Student Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Each degree program in economics contains a core group of theory courses, a series of quantitative skills courses, and field specialization courses that involve the applications of economic theory and quantitative analysis to major areas of study within the discipline. It is our goal to help our students achieve a certain set of learning outcomes.

Below is a list of our learning outcomes and how we help our students reach them. Full text

Intellectual Growth

Develop the ability to explain core economic terms, concepts, and theories.

    • Explain the function of the market and prices as allocative mechanisms.
    • Apply the concept of equilibrium to both microeconomics and macroeconomics.
    • Identify key macroeconomic indicators and measures of economic change, growth, and development.
    • Identify and discuss the key concepts underlying comparative advantage.
    • Identify and explain major types of market failures.

Demonstrate the ability to employ the “economic way of thinking.”

    • Discuss the application of marginal analysis.
    • Explain the use of benefit/cost analysis.
    • Explain the contribution of economics to the analysis of non-market social issues.

Demonstrate awareness of global, historical, and institutional forces.

    • Assess the role of domestic and international institutions and norms in shaping economies.

Apply economic theories and concepts to contemporary social issues, as well as formulation and analysis of policy.

    • Describe how economic trade-offs and social values impact public/private social policy, and the success or failure of policies to achieve intended outcomes.

Recognize the role of ethical values in economic decisions.

    • Distinguish between normative and positive economics.
    • Identify the limits of economic analysis.
    • Compare and contrast efficiency and equity.

Skill Areas

Apply both oral and written communication skills within the discipline.

    • Present economic arguments in non-quantitative form.
    • Synthesize the arguments found in both academic and popular economic media.
    • Discuss economic concepts in an articulate manner in a classroom.

Demonstrate quantitative reasoning skills.

    • Present an economic argument in quantitative terms.
    • Demonstrate ability to solve systems of equations.
    • Be able to conduct economic analysis using equations and graphs.

Demonstrate the ability to collect, process, and interpret data, including statistical inference.

    • Recognize how to use the scientific method in economics.
    • Formulate empirically testable hypotheses.
    • Construct a data set of economic variables.
    • Calculate, present, and discuss descriptive statistics.
    • Conduct a regression analysis.
    • Critically assess the statistical analysis of other researchers.

Demonstrate computer proficiency in economics.

    • Access, download, and use electronic databases.
    • Use standard software packages.

Be able to use critical thinking skills within the discipline of economics about economic matters.

    • Present viewpoints and alternative hypotheses on economic issues.
    • Recognize underlying assumptions in economic models.
    • Demonstrate ability to use the economic tools of analysis.

Professional Development

Develop an awareness of career choices for undergraduate economic majors and the options for graduate study.

    • Set up and keep current a database concerning career opportunities for undergraduate majors and undergraduate options in economics.
    • Encourage majors and option students to consult department advisors concerning career goals, and develop study programs consistent with those career goals.
    • Set up and keep a current database on the employment and graduate study experience of alumni.

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