Prince Lucien Campbell Hall

Undergraduate degrees: BA or BS
Undergraduate minor

About the major

Do longer prison sentences lower crime rates? Does socialized medicine improve health outcomes? Do lower taxes pay for themselves? Economics affords the intellectual architecture needed to systematically address these types of questions. The economics discipline provides a rigorous framework for modeling how individuals and institutions make decisions, how these decisions shape our society, and how laws and policies can be designed to improve outcomes. This framework is implemented through advanced quantitative analysis, including statistical methods and data science, and can be used, quite simply, to change the world.

An economics degree indicates proficiency in data analysis, the modeling of behavioral patterns, the analysis of business practices, and the assessment of policy issues and challenges. Equipped with problem solving and analytical reasoning skills, undergraduate students in economics pursue careers in business, finance, data-science, law, government and many other paths, as well as advanced degrees in business, economics, law and public affairs. Economics majors also have the opportunity to complete a master’s degree in economics in just one additional year following their undergraduate studies.

A little more info

  • Economics majors receive advanced instruction almost exclusively from professors, who are leading research economists in the study of labor economics, environmental economics, international trade, public economics, industrial organization and macroeconomics, among others.
  • The economics major coursework provides training in data science skills and their application to a wide variety of economic questions.
  • The economics major’s Community Issues course sequence provides an opportunity to conduct supervised economic research to help solve local business and public policy problems, all while earning departmental honors.
  • Economics majors develop valuable analytical and quantitative skills that are highly valued by employees. Many students start with an internship; recent placements include Target, Merrill Lynch, and the Portland Trailblazers.
  • The structure of the economics major allows for effective pairing with another major or minor, such as business, mathematics, or data science.

Career opportunities

Many, if not most, fields require employees who have strong analytical and quantitative skills, and the need for such skills is only increasing. As a result, economics majors pursue careers in a wide variety of areas, including federal, state and local governments, non-profits, banking and finance, consulting, business management, journalism, law, and public policy. A degree in economics is also an excellent springboard for advanced degrees across a wide variety of fields, including economics, law, business, public policy, and international relations.

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