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Economics is the scientific study of how the choices of individuals and firms influence the allocation of scarce resources. Thus, 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.

Students will study the behavior of individuals and firms and how they interact in markets for goods and services. In macroeconomics, students study the sum of these activities at the economy-wide level. Students will be exposed to quantitative applications and electives in specific fields of study. Students have the option to concentrate on a particular field, such as international economics, environmental economics or labor economics. In addition, students can combine their training in economics with majors or minors in other disciplines, most notably international affairs, government, languages and mathematics.

What is distinctive about studying economics at Sweet Briar?

  • Professors and the career services office collaborate to place economics students in internships and jobs or engage in off-campus study opportunities.
  • Each year, students in the economics program visit places like the Federal Reserve Bank to gain a more concrete understanding of our macroeconomy and the role economists play in fiscal policy.
  • Students can develop personalized programs of study, tailored to interests within the discipline or across disciplines. Study opportunities expose students to both economics and complementary disciplines such as political science and business.
  • Faculty members offer coursework on special topics and facilitate interactive discussion on current issues.
  • Seniors conduct independent research for a capstone project on a topic in economics.
  • Sweet Briar offers students a strong mathematical foundation that is needed for advanced graduate work in economics.

What can you do with a degree in economics?

  • You can go on to graduate school and earn an MBA, J.D. or Ph.D.
  • Our alumnae lead successful careers in finance and banking, politics, law, health and environmental policy, and academia.
  • Entrepreneurial graduates have founded their own successful businesses or work in senior positions developing business strategy.