Brown University

Providence, RI
15 Annual Graduates

Located in the city of Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit university with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Doctor's Degree Schools rank of #17 out of 741 schools nationwide means Brown is a great university overall.

There were approximately 15 economics individuals who graduated with this degree at Brown in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Brown University

#16

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
3 Annual Graduates

Vanderbilt is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Nashville. This university ranks 1st out of 19 schools for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Tennessee.

There were roughly 3 economics students who graduated with this degree at Vanderbilt in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University

#17

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
9 Annual Graduates

Located in the large city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 51 colleges for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A popular choice for economics students, there were approximately 9 students who graduated from this program at Carnegie Mellon in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Carnegie Mellon University

10 Annual Graduates

Located in the suburb of Saint Louis, WUSTL is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 15 schools for overall doctor's degree quality in the state of Missouri.

There were approximately 10 economics individuals who graduated with this degree at WUSTL in the most recent data year.

More information about a doctorate in economics from Washington University in St Louis

Rest of the Top Best Economics Doctor's Degree Schools

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Economics students that almost earned our Best Economics Doctor's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
19 Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA
20 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
21 University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA
22 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA
23 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
24 Claremont Graduate University Claremont, CA
25 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI

Economics by Region

View the Best Economics Doctor's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

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Economics is one of 12 different types of Social Sciences programs to choose from.

Economics Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
Econometrics & Quantitative Economics 772
General Economics 408
Development Economics & International Development 19
Applied Economics 17
Other Economics 3

Majors Similar to Economics

Related Major Annual Graduates
Political Science & Government 696
Sociology 603
Anthropology 531
Geography & Cartography 308
Other Social Sciences 67
International Relations & National Security 66
Criminology 47
Urban Studies 40
General Social Sciences 17
Demography & Population Studies 17

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to pixabay. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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