Everybody likes to discuss taxes, unemployment, the deficit, health care, the stock market, inflation and welfare. While most people have their own views about all of these, very few have informed opinions. Studying economics provides students with knowledge about these important issues in our society. It helps them understand how economic reasoning is used to determine how effectively society meets its human and material needs. The objective of the courses taught in the Economics Department is to train students in the way economists view the world and in economists’ techniques for analyzing problems. The department strives to produce graduates who will be informed and able to participate in public and private decision-making in which economic considerations are involved.
It is also possible to minor in Economics. The requirements for the minor are two introductory courses (Introductory Microeconomics and Introductory Macroeconomics) plus any four upper-division economics courses (numbered 300 or above).
The Economics major gives students twelve electives, which is about the maximum that they can have at Saint Joseph’s University. Students, therefore, have a great deal of flexibility in course selection. As a result, it is easy to major in Economics and minor in one of many other related subjects that make for interesting career opportunities (for example, minors in international relations, philosophy, business or German). Alternatively, students can obtain a certificate from one of the many special programs offered by the University (including Latin American Studies, Russian and East Central European Studies, among others), or do a double major. Because of the large number of electives in a degree program in Economics, students have the ability to select many electives that fulfill career or personal interests.
In addition to traditional courses in Economics, there are also courses offered in the University’s Honors Program. Several Economics professors have taught courses in the Honors Program including, Nationalism and the Economy, Profits and Prophets, and Political Economy and America.
The Economics Department offers its students the possibility of presenting their research papers at local undergraduate economics conferences. Faculty in the Department advise and guide the students who are making their presentations.
Some upper-division courses lend themselves to a variety of activities outside the classroom, including excursions to government and cultural institutions in the vicinity, as well as viewing films and enjoying dinners with the faculty.