The Department of Economics offers a wide variety of courses focusing on economic development, international trade and finance, macroeconomics, game theory, finance, environmental economics, econometrics, industrial organization, labor markets, race and gender, health services, etc. Economics majors have a great deal of leeway to structure their studies based on their interests. An economics major is also excellent preparation for a wide variety of possible careers.
Students who think that they may want to enter a Ph.D. program in economics or a related field are strongly encouraged to speak to faculty members about their coursework, which should include a significant number of courses in the Department of Mathematics.
Students who are planning a career in business or finance should contact the Office of Career Services no later than the beginning of their Junior year to take advantage of that Office's speaker series, courses, and other resources that can help them understand their options and prepare for a variety of potential jobs.
To graduate as a course major, a student must:
1. Have at least eight credits in economics.
2. Meet the theory, math, and statistics requirements.
3. In the senior year, pass the comprehensive exam.
ECON 001 or its equivalent is a prerequisite for all other work in the department. In addition, all majors in Economics must satisfy a theory requirement by taking ECON 011 (Intermediate Microeconomics) and ECON 021 (Intermediate Macroeconomics). They must also satisfy a statistics requirement. The statistics requirement is typically satisfied by taking ECON 031. It can alternatively be satisfied, however, by taking ECON 035 (which requires either ECON 031 or STAT 051 as prerequisite), by taking STAT 111 (which requires STAT 051), or by taking STAT 051 in combination with either STAT 011 or STAT 021. STAT 011 and STAT 021 alone are not sufficient.
In order to read the literature in Economics critically, a knowledge of elementary calculus is extremely useful. Students need to take MATH 015 (or receive MATH 015 credit or placement out of MATH 015 from the Mathematics Department) prior to taking ECON 011 or ECON 021. Since ECON 011 and ECON 021 are required for the economics major, MATH 015 is a requirement for the major. Students can take ECON 001 , ECON 031, and other courses that do not have ECON 011 or ECON 021 as a prerequisite before they meet the MATH 015 requirement.
In addition the department very strongly recommends that students take MATH 025 or 026 (Basic Calculus). MATH 027 (Linear Algebra), MATH 034 (Several Variable Calculus), and MATH 044 (Differential Equations) are valuable for those intending to focus on the more technical aspects of Economics. Students planning to attend graduate school in Economics should give serious thought to taking additional mathematics courses, including MATH 063 (Introduction to Real Analysis).
Students who elect to take economics courses or seminars Credit/No Credit (subject to college regulations) can count any credits earned in these preparations towards an economics major. Students uncertain about this choice are encouraged to consult with the professor, or with their departmental advisor or the department chair.
The Economics major carries the US Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code 45.0601 and is not STEM-OPT eligible.