Department of Agricultural Economics & Economics
The Bachelor of Science degree in economics stresses the use of economics as a means of understanding current economic activities and problems and their relationship to our social environment. Economics is the study of critical decision-making behavior. It is a mode of thinking and reasoning with widespread application. The skills that employers value most highly are the ability to think critically and carefully, the ability to learn new skills and the ability to solve problems. Some vocations may require very specific skills (for example, knowledge of a particular computer software package). However, skill requirements change over time. The need for people who can think, learn and solve problems is timeless. Economics hones these time-honored abilities.
The objective of the program is to provide the student with a liberal university education with particular emphasis on economics. In keeping with this objective, requirements are specified largely in terms of broad subject areas rather than designation of particular courses. The student, with the help of the advisor, is given the opportunity to develop a program to meet his or her own particular needs and interests. With this freedom, however, comes the responsibility of building an overall program that is both cohesive and academically sound. The program focuses on teaching students to think, to use logic and reason, and to organize their thoughts in order to solve problems rather than simply memorize and recite the subject matter. The courses also focus on instilling in students a desire to learn, so that they will leave our courses prepared and eager for lifelong learning.
The economics program, with its flexibility, offers the opportunity to acquire a general university education and the necessary background and preparation for many career objectives. Economics majors pursue a wide variety of careers after graduation. Students with a bachelor's degree in economics are often employed in the financial, retailing, and industrial sectors of the economy. Economics majors also work in such diverse fields as actuarial science, elementary and secondary education, journalism, investment banking, securities analysis, corporate finance, insurance, law, politics, and environmental regulation, as well as in government and academia. Graduate schools regard a degree in economics as excellent preparation for advanced work toward a degree in law as well as a Ph.D. in a number of social science fields such as economics, international relations, public policy, and political science. Economics is also an excellent undergraduate major for students seeking an MBA. What can be done with an education in economics is unlimited!
Our Master of Science degree in Applied Economics encourages students to develop and apply their skills in economic analysis and examine a wide array of economic and political issues. Learning takes place through coursework in economic theory, quantitative methods and econometrics, through collaborative work with departmental faculty, and through an intensive research thesis that addresses an important economic issue selected by the student.