BS in Economics

BS in Economics

An Economics degree equips students with a powerful set of analytical and empirical tools to understand economic decision-making, industry or economy-wide dynamics, and public policy. The Economics major enables students to engage in active learning through their own independent research, and to think critically about real-world problems in a rigorous manner. Students trained in Economics are eagerly sought by a wide range of public and private sector employers. 

The Economics program at Rensselaer provides a solid foundation for careers at leading financial institutions, businesses, consulting firms and the public sector, graduate work in Economics, or professional training in such areas as business, law, or public policy.

The work of engineers and scientists in particular heavily involves the ability to analyze economic data, evaluate economic tradeoffs, and critically assess policy choices. An education in Economics trains students to delineate clearly the costs and benefits of choosing one course of action over others.

Undergraduates are introduced to key concepts involving scarcity of resources, the functioning of markets, and the behavior of individuals and groups as well as political and social institutions. Through a sequence of progressively more advanced courses, students learn the concepts and analytical and empirical tools of economics, and how to apply these to a variety of different settings ranging from business decision-making to public policy issues of innovation and technological change, resource scarcity and the environment, and governmental taxation, spending and regulation. Primary emphasis is on the analysis of how markets perform the central economic task of allocating scarce resources among competing interests. 

The Department administers the Edward J. Holstein Memorial Award for Excellence in Economics. The award is presented each year to a graduating senior who has achieved the highest level of distinction in his or her study of Economics.


The Economics Curriculum

Our program provides a solid education in Economics and related social sciences and offers many opportunities for applied research. In addition to the core curriculum — Introductory Economics, Intermediate Microeconomic Theory, Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory, and Econometrics — students can choose from electives that provide deeper insight into the economics of innovation and technological change, economic policy, financial economics, or data analytics. Students in the major also have ample opportunity to take courses in other departments at Rensselaer, and to tailor a course of study best suited to their own personal interests and career goals.

The Economics major consists of the following nine courses:

ECON 1200    Introductory Economics

ECON 2010    Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

ECON 2020    Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

ECON 4570    Econometrics

ECON 4900    Seminar in Economics

Plus, Four 4-credit ECON electives

BS in Economics Curriculum 

Undergraduate Research in Economics

Through Rensselaer's Undergraduate Research Program, qualified students receive valuable training in applied economic research and quantitative and qualitative research methods. Under the guidance of faculty, students are able to participate in, as well as contribute to, the department's research programs.  Students can apply their economics knowledge and techniques to a variety of questions related to the Rensselaer faculty’s research expertise, including the economics of innovation and technological change, economic growth, law and economics, economic regulation, international competitiveness, and macroeconomic policy.  Economics majors are required to take the two-credit course Seminar in Economics that provides the formal venue for students to conduct research with a faculty member or to pursue their own area of research.  These opportunities conducting applied research give students an advantage in their job search since empirical and analytical skills are vital in today's work environments. 


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