Economics major

Program Overview

The Economics program at Fairfield University prepares students for careers in the private and public sectors, at both the domestic and international levels, as economists, analysts, and upper-level managers.

Led by a devoted faculty, students challenge economic theories while using advanced technology in the classroom. Students blend modern economic concepts with current issues, developing their reasoning and critical thinking ability. Our curriculum provides students with traditional business skills such as data analysis, statistics and numerical research along with a rich liberal arts education to help them judge the merits of world markets and events.

Our Economics Department offers a variety of learning options. You are given the freedom to track courses that lead to either a B.S. or B.A. Our study abroad and internship programs promote real-world, first-hand experience and provide you an excellent background for careers in all sectors of business as well as preparation for advanced study in graduate or professional schools.

Economics graduate Julianne Whittaker recieved a Fulbright teaching scholarship to Jordan. Watch the video!

 

Learning Outcomes for Economics Students

Students who study in the economics department should be able to use models and analytical tools, within an institutional framework, to understand and evaluate economic outcomes.

Goal I: Students will understand the tradeoffs between efficiency and equity that are made as resources are allocated among economic actors

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to

  • appraise various market models
  • use welfare measures to analyze economic tradeoffs

Goal II: Students will describe economic concepts and apply them to real world issues.

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to

  • use theory to explain economic events
  • evaluate the success or failure of policies used to achieve intended economic outcomes

Goal III: Students will acquire quantitative skills to analyze data and use that data and analysis to support logical positions

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to

  • acquire data-gathering skills in order to analyze an existing economic argument or present an economic argument of their own
  • experience using statistical software packages to analyze economic data,
  • formulate empirically testable hypotheses

Goal IV: Students will use qualitative and quantitative models to interpret the impact of public policy choices

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to

  • identify how economic policies can be utilized to overcome market inadequacies
  • construct economic arguments using both quantitative and non-quantitative forms of evidence

Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree

With its focus on policy analysis and business applications, this degree is designed for students who plan to enter the job market in business or government, or who plan to study business or law at the graduate level.

For a 30-credit Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, students complete the following:

  • EC 11: Introduction to Microeconomics
  • EC 12: Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • EC 204: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • EC 205: Intermediate Macroeconomics Theory
  • EC 278: Economic Statistics (beginning with the Class of 2018)
  • Elective Economics Department courses totaling 15 credits.

No more than two 100-level courses may be counted toward the requirements of the major. Additional 100-level courses may be taken as part of the student’s distribution of elective courses.

 

Bachelor of Science Degree

With its emphasis on mathematical skills and statistical analysis, this degree prepares students for quantitative applications of economic theory as practiced in actuarial work, economic research, or graduate studies in economics. Students who complete this degree are urged to couple it with a minor in mathematics.

For a 33-credit Bachelor of Science degree in economics, students complete the following:

  • EC 11: Introduction to Microeconomics
  • EC 12: Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • EC 204: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • EC 204L: Intermediate Microeconomics Lab
  • EC 205: Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
  • EC 205L: Intermediate Macroeconomics Lab
  • EC 278: Economic Statistics
  • EC 278L: Economic Statistics Lab
  • EC 290: Mathematical Economics
  • EC 380: Econometrics
  • Elective Economics Department offerings totaling nine credits.

A grade of C or better is necessary in the required courses for the Bachelor of Science degree. No more than two 100-level courses may be counted toward the requirements of the major.

 

Minor in Economics

The economics minor complements a wide variety of majors. Students are able to apply the skills and theory learned in introductory courses to their primary areas of interest.

For a 15-credit minor in economics, students complete the following:

  • EC 11: Introduction to Microeconomics
  • EC 12: Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • Three elective Economics Department offerings totaling nine credits.

No more than one 100-level economics course may be counted toward the minor.

Course Offerings

See Economics course descriptions from our catalog for more information

  • EC 11: Introduction to Microeconomics
  • EC 12: Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • EC 112: Economic Aspects of Current Social Problems
  • EC 114: The Economics of Race, Class, and Gender in the American Workplace
  • EC 120: Intro to Environmental Economics
  • EC 140: Health Economics
  • EC 150: Media Economics
  • EC 152: Economics of Sports
  • EC 185: Regional Economic Development
  • EC 204: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • EC 204L: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory Lab
  • EC 205: Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
  • EC 205L: Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory Lab
  • EC 210: Money and Banking
  • EC 224: Labor Economics and Labor Relations
  • EC 225: Applied Environmental Economics
  • EC 230: Comparative Economic Systems
  • EC 231: International Trade
  • EC 233: International Economic Policy and Finance
  • EC 235: Economic Development
  • EC 250: Industrial Organization and Competitive Strategy
  • EC 252: Urban Economics
  • EC 270: Engineering Economics
  • EC 275: Managerial Economics
  • EC 276: Public Finance
  • EC 278: Economic Statistics
  • EC 278L: Economic Statistics Lab
  • EC 290: Mathematical Economics
  • EC 298: Independent Study
  • EC 299: Internship
  • EC 320: Financial Markets and Institutions
  • EC 380: Econometrics
  • EC 398: Senior Seminar

Faculty

‌‌The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the dedicated members of our Economics Department.

Student Resources

Economics Research Toolkit

Conducting research is an exciting process because you have an opportunity to build upon your previous knowledge and create something new. Building something new usually requires tools, and the type of tools that are most useful depends on what it is that you are constructing. Creating new knowledge in economics typically uses some of the following tools:

  • An economic model to simplify reality and understand the relationships between economic variables
  • A set of data to understand what is happening in the "real world"
  • Graphs or more sophisticated analysis of the real world data
  • A method of organizing your ideas as you conduct your research

The research resources listed here are intended to provide some of the essential tools that novice researchers use as they "do economics." Use the links under Economic Data to explore the huge volume of data that is available on the Web. When you find a data series that interests you, download it to an Excel spreadsheet. Watch the short Excel movie clip to see a demonstration of how to construct a graph or how to use other Excel features. Visit the Library to access the scholarly literature or enlist the help of a reference librarian. Throughout the research process, organize your thoughts and understand how your ideas are connected by using concept mapping software.

For an in-depth guide to carrying out economic research, please refer to Greenlaw's (2006) book:

Greenlaw, Steven A. 2006. Doing Economics: A Guide to Understanding and Carrying Out Economic Research. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company

 

Economic Data

In many cases, economic research involves accessing and using economic data. You may want to support an argument by presenting data graphically or test a hypothesis by analyzing data using econometric techniques.

A huge amount of data is available on the Web. The advantage of accessing data via the Internet is that it can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet without having to key in the data values. In a lot of cases, the data may be downloaded as an Excel file, but even when the data is in text format, it can be copy/pasted to an Excel spreadsheet and then parsed to separate variables into their own columns. (The Excel movie clip demonstrates how to parse.)

 

Excel Movies

View a short movie clip for a demonstration of how to parse data (split one column into two). Image: Video file

 

Concept Mapping

As you conduct your research, a graphic organizer is a terrific tool for organizing your ideas and revealing how concepts relate to one another. Use the link below to download free concept mapping software designed by the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition(IHMC).

 

DiMenna-Nyselius Library

The DiMenna-Nyselius Library is a valuable portal to the scholarly literature in economics and to individualized help with your research.  To see a sample of the vast resources available to Economics students, please visit the Library’s  Best Bets for Starting your Research in Economics. Librarians are available to help students with all stages of their research.  

 

Help is available through:

Internships

The University's location near many corporate headquarters provides excellent opportunities for internships. Recently, students have interned as research associates at:

  • Peoples Bank
  • Southwest Connecticut Agency on Aging
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Salomon Smith Barney
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Other local agencies

Student Spotlight

cas_econ_mauracullumName: Maura Cullum '16
Undergrad Degree: Economics and Asian Studies
Hometown: Wayzata, MN
Extracurricular Activities: Glee Club, Tour Ambassador, Fairfield Investment Society 

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

I chose to attend Fairfield because I wanted the opportunity to be on the East Coast near New York City and other financial hubs while also having a suburban and tight-knit campus.  And of course, the beach is a great draw especially for me coming from the Midwest!

 

How/why did you select your major/minor?

I started out as a business student and thanks to the business core curriculum, I was required to take "Intro Microeconomics" and "Intro to Macroeconomics."  I fell in love with the material. I could apply my interest in math to real world and market problems that affect everyone across the world.  I also connected with my economics professors, Dr. Lane and Dr. Miners, which made the decision to switch to an economics major an easy one.  

 

Describe a favorite course and how it helped your academic growth

"Intermediate Microeconomics theory" has been my favorite economics course thus far.  The challenge in applying math with economic theory allowed me to grow in my work and understanding of economic theory.  Dr. Nantz helped push and challenge me to achieve at a level that I didn’t even know I was capable.  I applied these ideas to higher-level economics courses like Econometrics.  And at the end of the semester, I felt so accomplished and wish I could take it all over again.  

Alumni Updates

The majority of students majoring in economics find employment before graduation. Financial and service institutions have been the most popular sources of entry-level jobs. Other graduates have:

  • Started out with hospital and government agencies
  • Gone into teaching at primary and secondary levels
  • Entered management-training programs at Fortune 500 firms
  • Continued their studies in graduate or professional schools, including business and law

Alumni list of placements upon graduation include:

  • American Express
  • American Skandia
  • Bank of America
  • The Bank of New York
  • Chubb & Son
  • Citibank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Edward Jones
  • Environmental Data Resources
  • FDIC
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Gabelli Asset
  • Management Company
  • General Electric Company (FMP)
  • General Electric Company (IMLP)
  • Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • Greenwich Capital
  • Hewitt Associates LLC
  • IBM Corporation
  • JPMorganChase
  • William M. Mercer, Incorporated
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
  • New England Financial
  • Northwestern Mutual Life
  • People's Bank
  • Peterson Consulting LP
  • State Street Global Advisors
  • UBS Warburg
  • U.S. Marine Corps Officers Program
  • Walt Disney World
  • Watson Wyatt & Company

A few of our alumni pursue graduate work either in the law or economics. We have placed students in the following graduate programs in economics:

  • Boston College
  • Brown University
  • Duke University
  • Fordham University
  • John Hopkins University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Indiana
  • University of Iowa
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin

Learn more about how Fairfield's Career Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

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