GMU or WM for Economics?

<p>I am currently a freshman at George Mason University majoring in economics and I am thinking about transferring to William and Mary for Fall '09. W&M is the better university overall so its seems like I should obviously transfer there, but I looked at the W&M website and they apparently do not have a graduate economics department. On the other hand, George Mason University has a graduate program, a nobel prize winner in economics, and organizations and centers that are designed to study economics. I don't really plan on going to graduate school to study economics, but it seems like George Mason may have the stronger economics department. So is this one of the few instances when it would be better to go to Mason, or should I still try to transfer to W&M?</p>

<p>Here are links to their websites:</p>

<p>W&M</a> Economics Department | Economics Department
George</a> Mason University Department of Economics</p>

<p>If you are only doing undergraduate work then you can take all the basic economics classes at either W&M and George Mason couldn't you? I'd go to William and Mary.</p>

<p>I used to go to GMU. I transferred to The College of William and Mary and honestly love it. If youre not going to go to graduate school for economics then I would guess that your goal is to have your degree mean as much in the job market as possible. If that is the case then a W&M degree is certainly superior. Mason actually has two Nobel laureates (not to mention Walter Williams), and a pretty formidable Econ. department in addition to one of the best job markets in the world. That being said, it would be of use to know what exactly you do plan to do after undergrad. William and Mary is the superior institution (famous professors aside) and can provide you with an outlet into any job market (even the D.C.-Metro job market). Maybe I am biased, but given that I've been at both schools, the level of preparedness seems to be greater overall at W&M. But again, this is just my observation.</p>

<p>Yes I could take classes at either. I wish there was a website that actually ranked economic departments to make the decision easier.</p>

<p>ya I understand what you are saying rcmiller. Also if I plan on getting my MBA or going to law school will W&M be the better college to have come from just based on name alone? Will admission officers for these programs even take time to look up GMU's econ department?</p>

<p>Also, I have a friend who goes to W&M who is having a tough time and says the classes are really hard. Would graduating from W&M with a lower gpa still be better than graduating from GMU with a higher one?</p>

<p>Your questions actually need a shared answer. The classed are harder, and that is why a degree from The College is given more weight than a degree from Mason. It's not just the name, it's the rigor of the institution. And no matter how good the dept. is at Mason, your course load will be more difficult in general from W&M and that is a known quantity. I've heard it said that when one is applying to grad school there is a 0.3 bump added to one's GPA when compared to school like Mason. Basically, people know it's harder and will thusly give more credence to you based on what you had to go through to get.</p>

<p>That being said, it is not impossible at all. Mason is definitely easier if you will. But W&M is doable. I have found that it is a great deal more reading (a great deal more!!), but once you have done that you're set. The work isn't necessarily harder there is just more of it. If you want to do well at W&M you can.</p>

<p>thanks for the advice. I'll try transferring to W&M for spring 09. My friend was describing the campus and it sounds like its a lot more fun than this one since most of the students here are commuters so there is barely anyone on campus at nights and on weekends compared to how many people actually go here.</p>

<p>It is in almost every way a completely different campus.</p>