Major in Economics
Samuel Campbell Department of Economics
The mission of the Department of Economics at Beloit College is to contribute to the liberal learning of our students by developing in them the interest and capacity to engage in the questions central to the economics discipline. We pursue this mission first by providing a solid grounding in economic theory and the tools of empirical analysis. Upon this foundation, we build understanding of economic institutions and the flow of economic activity that adds to the wealth and well-being of nations. We encourage our students to put their liberal arts education into practice by pursuing experiential learning opportunities such as a challenging internship, a venture of their own, significant campus leadership, and/or international study. Throughout their work in our department, students receive recurring opportunities to hone their writing and analytic skills so that they can become effective communicators and practitioners of economic concepts, whether in the context of business, public policy, the non-profit sector, or advanced study in the discipline.
We provide three majors – Economics, International Political Economy, and Business Economics – to allow students to attain their own goals and objectives. All three of these majors require a central core of five courses: Principles of Economics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Quantitative Methods, and the Economics Senior Seminar on the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations. These core courses are essential for a solid grounding in the central ideas, theories, and empirical methods of the economics discipline.
The Economics major is the major that we recommend for our students who wish to go on to graduate study in Economics and for students who seek to double-major in Mathematics and Economics. In addition to the five central core courses required of all departmental majors, Economics majors take three Mathematics courses – usually two courses in Calculus along with Linear Algebra or Differential Equations. Economics majors build upon the foundations of the five-course Economics core and these three supporting Math courses by taking additional courses in Econometrics, Mathematical Macroeconomics, and Game Theory along with electives that students choose in consultation with their departmental advisor.
International Political Economy
International Political Economy (IPE) is a field of study that examines the systemic connections between the political and institutional rules of the social order and patterns of economic structure and performance in an international context. Though the field draws mainly upon Economics and Political Science, the boundaries of IPE are somewhat fluid, incorporating Sociology, Anthropology, History, and area/regional studies. An IPE major complements existing programs in international education by offering an international field of study that incorporates a rigorous quantitative sequence as part of its core curriculum. This internationally-oriented major that emphasizes social scientific empirical methods will be especially attractive to students interested in pursuing graduate programs in development studies and international economics as well as careers in international business consulting, financial services, and NGO operations.
The Business Economics major is designed for students who want to understand how economic organizations function and for students who want to run economic organizations such as for-profit firms, not-for-profit firms and governmental organizations. The major has two analytical cores. First we require the same central core of five courses that all of our majors complete because economic analysis is essential to understand the micro- and macroeconomic environments within which economic organizations operate and to identify the trade-offs that these organizations face. Second, we require a two-course sequence in accounting and finance that teaches the basic analytical concepts necessary to evaluate the financial history, to guide the day-to-day operation, and to envision the future paths of an economic organization. Graduates who major in Business Economics will be equipped to participate in the operation of all forms of economic organizations, to work in the financial services sector, to pursue professional programs, or to start their own business.