In encouraging an appreciation of the way in which economists think about and approach issues, the study of economics at Whittier College is rewarding in itself and is an excellent background for a wide variety of careers that include law, business, and government. The program is designed to provide a rigorous course of study for those interested in pursuing graduate work in economics.
The Economics Department offers an ideal student-to-professor ratio and hands-on learning experiences. Many upper-division economics classes include experiments and simulations as well as collaborative learning exercises. Students in most upper-division courses are also responsible for significant research paper assignments. Additionally, economics majors are required to write a senior project.
Students have worked with faculty on research papers that have been submitted for publication in national collegiate economic journals and presented at conferences such as the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research (SCCUR), which is held at local colleges in the fall of each year.
The Department also offers opportunities for students to learn from current leaders in the field of economics through its sponsorship of the Kim Thomas Interdisciplinary Lecture Series. Recent speakers include Michael Chwe (UCLA), Kevin M. Murphy (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art), Elizabeth Hoffman (Iowa State University), and Barry Weingast (Stanford University).
Whittier College is distinctive among liberal arts colleges in offering an undergraduate degree in business administration, which creates several advantages for economics students. Majors and minors have the opportunity to take classes in business administration from faculty with extensive experience in applied areas. Also, because the Department of Business Administration requires its majors to take both introductory and upper-division economics courses, economics classes have a diverse population of students taking department courses on a regular basis.