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Top 10 Universities to Study Economics in 2024

Economics programs are among the most popular on That's why we decided to make it easier for our visitors to find the right program for them in this highly competitive field of study. We worked backwards from traditional rankings with our own twist.

Dec 6, 2017
  • Top 10 Rankings
  • Deciding Where to Study
  • Economics & Finance
Universities to Study Economics

Economics programs are among the most popular on That's why we decided to make it easier for our visitors to find the right program for them in this highly competitive field of study.

We worked backwards from traditional rankings with our own twist. Because the United States and United Kingdom dominate the rankings, we wanted to show you a larger glimpse of what the world has to offer and place a larger focus on some of the factors that you've told us are important to you such as desirability of the location and a sizable international student body.

Read on for our top picks for international students interested in studying Economics:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Ranked 1st in the world for economics in 2017 by the QS rankings, MIT has a renowned undergraduate and graduate program for economics. Senior professors teach introductory courses to incoming undergraduates and are encouraged to develop their research skills with programs like the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program which connects them to a network of graduate students and faculty members. MIT's student body is 34% international and their graduates are often employed by international and national organizations making it a highly desirable university for students across the globe.

Harvard UniversityUnited States

Ranked 2nd in the world for Economics, Harvard has produced a number of Economics Nobel Laureates. The department sponsors more than 15 seminars a week on a range of topics in Economics from top international and American scholars. The university hosted 9,851 international students in 2016-2017 and truly attracts talent from around the world with their international students heralding from 153 countries.

Eager to attract global students and academics, their international office offers a wide range of services such as employment, visa, and tax help. Their host program, which matches up international graduate students and Boston residents, has been helping students get to know their new home since 1962.

Harvard University offers a range of internships and research assistant positions to undergraduate economics students as well as funding opportunities for research.

London School of Economics and Political ScienceUnited Kingdom

Hosting one of the largest Economics departments in the world, the London School of Economics and Political Science is ranked first in the United Kingdom and 5th in the world for Economics.

A truly international experience, LSE's student body is 71% international and the campus is located in the heart of the metropolitan city of this highly diverse capital ensuring a uniquely international experience.

LSE supports its international students with a student visa advice team to help some of the world's most talented students sift through the paperwork and begin their studies. The Economics' department’s research is often focused on global issues such as climate change and economic development making it a wonderful fit for economists looking for a global perspective.

University of OxfordUnited Kingdom

Ranked 7th in the world for their Economics program, Oxford welcomed their first international student in 1190 and today has an international student population of 38%.

Looking to promote an even playing field for emerging talent, the international student application route is exactly the same as it is for UK students. International students do receive immigration services support as well as help arranging interviews, course admission tests, and English evaluation.

Members of their Economics Department serve as officials and advisers to numerous international and national organizations and committees. In the most recent UK Research Assessment, REF 2014, Oxford was ranked top in terms of overall research strength, with more research output graded as world-leading in terms of its originality, rigor and significance than did any other economics department in the United Kingdom

Erasmus School of Economics,The Netherlands

Ranked 44th in the World and 12th in Europe for Economics and Econometrics by QS, Erasmus School of Economics' international students make up 30% of their student body.

Erasmus School of Economics has two scholarships dedicated specifically to non-EEA students, making it clear that they're interested in recruiting global academic talent. The school incoming students tackle two issues that are the most challenging for incoming students: visa processes and finding housing.

If you live across the world and are unable to visit all of the campuses that you would like to before applying, Erasmus University ,which Erasmus School of Economics is a part of, has launched a virtual experience that invites students tour the campus, classrooms, and student housing online.

University of MelbourneAustralia

Ranked 1st in Australia and 25th in the world for Economics, the University of Melbourne has attracted a whopping 40% international student population. The University of Melbourne has been teaching Economics since 1855. The university has a number of specialized research centers including an experimental economics laboratory which tests theories in a controlled, laboratory environment.

International students are accommodated with free airport pick-up service and you can access housing, financial, and well-being support during your move to Melbourne..

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

ETH Zurich is ranked 35th in the world and 1st in Switzerland in Economics. Its Master's program in Management, Technology and Economics, with its cross-sector collaboration and entrepreneurial thinking make it special. Students have the opportunity to partner their economics studies with an industrial placement of at least 10 weeks. ETH Zurich has an international student population of 38%.

With a well-developed research arm, the department conducts basic and applied research in management, economics, innovation, system dynamics and risk. A great deal of their research works to improve the understanding of technology in organizations, societies and economies. ETH Zurich is interested in innovative teaching methods in addition to research, and continuously seeks feedback on course content and lecturer performance to develop their programs on the basis of student feedback.

Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyChina

If you're looking to study abroad in a young, modern university, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology offers international students a lively student lifestyle and an excellent gateway to China. Their Economics department was ranked 24th in the world and 2nd in Asia. More than 60 nationalities are represented in their student body, and 80% of their faculty derive from top overseas universities.

Their Economics department is focused on economic growth and development, the Chinese economy, industrial organization, econometrics and international economics and sponsors regular workshops with top, global scholars.

As an elite research-based university, students still benefit through experiential learning with 70% of their graduates participating in internships.


University of Toronto, Canada

Ranked 21st in the world, and 1st in Canada for their Economics department, the University of Toronto offers Economics students an internationally-recognized degree. Recruiters from 21 countries rank University of Toronto graduates as one of top three public universities for work-ready alumni.

Faculty members research and teach a wide range of Economics fields that span theory, applied data analysis, and econometric methodology. Economics students studying at U of T are encouraged to collaborate and undertake co-disciplinary studies with the Law and Management faculties.

Their student body originates from 168 countries and regions and showing their commitment to international students, they award the Lester B. Pearson International scholarships to exceptional scholars from around the world.

Bocconi UniversityItaly

Ranked 16th in the world and 1st in Italy for Economics, their department avidly recruits top international faculty from around the world. In addition to instruction and research, some members of the Economics Department have been chosen as consultants for international organizations such as the IMF, UN, and World Bank.

Although Bocconi's percentage of international students stands at 11%, they are actively involved in helping international students achieve an excellent study abroad experience. They offer a series of services and activities to help new students upon arrival and throughout their studies. This includes a crash course and follow-up course in Italian to help new international students have a fulfilling experience in Milan. Help securing housing, academic counseling services, and a host of orientation activities to help international students acclimate to the campus. Additionally, their Bocconi Scholarship for International Students is awarded to select need-based students from around the world pursuing a Master of Science degree.

Selection Criteria

Universities included in our ''Top 10 Universities to Study Economics'' list were chosen for a variety of qualitative factors that we hope will help international students find their ideal university abroad.

Factors include the percentage of international students enrolled in the university and services provided to them before, during, and after their studies including internship availability and extra-curriculars. We also took into account global and national rankings of the university, popularity of the study abroad destination and openness of the host-country to international students including ease of application to student visas.

Whenever possible, we took into account student reviews as well as private evaluations emailed to which indicate the early levels of service provided to prospective international students.

We've also tried our best to include universities of varying size located in various countries to help expose prospective international students to a higher variety of study options they have available around the world.

Rankings mentioned in the report refer to the QS Economics & Econometrics 2017 Ranking. Percentage of international students were referenced from Times Higher Education in December 2017.

Finally, we researched whenever available the percentage of employment of international students after graduation and the importance placed on programs to prepare students for an increasingly changing world.