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Economics: Stanford vs UChicago

MITpwnsnoobs69MITpwnsnoobs69 Registered User Posts: 303 Junior Member
edited February 2009 in Stanford University
How does Stanford's undergrad econ department compare to the legendary econ department at U of C? as a prospective econ major which would you choose and why?
Post edited by MITpwnsnoobs69 on

Replies to: Economics: Stanford vs UChicago

  • ScaredAsHellScaredAsHell Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    Any reason why you made 2 topics......
  • MITpwnsnoobs69MITpwnsnoobs69 Registered User Posts: 303 Junior Member
    my internet connection was being retarded and i reloaded the page mid post. but yeah no practical reason.
  • CarnackiCarnacki Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    As far as undergraduate econ programs go, both are considered top five. Both are also notoriously math-heavy aka quantitative. But, UChicago wins out in the prestige category. This would include John Bates Clark Medal recipients, Nobel winners, quality of professors, history, etc. Plus, when it comes to graduate programs, UChicago is virtually tied with MIT for first.

    UChicago> Stanford

    P.S. They are both still amazing.
  • Beef SupremeBeef Supreme - Posts: 213 Junior Member
    Stanford is better all around though, go to Stanford for one of the best econ programs as well as the best undergraduate program overall.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,992 Senior Member
    For an undergraduate, the practical differences between the economics programs at Stanford and Chicago are almost insignificant, like trying to decide between Hamlet and King Lear. Meanwhile, there are 50 things about the two universities that are utterly different, superficially (weather, clothing preferences) and not (core curriculum), any of which would probably have more of an effect on your life than any difference in the economics programs -- even if that effect is small.

    Don't obsess about micro differences. Stanford vs. Chicago isn't about who has more Clark medallists in its Economics department, it's about Cali vs. Illinois, suburb vs. city, Pac 10 vs. Chicago's smart-kid conference, very different presentation styles, and where you can get in.
  • docketgolddocketgold Registered User Posts: 355 Member
    It doesn't matter for undergrads.
  • mathboy98mathboy98 Registered User Posts: 3,752 Senior Member
    It doesn't matter for undergrads.
    For an undergraduate, the practical differences between the economics programs at Stanford and Chicago are almost insignificant, like trying to decide between Hamlet and King Lear. Meanwhile, there are 50 things about the two universities that are utterly different, superficially (weather, clothing preferences) and not (core curriculum), any of which would probably have more of an effect on your life than any difference in the economics programs -- even if that effect is small.

    Happened to see this -- while I am not knowledgeable on the departments, I do believe that as a general rule, while how good the department is matters, it only does to a point. If the two have great departments already, then as the people above seem to say, you're best off not making your decision based on this. Even if you're an insanely talented undergrad...basically unless you already consider yourself a grad student (in which case you should forget about undergrad anyway), you're most likely not going to see the differences.

    I am commenting on this thread because I'm planning on going to grad school, and very much have thought about undergrad programs + how they prepare you for this future goal. If you're NOT going to grad school in econ, I would say you're ABSOLUTELY looking at the wrong factor, and should heavily focus on the overall school experiences, which could be very different. But even if you are, I wouldn't think it's going to make a difference.

    Also, if you want to go to grad school in econ, you should pick a program with good mathematics as well...though I know both these schools are very well reputed in that area too.
  • ewhoewho Registered User Posts: 1,397 Senior Member
    Last year this time, I had a rare chance to see Eric Maskins, the 2007 Nobel Prize winner in economics, before my son made his decision. My question to him was which of the HYPSM had a better program in economics. To my surprise the answer was Yale. Then I questioned him about the weak math dept at Yale compared with HPSM, his answer was for undergraduate it was okay and the faculty took care the students better. Guess he was fed up with Harvard and MIT after many years with them, and he was never with Stanford and Yale, while in some way involved with Princeton.

    Well, my son chose Stanford over Yale.... No mentions of Chicago.
  • mathboy98mathboy98 Registered User Posts: 3,752 Senior Member
    That's very odd, above ^^

    Well, I'll put it this way -- if you're going to grad school in economics, math becomes a little more important for sure. If you're just an undergrad planning on getting a job, I'd not worry about it too much. As a general rule, I notice that some of the most accomplished faculty advise students assuming they're academic insects...maybe that's the attitude of this guy when he kind of says "Ohhh you're not really anything but an undergrad, forget about it."
  • mathboy98mathboy98 Registered User Posts: 3,752 Senior Member
    Well, my son chose Stanford over Yale.... No mentions of Chicago.

    Well, at least from the standpoint of having a good math department, I'd probably choose Stanford and Chicago over Yale :) However, the decision becomes tougher when one says Stanford v. Chicago. At THAT point, I genuinely think it won't matter too much academically, and one should choose the better undergraduate experience, whatever that is.
  • phantasmagoricphantasmagoric Registered User Posts: 2,200 Senior Member
    I can see why you would want to follow your interests and go the school with a stronger program (part of the reason I wanted to go to Stanford was its strength in mechanical engineering, which is what I'm majoring in now), but when they're both top 5, it really doesn't matter that much. Go with what fits you best.
This discussion has been closed.