Economics is the study of individual and collective decision making given the limited availability of material resources. The economics curriculum is designed to contribute to a liberal arts education by increasing a student's understanding of the economic problems that confront individuals and societies and to prepare students for graduate work in a variety of fields. Majors are expected to develop skills that permit critical analysis of important economic problems, and are exposed to a wide variety of economic policy issues.
The curriculum stresses such skills as gathering and interpreting information, predicting the consequences of specific decisions, evaluating alternative choices, and managing public and private enterprises. Computer applications are a major component of instruction. The economics major provides a sound basis for a variety of professional careers, including graduate study in economics, business, management science, law, and public policy. A successful major also is well prepared for employment opportunities that demand strong analytical skills. Students who anticipate business careers may find courses in financial economics and international economics particularly beneficial.