Learn how facets of the world work, and the best ways to make optimal decisions with a degree in economics. We’ve ranked the 35 Best Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.
Economics is one of the more popular degree majors for most universities and for good reason. Not only is it broad enough to cover many issues, but it also teaches a way of thinking about the world that is helpful for decision making and general world-view development. Importantly, this major doesn’t teach one specific view, bust simply equips you with tools to develop your own theories. This type of analytical thinking is what employers seek in job candidates.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median economist makes $102,490 annually. And it’s a career field growing at a rate of six percent. Although, those with majors in economics aren’t limited to becoming economists. Econ majors frequently work for non-profits, businesses, firms, banks, universities, and other employers that need quality analysis. For your benefit, we’ve ranked the 35 Best Bachelor’s degrees in Economics.
Economic concepts often covered in introductory economics courses are “return on investment” and the “law of diminishing return.” No matter what institution or major, your collegiate education is an investment of time and money. Investing in a poor situation wastes these resources while investing in the school and program that’s right for you gives you high returns. But there’s also a balance, a school may technically be better for you, but far too expensive, so the return is diminished. How are you supposed to evaluate these schools when you haven’t even taken an undergraduate course in economics?
Relax, we’ve done the heavy lifting to find the 35 Best Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. We weigh a school’s tuition rate against its positive attributes such as quality of faculty, faculty-student ratio, course offerings, concentrations, scholarships, extracurriculars, study abroad options, and advising. Having completed this process, we’ve ranked your best value schools.
Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one’s higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:
Degree Investment Return (25%)
Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
Cost Value (25%)
Academic Success (15%)
No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!
The Bachelor of Arts in Economics at CUNY York College can be completed with a General Economics concentration, as well as an Environmental Economics concentration. This follows from the school's vision to be a "transformative urban institution and cultural hub." Courses include Economics of Forestry, Economics of Underdeveloped Area, and Natural Resource Economics and Policy. Great scholarship opportunities are available for those in the honors program, which requires a GPA of 3.5 or higher. In addition, nine departmental awards are given to students annually. York College also provides plenty of resources that help to ensure the success of its students, such as the Academic Advising Center, the Collaborative Learning Center, and the Freshman Year Experience program.
A great feature of the Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Minnesota-Duluth is its flexibility. The program allows students to create a major around their own interests but provides enough guidance that students don't overly limit post-graduate career options. Students can also become certified in Business Administration, or minor in relevant areas such as Accounting, Finance, Entrepreneurship, or Health Care Management. Plenty of opportunities are available for students, and they include the Research Opportunity Program, UMD Shark Tank, the Center for Economic Development, the Bureau for Business and Economic Research, and Internships. In addition, the UMD Economics department provides five scholarships for students in the major.
The community in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Economics is notable. Perhaps the clearest example of this is the Economics Peer Mentor Program, where upperclassmen spend time mentoring underclassmen, teaching them about thriving at UT Austin. The department also sponsors plenty of socials, service opportunities, and workshops that help students stay connected. The Department also awards the Hammermesh Senior Thesis Award, as well as the Salam Fayyad Excellence Award to the most remarkable students in the department. A Business Economics Option Program is in place for students to be able to take restricted accounting and finance courses in the McCombs School of Business. This track gives an explicitly business-oriented edge to the conventional economics major.
Why settle for just a Bachelor of Arts in Economics when you can compliment that with a concentration? The University of Virginia's Department of Economics allows you to do just this, offering concentrations in Financial Economics, Industrial Organization, International Economics, and Public Policy. These typically apply to pretty motivated students, but another motivation for students is the departmental awards and scholarships. UVA offers four of these. Courses that students may take include Economic Forecasting, Policy Analysis, Economics of the European Union, and Behavioral Finance. These will prepare you for the job field, but actually getting a job is a different story. This is where UVA's Economics Career Office can be a useful resource to those in the program. They provide network connections, as well as help on learning how to market oneself.
The Bert W. Wasserman Department of Economics and Finance at CUNY Baruch College acquaints its students with economic problems of our society and equips them to help solve those problems. Three core courses are required, as well as five electives. These electives can be among Financial Econometrics, Black Economic Development, Advanced Labor Economics, and others. Baruch College's close proximity to Wall Street, Midtown, and large companies afford its students opportunities to intern and work in exceptional places. The school itself has about 18,000 students and is one of the most ethnically diverse institutions in the nation. Over 170 countries and 110 languages are represented in the student body.
The Finance and Economics Department at Utah Valley University aspires for its students to have to tools to be effective business decision makers. The whole degree requires a minimum of 120 credit-hours, where 36 are general education, 72 are major courses, and 12 are electives. Students may not have lower than a "C-" in any core courses. Courses can include Managerial Statistics, History of Economic Thought, and Economic Modeling and Quantitative Analysis. Apart from a distinguished economics program, students can enjoy UVU for its location in Orem and surrounding areas. Two examples are the Provo Canyon or Mount Timpanogos Park.
When people hear of Purdue, often they only consider its reputation as a stalwart school in the field of engineering. What should not be overlooked is the excellence of their Economics program, which offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Within the Krannert School of Management, this program has exceptional offerings, such as access to the Vernon Smith Experimental Economics Laboratory through which faculty member Vernon Smith received a Nobel Prize. In addition, students can study abroad at normal tuition rates in Australia, China, Denmark, England, France, Italy, Korea, New Zealand, and Sweden. The honors program at Purdue requires a 3.50 cumulative GPA, so students are advised against taking too many math/economics courses in one semester.
Within its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the University of Florida provides a Bachelor of Arts in Economics that teaches the analysis of our complex world through the lens of economics. It participates with two affiliated research centers: The Public Utility Research Center, and the Robert F. Lanzillotti Public Policy Research Center. Many students choose to utilize the joint BA/MA program, seeing as many courses overlap. According to past students, favorite courses in the major include Public Choice, Population Economics, Health Care Economics, and The Firm in Global Economics. Post-undergrad, students can earn a Ph.D. at the University of Florida as well.
CUNY City College in New York City offers a Bachelor of Arts in Economics through its Economics and Business Department. In addition, students can minor in Management & Administration. This is a program that seeks to found economic principles on leadership community engagement, and service. There are 14 scholarship opportunities listed on the department website. Students can also participate in The Economics Society on campus. Students can also undertake a joint BA/MA program on an accelerated timeline. Courses available to students include Industrial Organization, Transportation Economics, Urban Economics, and Public Finance. In addition, students must earn a GPA of 2.0 or greater in order to graduate.
The Economics Department at Vassar College is one of the largest departments at the institution. Because so many students with diverse interests are in the program, the college established concentrations to more accurately fit the needs of students. These concentrations are in Public Policy, International Economics, and Quantitative Economics. The Financial Aid Office at Vassar has been committed to making its programs accessible to students from all financial backgrounds. They seek to avoid issuing student loans and instead assist students through scholarships and on-campus jobs. If you're looking to study abroad, Vassar College is the only American school with an exchange program with the Toulouse School of Economics in France.
Perhaps Massachusetts Institute of Technology is best known for its hard sciences; however, this does not at all diminish the quality of its economics department. Apart from the Bachelor of Science in Economics, the department offers a BS in Mathematical Economics, as well as a BS in Computer Science/Economics/Data Science. One of the more notable aspects is the relative freedom MIT students have when it comes to electives. The flexibility in elective offerings is purposeful to allow students to create an individualized experience in the major that tailors to their interests and futures. It could look like a deep study of economic principles, or how economics interacts with technology or the historical narrative of economics in the world.
CUNY Brooklyn is another excellent school to attend in order to achieve a degree in economics. From a fiscal standpoint, it is accessible to more students than other schools may be. A reason for this is the existence of over 600 scholarships available that total over $1 million of funding for undergraduates. But this Brooklyn-based institution isn't just known for funding. The reputation of its faculty members is no joke. Some have won the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award, and even an Emmy Award. Brilliant minds reside at Brooklyn College, and students have complete access to them in the classroom.
In terms of geographical location, you can't go wrong with attending UC San Diego. But you also can't go wrong with their Economics Department which has been ranked as 14th in the nation by U.S. News & World Ranking. What sets this department apart from others is the quality of faculty as both instructors and researchers, many of whom contribute to the most popular undergraduate economics textbooks. As with UC San Diego students must apply to the major. Apart from the BA in Economics, UC San Diego also offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Economics. A wealth of electives are offered which include Decisions Under Uncertainty, Economics of Korea, Middle East Economics, and the Economics of Ocean Resources.
City University of New York - Hunter College offers an affordable Bachelor of Arts in Economics. It requires 30 major credits, which are made up of six core courses and four electives. Elective choices cover a variety of topics such as Women and Men in the Labor Market, Computer Applications in Economics, and Security & Investment Analysis. Students may achieve departmental honors if they maintain a 2.80 overall GPA, a 3.50 major GPA, and write an honors thesis. In addition, students can participate in the BA/MA program, and earn their master's degree in an accelerated fashion. Being based in New York City, CUNY Hunter College is able to host incredible guest speakers that add value to the economics program.
Economics students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are equipped to be well-rounded contributors in their future jobs. Some can choose an emphasis in Mathematics which leads to proficiency in analytical aspects of economics. There are over 2,000 faculty experts who contribute to the University of Wisconsin, which yields an average class size of 30. To achieve honors in the program, students must maintain an overall 3.30 GPA, with a 3.50 GPA in all ECON courses. Economics courses include Real Estate, Investment Theory, Contemporary Economics Issues, and The Financial System. A perk of Wisconsin-Madison is the Economics Career and Development Office which helps prepare and place students for and in the field.
In addition, the Bachelor of Arts in Economics, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside offers two concentrations in Monetary and Financial Economics and Quantitative Economics. Students can also participate in the Economics Club, the Economics Honor Society Omicron Delta Epsilon, as well as the intercollegiate Fed Challenge presented by the Federal Reserve. The major itself requires 33-38 credits, and students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25 in major courses. These courses include The American Economy, Economic Issues of South Asia, Economics of Urban Problems, and Comparative Economic Systems. Students who think they will enter careers in business are encouraged to minor in Business Management.
The Economics and Finance Department at Buffalo State SUNY offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. In addition, it offers minors in Business Economics, Economic Policy Analysis, and International Economics. Within the Bachelor of Science, students may concentrate either in applied economics or financial economics, both of which adequately prepare students to impact their future workplaces. Students can take courses such as Women in the Economy, Urban Economics, The Economics of Energy and the Environment, and Intro. To the Economic Analysis of Law. Buffalo State also directs its Center for Economic and Policy Studies, which is an interdisciplinary institution that considers policy challenges and options in the urban Great Lakes regions.
The University of California-Davis conducted a study which found that in general, 67 percent of recent alumni were employed after college, versus 84 percent of alumni who majored in their economics program. Factor influencing this could possibly be the unique specialization tracks economics majors may choose to pursue. They include Behavior & Strategy, Data Analytics & Economic Analysis, Economic History, International Macro-Finance, Policy, and Poverty & Inequality. UC Davis also offers Summer Abroad programs in Ghana, Cuba, France, and Spain, as well as Quarter Abroad programs in Australia, the UK, China, Spain, and Italy. Coursework covers topics such as Environmental Economics, Economics of Global Poverty, Economy of East Asia, and World Econ History Before the Industrial Revolution.
Economics is typically a popular major at most schools, but the University of California-Berkeley is the first school on this ranking that actually caps its program. Because the major is so popular and renowned, UC Berkeley students must apply to it, and admission is never guaranteed. Once admitted to the major, students can rest assured that UC Berkeley is committed to their success, evidenced but the Economics Tutoring Program, as well as the Student Learning Center Tutoring Program. UC Berkeley's Department of Economics also encourages its students to make the most of their time in college. They support study abroad and also provide plenty of research opportunities to their undergraduates. Motivated students are eligible to apply to the honors program, and can complete a thesis their senior year.
Barnard College is another school on this list that offers different major tracks within its Economics Department. It has tracks in general Economics, Political Economy, Economics & Mathematics, Economic & Social History, and Economics-Statistics. Each of these five is founded on a common core but allows students to focus on specific dimensions within economics. Students can also participate in an accelerated master's in Operations Research at Columbia University. The Economics major consists of 12 courses, where the final five consist of electives, thesis, and seminar. Courses include Logic and Limits of Economic Justice, Coding Markets, Economic History of the United States, and Migration and Economic Change. In addition, four awards are available to economics majors, as well as a department honor program.
The University of California-Irvine offers an excellent Major in Economics, but also has the infrastructure in place to offer majors in Business Economics, and Quantitative Economics as well. Despite the fact that students can only choose one of these majors, they are all eligible to pursue a specialization in International Issues & Economics. The honors program is available to all as well. UC Irvine also has study abroad options available, and an additional perk is that students who seek to spend time in countries not partnered with UC Irvine may partake in programs offered by other schools in the UC System. Outside of the core courses, economics majors must take six electives. These are categorized by general economics electives, quantitative electives, business electives, and management electives.
The University of California-Los Angeles not only offers a Bachelor of Arts in Economics but also a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics. A precedent has also been established for a Bachelor of Science Mathematics/Economics double major. Students may also concentrate on Value Investing, and UCLA aspires to offer future concentrations in Corporate Strategy & Competition, Data Analytics, Global Economics, and Public Finance & Economic Policy. A five-year Accelerated Master's in Applied Economics is also available through UC Santa Cruz. The Department of Economics at UCLA also offers scholarships that range from $1,500 - $5,000. At least twelve are listed on the department website. Courses cover topics such as Finance, Designed Markets, Organization of Firms, Investments, and Pricing and Strategy. When a study break is needed, students like to get ice-cream sandwiches from their beloved Diddy Riese.
Although we've listed the Bachelor of Science in Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology also offers a Bachelor of Science in Economics & International Affairs, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Global Economics & Modern Languages. In addition, students are able to minor in Energy Systems through the college of engineering, which studies how energy systems relate to modern economies. The focus areas of the BS Economics program are Health Economics, Environmental Economics, Development Economics, and Industrial Organization. Coursework for these includes NEtwork Economics, Statistics, Econometric Analysis, and Forecasting. There are 24 semester hours of required coursework, plus nine semester hours of upper-division electives.
In general, the economics program at the University of North Carolina teaches inquiry of the structures and problems of economics affecting our society. Students have unique opportunities at UNC including a Joint Degree Program with the National University of Singapore, a Credential in Quantitative Financial Economics, a minor in Entrepreneurship, a minor in Philosophy/Politics/Economics, Honors, and Undergraduate Awards. On the extracurricular level, students can participate in the Economics Club, Women in Economics, the Fed Challenge Team, and Omicron Delta Epsilon. Additionally, students rave about student life, with many functions to attend, as well as national-caliber Division I sports programs to cheer on.
Having been founded in 1880, the Department of Economics at the University of Michigan has an incredible history. One perk of being around for a while is an extensive network alumnus. Students have access to this through the Economics Alumni Relationship Network, where they engage in one-on-one mentorship with successful alumni, receiving personalized career and academic advice. Students can also learn internationally through the university's study abroad ties in countries such as Germany, Peru, India, Ghana, New Zealand, Ecuador, Morocco, and Brazil. The major requires 30 minimum credits that cover 15 credits of core courses and 15 elective courses. Coursework ranges from Growth Theory to Strategy, Public Finance, an Survey of Labor Economics.
Princeton University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Economics that affords students an elite education. For good reason, economics is one of the more popular majors at Princeton. It requires both Junior Independent Work, as Well as Senior Independent Work, the latter of which require a thesis. Prizes are awarded for the most excellent independent work. In addition to the conventional major, the department makes available a track in Political Economy. Or, if more oriented at the business world, students can work towards a certificate in Finance. On-campus activities include a Liaison Committee that is selected by concentrators in the department. This committee has a voice in departmental matters. Off-campus, students can study abroad-ideally during the spring of either their junior or sophomore year.
Rutgers University would define economics as a "social science that studies decision making given limited resources." Bearing this in mind, it provides tools and knowledge to understand economic systems, research, and analysis. Faculty members have published research annually since at least 2006. Students receive education from professors who are active contributors to the field. Requirements for the major include 43 total credits. 25 of these credits are a core curriculum, while 18 of these credits are electives. Coursework at Rutgers includes Institutional Economics, Economics of Health, Managerial Economics, and Economics of Labor. Additionally, many students have been known to double major, combining economics with finance.
Berea's Economics Program develops competent economists in an inclusive educational space. As a goal, the Economics and Business Department tries to provide theories and principles of economies and businesses. Students can participate in independent studies, summer research, and internships-provided through the Raymond E. and Margaret Mason Business Internship Program. The economics department additionally recognizes stellar scholarship with three programmatic awards every spring. In addition to the major, students can pursue concentrations in either Methods and Models or International Politics and Policy. There is also an opportunity to minor in Business Administration. The program provides academic support with Economics and Business TAs available every evening from Sunday through Thursday. Berea College as a whole offers the Center for Teaching and Learning where students can receive additional help. Lastly, a major aspect of Berea is its No-Tuition Promise, making it possible to graduate without debt.
Dartmouth College offers a richly rewarding major in Economics. Once past the introductory courses, higher-level courses are taught in small sections, so students have plenty of space to interact with their professors. Seminars are also taught in small sections where students engage in a scientific method of inquiry, projecting hypotheses by collecting and analyzing data. Although most students fit into the general major, precedent exists for some to modify Economics with Psychology, Computer Science, or Mathematics. Extra-classroom opportunities take many forms at Dartmouth. The first involves undergraduate research, most of which receive financial support from the Welton Fund. The second involves study abroad opportunities in places such as Milan, Oxford, and London. In addition, Dartmouth sponsors a Political Economy Project that seeks to answer questions involving economics, policy, and ethics. It is an emphatically interdisciplinary project that exhibits liberal arts to the fullest.
Based in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University was founded in 1764 as an Ivy League university, and it currently has about 6,580 undergraduate students. Economics is one of the most popular offerings at Brown University. The department is excellent, and also provides the opportunity to double with math, applied math, or computer science. Students can further concentrate in Advanced Economics or Mathematical Finance tracks. Areas of study include Economics History, Finance/Investment/Strategy, Econometrics/Research Methods, Development, Macroeconomics, and Microeconomics. Elective offerings cover topics such as Welfare Economics, Bargaining Theory, Current Global Macroeconomic Challenges, Health, Hunger + the Household, and Corporate Strategy.
Within Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences lies an Economics Department that understands the needs of its undergraduate students. Namely, that within the broad interest of economics, different students have individualized interests. The department, therefore, offers tracks in Strategy, Research, Policy, International & Development, Finance, and Behavioral & Experimental Economics. It takes 80 units to achieve this major, and 30 of those are core economics courses. Five of those units manifest in a Policy Writing course, and 20 are elective economics courses. The remaining 25 units are general education courses. Prospective students can look forward to unique classes such as Economics of Health and Medical Care, Imperfect Competition, Economics of Labor Markets, and Economics of Education.
The Economics Department at CUNY Queens College prepares its students for diverse fields but definitely orients curriculum at preparations for complex business environments and global society. As such, the curriculum looks at issues like economic growth and development, unemployment, poverty, inflation, finance, and urban decay. The department has $7,500 available scholarships for students. Coursework covers areas such as Research Methods, Industrial Organization, International Finance, and International Economics. Students can also undergo a 12-credit Advanced Certificate in Risk Management. Queens College features a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, which is ideal for an intimate learning environment where professors and students are able to establish great rapport.
The economics program at Yale University encourages a broader understanding of not just the economy, but also issues of charity, poverty, health reform, international trade, and gender and racial wage gaps. In addition, the program is sensitive to those who may not feel completely confident in their mathematical abilities. Perhaps one of the greatest features for Yale economics students is the research opportunities available. During the year, students can work with professors through a paid Tobin Research Assistantship. Outside of that, the Herb Scarf Summer Research Opportunity is an excellent offering. No prerequisites are required for entering the major, and 12 courses are required for the Bachelor of Arts. If a student places out of an introductory course, it must be replaced by an additional elective. This is a great policy considering elective offerings such as Neuroeconomics for Economics, Equality, Economics of Natural Resources, and Development Economics: Focus on South Asia.
Within the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University, the Department of Economics offers, both, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree. The ultimate goal of these degrees is to teach students a specific way of thinking and asking about different issues. Students develop a base in economic thinking early in the program, and they apply that to different subject areas such as Public Finance; Gender and Race; Poverty and Inequality, or even Sports. This department offers five economics scholarships to its students outside of the university's aid package. It also offers three 5-year programs. The first is an "Econ Fastrack" which combines a BS and MS in Economics. The other two are Bachelor in Economics-Master in Public Service and Bachelor in Economics-Master in International Affairs. It's a perk of a large department that offers degrees up to the Ph.D. Level.
In the heart of St. Paul is the University of Minnesota that offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics. Interestingly, this program is provided through the College of Food Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. This leads to a unique and necessary perspective that studies the relationship between social justice and economics. Fifty-two of the 120 credit hours are taken within the major, and cover typical courses such as Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics. This program easily allows for study abroad, and as a bigger school, the University of Minnesota has ties in countries including the UK, Thailand, Ireland, Australia, and others. In addition to what general students may receive from the financial aid office, the Department of Applied Economics offers five departmental scholarships to its students.
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