Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why I am Proud to be Studying Economics at Mason.

In the April’s issue of The Southern Economic Journal there is an article in which you can find the ranking of 129 schools’ Economics-PhD programs in the United States. The article ranks George Mason University Economics in the 41st place in the overall ranking. (Not too shabby for a school that only a few know about, or know because of its success two years ago when the men’s basketball team made it to the NCAA Final Four).

In specific categories Mason Economics rank very well. For example, 3rd in Methodology and History of Economic Thought, 9th in General Economics and Teaching, 11th in Law and Economics, and 25th in Microeconomics and Public Economics.

This review is indeed great news for the faculty members at George Mason. It demonstrates that Mason is gaining momentum in the field of economics. However, I must stress what is missing in this review. I think that this review does not account for the opinions of student’s comments. A program of study can be great but couldn’t success also be measured by how passionate and satisfied the students within a program are?

Furthermore, in the review there is no acknowledgment of how successful professors are at transmitting ideas outside of class. GMU faculty has been on top on the game when it comes to the use of technology. A variety of well known blogs should be credited to the effort of professors who enjoy teaching and like to translate the world of ideas to their students. Blogs such as Marginal Revolution, The Austrian Economists, and Café Hayek are known for shaping the minds of students outside of classrooms.

I am surprised with the review presented by The Southern Economic Journal because it did not include as one of their categories which school is better at introducing, teaching, and learning Public Choice and Austrian Economics. I have no doubt that Mason will be above all schools.

After reading the review, I think that faculty and students at Mason should be proud of where we are. However, we must know that there is still work to be done. I believe that Mason Economics can be in the top 10 in the next 20 years.

Note: If you want to find more information on the article by The Southern Economic Journal, and comments from GMU faculty and other professors please visit The Austrian Economists blog.