The Department of Economics’ undergraduate program provides a rigorous training in theoretical and empirical economics. Students first take foundational courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. They can then take advanced course in a wide variety of fields (e.g. industrial organization, public finance, international trade).
The classes on Microeconomics (Econ 1, 11, 101) study the component parts of the economy, such as the purchasing decisions of a consumer, or the production decisions of a firm. We then put these components together in order to analyze how markets function, and how they can be improved.
The classes on Macroeconomics (Econ 2, 102) ask how different parts of the economy aggregate, generating business cycles and economic growth. The models are then used to study how economic policies affect output, unemployment, and inflation.
While the first two classes focus on economic models, the classes on Econometrics (Econ 41, 103) provide students with the tools needed to test these different theories. They allow students to assess the impact of a policy (e.g. education) on economic variables (e.g. wages), and provide techniques to separate correlation and causation.
After establishing a firm foundation, students take a selection of more advanced classes. Some of these dive deeper into subjects briefly covered in the introductory classes (e.g. game theory), whereas others use tools from multiple classes to address important policy issues (e.g. public finance).
Overall, the undergraduate major trains students to think rigorously about the world around them. This seeks to empower them to make better decisions at work, in their personal lives, and to understand policy debates. As an analytical liberal-arts degree, the major prepares students for a wide variety of occupations. Our graduates often take jobs in accounting, consulting, banking and management. They also go on to graduate school in economics, business and law.