Economics is the analysis of human behavior regarding how we make decisions about the allocation of scarce resources. As such, it provides insight into a wide range of social problems and issues, including unemployment, inflation, poverty, discrimination, international trade, the environment and the role of government in society. It combines the analytical traditions of the sciences with the complexity of the individual and group dynamics that shape our global society.
The department offers two rigorous, contemporary curricula in economics within the framework of the liberal arts: a BA in Economics and, jointly with the Department of Mathematics, a BA in Mathematical Economics. Whereas the majors are academically challenging, the benefits are numerous. For example, seniors such as Kelly Winer '13, pictured here at the Southern Economic Association conference, are afforded the opportunity to present their original research at professional meetings. There are also numerous internship opportunities available for students, and a strong demand for their skills in the market after graduation.
The faculty within the department work closely with the students to ensure their academic preparation coincides with their career plans. The Economics program requires two levels of micro- and macroeconomics, and coursework in calculus and statistics. Numerous elective courses are offered both within the major and throughout the College, which along with independent studies and research, are used to tailor the program to each student's individual interests. The Mathematical Economics program combines the same core curriculum with more extensive studies in mathematics and statistics for students who wish to delve more deeply into the theoretical underpinnings of the discipline. This is one of the unique characteristics of the economics programs at Sweet Briar College. Upon graduation, a student in either of our majors will have received a strong education in the core of economic theory, while having had the flexibility to prepare for her particular life goals.