These Are The 10 Best Colleges For Economics Majors In Massachusetts

Using science and data, we can tell you which colleges in MA offer the best opportunities for economics majors.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarRankings - 2 years ago

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You know there are a ton of great reasons to major in economics — the job prospects, the intellectual challenge, and the chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest thinkers of all time.

But what program in Massachusetts offers the most to would be economics majors?

We at Zippia decided to take a look at the data on the 202 institutions of higher learning in the Bay State to determine which programs offer the best career opportunities for economics majors.

After the dust settled, we’re left with this set of the top colleges for economics majors in Massachusetts:

  1. Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
  2. Harvard University
  3. Wellesley College
  4. Williams College
  5. Amherst College
  6. Tufts University
  7. Boston College
  8. Smith College
  9. University Of Massachusetts-Boston
  10. Worcester State University

If you go to one of these schools, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you — keep reading and we’ll get to just why these schools have some of the best economics programs the Bay State has to offer.

How We Determined The Best Econ Schools In Massachusetts

Economics is, at its core, the study of choice under constraints. When it comes to identifying the best economics schools we wanted to approach the ranking like economics major would, by looking at data on how schools perform and comparing them to one another.

What better way to optimize your choice?

So with that mind, we looked at the following data from the NCES (National Center For Education Statistics) and College Scorecard data from to understand what economics department offer the best career opportunities:

  • Career Results
    • Mean Earnings After 6 Years
    • Mean Earnings After 10 Years
    • Ratio of people working to not working after 10 years
  • Economics Emphasis
    • Percentage of Graduating Class That Are Economics Majors (Larger the better)
  • School Performance
    • Admissions Rate (More selective the better)
    • Graduation Rate
    • Average Cost Of Attendance (Lower is better)
    • Average amount of debt

It’s hard to argue with a selective school that features economics and produces strong earning potential for your career.

After we had this data, we looked at the 202 institutions of higher learning in Massachusetts.

We then ranked each of these schools for each of the criteria above with 1 being the best in any given criteria.

Next, we averaged the ranks for each school to create an “Economics Quality Index”. The school with the best score on the “Economics Quality Index”, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earned the distinction of being the ‘Best College For Economics’ in Massachusetts.

1. Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 11,258

You’d expect that the MIT Economics Department would top this list, right? If it didn’t, than you’d think our numbers were off.

MIT is the 2nd-most selective program, but graduates leave the program with the highest earning potential of any other economics department in Massachusetts.

Fact is, you won’t find a better econ department in the nation.

2. Harvard University

Harvard University, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 21,000

It was close, but the Harvard Econ Department ranks a little lower. At least according to our criteria.

Harvard’s program is far more selective, but MIT grads earn more money after leaving school. However, more than 97% of students who begin as an econ major at Harvard go on to graduate, which is the highest rate in Massachusetts.

3. Wellesley College

Wellesley College, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 2,474

If you graduate with a degree in Economics from Wellesley, there’s a really good chance you’ll work in the field of economics for your entire career. In fact, Wellesley econ grads have the highest number of people still employed in their field for all departments on this list.

4. Williams College

Williams College, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 2,099

Williams has the 4th-most selective economics department in the state, where only 17% of applicants are admitted. That’s a sign of a great program. More than 95% of students finish the program here, and people then go on to earn the 8th-highest salaries post graduation.

5. Amherst College

Amherst College, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 1,792

The Amherst Economics Department is likely the smallest of all. It’s great for students who wants up close, personal attention.

96% of students graduate and go on to earn some of the highest incomes in whichever job they take. However, due to its size, Amherst’s admission rate is only slightly higher than 14%.

6. Tufts University

Tufts University, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 10,872

Tuft’s Economics Department is the 5th-most exclusive and 5th in its program’s graduation rate. Surprisingly (or not?) graduates from Tufts are the third-highest paid, even out-earning those from Wellesley and Amherst.

So while it might be hard to get into, it’s well worth it.

7. Boston College

Boston College, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 14,415

If you want to hang out with a lot of other number geeks, than Boston College is the best place you can select in Massachusetts. They have more than 1,000 econ undergrads at BC, far more than any other school on this list.

Believe it or not, Boston College grads command the 5th-highest salaries for all economics departments in Massachusetts.

8. Smith College

Smith College, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 2,989

Female math nerds would be hard pressed to find a better place to number crunch than in little Smith College, located in Northampton, MA. Smith only trails Harvard, MIT and Hampshire College for number of graduates still working in the field after a decade in the professional world.

Smith’s admissions rank (12th most exclusive) and graduation rank (10th highest) are also impressive.

9. University Of Massachusetts-Boston

University Of Massachusetts-Boston, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 16,000

UMass Boston is one of the least expensive and exclusive of all programs on this list, which is good news for many econ students. Did you know that their program – housed in the university’s College of Liberal Arts – has the 5th-highest number of graduates still working in their field 10 years down the road? It’s true.

10. Worcester State University

Worcester State University, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Enrollment: 5,709

Worcester State gets high marks for being the 2nd-least expensive econ program in Massachusetts, as well as for a large percentage of its graduates still working in their field years down the road.

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