About the Department
For more than half a century, the Economics Department at Rensselaer has made important contributions to learning and research at the Institute. As part of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the Department is an integral component of a well-rounded education at a highly-ranked technological university with a long and distinguished history. The Department's faculty have a strong commitment to teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and the curriculum covers the principal subjects within economics as well as several specialized fields. Faculty in the Department have published extensively, including books and numerous articles appearing in many of the major economics journals. They are also active members and leaders of national and international economics organizations.
The Department offers courses in traditional fields such as introductory economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and international economics. In addition, the Department's teaching and research includes specialized fields such as ecological economics, the economics of technological change, the economics of energy, research and development, monetary theory and policy, and financial regulation.
At the undergraduate level, students may focus primarily within the Department by majoring in Economics. Moreover, the Department encourages students to combine a program in Economics with concentrations in other fields such as engineering, mathematics, and business. These combinations may be effected by pursuing both a major and a minor or by a dual major. Our courses in economics impart general knowledge of microeconomic and macroeconomic processes, of tools for economic analysis, and of specific knowledge relevant to informed decision-making about business decisions, research and development processes, and the environment. A deeper understanding of economics helps our graduates to move from being buffeted by forces outside their control to understanding and influencing the forces around them.
Our Ph.D. program in Ecological Economics was the first to be established anywhere in the world. It combines a focus on solving environmental problems with a rigorous training in economics and offers the opportunity to be involved in research projects on subjects including climate change mitigation and adaptation, promoting economic development, and evaluating energy strategies and other technological options. We maintain a small program in which students have the opportunity to work closely with distinguished faculty. Our students carry out original research and are provided with the skills and attention to become leaders at the cutting edge of this crucial field.