Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Economics

Find Schools Near

2021 Best Colleges for Economics

Approximately 48,196 economics degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be difficult finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Economics ranking analyzed 276 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in economics. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for Economics students.

Choosing a Great Economics School

Best Colleges for Economics The economics program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality economics program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 4% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 3%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 39 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

A economics degree from colleges on this list typically results in higher than average income after graduation. While the average economics bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $46,795, graduates of colleges on this list average $72,848.

Starting Salary  ( 64891 to 82108 )
$0
$89,800

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 Popularity - How many other economics students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized economics related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Economics students.

More Ways to Rank Economics Schools

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 Schools.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

Best Schools to Study Economics in the United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study economics. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 25 Best Economics Colleges

#1

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

University of Chicago is a good decision for students pursuing a Economics degree. UChicago is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Chicago. This university ranks 19th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There were roughly 460 economics students who graduated from this degree at UChicago in the most recent year we have data available. Economics students from University of Chicago earn a boost of around $10,152 over the typical income of economics majors.

More…

Request Information
#2

Duke University

Durham, NC

Any student pursuing a degree in economics has to take a look at Duke University. Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Duke also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Duke University economics graduates receive $16,952 more than the standard economics graduate.

More…

Request Information
#3

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, CA

Claremont McKenna College is among your top options if you're planning on studying economics. Located in the large suburb of Claremont, Claremont McKenna is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 23rd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

Claremont McKenna College is a fairly popular college to study economics in the United States with about 109 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. Claremont McKenna College economics students make $9,552 more than the standard economics graduate.

More…

Request Information
#4

Yale University

New Haven, CT

It's difficult to beat Yale University if you want to pursue economics as a major. Yale is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the midsize city of New Haven. A Best Colleges rank of 10 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Yale is a great university overall.

There were roughly 277 economics individuals who graduated from this program at Yale in the most recent data year. Students from the economics major at Yale University get $8,552 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More…

Request Information
#5

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Harvard is a great university overall.

Harvard University is a fairly popular university to study economics in the United States with approximately 382 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. Economics students from Harvard University receive an earnings boost of approximately $5,952 over the average earnings of economics graduates.

More…

Request Information

Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 32nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were about 438 economics individuals who graduated from this degree at Columbia in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates from the economics program at Columbia University in the City of New York get $2,452 more than the average college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More…

Request Information
#7

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Located in the city of Evanston, Northwestern is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

Northwestern University is one of the most popular universities to study economics in the United States with roughly 424 graduates in the most recent data year. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career earnings of $69,200.

More…

Request Information
#8

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Located in the city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UPenn also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career wages of $74,700.

More…

Request Information
#9

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford is a large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Stanford. A Best Colleges rank of 6 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Stanford also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree. Economics majors from Stanford University get an earnings boost of approximately $8,052 over the average income of economics majors.

More…

Request Information
#10

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Located in the city of Chestnut Hill, Boston College is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 61st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Boston College also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the economics program earn an average of $65,800 in their early career salary.

More…

Request Information
#11

Williams College

Williamstown, MA

Williams is a small private not-for-profit college located in the fringe town of Williamstown. A Best Colleges rank of 7 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Williams is a great college overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Williams offers a Master's Degrees in economics. Graduates of the economics program make about $73,500 in their early career salary.

More…

Request Information
#12

Rice University

Houston, TX

Located in the large city of Houston, Rice is a private not-for-profit university with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 11 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Rice is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Rice also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the economics program state that they receive average early career income of $73,100.

More…

Request Information
#13

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Located in the large city of Nashville, Vanderbilt is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 24th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Tennessee.

There were roughly 326 economics individuals who graduated from this program at Vanderbilt in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate from the economics program make an average of $68,100 in their early career salary.

More…

Request Information
#14

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Washington. This university ranks 55th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

For those interested in something more advanced, Georgetown also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. After graduating, economics students generally earn around $68,700 at the beginning of their careers.

More…

Request Information
#15

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Located in the large city of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 20th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

For those interested in something more advanced, Johns Hopkins also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the economics program state that they receive average early career income of $70,800.

More…

Request Information
#16

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Dartmouth is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit college located in the town of Hanover. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There were about 172 economics individuals who graduated from this degree at Dartmouth in the most recent data year. Graduates from the economics major at Dartmouth College earn $11,352 above the average college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More…

Request Information
#17

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia is a very large public university located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. This university ranks 42nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

For those interested in something more advanced, University of Virginia also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the economics program make around $59,700 in the first couple years of their career.

More…

Request Information
#18

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Ithaca. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

A popular choice for economics undergraduates, there were about 226 students who graduated from this program at Cornell in the most recent data year. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career wages of $67,500.

More…

Request Information
#19

Pomona College

Claremont, CA

Pomona is a small private not-for-profit college located in the suburb of Claremont. A Best Colleges rank of 8 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Pomona is a great college overall.

Pomona College is a fairly popular college to study economics in the United States with about 49 graduations in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates from the economics degree program at Pomona College earn $7,952 more than the standard college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More…

Request Information
#20

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

Located in the small city of Waltham, Brandeis is a private not-for-profit university with a moderately-sized student population. This university ranks 75th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Brandeis also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduation, economics students typically make around $59,100 in their early careers.

More…

Request Information

UC Berkeley is a fairly large public university located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. This university ranks 69th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree. Graduates of the economics program make an average of $63,000 in the first couple years of working.

More…

Request Information
#22

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

Located in the suburb of Swarthmore, Swarthmore is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 21st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A favorite choice for economics undergraduates, there were approximately 82 learners who completed this degree at Swarthmore in the most recent data year. Graduates of the economics program earn about $74,500 in their early career salary.

More…

Request Information

Located in the city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 38th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

For those interested in something more advanced, U-M also offers 2 different higher degree levels in economics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the economics program earn an average of $57,200 for their early career.

More…

Request Information
#24

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT

Located in the town of Middlebury, Middlebury is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 35th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Vermont.

There were about 106 economics students who graduated from this program at Middlebury in the most recent data year. Middlebury College economics majors make $2,552 more than the standard economics student.

More…

Request Information
#25

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Located in the suburb of Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 14 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great university overall.

There were roughly 208 economics individuals who graduated from this program at Notre Dame in the most recent data year. Grads of the economics program state that they receive average early career wages of $64,300.

More…

Request Information

Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Economics

#26

New York University

New York, NY
#27

Brown University

Providence, RI
#31

Trinity College

Hartford, CT
#32

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA
#33

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY
#35

Tufts University

Medford, MA
#37

Amherst College

Amherst, MA
#38

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA
#40

Boston University

Boston, MA
#41

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Economics award.

Rank College Location
42 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
43 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
44 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
45 Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME
46 Hamilton College Clinton, NY
47 Barnard College New York, NY
48 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
49 George Washington University Washington, DC
50 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
51 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
52 Lafayette College Easton, PA
53 Emory University Atlanta, GA
54 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
55 Bates College Lewiston, ME

Economics by Region

View the Best Colleges for Economics for a specific region near you.

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

Economics is one of 13 different types of Social Sciences programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Political Science & Government 46,598
Sociology 37,511
General Social Sciences 19,551
International Relations & National Security 14,810
Anthropology 11,607

View All Economics Related Majors >

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.

Featured Economics Schools

Find Schools Near You