With our BA in economics, you'll build an in-depth understanding of economic growth and development locally, nationally and globally. Faculty challenge you to think critically as you research social and government policy alternatives and apply your findings both inside and outside the classroom.
In this major, you can investigate the environmental impact of economic activities and study the relationship between financial markets and the economy. Emphasizing conceptual understandings in addition to quantitative skills, we challenge you to explore new theories through heterodox economics. You can analyze economic structural changes and learn theories of business cycles, as well as investigate the choices and consequences of government policy alternatives. Once you've narrowed down an area of interest, you can complete an honors thesis.
Our program prepares students for a variety of careers in business, banking, government and education. Graduates hold positions in private industry and government as leaders, consultants or advisors. Economics is also a good foundation for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in law, business and international studies.
What You'll Learn
DU's economics program is unique in its approach. Here are some of the ways we bring economics to life in the classroom:
We take a broader view of what the discipline is about than the average U.S. economics program.
We regard the economy as one element of a complex society, so we situate economic study at the center of multiple social factors.
We present alternative perspectives on the historical and present-day relevance of our material.
We encourage students not to take in received knowledge as the truth, but to examine and question it.
We emphasize written assignments and critical thinking in our assessment of student performance, in addition to the ability to conduct quantitative analysis.
- To major in economics, you will need to complete 44 credits. These include 24 required courses and 20 upper division courses of your choosing (at least one of which must be at the 3000 level).
- For distinction in the major you will need to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA, 3.75 GPA in economics, and you will complete an honors thesis.
- For the secondary major you will complete 44 credit hours.
- For the minor you will complete 20 credit hours.
See the DU Undergraduate Bulletin for full course requirements
About this Course
Economics courses covering mainstream theories are often based upon a priori reasoning, which is in turn built upon certain assumptions about individual optimizing behavior. This course introduces students to the new and expanding field of experimental economics. Instead of taking the mainstream assumptions and conclusions for granted, we critically examine individuals' economic behavior and their 'social' consequences in various experimental settings. We review the historical development of experiments and then cover specific topics that experiments have been designed to investigate. The course has a heavy lab focus, with students themselves participating in simulations of most of the experiments discussed. Topics include market functioning, public goods and open access environmental resources, fairness and equity, and individual decision-making. Students are encouraged to think about empirical and policy implications highlighted by both experiments and economic theory. Students also gain an understanding of the scientific methodology required to create controlled experiments.
Philosophical Perspectives on Economics and Social Sciences
About this Course
This course provides an advanced survey of conceptual and methodological issues that lie at the intersection of philosophy, economics, and the social sciences. More specifically, the main goal is to engage in a critical discussion of how sciences such as psychology, sociology, and neuroscience can challenge and modify the foundations and methodology of economic theories. The course is structured around three broad modules. After a brief introduction, we begin by discussing the emergence of rational choice theory which constitutes the foundation of classical and neoclassical economics and present some paradoxical implications of expected utility theory. The second module focuses on the relationship between economics and psychology. More specifically, we examine the emergence of behavioral economics, the study of the social, cognitive, and emotional factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions and their consequences for market prices, returns, and resource allocation. Finally, the third module focuses on the implications of neuroscience on decision making. We discuss some recent developments in neuroeconomics, a field of study emerged over the last few decades which seeks to ground economic theory in the study of neural mechanisms which are expressed mathematically and make behavioral predictions.
About this Course
This research project is based on a topic that the student picks in consultation with the chair of the economics department. During the consultation process a faculty supervisor is assigned to work with the student throughout the research process. The topic is preferably one that requires the student to demonstrate her/his ability to apply what he/she has learned in the intermediate-level required courses for the economics major. Restriction: senior standing.