Professor Guttmann, Chairperson
Professors DeFreitas, Moghadam; Associate Professors Christensen, Herold, Mazzoleni; Assistant Professors Kreier, Sengupta
Omicron Delta Epsilon: an international economics honor society. See Honors.
Economics studies how people, individually and collectively, go about the everyday business of making a living. People address this task differently across communities, countries, and regions, and they need increasingly to adapt to changing conditions. The degree programs in economics seek to help students understand and explain the variety of economic life across communities and nations, and the forces transforming economies over time. Majors in the economics programs are given a solid theoretical and empirical foundation in the discipline to prepare them for graduate study and/or successful professional careers.
Economics provides distinctive ways to analyze problems affecting a diverse range of subjects, whether individuals or families, business firms or policy-makers. It does so by recognizing the role of incentives and knowledge in shaping individual behavior, and examining the nature and origin of economic institutions. The economics faculty aim at offering our majors what John Maynard Keynes described as “a rare combination of gifts”: learning how to contemplate the present and future in light of the past, thinking in the abstract and understanding the concrete, understanding the world of business, finance, work, and government policies from the standpoint of broader social concerns.
Students can choose among four different degree programs offered by the Department of Economics, or minor in economics.
The B.A. specialization in economics offers a broad introduction to the field, encompassing the history of economic thought, and the core elements of contemporary economic theory and research methods. Through the selection of elective courses, students can pursue specific interests in various areas of economics, including: (a) economic theory; (b) economic history; (c) economic development and areas studies; (d) human resources; (e) international economics; (f) public sector economics; and (g) quantitative analysis in economics. Thanks to the emphasis on the development of analytical skills and on imparting knowledge of contemporary economic issues and trends, the B.A. specialization in economics is an excellent stepping stone to either graduate programs in economics, law, business administration, and other social sciences, or a broad array of professional careers.
The B.S. specialization in business economics complements the students’ economics training with an introduction to the functional areas of business studies. This degree program is particularly suited to the need of students of economics who intend to seek employment in business organizations.
The B.A. specialization in mathematical economics and the B.S. specialization in mathematical business economics offer a substantially more rigorous training in mathematics and quantitative methods than the corresponding B.A. specialization in economics and B.S. specialization in business economics. These programs aim to address the needs of mathematically oriented students who intend to pursue graduate studies in economics or work for businesses and other organizations seeking to employ young economists with a solid foundation in quantitative analysis.
Students should develop a program of study in consultation with an adviser in the Department of Economics as early as possible in their undergraduate program. Seeking early and continuous advisement is particularly important for the specializations in mathematical economics, business economics, and mathematical business economics, because of the large number of semester hours of required courses. Students who elect a specialization in business economics or mathematical business economics, and who wish to specialize in a specific area of business (accounting, finance, information technology and quantitative methods, international business, management, and marketing) are recommended to plan early, and select their elective courses in economics and business under faculty advisement.
All majors in each of the four degree programs are required to take a comprehensive examination administered by the department in their senior year.
Among the required courses in the four degree programs, ECO 150 and ECO 184 are designated as courses that will promote the students’ development of competency in oral communication in the field of economics.
Course levels are classified as:
Introductory: ECO 1, 2, 7, 10, 14F, 14S.
No prerequisites. Open to all students.
Intermediate: all 100-level courses not on advanced level.
Courses assume at least one prior semester of economics.
Advanced: ECO 100, 130, 132, 144, 150, 180, 182.
100-level courses designed primarily for majors and minors in economics but open to other students. See full course listings in this Bulletin for specific prerequisites.