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The Undergraduate Program
An Introduction

The undergraduate curriculum of the Department of Economics is constituted to provide the best possible learning environment for those students choosing to participate in our courses. We, the faculty associated with the curriculum, are committed to use of the most appropriate and productive teaching methods to ensure that learning does occur in the classroom. We are also committed to appropriate provision of advising, independent study and office hours to ensure that the learning of the classroom is shared in by all.

We facilitate the economics education of the university community at large through our gateway course, Economics 10. For undergraduates wishing to further their learning in economics we offer three paths for more in-depth study. The first is the collection of courses that make up the major in economics. The second is the group of service courses offered for the students of other departments or curricula. The third is the array of topical courses offered to the broad university community within the General College. Our goal is that each of these courses, whether for majors or non-majors, should provide the proper atmosphere for learning specific to that set of students. This atmosphere is provided in part through faculty lectures, but also through seminars, student-initiated "active learning" techniques, use of internships and applied learning, and through appropriate use of technology-aided instruction in the classroom.

The faculty of the Department of Economics is committed to providing the appropriate learning environment for all its students, both undergraduates and graduate students. Our research activities are in the forefront of our profession, and we are constantly striving to make the product of that research available and accessible to students within our courses.

Recognizing the diversity of students learning in Economics courses.
Students come to the Economics Department for instruction for various reasons; we recognize that variety, and have built the curriculum of each course upon it.

Many students are interested only in an introduction to economics. These will attend Economics 10 and no other economics course. This group should learn about the basic tasks of economic systems, the basic functions that any economic system must perform, and should be provided with the basis of an analytical framework that it can use in other courses and in subsequent life. At a minimum students should be instilled with the appreciation of how fundamental economics is to their lives and with the understanding that "the economic way of thinking" can offer practical benefits and insights.

Students choosing to establish a major in Economics will devote about 27 hours to Economics courses out of the 120 hours required for graduation. The goals associated with the first group of students apply more strongly here. The purpose of an undergraduate major in a liberal arts curriculum is to expand and deepen familiarity with economic analysis and institutions, and adding new skills such as increased familiarity with statistical and econometric methods.

Students in other curricula are required by those curricula to have certain Economics courses. The content of those courses is driven by our own standards for competence as well as the needs of the curriculum in which the student is enrolled.

Other undergraduates or graduate students will take Economics courses beyond Economics 10 because of some specific interest. Our goal is to make the principles of economics accessible and attractive to these while not sacrificing the rigor of the discipline.

Requirements for students establishing a major in Economics
We have developed a four-step progression in course materials for those students establishing a major in Economics. This progression provides the students with the flexibility to pursue their own interests within the general discipline, while establishing an increasing depth to the concepts considered and tools applied. The four steps are:

Completion of prerequisites -- Math 22 or 31, Economics 10.
Completion of base courses: Economics 70, Economics 101, Economics 132
Completion of (at least) three field courses.
Completion of (at least) one advanced course.
Each step builds upon the step before. Base courses use the learning from Economics 10 as a springboard to more detailed analysis. Field courses rely upon the skills imparted by the base courses. Advanced courses build upon the skills learned in the field courses, and in addition introduce a writing requirement and seminar-like environment to enhance the students' learning possibilities.