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Are you interested in starting your own business or working in the banking and finance industries? Are you drawn to social policy issues dealing with healthcare, poverty or the environment? Majoring in economics provides an excellent background for a wide range of careers, ranging from business, industry, law and politics, to international development and public policy. Students who choose to pursue economics further in graduate school become professional economists and work for academic institutions such as colleges and universities, private research organizations or think-tanks, Fortune 500 companies such as Google, as well as institutions like the Federal Reserve, United Nations and World Bank.

Economics is a social science which analyses decision making at the individual (micro) and aggregate (macro) level. Economics majors use theoretical and empirical tools to study the ways in which individuals, organizations, societies, and nations make decisions about the allocation of scarce resources and the distribution of the product or output. At Elmira College, students complete a core curriculum of seven courses in economic theory, mathematics and quantitative methods. They also choose four elective courses in sub-fields of their choice such as sports, healthcare, game theory and international development. Small class sizes allow for close interactions between students and professors, and a focus on in-class discussions and problem solving. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members on research projects, present papers at regional conferences, and publish papers in academic journals.

Students interested in pursuing graduate study in economics are strongly encouraged to consult closely with a member of the economics faculty. Graduate work in economics is highly mathematical, so it is important to have the necessary background in mathematics before applying to graduate programs. A double major in economics and mathematics or a minor in mathematics is recommended. The economics department has an excellent record of placing students in graduate programs and faculty members work closely with students to guide them through the application process. Recent placements include Harvard University (for public health), Cornell University (for law), and University of Minnesota (for economics).

Visit the Economics department website at for more information.

Visit the College Bulletin for a full listing of Economics courses and descriptions.

College Bulletin