The economics major provides a critical examination of how the economic system works in the United States and throughout the world. The introductory courses are surveys of economic problems, policies, and theory; and the required courses in micro theory and macro theory give a deeper analytical foundation. Electives permit further study in a wide range of fields, including money and banking, international trade and finance, public sector economics, economic development, capital markets, inequality, industrial organization, environmental economics, and computational investing.
The economics major provides a general background that is useful to those planning careers in law, government service, or business as well as those planning careers as professional economists. Professional economists work as college teachers, as researchers for government agencies, businesses, and consulting firms, and as administrators and managers in a wide range of fields.
- Students are expected to develop a thorough understanding of micro and macro economic theory at the undergraduate level. Students should be able to apply their knowledge of economic theory and the tools of calculus to analyze economic problems and interpret public policy alternatives.
- Students are expected to understand the core methodological tools for working with economic data. These tools are presented in two courses required for all majors (statistics and econometrics). Students should be able to interpret and apply basic statistical and econometric methods and understand empirical papers of an appropriate level.
- Students are expected to use their knowledge of economic and econometric theory as foundations for exploring economic applications via a set of electives.
- When writing papers, students are expected to utilize economic data and research methods responsibly and to cite original work and source material appropriately.
- Students are expected to understand the differences between positive and normative economics. In particular, they should be able to distinguish cases where efficiency and equity objectives are compatible from those where trade-offs are necessary.