How does Times Higher Education rank universities?

Times Higher Education takes a large block of statistics from each university, breaking down their performance by different categories. The categories they choose to rate by includes teaching quality, their international draw on both students and faculty, how they rate on research, and the industry income that their alumni typically earns. These are all rated 1-100, and a weighted average determines their ranking.

What determines a good economics department?

Because how people measure this varies, I’ve leaned heavily in the direction of results. Which universities have a renowned economics department, and what have their alumni and staff achieved? I’ve focused on overall achievement for these colleges, because a college that can’t deliver consistent results in all departments isn’t going to maintain consistency in a particular department for long. Their reputation determines who wants to go there, who wants to teach there, and who wants to stay there. As a result, I’ve sifted through each university’s performance holistically, not merely in economics.

How important is extracurricular activity if I’m taking an economics major?

More important than you think. Economics affects every aspect of our lives. The flow of money carries vital things to where they need to go. Money facilitates the flow of goods and services from one place to another, and makes commerce as we know it possible. Extracurricular activities serve a multiple purpose in this regard. They’re a release valve for the pressures of this very demanding course choice, and also can provide insights and tangible reminders of exactly what economics is all about. These activities help you recognize new opportunities to apply your education and provide you contacts with whom you can form future relationships.

What if I want to change majors part way?

Spending several years on an education only to decide that you’ve chosen wrong can be a devastating experience. Many people fall into the sunken cost fallacy without considering that many credits and courses can be partially or wholly applied to multiple programs. Never underestimate the importance of electives if you even suspect you might fall into this category. That said, your best bet is to select a school that has programs in more than one branch of study that interest you, and speak to student counseling regularly to keep options open to you.

What if I don’t qualify for where I want to go?

This is one of the hardest parts of university selection. Being forced to find a substitute for your chosen college can be crushing to your self confidence. That isn’t to say you should assume you won’t get in; even when the front door is closed, you may qualify on a program or scholarship that you hadn’t previously considered. Have a list of universities to which you can apply. Ensure that you aren’t looking at a single or even a handful of rejection letters when you should be on a plane or bus to your new university. Yes, you are looking for the best possible education- but sometimes, you may have to transfer in from somewhere less prestigious after you prove that you have the chops to fit their program. Only you can make yourself ultimately succeed or fail. The person who succeeds is the one who gets back up and keeps working one more time than he or she falls.