Affiliation: School of Social & Cultural Studies
Economics examines how societies manage the pervasive problem of relative scarcity that arises because society’s wants are unlimited while the resources required to satisfy them are not. The study of mediating scarcity perfectly suits students interested in the liberal arts and sciences tradition.
Positioned methodically between the sciences and the humanities, modern economic theory recognizes market forces, subject to influences from both social and political forces, as the primary resource allocation mechanism. Market forces, however, only determine who gets societal resources; they do not erase scarcity and some needs and wants will often remain unmet. Issues of equity, justice and fairness remain implicit in any allocation of resources and students must explore and appreciate the process and issues involved in resource allocation.
The economics curriculum empowers students with a self-sustaining capacity to think and learn. Students learn how to pose questions, collect information, and use proper frameworks to analyze that information and reach conclusions.
All students complete required courses in micro- and macroeconomics. Microeconomic analysis begins with the individual and builds up to a complete society. Its major theoretical tools include supply and demand, which determine the relative prices that provide incentives and signal producers about the goods and services society desires. Microeconomists also analyze employment patterns and income distribution among members of society. Macroeconomic analysis begins with society as a whole and studies how various aggregate variables such as employment, income, and prices, affect the growth and stability of an economy operating in a global context.
All economics majors will develop skills as researchers, speakers, and writers. By taking their required New Majors and Senior Capstone experiences, all majors will complete at least two courses involving research, oral presentations, and formal writing on topics of their choice. They will also further develop speech and research skills by examining and writing about current and existing research, and or conducting original research in various elective classes as they complete their major coursework.
The Bachelor of Arts degree requires intermediate proficiency in one foreign language and quantitative methods through elementary statistics. The Bachelor of Science requires more advanced quantitative study. Elective credits in economics in each program provide the student with the opportunity to develop more depth in a selected area.
Either program in economics, when combined with the proper electives and required support, provides excellent preparation for business, government service, law or professional school, or a graduate study program in economics. Students should consult with their advisor regularly to ensure that their course work is consistent with their plans after graduation.
An overall cumulative GPA of 2.25, a 2.25 GPA in major requirements, and a “C” or better in each major requirement is required to graduate with a degree in economics.
DEPARTMENTAL HONORS IN ECONOMICS
Departmental honorees are noted in the commencement program and the honor is recorded on their transcripts. Recipients for Departmental Honor must meet the following requirements:
- An overall Truman GPA of 3.65.
- A GPA in the major of 3.75.
- Leadership and pursuit of knowledge out of the classroom demonstrated by evidence in at least two of the following four categories: a) Presentation of research at an organized conference, such as Truman’s Student Research Conference, the TruScholars Research Symposium, a regional economics conference, or the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, etc. b) Publication of research in an acceptable refereed outlet, such as specialized undergraduate economics journals or the Proceedings of The National Conference on Undergraduate Research. c) A significant off-campus learning experience, such as an economics-focused study abroad or university sanctioned internship (generally an experience of at least one semester/12 credits). d) Demonstrated excellence in a university activity, such as forensics or athletics, or in a university or community organization or activity.
- Approval by the economics faculty.
A student who anticipates meeting these standards by the end of his or her final semester may apply with the understanding that honors designation is contingent upon attaining them. With their application for departmental honors, students must submit supporting evidence related to how they would satisfy at least two of the four areas under criteria 3. The deadlines for submitting the application and all required materials are as follows: Spring semester graduates: end of the tenth week of class; Summer semester graduates: end of the fourth week of class; Fall semester graduates: end of the tenth week of class.