Economics at Bucknell
Our primary mission in the Department of Economics at Bucknell is to cultivate patterns of inquiry that produce economic literacy, independent thinking, and a commitment to lifelong learning and a socially responsible life. With these goals in mind, we approach the study of Economics from multiple perspectives. Through our required and elective courses, students explore the basic tools of mainstream economic theory and political economy, as well as their historical and philosophical underpinnings.
In all of our classes, we emphasize the connection between economic theory and real world economies because all economic theories begin with observation of some real world economic phenomenon. The different theories inform ongoing debates about the role of government and the differences between economic systems, and the varied perspectives sharpen the analytical and critical thinking skills of our students.
Chief Benefits to a major in Economics at Bucknell:
- The chief benefit of an Economics major is to introduce students to this practice of analytical and critical thinking. Economics examines the important questions that are at the heart of many debates in our modern world, but teaches students to utilize theoretical models and factual information to craft responses to these questions.
- Employers tell us that they hire students who can bring a blend of analytical and critical thinking, effective writing, and quantitative skills to the workplace because they can understand the complexities of the global economy. Moreover, the NACE Job Outlook 2003 Survey found that students who have excellent critical and analytical skills along with strong verbal and written skills are most attractive to employers. Students graduating from Bucknell with an Economics major are provided the opportunity to understand the usefulness of economic models as well as the institutional characteristics of real world markets and economic organizations that models cannot capture.
- Economics is a useful background for a wide variety of occupations, including business, finance, policy, law, non-profits, teaching, and public service. Thus the major in Economics is a very versatile major.
- Economics teaches students to approach problems logically and systematically and to explain solutions to complex problems clearly, concisely, and coherently.
- Economics introduces students to a wide range of research skills, including library and internet research skills, descriptive and statistical analysis of data, simulations of economic policy, and historical/institutional research.
- Economics prepares students to think and write clearly, concisely, objectively, and effectively about many issues that may be emotionally and politically charged.
- Our approach, whereby students learn both the mainstream views and the heterodox views, of the economy, helps students to understand the complexity of the modern economy and to understand that ideology is inherent in all economic analyses.
Key Distinctions of the Economics major at Bucknell:
- Economics at Bucknell is the largest BA major in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- The versatility of the Economics major makes it feasible for students with broad interests to pursue a second major or a minor while completing the requirements for their Economics major. Moreover, we encourage students with these broad interests to choose a distinctive second major that matches their interests and utilizes their skills in interesting ways.
- The Bucknell Economics Department offers a wide array of courses to suit varied student interests. Many courses provide students with a thorough exposure to mainstream economic topics. Still other courses give students a broad understanding of the many issues studied by political economists. See our complete list of course offerings.
- There is a strong international component to our offerings as well. This includes three different courses on international trade, and courses on International Finance, Comparative Systems, Transition Economics, Canada, Economic Development, China and the Asian economies, Africa, Latin America, and Europe.