MIT: A World Leader in Economics Education

Boasting nineteen Nobel laureates in Economics from 1970 to 2014, MIT’s Economics department is the big name in Economics education. Rated number 1 worldwide by the QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2015, MIT distinguished itself above and beyond even legendary names in education such as Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and the University of Oxford.

With an extremely selective doctoral program, only the best of the best are even considered. Per year, the doctoral Economics program only accepts about twenty four students. Graduate students are expected to complete two major and two minor fields, and must pass general examinations for their majors. This expectation of excellence and ability is indicative of the quality of their program; MIT Economics graduates are covetously sought after in business, government, and education worldwide.

Undergraduate Economics

Even the Undergraduate program is both demanding and rewarding. With MIT’s UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) undergraduates get the chance to participate in ground breaking, field Cover-Photo-2-2bx848rleading research, letting them work with, and foster close ties to, graduates and faculty. This allows them to participate first hand in bringing to bear the skills and knowledge they are gaining in the course of their studies. Their contributions help supplement their coursework, while doing the very vital tasks of such things as economic data analysis, writing computer programs, error checking, and gathering research materials.

By the latest available information it’s estimated that one in five economics major undergraduates will move on to graduate work in economics or finance. This is consistently near the highest rate of any undergraduate department in economics. About half of the graduates of the program choose to gain real world experience before seeking out post-graduate studies.

Graduate Economics

Doctoral students in the MIT Graduate Economics program take required courses in multiple fields. This is supplementary to the real work of post-graduate programs, in the cutting edge of economic study. Post-graduates work alongside faculty to probe the boundaries of human knowledge of economics, ranging from the impact and implications of international trade to the effects of welfare and financial support programs on the overall earning potential of recipients. The program contains notes of self awareness, too, as one major topic of study is the effects of education on household income over the course of the last forty years.

Majors and Minors

Topics for study in MIT’s Economics department include but are not limited to:

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  • Industrial Organization
  • International Economics
  • Labor Economics
  • Econometrics
  • Political Economy
  • Advanced Economic Theory

Informal workshops

One of the more innovative tools in the MIT Economics department is the use of informal weekly workshops, where students who have passed their general exams get to try out new research ideas without the expectation of finished work. These informal workshops allow students to explore outside the generally accepted boundaries of their studies, allowing them to seek out new innovations sans the pressures or stigma associated with a dead end on a dedicated research project. These “field lunches” are viewed as both a responsibility and a privilege by faculty. Past graduates of the program have repeatedly reported that these field lunches were fantastic sources of inspiration and helped set near term, manageable deadlines for dissertations.

In closing

MIT’s economics department offers a wide range of benefits and tools for an aspiring economics major, giving them the ability to reach and then expand the boundaries of human knowledge in the field of economics. With everything MIT has to offer, it lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s finest educational institutions.


Higher education is becoming an increasingly vital part of our lives. With more and more knowledge required to stay competitive in commerce and government, the importance of selecting good colleges has become paramount. Second rate education is not merely a problem on paper, but can hamstring the career of a student for the rest of his or her life.