The Economics Department offers a major in economics (with an optional concentration in prelaw studies) and an economics minor.
The aim of courses in economics is to train students to think analytically about economic and social problems and rationally about personal, public, and business decisions. Economics consists of a structured body of analytical principles that can equip the student with a logical, consistent approach both to the great issues of our time and to the everyday choices that confront consumers, political leaders, businesses, and all individuals.
Relatively few tools of analysis are needed to study shortages and rationing, exchange rates and speculation, inflation and recession, money and prices, and monopoly and competition, as well as such social and political issues as pollution, energy, airport congestion, mass transit, the delivery of medical care, and even the personal choice of career and lifestyle. Economic theory can clarify and systematize thinking on these matters, and it is the place of economics in the liberal arts curriculum to train beginning as well as advanced students in the use of analytical tools. The economics curriculum also exposes students to the intellectual, historical, and institutional context of the discipline, integrating their study of economics with their liberal education as a whole.