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Best Undergraduate Economics Programs in the Nation

Graduates of undergraduate programs in economics might find work in a number of fields, including finance, government and public policy. A bachelor's program also can be a stepping stone toward a master's or doctoral program in economics or a related field, such as accounting, business administration or law. Keep reading to learn about some of the highest-ranked undergraduate economics programs in the United States.

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Best Undergraduate Economics Programs

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Part of the Ivy League of schools, Harvard is one of the most distinguished schools in the nation, having placed first in U.S. News & World Report's 2011 rankings of national universities. Additionally, the Department of Economics at Harvard was noted for having one of the best undergraduate economics programs in the nation by U.S. News, which, in 2009, deemed it one of four schools tying for the number one spot. Students may choose from a primary or secondary concentration in the field, and several opportunities are available for study outside the classroom, including workshops and seminars. Two tracks of study are offered for undergraduate students in economics: a thesis track, through which students complete a senior thesis on a topic in economics, and an advanced course track, through which students complete upper-level courses in different areas of economics.

2. University of Chicago in Chicago, IL

Founded in 1892, the University of Chicago is one of the highest-ranked schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2011, this private school ranked ninth on the publication's National Universities list. U.S. News also ranked the University of Chicago's Department of Economics as one of the best in the nation in 2009, tying it at number one with Harvard, Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The department offers undergraduate students a scientific, mathematical and statistical approach to studying economics, leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). An honors workshop and thesis option is available to B.A. candidates, and many research opportunities are offered in the form of assistantships and full-time, off-campus jobs.

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN

The University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus is one of the largest public universities in the nation, serving over 33,000 undergraduate students alone. Its Department of Economics ranked among U.S. News & World Report's top ten undergraduate programs in the nation in 2009. Three undergraduate degrees in economics are offered, including a B.A., a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and a B.A. with a quantitative emphasis, which is similar to the B.S. in its more extensive use of coursework in calculus, algebra and econometrics. The school also offers seven minors in economics, in such areas as general economics, econometrics, international trade and development, applied microeconomics, monetary economics and management. Additional educational opportunities include internships and undergraduate research.

List of Ten Colleges and Universities with Good Economics Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Harvard University Offers opportunities for studying economics abroad in Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia Cambridge, MA
Ohio State University Features an undergraduate honors program in economics Columbus, OH
Princeton University Several distinguished visiting faculty from organizations such as the Federal Reserve of New York and the World Bank Princeton, NJ
Purdue University Joint program in management and economics West Lafayette, IN
University of California - Berkeley Five current and previous faculty members have won Nobel prizes Berkeley, CA
University of Chicago Extensive series of economics-based workshops Chicago, IL
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities The Economics Student Organization (ESO) Minneapolis, MN
University of Pennsylvania Houses the national economics magazine International Economic Review Philadelphia, PA
University of Texas at Austin The Economics-Master of Public Accounting (MPA) program Austin, TX
University of Wisconsin - Madison Four distinguished scholarships offered to undergraduate economics students Madison, WI
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