Economics Departmental Information
As a social science, economics is concerned with people in their roles as economic decision makers. Economists study how business and personal decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty and incomplete information, and they provide insight into problems involving both short- and long-term planning, such as investment and savings decisions.
Economic problems are central to modern society; they center around the utilization of limited resources to provide goods and services for society. Consequently, a broad understanding of the modern world requires some knowledge of economic systems. An individual’s intelligent understanding of and participation in the solution of problems which face society is aided by an understanding of the point of view and techniques of analysis which have been developed by economists.
A major in Economics leads to a more detailed understanding of the modern economic world and provides a useful background for students seeking careers in law, business, government, journalism, and teaching. A strong grounding in both theoretical and applied aspects of economics allows students to use their knowledge to understand economic behavior and provides a basis for evaluating economic policy.
The introductory courses (ECON 101 and 102) offered by the department are designed to provide basic knowledge as well as to serve as a foundation for other courses in economics for students who wish to pursue the subject at an intermediate or advanced level.
Virtually all empirical work in economics relies on statistical and econometric analysis. No one can understand or evaluate empirical economics, let alone perform it, without solid grounding in the tools of econometrics. Our curriculum requires a two-course sequence in statistics and econometrics. Student may choose from three different sequences that differ in emphasis (practical, applications, concepts, or foundations) and in mathematical preparation (Calc I, Calc II, or Calc II + linear algebra).
Students who wish to attain professional competence as economists in preparation for careers in research or in college or university teaching normally plan on graduate work in economics.
Special Departmental Policy: AP Credits
The Department of Economics does not give AP credit for ECON 101 or ECON 102. Whenever the department lists ECON 101 or ECON 102 as a prerequisite, the department does not accept AP credit as a substitute.
Students achieving a 4 or 5 on the AP Microeconomics exam receive 2 credits for ECON 101X, and students achieving a 4 or 5 on the AP Macroeconomics exam receive 2 credits for ECON 102X. As prerequisites for other courses in Economics and as prerequisites for the Economics major and minor, ECON 101X does not substitute for ECON 101, and ECON 102X does not substitute for ECON 102. Students receiving 2 credits for ECON 101X may take ECON 101 and receive 4 credits for ECON 101. Students who receive 2 credits for ECON 102X may take ECON 102 and receive 4 credits for ECON 102. Thus, anyone who intends to concentrate in economics, to minor in economics, or to take electives in economics at the 300 or 400 level should enroll in ECON 101 and/or ECON 102.
Students intending to apply to the BBA program should consult carefully the requirements of the Business School. As of this writing, the Business School does not accept ECON 101X as a substitute for ECON 101, and it does not accept ECON 102X as a substitute for ECON 102.
Advanced placement credits in MATH 121 may be substituted for MATH 115. Credits in MATH 120 alone do not satisfy the mathematics prerequisite for an economics major or minor. Students with credit for MATH 120 may satisfy the mathematics prerequisite for the Economics major by completing, with a grade of at least C, MATH 115, MATH 116, or one of the Honors alternatives to these courses.
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