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2021 Best Economics Schools

835 Colleges
$47,295 Avg Salary
$21,978 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Economics School for You

In 2018-2019, 48,297 economics students received their degrees and certificates, making the major the #6 most popular in the country.

With all the business programs available today, it can be tough to choose which one is the best for you. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Alternatively, you may choose a trade school that prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge in a specific field.

To assist you in seeing some of the education options that are available to you, Business Degree Central has created its Best Economics Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 835 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for business students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Economics Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for economics majors pursuing a .

Top 25 Top Schools in Economics

#1

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, CA

Our 2021 rankings named Claremont McKenna College the best school in the United States for economics students. Claremont McKenna is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Claremont.

While working on their degree, economics majors at Claremont McKenna accumulate an average of around $15,636 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $162.

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#2

Pomona College

Claremont, CA

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Pomona College. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Economics Schools list. Located in the suburb of Claremont, Pomona is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#3

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Dartmouth College. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Economics Schools list. Located in the town of Hanover, Dartmouth is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

After completing their degree, economics graduates from Dartmouth carry an average student debtload of $16,830. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $175.

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#4

Duke University

Durham, NC

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Duke University. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Economics Schools list. Located in the city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that economics majors at Duke take out is $10,500. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $109, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#5

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Out of the 477 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Stanford University landed the # 5 spot on the list. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Stanford.

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#6

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for economics students. It came in at #6 on the list. Located in the medium-sized city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

On average, economics graduates from Yale take out $14,000 in student loans while working on their degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $145, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#7

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Economics Schools ranking. Located in the city of Cambridge, Harvard is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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#8

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

University of Chicago landed the #8 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best economics programs. UChicago is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chicago.

On average, economics graduates from UChicago take out $17,980 in student loans while working on their degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $187.

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#9

Williams College

Williamstown, MA

Williams College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for economics students. It came in at #9 on the list. Williams is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Williamstown.

On average, economics graduates from Williams take out $12,000 in student loans while working on their degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $125.

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#10

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Princeton University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Economics Schools list. Princeton is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Princeton.

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#11

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

With a ranking of #11, University of Pennsylvania did quite well on this year’s best schools for economics students. Located in the large city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

The average amount in student loans that economics majors at UPenn take out is $18,625. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $193, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#12

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Northwestern University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Economics Schools list. Northwestern U is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Evanston.

While working on their degree, economics majors at Northwestern U accumulate an average of around $14,300 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $148, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#13

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Economics Schools ranking. Johns Hopkins is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Baltimore.

Economics majors at Johns Hopkins take out an average of $25,994 in student loans while working on their egree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $291.

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#14

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Economics Schools list. Located in the city of Nashville, Vanderbilt is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

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#15

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

University of Notre Dame landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best economics programs. Located in the large suburb of Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

While working on their degree, economics majors at Notre Dame accumulate an average of around $19,000 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $197.

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#16

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY

Colgate University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for economics students. It came in at #16 on the list. Located in the distant town of Hamilton, Colgate is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

On average, economics graduates from Colgate take out $17,187 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $178.

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#17

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for economics students. It came in at #17 on the list. Located in the city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that economics majors at Cornell take out is $13,250. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $138.

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#18

Rice University

Houston, TX

Rice University landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best economics programs. Located in the city of Houston, Rice is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

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#19

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT

With a ranking of #19, Middlebury College did quite well on this year’s best schools for economics students. Middlebury is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Middlebury.

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#20

Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME

Bowdoin College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for economics students. It came in at #20 on the list. Located in the town of Brunswick, Bowdoin is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

After completing their degree, economics graduates from Bowdoin carry an average student debtload of $21,000. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $218.

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#21

Amherst College

Amherst, MA

Amherst College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for economics students. It came in at #21 on the list. Amherst is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Amherst.

Economics majors at Amherst take out an average of $19,500 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $202, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#22

Brown University

Providence, RI

With a ranking of #22, Brown University did quite well on this year’s best schools for economics students. Brown is a large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Providence.

On average, economics graduates from Brown take out $15,000 in student loans while working on their degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $156, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#23

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

With a ranking of #23, Boston College did quite well on this year’s best schools for economics students. Boston College is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Chestnut Hill.

While working on their degree, economics majors at Boston College accumulate an average of around $15,500 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $161.

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#24

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore College landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best economics programs. Swarthmore is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Swarthmore.

The average amount in student loans that economics majors at Swarthmore take out is $21,500. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $223.

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#25

Hamilton College

Clinton, NY

Hamilton College landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best economics programs. Hamilton is a small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize suburb of Clinton.

Economics majors at Hamilton take out an average of $16,750 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $174.

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Rest of the Top Best Economics Schools

#26

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA
#27

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA
#29

Tufts University

Medford, MA
#30

Saint Anselm College

Manchester, NH
#31

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
#32

Barnard College

New York, NY
#33

University of Richmond

University of Richmond, VA
#34

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
#35

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, PA
#36

Bates College

Lewiston, ME
#37

Trinity College

Hartford, CT
#38

Lafayette College

Easton, PA
#40

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
#41

Colby College

Waterville, ME
#43

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA
#45

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA
#46

Union College New York

Schenectady, NY
#47

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
#48

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
#49

DePauw University

Greencastle, IN

Remaining Award Winners

This section shows the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Economics Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 835 different United States economics schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
52 Providence College Providence, RI
53 Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, NY
54 Macalester College Saint Paul, MN
55 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
56 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
57 Villanova University Villanova, PA
58 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
59 Carleton College Northfield, MN
60 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
61 Saint Johns University Collegeville, MN
62 University of Wisconsin - River Falls River Falls, WI
63 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
64 Denison University Granville, OH
65 Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster, PA
66 St Olaf College Northfield, MN
67 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
68 University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL
69 Northeastern University Boston, MA
70 Boston University Boston, MA
71 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

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

Rank College Location
72 Creighton University Omaha, NE
73 Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO
74 University of Delaware Newark, DE
75 Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
76 George Washington University Washington, DC
77 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus University Park, PA
78 New York University New York, NY
79 Trinity University San Antonio, TX
80 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
81 Connecticut College New London, CT
82 Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter, MN
83 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
84 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
85 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
86 Rhodes College Memphis, TN
87 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
88 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
89 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater, WI
90 Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA
91 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ
92 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
93 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
94 Dickinson College Carlisle, PA
95 University of Dayton Dayton, OH

Economics by Region

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

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

Economics Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
General Economics 34,159
Econometrics & Quantitative Economics 11,931
Applied Economics 727
Development Economics & International Development 628
Other Economics 488
International Economics 364

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • 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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