Member of the Division of Social Studies
Economics is the study of how society uses its scarce resources. The goal of the department is to promote an understanding of the economic aspects of society and to develop each student’s ability to reason about economic issues—that is, to provide a basis for intelligent, responsible participation in modern society.
The study of economics provides a background for careers in business and public service and a foundation for graduate study in economics, business, law, and public policy. The study of economics complements undergraduate or later graduate work in other social sciences or in history. ECN 111 introduces a student to the discipline. The courses numbered 205–250 consider important areas of applied economics at a level accessible to all students. The tools of economic analysis are systematically developed in intermediate theory courses (280, 282), and Econometrics 286, which are recommended to all students who expect to make use of economics in their studies, careers, or avocations. Students should take one course numbered 205–250 before taking ECN 280 , ECN 282 , or ECN 286 ; students who have already taken ECN 280 , ECN 282 , or ECN 286 would not normally take courses numbered 205–250. Economics methods courses (those numbered 300–350) develop additional analytical capabilities, and seminar courses provide advanced applications of the discipline’s theoretical, empirical, and institutional insights.
A student majoring in economics will find available complementary work in history, other social sciences, and mathematics (including statistics and computer science). Students will be expected to access data and to use spreadsheet and statistical software to analyze economics issues. Off-campus study provides an excellent opportunity to observe and analyze how economic choices are made in other societies.