Economics is the social science concerned with how markets and economies function, how people and businesses make decisions, and the roles and impacts that policies and institutions have on economic conditions and well-being.
The mission of the Department of Economics is to provide an economic perspective and awareness about social issues, to create an appreciation of differing economic viewpoints, to equip students with the tools needed to approach questions logically and methodically, and to solve problems that relate to economic phenomena.
At Whittier College, the study of economics provides students with a challenging classroom environment and opportunities to work closely with accomplished faculty. The curriculum for the major, which includes core-theory courses, topical electives, and training in statistical analysis, endows students with the tools to work in a range of fields, including the law, government, higher education, research, and varied business-oriented professions. To accommodate these diverse career and graduate study options, students are given the choice of three concentrations of study leading to a degree: a general Economics concentration, International Economics, and Business Economics.
Economics classes are purposely kept accessible to other majors, and the major itself is closely linked to other departments – such as Business Administration, Environmental Science, Mathematics, and Political Science – through pairings and interdisciplinary courses, thus offering graduates a wide breadth of knowledge and preparation.
The Mission of the Whittier College Department of Economics is to provide an economic perspective and awareness about social issues, to create an appreciation of differing economic viewpoints, to equip students with the tools needed to approach questions logically and methodically, and to solve problems that relate to economic phenomena. The department achieves this mission by offering a range of theory-based and applied undergraduate courses that develop an understanding of the way in which economists address issues. The courses prepare students for a wide variety of careers in education, law, business, and government, and for graduate study in economics.
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 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 peer-reviewed 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 Colin Camerer (CalTech), Gary Cox (Stanford), Jean Ensminger (CalTech), Michael Chwe (UCLA), Kevin M. Murphy (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art), Elizabeth Hoffman (Iowa State University), and Barry Weingast (Stanford University).
Department of Economics
Wardman Hall, Second Floor