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Economics PhD Program Rankings

Learn about some of the top PhD programs available in the field of economics. Get detailed information on two of the best schools to offer these programs, and see a list of other highly-ranked schools in the field.

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Schools Overview

Economics is a broad field of study focusing on how resources are used. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in economics are available at many colleges and universities across the nation, offering specialties in areas such as international economics, business economics, agricultural economics and quantitative economics. Two top-ranked colleges to offer these Ph.D. programs include Harvard and Princeton, both Ivy League schools with highly selective admissions processes.

Top Schools Offering Economics Ph.D. Programs

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

According to U.S. News and World Report, Harvard University was the number one ranked school in the nation to offer a Ph.D. program in economics in 2013. Graduate students at this 4-year, private school can pursue a Ph.D. in Economics that includes intensive courses in both micro and macro economics theory. This doctoral economics program is designed to be completed in three years and includes a research thesis requirement.

Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University is another top-ranked school to offer a Ph.D. program in economics. In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #1 (tying with Harvard, MIT and the University of Chicago), to offer graduate programs in economics. The Department of Economics at Princeton offers a Ph.D. in Economics, which is renowned as one of the best graduate economics programs in the world. As with Harvard, admission into this economics Ph.D. program is highly selective.

List of Good Ph.D. Programs in Economics

College/University Name Location Distinction
Columbia University Columbia ranked #4 on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list of national universities. New York, NY
Cornell University Cornell has more than 100 students enrolled in its Ph.D. program in economics, and faculty consists of 91 economists. Ithaca, NY
Duke University Ph.D. students at Duke can receive an annual research fellowship and have more time to focus on research as opposed to TA work. Durham, NC
Harvard UniversityHarvard ranked #2 on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list of all national universities. Cambridge, MA
Johns Hopkins University Students have access to the Center for Financial Economics, seminars and lecture series. Baltimore, MD
Northwestern UniversityThe Journal of the European Economic Association ranked Northwestern's economics department fourth in the world. Evanston, IL
Princeton University In 2014, Princeton ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of all national universities. Princeton, NJ
Stanford University Stanford tied for a #5 ranking on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of best graduate schools offering economics programs. Stanford, CA
University of California - Berkeley Along with Stanford, Berkeley placed #5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of top economics schools. Berkeley, CA
University of Pennsylvania Students have access to archives and centers such as The Penn Institute for Economic Research, the International Economic Review, and the Center for International Comparisons. Philadelphia, PA
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Utah (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Utah include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
        • Econometrics
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      • Business Marketing
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  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Arizona include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
        • Applied Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Wisconsin include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
        • Development Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • International Business
      • Sales and Merchandising
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Business Economics
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Business
      • Business Economics
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Human Resource Management

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