I would guess it's the same as the top department rankings in general
I see the terms like "top undergraduate school" used quite a bit on forums and graduate school admissions guides. Does this refer to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, or does it include schools other schools like UChicago and MIT with strong reputations in economics? Does it also include Berkeley, Michigan, Columbia, UPenn, and Stanford?
Given the overlap and importance of graduate coursework and big-name LOR writers, I suppose that makes sense. Do schools like Northwestern and Berkeley fit the top schools category while others like Columbia and Cambridge fall out of it because of their graduate rankings?
Places like Dartmouth, BYU, and Tulane send lots of students to graduate school in Economics. However, they send them to different schools.
Essentially, it's all relative, what constitutes a "top" undergraduate program is dependent on pool you are being compared to.
Bottom line, if you want to go to Harvard for grad school it makes sense to go to an Ivy league undergrad if it is possible and money is not an issue. Going guarantees nothing and not going does not preclude admission to a top graduate program.
Ivy League is a lot more than Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. It includes Dartmouth, which as you said, doesn't send people top economics graduate schools. Does the advice aimed "Ivy League students" only apply to students at HYP, or does it extend to people studying at the lower Ivies as well?
Last edited by to2012; 05-10-2014 at 02:07 PM.
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