Undergrad economics programs

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Discus: College Search and Selection: June 2004 Archive: Undergrad economics programs
By Dhf1720 (Dhf1720) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 12:46 pm: Edit

What are the best undergrad economics (not business) programs? Both at colleges and at universities? Thanks.

By Er222 (Er222) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 01:01 pm: Edit

University of Chicago is reputed to have one of the best undergraduate pure economics programs in the world. I believe that it has several Nobel Prize economists on the faculty, some of whom teach undergraduates.

By Sac (Sac) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 01:25 pm: Edit

Williams is good, if you're looking for a college rather than a university.

By Haon (Haon) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 03:56 pm: Edit

UChicago has a great faculty.

Among LACs (which I'm a little more familiar with) I'd say that Wellesely, Williams, and Wesleyan are among the best.

By Markm2004 (Markm2004) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 05:49 pm: Edit

hands down University of Chicago or Stanford. Berkeley isnt bad either. Chicago is intense.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 06:08 pm: Edit

Chicago, Stanford, Claremont McKenna, Johns Hopkins, Penn, Carnegie Mellon, Williams, Colgate, Wesleyan, NYU, Northwestern, Rice, Duke and Georgetown should all be considered.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 06:13 pm: Edit

Stanford has the most nobel winners in the dept and is one of the best. U of Chicago and Claremont McKenna are also very strong in econ.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 06:30 pm: Edit

The list posted by Collegeparent is a good start. The next steps entail defining what would make the program a great program for YOU as an undergraduate student.

1. Does the teachers/student ratio matter to you?
2. Who teaches the classes? Faculty or TA?
3. Possibilities of internships or research
4. Cross enrollment at other colleges/departments

The list goes on and will probably leave a different result than the "notoriety" rankings that are extremely dubious, especially for economics at the undergraduate levels. Most rankings use "criteria" such as pages of research published in journals/students or number of books published. One source is "Trends in Rankings of Economics Departments in the US: and Update," by Lorin C. Scott and Peter M. Mitias, Economic Inquiry, volume 24 (April 1996). The basis of their ranking is the number of articles published in the top thirty six journals. The results: Tufts, Santa Clara, UNC Greensboro, Toledo, UT-Arlington, Bentley, Montana, Marquette.

Other rankings focus solely on the reputation of senior faculty that rarely teach.

Bottom line, you need to scratch the surface and rely on your own instincts as opposed to pay any credence to highly suspect rankings and, worst than all, uneducated opinions that are based on so-called reputation.

By Ec001 (Ec001) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 07:25 pm: Edit

hey collegeparent, why did you list Carnegie Mellon? What do you know about their program? I'll be in CMU's econ program this fall and I would like to know more about it.

By Takanawajoe (Takanawajoe) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 08:58 pm: Edit

U. Rochester

By Pimpdaddy (Pimpdaddy) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 09:26 pm: Edit

princeton? harvard? missing some pretty big names on these lists...

By Markm2004 (Markm2004) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 03:13 am: Edit

no, not necessarily, although Princeton and Harvard have excellent faculty, they are surpassed by MIT, Chicago, and Berkeley. I believe Harvard only has 1 nobel prize winner and he is a visitng professor and Princeton has several leaders in the field, espcially in the area of international finance, monetary economics, and applied macroeconomics. One should not quickly assume the ivy leagues to be stellar in ALL departments.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 09:42 am: Edit

Only *one* Nobel Prize winner?! Pish-posh! What a trashy school!

By Adxj220 (Adxj220) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 10:25 am: Edit

Harvard, regardless of how many nobel-prize winners are on its faculty, is generally considered to have one of the best econ departments in the world. Certainly on par w/ MIT and Chicago. Better in some and worse in other fields (within economics). those are probably the top 3.

In terms of less selective schools, Rochester is remarkably good.

cornell and chicago also, (but again, they're pretty selective).

By Calif (Calif) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 12:14 pm: Edit

Among liberal arts colleges, Denison has a very strong program.

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