Admission to Degree Program
All degree programs in the Department of Economics are open enrollment. However, special limitations apply for teaching majors.
Economics examines how societies choose to allocate scarce resources among competing uses. A broad range of contemporary policy issues are studied in fields such as natural resource and environmental economics, economic development and growth, international trade and finance, economic history, the organization of industries, the development and efficiency of law, business cycles, labor markets, and public and private finance.
Professional economists work in three basic areas: business, government, and academics. Undergraduates generally pursue training beyond their BS in economics if they wish to become professional economists.
Those in business forecast and analyze various aspects of the economy or of particular markets and most often work for brokerage firms, business or economic consulting firms, investment banks, insurance companies, or large manufacturing firms.
Those in government accumulate, interpret, and analyze national and international data in support of policy development and work for agencies such as the U.S. State Department, Treasury Department, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Office of the Trade Representative; for state planning bodies and regulatory commissions; or for international bodies like the World Bank or IMF.
Academic economists teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Entry into these positions requires training at least as far as the master's level; for the most part, the professional degree is the PhD.
Undergraduates who are not interested in post-undergraduate study in economics generally pursue one of three options: graduate training in a profession (e.g., the MBA, MPA, JD, or MD); employment with a business consulting, economic consulting, brokerage, or other specialized service provider that relies to a substantial degree on economic analysis; or employment with a government agency or entity that relies on economic analysis and data. In the latter two areas, undergraduates typically gather and analyze data and provide research support under the direction of professional staff economists. A BS in economics is also very good preparation for those interested in foreign service careers or work with organizations in economic development, international finance, or actuarial licensing. Many undergraduates pursue business careers, including those of finance, marketing, sales, and production.