If you are interested in the forces that drive the economy, RIC’s B.A. in economics will fulfill that interest. Economics is a social science that studies the production, consumption and distribution of goods and services, with the aim of explaining how economies work as well as the people who drive economic activity. The role of economists includes forecasting growth such as GDP, interest rates, inflation and overall market conditions. They provide powerful guidance to governments and influence national policy. They also help investors understand the potential ramifications of national policy and events.
Economics is a highly quantitative field. Thus, in your course of study, you will learn to gather, organize and interpret data using mathematical formulas and statistics to make calculations. You will create models to predict the impact of investments, policy decisions, industry trends, demographics and much more. Upon completion of this program, you will find that there are many employment opportunities open to you. Our graduates go on to work in investment banks, consulting firms, research and policy institutions, universities, corporations, multinational enterprises and government.
To learn more about economics-related careers, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Upon completion of this program, students will demonstrate:
- An understanding of the core knowledge of the discipline.
- The ability, both independently and in groups, to find relevant economic data and use it appropriately, including statistical and other quantitative analysis.
- The ability to read, comprehend, synthesize and critically evaluate economic literature.
- The ability to write in a manner appropriate to the discipline and critically evaluate their own work and the work of others.
- The ability to communicate their knowledge in oral presentations.
- Those students who wish to attend graduate school will be prepared to do graduate-level work.
- Those students who seek employment will find their training in economics to be useful to them in their careers.
Writing in the Discipline
1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?
Economics is a highly quantitative field based on theory. Students graduating from our programs have to be able to think both quantitatively and qualitatively. They should then be able to communicate information to a variety of stakeholders (colleagues, management teams, interested public, etc.) in a way that effectively aids sense making and supports sound decision making. Writing is essential to this process. Without effective writing, students will not be able to distill theory and data into a crucial decision-making tool for the varied audiences for whom they will be writing.
2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses?
Our department has designated the following courses as Writing in the Discipline courses for the economics program:
ENGL 230 Workplace Writing
ECON 449: Introduction to Econometrics
ECON 462: Seminar in Economic Research
These courses build on the totality of the economics curriculum and allow students to engage in significant research and writing projects.
3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?
In WID courses, students practice such forms of writing as memos, business reports, research reports and term papers. These forms of writing align students’ skills with program goals and prepare them for the kinds of writing they are likely to encounter and produce after graduation.
4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?
Students receive ongoing feedback on their writing in all departmental WID courses. This direct engagement with faculty allows students to improve as writers. Cases drawn from various subfields of finance encourage students to think about the discipline in more depth. Blogs written on the most current financial market events nudge students with what’s going on in the markets and tie these to ongoing course discussions.
5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?
After completing their WID courses, economics majors should be able to produce reports, memos, presentations and similar business communication documents that combine theory and empirical data to make clear and sound arguments that will facilitate decision making by a range of stakeholders.
Minor in Economics
Declaring a minor allows you to explore other areas of interest and make interdisciplinary connections. Minor areas at RIC complement and reinforce all major areas of study. By declaring a minor, you can set yourself apart as a candidate for job, internship and volunteer opportunities.