For additional information regarding the Economics major, please visit the Economics website.
Economists study how scarce resources are allocated so that the well-being of individuals is maximized. Whether the resource being allocated is income, time or a precious commodity, there is always some tradeoff associated with allocating the resource for one use and not another. Individuals, businesses, and governments face these tradeoffs in countless ways every day. The most important thing students learn from studying economics is how to identify, measure and understand the essential elements of this tradeoff.
The Economics major is built on a foundation of strong theoretical and statistical training. The major provides students solid grounding in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, statistical and econometric methodology and applied economic analysis. The Economics major emphasizes the role of incentives and institutions in shaping economic outcomes and how public policies influence economic performance and individual outcomes. Special emphases in the program include development economics, economic growth, economic history, empirical methods, environmental economics, health economics, international trade, labor economics, law and economics, political economy and public economics.
In addition to having a solid understanding of economic theory, our program has a special emphasis on empirical research methods in economics. All students engage in research (with faculty members, in teams and independently) that involves analyzing data and answering well-formulated questions related to public policies. With these research experiences, our students are competitive for research internships, fellowships and pre-graduate summer programs while still in school.
Because students with economics degrees develop strong analytical and quantitative skills and the ability to solve complex problems effectively, studying economics is excellent preparation for many careers in business, law, management consulting, education or public service. Businesses of all types and sizes, financial institutions, consulting firms, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, as well as graduate business and law schools actively seek graduates with bachelor’s degrees in economics. In addition, many of our students go on to do graduate study in economics, law, public policy or business.
Program Learning Outcomes
Our faculty members work to prepare students for a holistic understanding of the knowledge and skills of the discipline. Upon completion of the degree, we expect students to demonstrate the following for the major and minor:
1. Describe the underlying economic incentives and tradeoffs associated with the decisions made by individuals, firms, international organizations and governments.
2. Apply economic concepts in analyzing policy debates and evaluating policy outcomes.
3. Design and conduct research that can inform managerial and economic policy making, including by collecting, analyzing and interpreting data using relevant software.
4. Demonstrate critical, evidence-based, thinking about economic phenomena, whether encountered in coursework or in media reports, so that students can evaluate the accuracy of hypotheses presented.
5. Communicate clearly and cogently in written and oral form in academic and professional environments.
Refer to the Curriculum Map to see the coherency between the Program Learning Outcomes and our course offerings.
Student graduates from our program are engaging in graduate studies and careers. A few of these after-college endeavors are listed below.
Student graduates from our Economics program are studying at the University of California, Davis, and Golden Gate University.
Student graduates from the Economics program are working in a variety of professional settings including accounting companies, a mayor's office, in university administrative offices and in school districts.
Last Updated: May 2016