MIT or UChicago for econ?

I was accepted EA to both schools. Cost isn't an issue. Which school should I go to for the best opportunities in finance, consulting, and grad school?

Comments (26)

Feb 2, 2021 - 4:40pm

Two amazing acceptances - congrats! I would go with MIT. It's a stronger school and arguably has a stronger economics program (UChicago is obviously quite strong there so it's probably splitting hairs / a lot of people overlook MIT's economics program because the school is known primarily for STEM). I think MIT would open up more doors. You might see more UChicago kids in investment banking but you will probably find more MIT kids at prop trading firms. I also think Cambridge is a great college town. Chicago is a great city but UChicago gets the whole "where fun goes to die" rep. Did you get a chance to visit both schools? I found that campus visits were pretty instrumental in making my college decision. At the end of the day, you can't go wrong with either.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 2, 2021 - 5:09pm

Totally. Those kids get to try beer and they even saw a female once. Wild stuff 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 2, 2021 - 5:35pm

Turned down my UChicago acceptance for a different school (not MIT) for a number of reasons


-Wanted to be in the east coast rather than the midwest, I'm from the Chicago area and wanted a change of scenery

-UChicago has some pretty serious grade deflation, people know about it obviously, but I just didn't want to deal with that headache

-Everyone older from my school at UChicago mentions the "Where Fun Goes to Die" mantra they have... and they sell t-shirts with that slogan in their campus bookstore

-Could totally be wrong, but I got that vibe that UChicago econ (although great) is more academia-geared, and the school I ended up choosing just had a higher number of people in the workforce. Not a knock on UChicago econ by any means, and they also have great placement, but sheer numbers-wise the school I chose had more

Feb 2, 2021 - 8:14pm

For industry jobs, probably can't go wrong with either.

For grad school, UChicago and MIT have different styles and areas of focus when it comes to economics. Look up what types of research they conduct at both school, look up what professors are there.

They also have very different academic traditions and philosophies. MIT is a very interdisciplinary place that prides itself on people of different academic disciplines working together and finding new connections. As after of fact, you'll find that many Econ professors at MIT are affiliated with other departments like CompSci and Operations Research. Not sure about UChicago, but I think it has more "traditional" approach to economics. 

  • Prospect in PE - Other
Feb 3, 2021 - 12:12pm

I go to Harvard, so I can speak to MIT extensively, but in an unbiased way.

To me, MIT is better across the board (reputation, placement, location, etc.) and gives you more flexibility, which is underrated. If you ever want to do anything pertaining to STEM, you'll be at the top STEM school in the world. If you want to lean towards liberal arts, Harvard and MIT students share classes and you'll have access to all the courses Harvard (the top school for everything outside of STEM) has to offer. 

I can also confirm that their social scene is strong. Girls from all over Boston go to MIT frat parties. Unexpected given their reputation outside of Boston, but it's true. 

  • Summer Associate in IB - Ind
Feb 3, 2021 - 1:09pm

Are these "UChicago versus way better schools than UChicago" real life or trolling?  Don't let people on the internet pump you with crazy juice - MIT is MIT. 

  • Prospect in PE - Other
Feb 3, 2021 - 2:45pm

You're probably going to get MS for your statement, but you're right. I think it's because of a certain garbage ranking everyone jerks off to.  

Feb 4, 2021 - 1:58am

For econ??!?

No. This is wrong

Edit: Damn you guys really know little about the econ field huh? If this were any other subject, I may agree. But in econ the difference between the two schools is marginal with points going to uchicago.

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Feb 5, 2021 - 5:15pm

As a recent graduate/currently working at top tier quant fund, I'd say go to MIT if given the choice.  Cambridge/Boston is the way better college town than Chicago.  For econ/finance, we are roughly equivalent (top 2 I'd say). 

In terms of recruiting, quant/STEM can speak for itself.  For consulting, all the MBB heavily recruit here.  During spring/summer, we get constantly pinged about MBB events (especially McKinsey).  For IB, there isn't as much interest, but we have a IB club and a pretty tight knit alumni connection with all the BBs.  We don't have a lot of alumni in banking, but the ones that are there are usually push for you hard.  In terms of grad school placement, we are similar with UChicago with our own strengths in different areas.  

In terms of dating/social scene, it's pretty easy to meet girls/guys from other schools (because there are a lot of them) and our greek life is probably one of the better ones in the Boston area.  

Also, this can be a bit of a controversial benefit, but MIT definitely has more clout.  You can't imagine how many times people msg me on linkedin (during college) to just ask me how to get in.  Moreover, compared to most other schools in Boston, people seem to put you on a pedestal.  On the down side, you are expected to be pretty quantitatively competent (a high % are), but not to the way people seem to fantasize about us.  


Feb 5, 2021 - 9:48pm

One thing I'd like to note is that MIT is a "Chapter School" of Global Platinum Securities (GPS). I have a friend at MIT who was in GPS and was able to network across their other chapter schools (Wharton, Harvard, etc) and source a ton of interviews at top firms with ease. Probably shouldn't play a huge role in your decision as the class size at MIT was pretty small (~6) but thought I'd put it on your radar. 


Feb 10, 2021 - 7:13am

The vast majority here answering you are UGs and interns, etc. Nothing wrong with that, but I can answer from the vantage point of being a little older, and having worked in the US and abroad, in both IB and MBB.

Starting from the conclusion:

  • For Economics, UChicago.
  • If you want to work in finance after, UChicago. 
  • If you want to work in Tech after, MIT.
  • For tech-driven finance, MIT. Not much finance in that. 
  • If you're very, very specifically interested in asset pricing, then it's a draw. 
  • Location preferences: whatever floats your boat. I personally really dislike Boston. But you're not going to enjoy the city of Chicago that much as an UG. 
  • Abroad: MIT. 
  • Social life: toss-up. I was spoiled for fun in UG, so both of them are terrible compared to my experience.
  • Finer point on Economics - if you're a champagne socialist, MIT. They're very, very relevant in that kind of economics. Otherwise, UChicago is the leader. 
The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 11, 2021 - 8:44pm

I actually disagree on Uchiago being better for econ. At the undergrad level, there are certainly many more students at Chiago studying Econ than MIT and thats very based on school culture. As a department,however, MIT actually has a strong case for being the best in the world. Anyone who is in the know understands that at the PhD level that MIT is considered at the top, then Harvard/Stanford/Princeton/Chicago.

It is less clear what the undergad experience at MIT is like because I am sure they have much fewer students, but the quality of the program is pretty unrivaled.


I say this as a student at Harvard/Stanford/Princeton/Yale who was an Econ major.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 10, 2021 - 9:04am

I go to UChic. It's not really the place where fun goes to die anymore. Frat scene has picked up (from what I hear from seniors) but the school still has its weirdos (anyone that lives in snell-Hitchcock). Bunch of outgoing students and I feel that the school is a lot more fun/social than I expected so ignore everyone sayings it's where fun goes to die. They don't know what they're talking about cuz they don't even go here.

However, during the WINTERS it is quite depressing and fucking coldd. P much always in your dorm.

But ngl I would take MIT over uchicago..

But if you're looking for a school purely for economics I would go for uchicago.

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