Despite common misconceptions (including those that come from high school classes), economics is not just about money, the stock market or “the economy.” It is a behavioral science—the only social science for which a Nobel Prize is awarded. Economics draws upon the traditional liberal arts such as history and philosophy; natural sciences such as mathematics and physics; and social sciences, such as political science, sociology, and psychology. The interdisciplinary nature of economics lies at the heart of a liberal arts university.
The choice of a major is an important life decision; it constitutes a significant step in shaping your future opportunities. Surveys show that up to forty percent of workers, ages 20-29, report they are in the wrong career. To avoid this situation you should choose a major that interests you and will provide the power and flexibility to satisfy the current and future needs of employers. Economics is a great choice because it provides career flexibility.
The most basic and enduring strength of economics is that it provides a logical, ordered way of analyzing social problems (e.g., poverty, unemployment, crime, economic growth, the effects of government policy, pollution) as well as individual behavior (e.g., the labor-leisure tradeoff, drug addiction, taxes, voting, marriage, consumer behavior, business decisions).
The Georgia College Economics program offers:
- Curriculum Flexibility—Students pursuing the economics major can choose either a B.A. or B.S. degree. The B.A. degree program includes 21-30 elective hours, and the B.S. degree program includes 30 elective hours of coursework. This enables students to complete a minor or a second major—within four years of study.
- Respected Degree & Career Flexibility—The economics curriculum is not just job training. Instead, it focuses on the development of analytical and critical thinking, deductive reasoning, quantitative, and communication skills. These skills are sought by employers in all fields. Graduates with an economics major will have a great deal of flexibility, which is critical in today’s world where it is common to make several job changes during a career.
- Preparation for Graduate School—A major in economics provides excellent preparation if you’re thinking of law school, graduate training in economics, or some other type of graduate program. For example, a 2006 study of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) reported that economics majors score higher than any other major! A Concentration in Graduate Study Preparation is available and helps to prepare students for graduate school by providing them with advanced math skills. In recent years, graduates from the Georgia College economics programs have been accepted to several different Ph.D., Law, and Master’s degree programs.
- Financial Economics Concentration—Students with an interest in finance may wish to consider this particular concentration. Financial economics analyzes the use and distribution of resources in markets where decisions are made under uncertainty. This concentration employs economic theory to evaluate how time, risk (uncertainty), opportunity costs, and information can create incentives or disincentives for a particular decision.
- International Economics Concentration— Students with an interest in international issues may wish to consider this particular concentration. The ability to comprehend how businesses function internationally is increasingly important. The International Economics Concentration will allow you to enhance your already formidable economics skills with the knowledge needed for employment with a firm that does business internationally.
- Public Economics Concentration—With several faculty specializing in public economics, we are able to offer a variety of courses that focus on different aspects of government and public policy. Students interested in working in business or government, or who are interested in graduate programs in economics, political science, or law, may wish to take the concentration in public economics.
- ECON Majors Get Paid More!—On average, economics majors earn more after graduation than many other majors offered at Georgia College!
- Small Classes—Our upper-level economics courses usually have fewer than 25 students. Small classes help to facilitate student-professor interaction. Because the economics program is relatively small, economics students often work through their courses in “cohorts,” which makes the classroom atmosphere informal and collegial.
- Senior Seminar—Our “Senior Seminar” capstone course (ECON 4990) focuses on economic research. During the seminar, students learn to apply their economics training and are required to read and discuss published economic papers. In addition, students are required to produce a formal research paper to further develop the communication, analytical, and research skills necessary for successful careers in business or research. In order to increase the quality of student research and to better prepare them for future opportunities, our students begin their capstone research projects during their Econometrics (ECON 4340) class. The coupling of these two courses allows students to refine their research and produce projects of high quality.
- Student Organizations—Our best economics students are honored with invitations to join the prestigious Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society in economics. All economics students are invited to join the Econ Club, which sponsors guest speakers, field trips, occasional lunch seminars, and other social activities. Aside from their formal activities, these organizations facilitate informal interaction among economics students and faculty.
- Faculty— We have eight Ph.D. economists, one Master’s degree economist, and two Ph.D. finance professors in the department. Our professors have diverse backgrounds, receiving their doctorates from these well respected universities: Clemson, Georgia, Georgia State, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas (Arlington), Virginia, and Wisconsin. This degree of faculty diversity ensures that students receive a variety of perspectives in their studies. In terms of research, our faculty are very active and regularly publish in a variety of peer-reviewed journals.
- For More Information about degree requirements, click here.