Department Chair: Parker Wheatley
Faculty: Daniel Finn, Louis Johnston, Samrat Kunwar, Sucharita Mukherjee, Parker Wheatley, Ana K. Negrete and Shawn Osell.
Economics is the study of individual and social choices that lead to the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services through private markets and non-market activities. The goal of economic analysis is to understand and evaluate how societies, businesses, organizations, and individuals’ access, produce, and distribute resources. Key applications of economic analysis include the following: critical evaluation of public policy to promote individual and social well-being, examination of individual-decision making to shape private sector actions and public policy, analysis of key sectors of the economy such as labor markets and financial markets, and investigation of the overall economy to promote understanding of growth and business cycles.
The Department of Economics prepares students to understand economic activity, to engage in critical analysis of economic, business, financial, social, and policy matters as articulate and engaged citizens committed to the common good, and to become leaders in the private sector, non-profit sector, government, and academia.
In Support of This Mission, the Department Commits Itself to the Following
- We will strengthen student our students’ abilities in the following areas: critical thinking; quantitative and qualitative analysis; writing, speaking, and other communication skills; and analyzing the interaction of human values and economic life.
- We will support student learning and intellectual growth through both collaborative research opportunities and through class-based and senior research experiences.
- We will support and advise students as they seek internships, leadership experiences, and experiential opportunities as they prepare for their futures.
- We will challenge students to consider the intersection of economic thought and our community values of service, sustainability, and justice.
The Economics Curriculum is Structured in Three Tiers
- Tier I consists of one 4-credit course, ECON 111 Introduction to Economics, which introduces the subject of economics by examining fundamental economic principles as well as issues and problems examined by economists.
- Tier II courses (numbered between 300 and 349) build on the Tier I foundation to address in greater depth particular areas of economic theory and application. Some Tier II courses (numbered 300-329) are electives while ECON 332 Microeconomic Theory, ECON 333 Macroeconomic Theory and ECON 334 Introductory Econometric Analysis form the set of core courses which all majors are required to complete.
- Tier III courses (numbered 350-399) are advanced courses in analysis and applications and are primarily intended for economics majors and minors. All Tier III courses have a prerequisite of at least two of the core theory courses, ECON 332 Microeconomic Theory, ECON 333 Macroeconomic Theory, and either completion or concurrent enrollment with ECON 334 Introductory Econometric Analysis.
Some courses in the economics curriculum are designed to meet requirements in programs outside economics. In particular, the department contributes to the curricula in Accounting and Finance, Asian Studies, Global Business Leadership, Theology as well as the general education curriculum of the Colleges.
The economics major prepares students for employment in a variety of areas and for graduate study. Recent graduates are pursuing careers in banking, insurance, finance and brokerage, journalism, sales and marketing, and management. Others are employed as policy analysts for various agencies and branches of local, state, and federal governments. Economics majors also go on to graduate study in economics, business, finance, law, public policy analysis, agricultural economics, environmental economics, labor relations and human resource management, health administration, sports administration, and public administration.
The Department also offers a minor that can be matched with many different majors as preparation and support for a variety of career opportunities.
The Department of Economics conducts assessment of student learning to determine how well the department and its students are meeting the program's specified learning goals and objectives.
Assessment provides the department with systematic feedback to make curricular and pedagogical improvements. While protecting confidentiality, students of economics should expect that their coursework may serve as assessment data, that they may be asked to provide other data for assessment, and that they will be invited to participate in assessment reviews.
The Department of Economics offers a general major along with concentrations in data analytics, finance, and policy.