There are a wide variety of great options for bachelor degrees in economics, and the best program will depend on the needs and expectations of the individual student. Many of the most prestigious colleges and universities offer economics programs that offer name-brand diplomas that will be sure to get the attention of potential employers; however, those programs usually come with high tuition rates. Many public state schools offer great tuition rates for in-state students that can allow them to get a great deal on their economics degree. There are many different metrics that can be used to rate the best degree programs, but our methodology places an emphasis on investment return post-graduation, to ensure that students are getting the best value for their degree program. To check out the best bachelor degree programs in Economics based on our methodology, check out our list of the Top 15 Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics. Let’s take a closer look at the top-ranked programs on our list.
The University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania (also known as Penn or UPenn) is a private Ivy League university that was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, and is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. UPenn’s Wharton School of Business is commonly ranked as the top business school in the nation, which ensures that students will have great job opportunities upon graduating. Students at Wharton can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Economics, which focuses on the application of economics to the world of business. The BS degree from Wharton is a highly customizable economics degree that allows students to choose from over 25 different specializations, including Business Economics and Public Policy, Environmental Policy and Management, and Social Impact and Responsibility. BS students also have the option of individualizing their economics degree, allowing them to create their own curriculum that best matches their academic expectations. Core and elective courses will depend on the specialization that a student chooses. UPenn’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics, which focuses on economic theory. The BA program teaches students mathematical economic models and provides an understanding of the underlying concepts that support our economy. Because UPenn offers the top-ranked program for a bachelor’s degree in economics, the tuition is not cheap, as rates for the 2017–18 school year came out to $53,534, though 60% of students receive some form of financial aid. For more information on how to decide the best strategy to finance your desired bachelor’s degree, check out our infographic on The Economics of a Bachelor’s Degree.
University of Maryland-College Park
The University of Maryland-College Park is a public research university that was founded in 1856. Their College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ Department of Economics offers both a BA and a BS in Economics, which have a similar core curriculum but differ in upper-level courses. Core courses for Economics majors include Thinking Like an Economist, Economics and the College Affordability Crisis, and Inequality: Determinants and Policy Remedies. The university also provides its economics majors with internships and career exploration experiences where students can put their theoretical knowledge to practice in workplace environments. Tuition rates at the University of Maryland-College Park for the 2017–18 school year were $10,399 for in-state students and $33,606 for out-of-state students.