There are a wide variety of economics schools for undergraduates to choose from, so the best economics school will depend on the particular needs and expectations of the individual student. Private colleges and universities generally have smaller student-to-professor ratios and offer prestigious degrees that will demand the attention of potential employers, though their degrees usually come at a steep financial cost. Public colleges and state universities often have more students in each class, but allow their students to get a great deal on their education. There are many different statistics that are available to gauge the educational quality of colleges and universities, but our methodology placed an emphasis on the return of investment, to ensure that economics graduates are finding great career options in the job market. For reference to the best economics schools for bachelor degree seekers, check out our list of the Top 15 Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the best economics schools in the United States.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania (also known as UPenn) is a private, Ivy league research university that was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, and is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university’s Wharton School of Business consistently ranks as one of the top business schools in the country. Wharton offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in economics, which focuses on applied economics. The Wharton BS degree is highly customizable, as Wharton offers over 25 different specializations for Economics majors that provide in-depth analysis of real-world business areas, including Managing Electronic Commerce, Global Analysis, and Retailing. Students also have the option of customizing their BS degree with an individualized concentration that allows them to choose the classes that best meets their educational expectations. The University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics, which focuses on theoretical economics. Core requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree include Macro and Microeconomics courses, as well as Calculus, and Econometrics. Students who have a minimum GPA of 3.5 can apply for the Honors Seminar. Tuition at UPenn came out to $53,534 for the 2017–18 school year, though the school ranked number one on our list because of its return on investment, as graduates are expected to land some of the best careers available for economics majors. For more information on how the high price of college can be a worthwhile investment, check out our infographic that goes into depth about The Economics of a Bachelor’s Degree.
The University of Virginia
The University of Virginia (also known as UVA) is a public research university that was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson and is located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The university’s College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers a bachelor’s degree in economics that allows students to choose from concentrations in Financial Economics, Industrial Organization, International Economics or Public Policy. Students who are interested in another academic area also have the option of minoring in Economics. Tuition for the 2017–18 school year came out to $16,853 for in-state students, and $47,273 for out-of-state students, though 56% of students received some form of financial aid.