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Majors & Minors

Course Catalog

Economics & Management

The study of economics broadens our understanding of economic behavior, domestic and international government policies and social institutions. It sharpens our abilities to think clearly and analytically about these and other matters. It may also help students reach a variety of specific career goals. For example, most majors take entry-level positions in business: they are hired by banks and other financial institutions, accounting and management consulting firms, and companies in manufacturing, public utilities and commerce. Some majors go on to earn graduate degrees in economics; they may then work in areas such as business, government service or academia. (Students considering graduate study in economics should consult with a department faculty member about the large number of mathematics courses that are highly recommended.) A background in economics is also excellent preparation for graduate study in law and business. Many of our graduates have gone on to reach exceptional levels of recognition and responsibility in education, government and industry. Students wishing to apply economics courses taken off-campus toward a major in economics must have prior approval from their economics advisor and the chair of the economics and management department. Students wishing to count economics courses taken off-campus toward the requirements of the Business Administration Minor or the International Business Program must have prior approval from the relevant program advisor and the chair of the economics and management department. It is not recommended that courses substituting for ECON 100, 220, 280, 294, 295, 350 and 480 be taken elsewhere. The Management Fellows Program provides selected students the opportunity to combine an economics major with a semester-long internship. For information about this special program, as it applies to economics majors, see the description in Section V at

Requirements for a major


Total courses required Ten
Core courses ECON 100, ECON 294, ECON 295, ECON 350, ECON 480 (or 485)
Other required courses Also required is at least one course from the following: ECON 410, 415, 420, 430, 440, 450, 465, 470, 490.
Number 300 and 400 level courses Three (may include ECON 350, ECON 480 or 485, and the required 400-level elective).
Senior requirement and capstone experience The senior requirement consists of completing ECON 480 or ECON 485 during the senior year, as well as passing a comprehensive examination. The senior requirement usually includes completion of ECON 480: Seminar. In exceptional cases, students may apply to complete an intensive, independent senior thesis which culminates in both a written thesis and a public presentation of the work. ECON 485: Independent Senior Thesis is a one-credit course that may be offered as 1 credit for one semester, or as 1/2 credit in each of two consecutive semesters. Application Form
Additional information Eight of the 10 required courses must be taken on campus.
Recent changes in major The option of ECON 485: Independent Senior Thesis for the senior requirement was added effective Fall 2011.
Writing in the Major Writing in the Economics major represents an opportunity for students to effectively articulate economic reasoning. Writing in economics and management generally occurs in a variety of formats, some of these include empirical research papers, analytical papers, and analyses of news article or peer-reviewed journal articles. Writing in economics is technical and the terms used, even if they are familiar words like "demand" and "supply," have very precise and specific meanings in economics. The discipline of economics also heavily uses mathematics to add precision to arguments and hypotheses. Almost all economics papers use theoretical mathematical models or statistical inferences using data as a way to conduct research. The ability to draw inferences from mathematical and statistical methods is essential to learn to think like an economist.

Economics and Management majors are required to write an empirical research in ECON 350, Statistics for Economics and Management, and multiple analytical papers in the capstone course, ECON 480, Senior Seminar. Students will also be evaluated on their ability to apply economic analysis (the logical development of arguments based on economic reasoning) to a variety of topics in micro- and macroeconomics. Students must pass these courses to satisfy this requirement. Additionally, students should expect to encounter many other classes throughout the curriculum that introduce them to these and other forms of writing, for example, 1) research papers in Econometrics, Health Economics, Labor Economics, 2) policy papers or briefs in Environmental Economics, International Economics, Economics of Development, 3) argumentative essays in Introduction to Economics, 4) journal article summaries in Investments and Portfolio Analysis, and 5) case studies in Business Policy and accounting classes.

Requirements for a minor


Total courses required Five
Core courses ECON 100, ECON 294, ECON 295
Other required courses Also required are two additional courses from the following list: ECON 140, 235, 250, 262, 290A, 310, 315, 320, 342, 350, 360, 375, 390A, 410, 420, 430, 440, 450, 470, 490A.
Number 300 and 400 level courses One