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Undergraduate Program

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Welcome to ILLINOIS Fall 2017 New Students!

We are excited to welcome you to our Economics family! Find more information in your welcome email and on the Admissions Website: http://admissions.illinois.edu/apply/admitted. All Admitted Student and Perspective Student appointments must be made through Admissions~ make sure to schedule your summer registration appointment as soon as possible so we are able to help you register for classes: http://admissions.illinois.edu/Apply/Admitted/summer-registration. Visit our New Student Page for more information.

See our Undergraduate Student Opportunities page to find some of the opportunities you may experience within the economics major, and visit our Econ Ambassadors Page to read about some current economics students (we encourage you to contact them).

The Economics @ ILLINOIS Experience

Experience Here in the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign we create an experience for our students! We want to ensure that you are working towards your degree, but also getting involved and building the skills you need for your future. We offer many activities and opportunities to build upon your foundation of academic training, creating well-rounded students who are prepared for post-college life. Special events, networking opportunities, workshops, student organizations, and other activities promote students’ personal growth. View our Brochure

The placement of Economics within the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences means that our majors receive a comprehensive broad education that prepares them for a wide variety of post-college paths. We are around 1,300 majors strong, and our student population is global. Our alumnae and alumni are found at for-profit and non-profit firms, at all levels of government in the U.S. and around the world, and in graduate programs, Universities, and other research and educational institutions.

What can you do with a UIUC Economics Degree?

Here are just a few of the programs for students:

In addition, the Economics Undergraduate Studies Office and the University provide a host of opportunities for personal, scholarly, and career development through workshops, conferences, study abroad, internships, career fairs, and other events that strengthen the on-campus experience. There are many student organizations and clubs of interest to Economics majors. Events to bring undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni together are held throughout the year, offering excellent learning and networking opportunities. The Undergraduate Studies Office in the Department of Economics works closely with The Career Center, Study Abroad, Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, International Student and Scholar Services, Office of Volunteer Programs, The Leadership Center, and many other departments and offices throughout campus to provide timely information and resources to our students.

What is Economics?

Economics is concerned with the creation, consumption, and transfer of wealth. The study of economics encompasses the major areas of microeconomics, which studies of how people and firms produce and consume goods and services, and macroeconomics, which studies mass economic progress and inter-country trade. Economic methods can be used to study all kinds of issues, from land and other natural resource use, to how much people should work, to how to develop human capital through education. Economics can provide insights in areas as diverse as how workers should be rewarded, how government should conduct fiscal and monetary policy, and how health care markets work.

The basic theoretical and statistical tools of economics are applied to virtually every field of human endeavor. Major fields of study within economics include Behavioral Economics, Development, Econometrics, Economic History, Financial Economics, Industrial Organization, International Economics, Labor Economics, Macroeconomics, Mathematical Economics, Political Economics, Public Economics, Economic Theory, and Urban Economics.

About Economics Courses

Students choose from many courses to build their major. Beyond the introductory and intermediate courses in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Statistics and Econometrics, topics courses offer specialized studies in a wide range of fields.

Microeconomics is concerned with understanding how individual persons and firms make choices. From a basic grounding in microeconomic theory, one can describe and predict the responses of consumers and firms to economic conditions and extrapolate from these individual choices to understand aggregate supply, demand, and price determination.
Macroeconomics takes a higher-level perspective on the economy, focusing on national production, national income, and the overall level of employment of productive resources such as labor and capital. Benefits of this perspective are better understanding of country growth, monetary policy, and international trade.

Economics has developed specific techniques for analyzing economic relationships using real-world data. Econometrics, grounded in classical statistics, provides tools for estimating all aspects of economic phenomena, including labor supply, supply and demand, and business cycles. Econometrics is used to test hypotheses about the world that are developed from economic theory. Econometric estimates can be used to forecast future conditions, aiding individuals, businesses, and governments in making decisions.

The department offers varied topics courses each semester. Recent examples:

  • Applied Econometrics
  • Auction Theory
  • Development Economics
  • Economic Analysis of Env. Policy
  • Economics of the Household
  • Economics of Innovation and Tech.
  • Economics of Labor Markets
  • Economics of Risk and Insurance
  • Environmental Economics
  • The European Economies
  • Game Theory
  • Gov’t Regulation of Economic Activity
  • Health Economics
  • Industrial Competition and Monopoly
  • International Economics
  • The Latin American Economies
  • Law and Economics
  • Mathematical Economics
  • Public Sector Economics
  • Topics in Economic Growth
  • Topics in International Finance
  • Urban Economics
  • Women in the Economy

See the Course Explorer for more information

Double Majors, Dual Degrees, and Minors

Virtually any major or minor compliments the economics degree. Popular choices for double majors (within LAS) include Math, Statistics, Actuarial Science, Political Science, Sociology, Communications, Psychology, History, and Global Studies. Dual Degrees consist of majors in different colleges, such as Business and Engineering, and require additional hours. Minors are a great way to add a concentration in an interest area and offered in many areas.

Careers

Because students gain a variety of analytical skills through the Economics major, career opportunities are broad. Sectors where our graduates work include for-profit and non-profit business organizations, all levels of government, and education. Examples of some of the industries our graduates have gone on to include banking and finance, marketing, insurance, and consulting. Visit the Econ Career Center Page for Information

Graduate Programs

Our majors have entered graduate programs in everything from law to medicine. Historically, the most popular programs are in Business, Accounting, Finance, Public Policy, and Law. Some pursue a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in Economics. The student may wish to gain post-college work experience first, depending on the program. The economics major prepares students to do well in a wide variety of graduate programs in which analytical thinking is stressed. Find information about Graduate School (scroll to the bottom under 'Resources').

Honors and Distinction

Eligible students have the opportunity to be a part of many honors programs, including James Scholars, Campus Honors, and the Economics honor society Omicron Delta Epsilon. Students receiving high major and overall GPAs and who have completed an independent study (ECON 399) under the supervision of a recommending faculty member may graduate with Economics Departmental Distinction. The Department, College and University have several scholarships that are awarded for undergraduate students.

Events

Throughout each semester we have many events such as tailgates, social events, networking events, panels, seminars, and many more. If you have an idea for an event you believe would be great for the department to host, please let us know by sending an email (econug@illinois.edu)! We look forward to planning new events to bring our students together and experience things on- and off-campus. View Our Upcoming Events