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Why study economics?

Economics is the scientific study of how society allocates its scarce resources. The many choices individuals and firms make influence resource allocation. So economics is about people and their decisions — how they work, what they buy, and how they organize themselves to produce and determine the prices of goods and services.

Economics also is about how forces, such as overall changes in income, employment and prices, affect society.

Like other disciplines, economics can be studied at different levels. At the microeconomic level, we study the behavior of individuals and firms, and how they interact in markets for goods and services.

In macroeconomics, we study the sum of these activities at the economy-wide level. Macroeconomic topics include, among others, the effects of international trade policy on a nation’s imports and exports, and the consequences of borrowing by a national government.

Why study economics at Sweet Briar?

Economics students at Sweet Briar College learn the foundational theoretical concepts important for critical thinking. What you learn is applicable across a wide variety of careers and prepares you for advanced graduate education in economics, business, finance or public policy. With a solid understanding of economic concepts and methods, you will be well positioned for career leadership roles.

Faculty work closely with students to ensure their academic preparation aligns with career goals. Students have the opportunity to present original research at professional meetings and intern at government agencies, businesses, nonprofit institutions and many other organizations.

The B.A. in economics features a rigorous, modern curriculum within the framework of the liberal arts. The economics program requires two levels of microeconomics and macroeconomics, and coursework in calculus and statistics. With numerous electives offered within the major and throughout the College — along with independent study and research — students can tailor the program to suit specific interests and goals.

What can you do with an economics major?

Our economics majors will be grounded in the core of economic theory. Given that most careers for economics majors do not have “economist” in the title, graduates have the flexibility to work in technology companies, multinational and small businesses alike, public policy, banking, law, healthcare, government, urban planning and economic development.