Economics offers a flexible yet consistent framework for understanding key issues facing the economy and society—from globalization of international trade and finance to global warming. The major and minor in economics offer students an opportunity to learn the key elements of this framework and provide them with ample opportunities to apply it to a wide range of key economic issues. The Ph.D. program enriches the intellectual community in economics with opportunities for undergraduates to take advanced courses not typically available to undergraduate majors.
Since it first attempted to explain the growth and wealth of nations more than two hundred years ago, economics has evolved into a modern social science that combines a coherent analytical framework with careful analysis of information to understand how economies work and develop, and the consequences of economic policies and policy change. It applies the basic logic of individual choice and market forces to explore the tradeoffs inherent in addressing many of the key concerns on today’s agenda: ensuring rising living standards in developed and developing countries, assessing the impacts of international trade, and identifying the wisest use of scarce environmental resources, among many others.
The major in economics builds on the expertise the student develops in the introductory courses. It combines a solid background in the core of economic analysis with a wide range of applied courses that investigate fields of economics and important topics. The capstone experience, honors program, internships and study abroad offer opportunities for majors to acquire research experience, apply economics in government or business and deepen their understanding of economic issues.
The economics major provides skills that are highly valued in a number of careers and graduate programs. The economics major emphasizes developing skills of careful thinking and analysis in combination with the application of those skills in practical settings. Law schools welcome the background economics provides in logical thinking. Government agencies and graduate programs in public policy or economics appreciate the systematic approach to understanding the economy offered by economics. Business schools and businesses find the facility the economics major acquires in analytical thinking and quantitative methods of analysis attractive.
For more information, please visit the Economics Department’s website.