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Top Indian Universities for Masters in Economics

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

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Indian Statistical Institute (ISI)

The demand for Economics is rising, so as the demand for better institutes. This article is specifically for the Undergraduate students who are currently pursuing Economics or those who wish to pursue Economics Masters Program.

The top universities basically treat Economics purely quantitative, so it is advisable that the ones who are willing to pursue their career in these universities must have a good grip in mathematics as well as statistics. Most of these universities look for your subject foundation. In Economics, the main focus areas are Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, every university listed here requires to have intensive undergraduate level knowledge on these topics.

The following are the list of the top universities in India which offers Master of Arts/Science in Economics and Quantitative Economics.

Indian Statistical Institute (ISI)

Even though, ISI is a premier institute for statistics cum mathematics , but over the years ISI developed their masters course in economics. Right now, ISI would probably be ranked one in the league of Indian institutes that offer Masters/postgraduate course in Economics. They offer a very rigorous course in Economics which is titled as Master of Science in Quantitative Economics popularly referred to as MSQE. This course is available in two of the four ISI’s in India, which are ISI Delhi and ISI kolkata.

  • Number of Seats: 45 (Delhi:27 + Kolkata: 18) of which 23 general seats.

  • Official Website: ISI Delhi , ISI Kolkata

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


Delhi School of Economics (DSE)

Delhi School of economics is the official postgraduate department of Delhi University. It is one of the finest economics institutions that India has ever produced. The biggest strength of DSE is their alumni; Nobel Laureate Dr. Amartya Sen, the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Gita Gopinath, our former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to name a few. Like ISI, DSE too offer a very rigorous course in Economics which is a Master of Arts in Economics (MA. Economics). The campus is located in the North campus of Delhi University, New Delhi.

  • Number of Seats: 240 seats (Entrance Based:120 + Merit Based:120)

  • Official Website:

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR)

IGIDR is so special in this list due to the fact this is the only premier institute in India that is established and fully run by the central bank of India that is the Reserve Bank of India other wise known as RBI. It is an advanced research institute for carrying out research on development issues from a multi-disciplinary point of view. IGIDR offers a two year full-time Master of Science program in Economics (MSc. Economics).

  • Number of Seats: 40 seats (20 general)

  • Fee Structure: M.Sc. students have to pay a tuition fee of Rs.16,000/- per semester. All students would be provided with residential accommodation towards which they have to pay hostel fee of ` 200/- per month, and water and electricity charges as per actual.

  • Official Website:

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is the foremost university in India, and a world-renowned centre for teaching and research. This would be the best place if you are interested in learning economics in a much broader sense. JNU also offers a huge campus of around 1020 acres. There are several departments that offers economics and other subjects that are more or less related to economics. The most popular course known as the M.A economics is offered by the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP) under the School of Social Sciences (SSS) department. Then there is the M.A Economics with Specialization in World Economy course offered by the Centre for International Trade and Development (CITD) under the School of International Studies (SIS). School of Social Studies also offers another course under the Centre For Informal Sector And Labour Studies (CISLS) which is M.A. in Development and Labour Studies.

  • Number of Seats: 96 (CESP) + 39 (CITD) + 50 (CISLS)

  • Official Website:

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


Ashoka University

Ashoka University would be best private university that offers postgraduate course in economics in India. The best part of Ashoka is that it features India’s best set of faculties for an Indian university that offers economics like Prof. Pulapre Balakrishan, Prof. Bhaskar Datta, Prof. Aswini Despande etc. and the latest addition to this list is the former Chief Economic Advisor of India, Dr. Arvind Subramaniyam. Recently, The Economics Department of Ashoka University (Ashoka Econ) has been ranked at number 1 in India, and in the top 12.5% in Asia in September 2020, according to the international database RePEc. It also has one the best infrastructures compared to other institutes. Although it offers a lot, it is also a bit expensive compared to other Indian institutes, but they do provide scholarships under various schemes.

  • Number of Seats: 30–40

  • Official Website: The Economics Department Ashoka

  • Sample Paper: Click Here


Shiv Nadar University (SNU)

Shiv Nadar University popularly known as SNU is one such gem of an institution which people mostly are unaware about. This would be yet another private university that offers Master of Science in economics in India that made into this list. The best part of SNU is that it focusses fundamentally on research and the teaching pedagogy is par with institutions like ISI, DSE or Ashoka and similar to the structure in most of the foreign universities. SNU too offers a lot in terms of the faculty, curriculum and exposure. The unique feature of SNU is that, it offers Teaching Assistantship positions with a pretty good monthly stipend to masters students, which is very unique among Indian institutions and which makes it stand out in the crowd. One of the major plus point is the student-teacher ratio which is almost in line with that of ISI. Considering all other private universities which offer Masters course in economics, this would be the best in terms of affordability (Around 75% fee wavier for top 15 students), the infrastructure, better student teacher ratio and a strong research culture.

  • Number of Seats: 20–30

  • Official Website: Shiv Nadar University (SNU)

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


Center for Development Studies (CDS)

The Centre for Development Studies (CDS) , Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is an autonomous research center sponsored by the Government of Kerala and the Indian Council of Social Science Research. It was established by the renowned Indian economist Prof. K.N. Raj. The institute offers a 10-acre green campus is conceived by the well-known architect, Laurie Baker, a pioneer in low-cost construction. The state-of-the-art CDS library is one of the largest social science libraries in India with over 1,50,000 titles in economics and related disciplines and subscribing to about 400 professional print journals and around 3500 e-journals. Both the Ph.D and M.phil programs were their benchmark programs before and in the last decade they have introduced the Master program in Applied Economics. The surprising fact is that the masters degree is awarded by JNU.

  • Number of Seats: 30 seats (25 for Indian Students + 5 for SAARC Students)

  • Official Website:

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD)

As we all know, Indian Institute of Technology or IIT Delhi is known best for its academic rigor and excellence in the field of science and technology over the years. Recently, even this premier institute have introduced a two year Master of Science program in Economics. Unlike other IITs, this doesn't require a JAM score which implies that it is open to a huge pool of aspirants basically everyone who have done economics in their undergraduate.


Madras School of Economics (MSE)

Madras School of Economics a.k.a MSE would be one among the few institutes in India that offers a wide variety of postgraduate courses in economics. They offer five courses namely MS.c in General Economics, MS.c in Financial Economics, MS.c Applied Quantitative Finance, MS.c in Actuarial Economics and MS.c in Environmental Economics. It is located in Chennai (previously known as Madras) the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is not a deemed university and is under the Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUT). Students who wish to join MSE are required to answer the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET).

  • Number of Seats: 165 seats (33 seats in each course)

  • Official Website:

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


Gokhale Institute for Politics and Economics (GIPE)

Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE), Pune, established in 1930 by the Servants of India Society, is the oldest research and training institute in Economics in the country. It is dedicated to research into the socio-economic dimensions of the Indian society, and carries forward the legacy of Gopal Krishna Gokhale who founded the Servants of India Society in 1905 with a view to promote education and develop capabilities among Indians for the governance of the nation after it had attained its political independence. They offer five courses for post-graduation like MSE, it includes MS.c Economics, M.Sc Agribusiness Economics, M.Sc Financial Economics, M.Sc International Business Economics & Finance and the newly introduced M.A Economics course.

  • Number of Seats: 200 seats (40 for each course)

  • Official Website:

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


University of Hyderabad (HCU or UoH)

University of Hyderabad or HCU or UoH has the largest campus in this particular list with around 2300 acres which is more than double the size of JNU. They offer mainly two courses for economics, firstly M.A in Economics and secondly M.A in Financial Economics. HCU would also be the cheapest among the list of Indian institutes mentioned here which approximates as low as ₹6000 per semester.

  • Number of Seats: 99 seats (M.A Economics: 66 + MA. Financial Economics: 33)

  • Official Website:

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here


Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade popularly known by its short name IIFT was primarily popular for its flagship MBA program and now IIFT have also entered the league of the masters course in economics . The course is named as MA (Economics) - With Specialisation in Trade and Finance which is offered at both the Delhi and Kolkata centers. The course structure is rigorous as the JNU SIS course and is pretty good with the industry standards. The IIFT brand is the main reason why students are behind this institute for masters in economics. Even though its an Indian Institute the course fee is bit high compared to other institutions (even higher than some of the private institutes).


South Asian University (SAU)

South Asian University or SAU would be as new as the former CDS. SAU is the only university run by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The idea of establishing a South Asian University (SAU) was mooted by the Prime Minister of India at the 13th SAARC Summit in Dhaka in 2005. The idea was for member countries to pool their resources for creation of a Centre of Excellence in the form of a University that would provide world-class facilities and professional faculty to students and researchers drawn from every country of the SAARC region.This is located in the capital city New Delhi. They offer M.A in Economics course with specialization in Development Economics. It offers a diverse community within the campus as students from various SAARC countries study there. The faculty strength is also really great. The only drawback would be a lack of great campus life, since they are currently running their campus in a temporary campus until their new campus is ready to start.

  • Number of Seats: 30 (15 Indians + 15 SAARC)

  • Official Website:

  • Previous Year Papers: Click Here

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