“Economics” comes from the Greek oikos, meaning “house,” and nemein, meaning “to manage.” Economics is the social science that studies how people manage their resources. In modern economics this includes an individual deciding how to use their time; a family managing its budget; a small business controlling its costs; a cultural organization planning its priorities; a city balancing a tight budget with demands for services; a large company working to control the cost of health insurance for its employees; a national government fighting unemployment, poverty, or inflation; and the world community reducing air emissions of mercury and climate-altering greenhouse gases.
The undergraduate economics program equips students to pursue careers in business and government and prepares them for graduate study in economics, business, or law. Our graduates have achieved success as executives in a wide variety of industries and are employed as professional economists in such diverse areas as urban economics, workforce and training analysis, business forecasting, school finance consulting, evaluation of health and delivery systems, budget analysis, market consulting, government planning, banking, and statistical analysis. Some of our graduates continue their education in our master's program in social and applied economics. The program outlined here is designed to give our students both the background that will broaden their future options and the specific skills necessary to apply economic ideas. This includes the ability to express economic ideas clearly and concisely.
The Department of Economics offers a professionally oriented graduate program that leads to a Master of Science in Social and Applied Economics. This program is designed to develop professional economists who can solve contemporary economic problems with a unique set of skills created by a curriculum that combines applied economics with social economics. In doing so, the program bridges the gap between research and the application of research for use in a wide variety of business and government professions. Students are encouraged to develop and evaluate new approaches to economic problem solving. The curriculum stresses research and is complemented by our faculty’s teaching and research emphasis on the interplay of theory and applications.
Departmental faculty advisors are available to all students who need advice about formulating and reaching career goals, as well as making decisions about elective courses.
Undergraduate economics majors with at least junior standing, a 3.2 GPA average over all undergraduate coursework, and at least 30 credit hours remaining until completion of their bachelor's degree are eligible to apply for a combined B.A. or B.S.B - M.S. program. This is an accelerated path to the M.S. in social and applied economics. Students will take two graduate level economics electives during their senior year which will count toward both their bachelor's degree in economics and their M.S. in social and applied economics.
Program Learning Objectives
Students enrolled in the combined economics program will learn to:
- Use economic models in domestic and global contexts to analyze individual decision making, how prices and quantities are determined in product and factor markets, and macroeconomic outcomes.
- Analyze the performance and functioning of government, markets and institutions in the context of social and economic problems.
- Think critically about microeconomic models, evaluating their assumptions, implications and applications to real world problems.
- Be familiar with significant developments in the world economy, in both present-day and historical contexts.
- Master the skills of developing and analyzing data, employing cutting edge econometric techniques.
- Communicate economic thought and analysis in both written and oral contexts to varied audiences.
Program Learning Outcomes:
As a result of their learning experience, graduates of the combined economics program can:
1. Collect, evaluate, produce, and interpret complex data analysis across multiple domains.
2. Reason through strategic problems, paying attention to economic, social and political dimensions, interrelationships and consequences.
3. Communicate, in writing and verbally, critical analysis of problems to audiences in business, non-profit and government organizations.
4. Develop models and forecasts for real world situations using macroeconomic and microeconomic theory, as well as mathematical and statistical tools.