Undergraduate Economics Major

You may explore and develop a thorough understanding of the inner workings of the nation and world economies. The economics faculty work closely with you as you form career goals and select courses to help achieve those goals. Each faculty member is actively engaged in professional research and will help you formulate and carry out independent study projects.

Economics analyzes how people satisfy their wide array of needs from the limited available resources. Economics shows how cost-benefit analysis and other concepts can help make decisions which increase satisfaction. At the corporate level, economics shows how firms maximize their profits by achieving greater efficiency in a variety of different markets. Economic tools are also employed to assess the practical implications of different government and corporate policies on the overall economy. Once you have been trained in basic economic principles, you can choose from a variety of electives to study economic issues of your choice.

Career Opportunities

Economics majors seeking employment immediately after graduation are being hired by private profit and nonprofit firms and by government agencies at all levels. The study of economics is also a good background for graduate work and a career in public administration since economic theory is useful as a tool in evaluating the economic dimension of such issues as consumer protection, education, energy conservation, environmental protection, health care, housing, land use, public utility regulation, and public finance. The U.S. Labor Department estimates that you have a better than average chance of finding a reasonably good starting job. Knowledge of statistical methods and the ability to write and speak clearly and concisely will improve your chances of finding a job.

Undergraduate education in economics is an excellent preparation for graduate work in economics, business administration, law, and public administration. A master's degree in economics or in business administration can lead to a career as a business economist in a wide range of businesses, including manufacturing, transportation, utilities, communications, banking and finance, insurance, retailing, and mining. A doctorate in economics provides preparation for a college teaching position or for more specialized positions in business firms or government agencies. Economists with doctorates have high job mobility, with opportunities in businesses, academic institutions, and government. The study of economics is a good background for a law degree since economic theory can be a useful tool in such legal areas as antitrust policy, compensation for negligence, commercial fraud, job security, medical malpractice, and product safety.

Required Courses

As an Economics major, you may earn either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. The B.A. degree requires demonstrated third semester proficiency in a foreign language. You must complete 30 hours of economics, including:

  • ECO 210 Introductory Macroeconomics
  • ECO 211 Introductory Microeconomics
  • ECO 312 Applied Microeconomics
  • ECO 313 Business Cycles and Growth
  • ECO 495 Senior Economic Project

All economics majors are required to take STA 215 Introductory Applied Statistics and STA 216 Intermediate Applied Statistics, as cognate requirements. In addition, for their third cognate course, students can take either PHI 103  Logic, MTH 122 College Algebra, MTH 125 Survey of Calculus, or MTH 201 Calculus I.

Economics minors are required to complete at least 21 hours in economics, including Economics 210 and 211.

Contact Information
Department Phone: (616) 331-7290
Department Web Site: http://www.gvsu.edu/econ
Email Paul Isely, Department Chair: iselyp@gvsu.edu


Page last modified February 22, 2013