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10 Best Economics MBA Programs 

Best MBA in Economics

Getting an economics MBA is a smart choice. That’s especially true if you want to gain the skills and industry connections necessary to take the business world by storm! Are you interested in topics like economic theory, trends, and practices?  You may want to take your training to the next level. Earn an MBA in economics.

economics mba

MBA economics programs will provide you with the education in business and economics you need to make a huge difference. You’ll still take the core classes in business fundamentals like:

  • Finance 
  • Business management
  • Organizational leadership

You can pursue other areas of concentration. For example, you can earn an MBA in finance and economics.

In your economics MBA, you’ll also specialize in: 

  • Economic practices
  • Principles,
  • Theories

Your training will give you an advanced education in more economic concepts. You’ll learn how they apply to the business world. 

Many graduates of economics MBA programs go on to work for the federal government. This is the largest employer of students who earn MBA degrees with an economics concentration. You can also pursue an MBA economic development option.

However, you could also work in:

  • Consulting
  • Development
  • Scientific research
  • Financial analysts

You might be wondering something. What’s the difference between MBA programs and a plain old master’s degree in economics? It’s quite simple. A Master of Science in economics will include specialized economics courses in things like:

  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Monetary policy

MBA programs include a dedication to long-term study. You’ll need a desire to expand your understanding of essential economic principles as well.

Economics MBA programs will also provide you with training in these areas, but it will include advanced business courses, too. You’ll enjoy an expanded curriculum with economics courses. It will allow you to apply economics to a hands-on business setting.

As an economics professional with a fresh MBA, your career opportunities are endless. You could go on to become an analyst, a consultant, or an economist. You could work for an insurance company or a finance corporation. You could go on to teach at a college. You could even carry out research. Opportunities are available in all industries. Find work in computer science to engineering. And everything else!

Of course, many of these positions are ones that could be pursued with a bachelor’s degree. You can apply for all kinds of high-paying jobs with a four-year education. But why stop there?

Earning a master’s degree is a wise choice if you know that you want to be in charge. An economics MBA will provide you with the leadership skills necessary to put you in control of a company, small or large, as well as those skills you might need to lead any kind of team to success. An economics MBA will give you the connections to industry professionals that you need to stay on top of developments in the field. 

Needless to say, an MBA in economics is a smart pathway toward a career that is exciting and lucrative. What are you waiting for? There are plenty of fantastic MBA graduate programs out there. You may want to start by considering this list of the 10 Best MBA programs in Economics first.

See Also: What is the Difference Between MA and MS Degrees?

Common Application and Admission Questions

You may have thought choosing a school for your bachelor’s degree was hard. Choosing graduate economics programs is no different! There are so many great options to choose from. You might be tempted to fill out applications at dozens of schools.

Don’t fall victim to this common pitfall. Applying to ten or more schools will leave you with decision fatigue. It will also get expensive in a hurry. Those application fees, no matter how nominal they might seem, add up fast for economics majors! 

Instead, narrow your list down to four or five that you think will match up well with your career aspirations and personal preferences. There are several factors you should consider on your search.  From the program length and cost to curricular options. There are even opportunities for involvement in clubs, organizations, and activities on campus. You’ll also want to take into account accreditation. Never enroll at a school that does not have accreditation. Also consider degree options like:

  • Internships
  • Electives
  • Research
  • Thesis projects

In most cases, you’ll complete around 30 and 45 credit hours. You can earn an MBA in economics in two years or less. That’s while studying on a full-time basis. Part-time study will do the trick, too. It will take a bit longer. 

Make sure the school you select has both part- and full-time enrollment options. Some universities even have accelerated options that will enable you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s. This takes five years of study. 

When considering program accreditation, make sure your college holds national or regional accreditation. This attests to its educational standards and outcomes. Don’t stop there. Most of the country’s top MBA programs also have accreditation from specialized bodies, like:

  • the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
  • the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International

Before filling out your applications, take the time to chat with the admissions representatives, distinguished faculty. Whenever possible, talk to the current students or alumni from your school. Ensure that the program offers affordable tuition. Also look for quality economics programs. Search for opportunities that you care about most. Some degrees include practical exercises like internships and research into the curricula. These experiences will be invaluable when it comes to finding a job later on.

Ready to apply? Several months before you put pen to paper, you’ll need to register for the GRE or GMAT. This exam is from the Graduate Management Admission Council. Some business schools no longer require these examinations by the Graduate Management Admission Council. For many, they’re still considered commonplace. Check with the Graduate Management Admission Council Website for more information. You’ll want to make sure your undergraduate grades are in tip-top shape, too. Most of the country’s top MBA programs ask for an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

Submit GRE scores and undergraduate transcripts. You will also need to submit things like:

  • Letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement or essay
  • A resume.

You may need several years’ worth of work experience, too.

See Also: Highest Paying Master’s Degrees

What About Financial Aid & Scholarships?

There’s no sense in sugarcoating it. Earning a master’s degree is expensive. It doesn’t matter which business schools you consider. Some of the country’s most popular economics MBA degrees cost more than $150,000! 

But don’t panic yet. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get a high-paying job after graduating from one of these top-tier business administration programs. Earners of graduate degrees tend to earn much higher salaries. 

As economics majors with an MBA in economics, you can expect to earn a salary that is much higher than that of the average worker. The return on investment when earning a master’s in economics is high, so don’t stress too much about forking out the cash required for tuition and other fees.

That said, you shouldn’t pay an exorbitant price, either. There are several steps you can take to reduce the cost of attendance at business schools. You can make tuition and fees a bit more manageable.

Start by narrowing down your college search to the most affordable schools for business administration. There are plenty of graduate degrees out there that cost less than half of the price figure stated above. Not all of them are public schools, either. While it’s true that public universities often have lower tuition rates at face value, private schools can often offer additional financial aid to make that price tag a lot lower than it seems.

Be sure to file the FAFSA, too. Chances are, you’re already familiar with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) based on your undergraduate experience. 

This document will determine your eligibility for need-based aid like grants, loans, and work-study. Even if you don’t have any financial need, it’s worth looking into other opportunities offered by your university. Remember that any institutional financial aid will have its own deadlines. There may also be different application processes. 

Submitted a general application for admission to business schools? That doesn’t mean that you will automatically be considered for merit-based awards from your department! Be sure to research any and all requirements associated with financial aid and scholarships. 

In most cases, there are plenty of economics-specific scholarships you can apply for, too. There are all kinds of organizations out there that offer awards. These are open to students who are studying economics or business, so take the time to apply. Each year, thousands of dollars’ worth of free money goes unawarded. This is because there were no students who took the time to apply! 

Leave no stone unturned. Make sure you apply for any scholarship or grant. These are awarded on the basis of:

  • career path
  • merit
  • need

There are even targeted scholarships out there that award funds to assist minority populations, too. 

See Also: Best Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree

How Much Can I Make With an MBA in Economics? 

There’s no doubt about it. Earn a business administration in economics degree. Your career opportunities will be endless. The average salary can be very high. An undergraduate degree in economics is a great springboard to a lucrative career. A master’s will provide you with the leverage you need to be successful. 

To qualify for a lucrative job in mid to upper management, you need to earn a master’s. MBA programs are well-balanced. They provide you with the skills you need for a general business career as well as one that’s more focused on economics. 

There are a variety of positions you might pursue. These are quite lucrative. For example, you might wish to apply for a job as a:

  • Financial manager
  • Business management consultant
  • Economist

As an economist, you’ll work for a private company or for a government agency. Choose to work as a financial manager. You could work for a large corporation. Here, you’ll be responsible for managing its financial health. Financial analysts might also want your expertise!

Of course, you could also work in research, as an instructor at a university, or in some other setting, too. Because there are so many different kinds of positions you can pursue, your expected salary will vary, too. 

These positions have something in common. The work often yields high-paying results. Your work as an economist will be predictable. You will work within a standard fiscal calendar. You might have to work extra hours to meet deadlines sometimes. Yet you don’t have to worry about working odd shifts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for economists (one of the most common positions you might pursue after earning an MBA in economics) in 2019 was $105,020. That’s nothing short of impressive. Plus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the highest 10% of earners in this field bring in well over $185,020 per year. 

The best-paid employees tend to work in the private sector, employed in finance, insurance, scientific research, development, or technical consulting. These professionals brought in an average salary of $120,770 in 2019. Those working for the government earned between $73,400 and $119,580. 

You won’t have to worry too much about finding a job, either. The employment of economists and related professions should grow by 14% from 2019 to 2029. That’s more than twice the national average! It’s a small occupation. Yet the demand for workers with skills in economics is strong.

Besides taking relevant economics courses, a great way to improve your likelihood of finding a job upon graduation is to join as many professional organizations in economics as you can. You’ll be able to access resources like:

  • Career guidance
  • Research programs
  • Networking events
  • Professional development opportunities

Some of the most prominent professional organizations for economics include:

  • The American Economics Association
  • The National Economic Association
  • The National Association for Business Economics (popular if you’re pursuing an MBA Business Economics degree)

See Also: 10 Best MBA in Entrepreneurship

What Are the Best Economics MBA Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start for your business administration degree. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide use a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one. We want to help you reach your goals. With that in mind, consult our rankings of the best economics MBA programs to help you plan your future.

1. New York University

MBA in Economics

New York University

The Stern School of Business is one of the world’s most well-respected business schools. You can find it at New York University. It is in the heart of New York City itself. 

This business administration school is home to many research centers. These are designed with the goal of revolutionizing the way we understand business. The Center for Business and Human Rights and the Urbanization Project are popular.

You’ll also find economics-specific research facilities that specialize in research undertakings in topics like:

  • Monetary History
  • Econometrics
  • Experimental Economics
  • Mathematical Economics

This economics MBA degree is perfect for individuals who want to pursue careers in business or any areas of government associated with business. You’ll learn how to develop the techniques, concepts, and tools you need. That way, you can serve your own business or financial community. 

Curious about the classes you’ll take? The list of offerings changes each semester. You’ll be able to customize your degree. You might take:

  • Growth in the Developing World and the Global Economic
  • the Economy and Financial Markets
  • International Macroeconomic Policy
  • Energy and the Environment

You might explore coursework in:

  • International finance
  • Public administration
  • Monetary policy
  • Economics theory
  • Capital markets
  • Working for consulting firms

Upon graduation, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Asset management
  • Corporate finance
  • Real estate finance
  • International finance
  • Government
  • Equity and fixed income research

A unique feature of the full-time MBA at New York University is the Change: Studio vision. The Change: Studio is for students in the two-year program. It can help you develop the skills, competencies, and confidence you need to thrive. That’s even in a world of change and uncertainty. 

You’ll begin to engage with Change: Studio early in your courses. You’ll be able to take economics courses. These are from a menu of options. For example, you can choose from leadership development, entrepreneurial, and experiential programming. You’ll participate in four core programs including:

  • Leadership Simulation
  • Inclusive Leadership Training
  • Design Your Life
  • Social Identity Exercise

As you move through these areas, you’ll participate in the Dare it. Dream it. Drive it. curriculum, too. 

There are plenty of other opportunities for experiential learning here, too. The program leverages its unique location. The Office of Student Engagement facilitates superb opportunities, too. You can interact with and solve real-world business problems.

You can immerse yourself in a successful early-stage technology company in New York City. You can also work in partnership with a company. You will solve branding challenges via the Consulting Lab. 

To apply, you’ll need to have an undergraduate degree.

You will need to supply:

  • Scores from the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Council Test) or GRE
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • A resume
  • Several personal essays

Be sure that you adhere to the proper deadlines. This program is one of the country’s most competitive. 

#2. University of Maryland

Full-Time MBA – Economics

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is a public university located in College Park, MD. It is also home to some of the best economics programs. 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business has two main research labs that are focused on advancing research in the business world in a concrete, empirical way. The Financial Markets Laboratory and the Behavioral Laboratory are open to all students. They can help them advance their MBA in economics careers while on campus.

Many graduate students will conduct groundbreaking business administration research with a global focus. This is done via the Center for International Research. This center offers learners exemplary opportunities for an interdisciplinary degree. 

There are several career specializations and focus areas. This program will prepare you for targeted work in business and economics. 

You’ll leave the Smith School of Business with a solid training in leadership and business. This will set you apart in your career. You’ll also learn how to make data-informed decisions. There are 30 credit hours of study. You’ll take classes like:

  • Managerial Economics
  • Data Analytics
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Global Economic Environments

You’ll also complete an integrative capstone. You will be able to take a smattering of courses in other disciplines, too. The final capstone is an integrated course that will enable you to put everything you have learned into practice. 

As you might expect, the MBA economics concentration is not the only specialization available in this degree. You can also pursue focus areas in topics like:

  • Consulting
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Supply chain

You can take more than one if you want to specialize the majority of your 24 elective credits, too. This gives you plenty of leeway to craft a degree that meshes well with your goals. 

A unique feature of this program is its experiential elective feature. The experiential elective program is a selective experience. In it, students can perform hands-on tasks. These are great resume-builders. For example, you might participate in the Mayer Fund. The Mayer Fund is an asset management experience. You can meet a fund’s long-term performance goals of capital appreciation. You could engage in an innovation and product development experience. 

The economics MBA program also focuses on opportunities that will help you integrate artificial intelligence in a responsible way through all aspects of business. This is not a one-off approach, either. All courses include this theme throughout. The Smith Showcase Seminars, too, are great opportunities for students to build their skills. These are a series of co-curricular seminars. They gather the best and brightest researchers. They allow students to get an inside look at cutting-edge research. This is before it ever appears in the top academic journals. 

#3. Carnegie Mellon University

MBA Economics Concentration

Carnegie Mellon University

Study in Pittsburgh, PA. Carnegie Mellon University is one of the top private universities in the country to earn an advanced degree. The campus is located in the center of a city that’s brimming with American history and cultural diversity. It’s home to a large campus population of about 14,000 students. The MBA in economics can be pursued online. You can also take classes on-campus. 

You can choose from classes that are offered on a synchronous and asynchronous basis. You can attend live classes online twice a week. There are occasional in-person weekend events. These supplement your solitary coursework. That way, you won’t have to worry about missing out on the “human” component of earning a degree. This offers busy learners one of the best ways to network!

This MBA with economics concentration program has several options for you to choose from. You’ll learn how to apply economic principles in: 

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Communications
  • Business technologies
  • Accounting
  • Operations management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Sustainability
  • Strategy

In any case, an economics specialization will prepare you well for the world of work.

While you’re enrolled in this online MBA, you’ll take courses in topics like:

  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • How to apply economic theory
  • Finance
  • Economic principles
  • Accounting fundamentals

You’ll learn the comparable data analytics techniques. You’ll also learn strategies for both predictive and prescriptive modeling. You can make solid decisions. You’ll become a powerful leader. 

Most MBA candidates will take the same litany of courses. When you pursue a specialization in economics, you’ll also take classes on the major policies of business economics. You will take a closer look at:

  • international monetary policy
  • business forecasting
  • emerging markets

You’ll gain a deep understanding of economic concepts.

You can take electives like:

  • Public administration
  • How to apply economic theory
  • Financial markets
  • Economic principles
  • How government agencies utilize the expertise of economists

You can take your time as you move through the MBA economics concentration curriculum. When studying part-time, most students are able to graduate in 32 months. You won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to do so, either.  Online candidates pay the same tuition rates as on-campus learners. Tuition is somewhat high here. Yet the return on investment cannot be overlooked. That’s true whether you’re studying online or on-campus. 

Housed in the prestigious Tepper School of Business, the economics programs at Carnegie Mellon have produced numerous Nobel Prize-winning economists. The school was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie himself. It’s no surprise that it’s led to massive developments. These were in business, economics, and technology. 

The Tepper School of Business is well- ranked. The economics MBA is no exception. It’s ranked as the fifth-best online degree in the country by Princeton Review. It’s top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, too. The MBA economics concentration degree program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. It provides students with the ability to network with instructors, students, and other professionals. This occurs many times throughout its duration.

To apply for this economics MBA, be prepared to submit a formal online application. You’ll also need:

  • An essay
  • Resume
  • Professional references
  • GRE or GMAT scores

This degree program is competitive. Be sure to get your materials in soon. 

#4. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Business Administration M.B.A. – Managerial Economics

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest university in the University of Minnesota system. It is a public research university. It is located in Saint Paul, MN. It also has the sixth-largest student body. 

This university offers graduate students the opportunity for an education that is anything but cookie-cutter. You can choose from dozens of majors spread out among 19 colleges. These programs feature small classes taught by distinguished faculty. They are on top of the latest research in their fields. Many of them are involved in that research themselves. They drive innovation and discovery at the collegiate level and beyond.

The Master of Business Administration at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is offered by the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management. This master’s economics program consists of 48 to 64 credit hours of study and allows learners to tailor their coursework to meet their career objectives. When you sign up for classes here, you will be supported by excellent instructors who teach cutting-edge coursework and want nothing more than to see their students succeed.

You’ll expand your expertise outside the classroom walls, too. You will be able to engage in extensive networking opportunities as part of this online MBA. You can put together a vast record of impressive professional achievements long before you even graduate. 

There are several options when it comes to pursuing an economics MBA at Carlson. You can sign up for:

  • full-time MBA
  • part-time MBA
  • executive MBA
  • online MBA

There are also options for dual degrees and study abroad. The executive MBA is offered as a partnership. This is between the Carlson School and Lingnan College of Sun Yat-sen University. It also includes the Vienna University of Economics and Business. 

You’ll also be able to choose whether you want to study on-campus or online. You can also take a hybrid of the two. You’ll take courses in a program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. You’ll explore real world problems in:

  • Financial accounting
  • Marketing
  • Supply chain and operations
  • Data analysis and statistics
  • Managerial economics

You might also study financial markets and economic theories. It is an interdisciplinary degree. You will learn everything in a traditional MBA program. You will also gain a deep understanding of the liberal arts. That’s like other public schools or smaller private schools with a traditional MBA. 

Beyond that, there are plenty of ways to meet your other course requirements for this online MBA. You will be expected to conduct a leadership experience such as:

  • Leading Others
  • Leadership and Personal Development

An Enterprise program is also a core element. This will allow you to work in fields like consulting, brand enterprise, or funds. There’s even an international study abroad program you can pursue. The professional opportunities are extensive.

You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. You should have taken the GRE or GMAT. You will need to submit various supplemental materials (like letters of recommendation) as well. 

#5. University of California-Berkeley

Full-Time MBA Program Economics Major

University of California-Berkeley

Private schools aren’t the only ones with great economics programs. The University of California-Berkeley is proof of that. It’s the only public university that is ranked in the top ten. That’s of the Academic Ranking of World Universities’ business and economics rankings. 

At UC Berkeley, you’ll enjoy all kinds of opportunities for research and professional development. With 14 separate colleges, you’ll get the best professional opportunities. It is the state’s first land-grant university. There are more than 350 interdisciplinary degree programs for MBA students to choose from. It’s home to many research institutes. These are nationally-recognized for their excellence. These include the Space Sciences Laboratory. 

Of course, you can’t overlook the quality of this school’s business programs on your search for the perfect degree, either. The full-time Master of Business Administration program will teach you how to make responsible, thoughtful business decisions. You will gain a broad understanding of the corporate world. You will also learn economic principles you need to solve real-world problems. 

The degree is offered by the Haas School of Business, a department that’s recognized as the seventh-best graduate business school in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. It’s a small school with 331 students. Yet you won’t feel like you’re missing out on any of the best opportunities. 

Here, you’ll build your fluency in business and economics. These economics programs are accredited. You’ll take 12 required core courses in a core curriculum. Each of these builds upon the next. You’ll master the analytical tools and essential knowledge you need. You’ll become a successful leader. You’ll complete the core set of interdisciplinary courses first. Then you can tailor your studies to achieve your unique career goals. 

Some of the classes you will take in this economics master’s degree program include:

  • Leadership Communication
  • Economics for Business Decision Making
  • Financial Accounting
  • Macroeconomics in the Global Economy

There are plenty of opportunities for experiential learning, too. The instructors in this program have deep connections with the top organizations in the Bay Area. Not to mention the rest of the world. As a result, your opportunities for experiential learning will be unparalleled. More than half of all electives include some sort of hands-on projects!

One of the most revolutionary features of this program’s curriculum is its inclusion of applied innovation courses. You’ll be able to take classes that enable you to interact with the business world in a real, applicable way. For example, you might choose to take the International Business Development class. This course arranges consulting projects with many clients. You’ll be able to work in small teams with clients during the spring. You’ll then travel to other countries for a more immersive experience in business. 

It’s no secret as to why these economics programs are so well-respected. This school offers one of the most hands-on training in economics. It produced five Nobel laureates in economics as well as numerous notable alumni who went on to major developments in the business world. The Haas School of Business at Berkeley has produced notable alumni like the president of Bank of America, Barbara Desoer. It’s also home to the CEO of Adobe, Shantanu Narayen.

#6. Indiana University-Bloomington

Economic Consulting – Master of Business Administration


As the flagship university of the Indiana University system, Indiana University-Bloomington has a lot to offer its more than 40,000 students. It’s ranked among the R1: Doctoral Universities-Very High Research Activity. It is home to dozens of schools. It’s also where you will find one of the best economics programs.

Located in Bloomington, IN, Indiana University offers a prestigious and competitive Master of Business Administration with a focus area in economic consulting. The curriculum of this economics program might not look all that different from others. What really sets Indiana University apart is the many networking opportunities.

These opportunities exist in part because there are so many centers and initiatives in place. The Indiana Business Research Center is housed within the Kelley School of Business. It is home to many research initiatives such as:

  • the Indiana Workforce Intelligence System
  • Driving Change: Greening the Automotive Workforce

It is also where you will find the Indiana Business Review. 

The master’s degree is offered by the Kelley School of Business. All degree requirements can be completed on-campus in Bloomington. There are two concentrations within the MBA. One is in public policy analysis as well as one in economic consulting. Both the public policy and economics programs train students to apply economics to major business decisions. You’ll also learn to analyze the impact of governmental policies on a business environment. 

Regardless of your career goals, this program has what you need. You’ll gain concrete skills in:

  • Managerial economics
  • Forecasting game theory
  • Economic theory
  • Business analytics
  • Other key disciplines

 You’ll gain valuable insight into multinational corporations and international markets. There are other economics concentration classes available as well.

MBA graduates go on to work in the world’s top market research firms. You could work in consulting firms or for investment banks. About 88% of all MBA graduates receive job offers within 90 days of graduation. These aren’t any old jobs, either. These positions have average base salaries of $119,000. 

With a curriculum that’s designed for a career-changer, this master’s degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. You’ll start with core courses in an Integrated Core first semester, an intensive 15-week program that will include training in fundamentals like:

  • Finance
  • Operations strategy
  • Economic foundations
  • Strategic management

Then, you’ll be able to choose an industry-focused “academy”. This will give you career experience. You’ll do this via real-world cases and consulting projects. Academy options include:

  • Business marketing
  • Consulting
  • Capital markets
  • Consumer marketing
  • Strategic finance,
  • Life sciences
  • Supply chain and digital enterprise

Your academy will allow you to enjoy activities like consulting projects. You can participate in corporate visits. There are plenty of networking and leadership experiences.

Following your academy, you’ll be able to add a major, minor, certificate, or joint degree option. There are seven Kelley majors you can choose from. These consist of 15 credit hours of fundamental courses. Options for majors include:

  • Business analytics
  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship and corporate innovation
  • Corporate finance
  • Marketing
  • Supply chain and operations

Many of these are even STEM-designated by the US government!

#7. University of Pennsylvania

Business Economics & Public Policy, MBA

University of Pennsylvania

With a main campus in Philadelphia, PA, the University of Pennsylvania offers learners a large network of courses to choose from. As a private Ivy League research university, this school, founded in 1740, predates even the Declaration of Independence! That kind of legacy can’t be overlooked. Plus this school was founded by Benjamin Franklin himself. 

Here, you’ll find four undergraduate schools. There are a dozen graduate and professional schools. Among these is the Wharton School, recognized as one of the best graduate business school options not only in the United States, but in the entire world. 

You’ll find one of the top MBAs in economics here. The Business Economics and Public Policy MBA is taught by accomplished faculty members. Many of them are researchers themselves, with several having been awarded the Nobel Prize. As a result, the MBA graduates from this program are viewed as among the best in the country.

Graduate programs like this prepare aspiring business leaders. Economics programs will give you the tools you need. You’ll be able to analyze the policies and incentives of all kinds of organizations. That includes governments, firms, and consumers. And that’s in all niches and industries! You’ll be able to formulate policy with the best techniques. That’s for both public and private sector research. You can use these skills in a variety of careers. It’s even more so for those that involve regulated industries or developing economies.

As an MBA student, you’ll complete at least 19 course units in the business education realm before you graduate, with core major requirements including classes like:

  • Behavioral Economics, Markets, and Public Policy
  • Business Insurance and Estate Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Nations, Politics, and Markets

You’ll be able to take six credits of free-choice electives. You’ll also take MBA courses in fields like:

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Business management
  • Legal studies

Not sure that business economics and public policy is the right choice for you? Don’t worry. Public administration is not the only economics concentration option. You can also pursue tracks in actuarial science or insurance and risk management. It doesn’t matter which path you choose. You’ll find that your classes are vital for any career. Even if you’re interested in a career in consulting!

You can also pursue a dual major in MBA programs like this. The options for combining majors are limitless. The most common choices are dual majors with:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Real estate
  • Health care

Many of the courses you are required to take for the business economics and public policy track will count for the required credits for these tracks, too. That means you won’t have to spend extra time and money. 

Let’s not forget the opportunities for research that you’ll have when you enroll in this program, either. Faculty are involved in all kinds of hands-on work. Many hold presidential appointments on federal regulatory commissions. They participate in major research fellowships and appointments. Some hold management jobs for large corporations. 

Faculty in this business school are active in research involving:

  • government funding
  • corporate governance issues
  • productivity
  • telecommunications

As a graduate student here, you’ll have the opportunity to explore these areas as well as many others.

#8. Columbia University in the City of New York

MBA Academics – Economics

Columbia University in the City of New York

There is perhaps no better place to learn about the fast-paced business world than in the heart of the Big Apple itself. Columbia University in the City of New York is located right in the heart of Manhattan. 

However, this graduate business school wasn’t always surrounded by big business and skyscrapers. As one of the oldest universities in the United States, Columbia University was founded in 1754. It was first known as King’s College. It is the fifth oldest in the United States. It is the oldest in the state of New York. Numerous high-profile individuals have been educated here. These include Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. 

At Columbia, you’ll enjoy a reputation as a student at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. It is ranked third among national universities. It is seventh in the world by U.S. News & World Report. The Columbia Business School is ranked eighth in the country, too. 

Here, you’ll find the MBA in economics and finance. This is a degree that is nothing short of impressive. In fact, the school has produced seven Nobel laureates in economics, including Milton Friedman himself. The business education curriculum is never the same from year to year, driven by the recognition that business is evolving faster than ever. There are more pronounced challenges and higher stakes. Plus, there’s an an ever-changing global environment. This degree consists of state-of-the-art courses to address the changes. You’ll participate in cutting-edge research.

All courses at the Columbia Business School are taught by full-time faculty members. There are 150 full-time instructors here, all of whom are thought leaders whose research is well-respected. It is transforming the way we conduct business. You’ll also be able to take classes with adjunct instructors who are current practitioners in a vast array of industries. 

There are more than 100 student organizations. There are also many research centers for you to explore. You’ll find that there are plenty of ways to get involved in business opportunities. Those are both inside and outside the classroom. The comprehensive core curriculum will help you build your expertise in core functional areas while electives will let you gain insight into more specialized areas. 

Curious about the classes you’ll take? Your schedule will depend on your career path. However, some popular required course titles include:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Operations Management
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Business Analytics

You can engage in versatile programs such as:

  • Columbia CaseWorks
  • The Individual, Business, and Society
  • Master Classes

These will enable you to think about business in new, revolutionary ways. There are other economics concentration classes at your disposal, too.

You will also be able to interact with the accessible alumni network both while you are enrolled as well as long after you graduate. You’ll tap into a support system of fellow business professionals that will go with you throughout the rest of your life.

Ready to apply? The Columbia Business School utilizes a rolling admissions process that means you can get a decision on your application at any time of the year. You’ll be required to submit:

  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE or GMAT test scores

Remember that the GMAT is overseen by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

#9. Stanford University

MBA Program – Political Economics


Stanford University, located in Stanford, CA, is often regarded as one of the best business schools in the world. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford offers learners a prime destination for budding entrepreneurial opportunities. In fact, the combined revenue of all companies founded by Stanford alumni, both right in the Silicon Valley as well as elsewhere, is well over $2.7 trillion!

Stanford University is located in southern California. It was founded in 1885. This southern California school is also known as Leland Stanford Junior University. It is a private research institution that is ranked among the most prestigious universities in the world. Organized into seven schools, the university consists of 40 academic departments at the undergraduate level. There’s also a broad range of  graduate programs in:

  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Business
  • Education

The two-year Stanford Master of Business Administration is a full-time, residential course of study that is offered by the Stanford Business Graduate School. Here, you’ll be able to earn a general management degree that will help you develop your business vision. You’ll learn from economic experts. They have a broad range of experience. You’ll join a supportive alumni community of economic experts after you graduate, too.

At Stanford, you’ll learn from world-class faculty and industry leaders. You’ll take classes like:

  • case studies
  • small group seminars
  • lectures
  • role-playing
  • simulations
  • project-based courses

You will take classes in core disciplines like:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations information and technology

There are a variety of global experiences for you to consider in this graduate business school, too. Participating in a global experience is not only a highlight of this MBA program. It is also necessary for the advanced degree. It takes four weeks during a summer semester. You’ll work on projects for sponsoring organizations in industries like:

  • Energy
  • Health care
  • Finance
  • Telecommunications

You can apply for a project. You can also create one of your own based on your interests. 

The global study trip is a feature of this degree, too. These 10-day intensives take place in countries like:

  • Greece
  • Switzerland
  • the UK
  • Singapore

There’s even a Stanford-Tsinghua exchange program . This will allow you to collaborate with MBA students from China on projects of mutual interest. None of these fit the bill? You can create your own global internship, too. 

Stanford’s reputation is nothing short of impressive. The New York Times dubbed it as America’s “it” school. Times Higher Education recognizing Stanford as one of the world’s six super brands. You won’t find a program in political economics that’s more well-respected than this one!

Ready to apply for this Master of Business Administration? You will need to choose an application cycle. There are three application rounds each year. A $275 application fee is required. So are:

  • Essays
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • An online application form

#10. Michigan State University

Full-Time MBA – Applied Economics

Michigan State University

Last but not least is Michigan State University. This public university is located in the center of the country in East Lansing, MI. Founded in 1855, this school later served as a model for land-grant universities under the auspices of the 1862 Morrill Act.  Michigan State University was first an agricultural school. Now it is one of the largest universities in the United States. It has an alumni network of more than 634,300 around the world. 

The Broad School of Business is home to one of the nation’s best MBA programs. The full-time MBA will prepare you for success in the modern business world as well as long into the future. The curriculum is rigorous. It also offers students the flexibility they need to foster collaboration. You’ll also develop creative solutions to common business problems.

As an MBA student, you’ll be taught by world-class faculty members who will challenge you to succeed. A 21-month program, it’s ranked as the ninth-best MBA program among public universities in the United States by Forbes as well as the top return on investment (based on the percentage increase on pre-MBA salary) by the Economist. Forbes also notes that this degree offers the fastest time to pay back the cost of the MBA among all other ranked universities. 

Let the numbers speak for themselves. Graduates of this program enjoy an average base salary of $110,000. You’ll get a signing bonus of $21,000. 

That’s because this program has a team-based approach with relevant courses that are applicable to real-world industry. You’ll be supported by the Broad MBA Career Services department who will help you map out a path of courses and activities. There are even student organizations that will guide you to success, too. 

As an MBA student, you will take classes that are grounded in strategic problem solving. You’ll also learn innovative thought leadership. There are three core components of the curriculum. There are core classes, which provide opportunities for foundational learning. Concentration courses build your subject matter expertise in one of four fields. Then there are electives. These will deepen your knowledge in areas of interest so that you can drive your expertise to a relevant career path.

Here, you’ll find multiple facilities that are designed to help you succeed. The International Business Center is one of them. This center is a national resource center dedicated to business education and research. Enroll at Michigan State. You’ll be able to conduct all kinds of business-related research. You can also seek grant funding if you wish to pursue research that will have an impact on international business developments. 

Don’t take our word for it, either. Let the rankings do the talking! This school is top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report. It ranks Michigan State’s graduate programs as some of the best in the country. It’s also regarded as an R1: Doctoral University, Very High Research activity, too. Needless to say, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for when you enroll in the full-time MBA in applied economics at Michigan State University. 


#11. Northwestern University

Location: Evanston, IL

Degree: Full-Time MBA Program Economics Major

Net Price: $54,620


#12. University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, IL

Degree: MBA Economics

Net Price: $58,968



Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor