Economics is often described as the social science that studies how societies and individuals allocate scarce resources to satisfy competing and unlimited wants. From another perspective, economics deals with the individual’s relationship to the material base and the distribution of resources among social classes. More broadly, economics studies the social provisioning process. By developing a diverse set of analytical tools, economists provide insight into how societies are organized to enable people to provide for their material needs and wants. Stockton's Economics Program provides a broad understanding of a variety of economic theories and approaches, so that students can develop their own perspectives on controversial economic issues.
The study of economics thus allows students to develop a framework for analyzing and answering broad questions related to important public policy issues. How do unemployment and inflation affect the economy? Why do the ups and downs of the stock market matter? Should the Federal Reserve focus more on maintaining low inflation or promoting economic growth? What role should the government play in a market-based economy? Why have wage and income inequality increased in the United States? How will the retirement of millions of baby-boomers impact social security? What policies would help curb U.S. dependency on foreign oil? Is outsourcing a major problem for the U.S. economy? Why do many inner cities continue to experience high rates of poverty and unemployment? How should public health insurance and education policies be designed?
Stockton’s economics program is practical, rigorous and flexible. In addition to learning basic economics theories and how modern market-based economies work, students develop a portable set of analytical thinking and writing skills, making a major in economics the pathway to a diverse array of careers in business, banking and finance, government, law, journalism, public policy and academics. The recent employment opportunities for economists with undergraduate degrees have been better than for many other majors.
The program requires 10 courses in Economics - seven in the core curriculum and three electives. Transfer students should note that at least five Economics courses must be taken at Stockton, including senior seminar (ECON 4695). The components of the core curriculum include the following:
- ECON 1200 Introduction to Macroeconomics*
- ECON 1400 Introduction to Microeconomics
*Note that ECON 1200 is a prerequisite course for ECON 1400.
- Two of the following three* courses:
- ECON 3601 Intermediate Micro Theory
- ECON 3602 Intermediate Macro Theory
- ECON 3636 Political Economy
*For those planning to continue with graduate courses, taking all three is recommended.
Economic Methods Core:
- ECON 3605 History of Economic Thought
- ECON 3610 Introduction to Econometrics
- ECON 4695 Senior Seminar
Economics Program Electives:
The remaining three elective program courses can be drawn from other Economics program course offerings (except ECON 1120) or other independent study options in consultation with a student's preceptor. At least two courses (8 credits) should be 3000 level courses.
The study of economics is interdisciplinary; economics courses are well supplemented by courses from such fields as political science, sociology, anthropology, mathematics, history, philosophy and business studies. Economics program preceptors assist all economics majors in selecting courses from these fields to broaden the student’s understanding of the social and political implications of economics.
MINOR IN ECONOMICS
Students may obtain a minor in economics if they successfully complete at least 20 credits in Economics with passing grades, including ECON 1200 and ECON 1400. At least two of the other courses (a) must be at the 3000-level or higher and (b) may not be transferred from another institution.
GLOBAL ECONOMICS CONCENTRATION
Offerings in the Global Economics concentration provide educational opportunities for individuals interested in careers in global network agencies, institutions and corporations. Various agencies of the United Nations, international non-profit research institutions, government agencies and multinational corporations provide employment opportunities for students. With the growing interdependence of nations, there are promising career opportunities for graduates in New York, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Course work within the concentration will make students aware of major international issues and international economic problems and demonstrate how domestic policy must go beyond the parochial or national levels to assure real progress.
In addition to the seven core courses, students selecting the Global Concentration must include two of the following three courses:
ECON 3655 International Trade
ECON 3670 International Economic Development
ECON 3675 International Money and Finance
GRADUATE SCHOOL PREPARATION
Students planning on attending graduate school in economics should complete all three courses in the intermediate theory core. They should also strongly consider a minor in Mathematics, or at minimum two semesters of Calculus. These MATH courses can be counted as Cognates toward the Economics major. Some economics graduate programs are open to applicants with less mathematical preparation; students wanting advice on the best programs for their skills and interests should consult with their preceptor.
An economics major is also excellent preparation for those who intend to pursue graduate study in business administration, public administration, urban planning or any of the social sciences. It is also useful for the study of law. Students intending to apply to law school should select appropriate Political Science courses as their Cognates.
ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAM
The program is open to all students. However, satisfactory progress in program courses is necessary for continuation as an economics major. Each student majoring in economics is assigned a program preceptor for regular consultation about course selection and general academic progress. Those interested in economics are urged to seek program guidance as early as possible.
An important goal of the Economics program at Stockton is to provide students with a recognized level of competence in the discipline. This implies an ability to establish hypotheses, in particular those concerning the economic system, and to test them in a rational and consistent manner. In addition to meeting the College’s General Studies requirements, every student is expected to complete satisfactorily 64 program and cognate credits. Besides the seven core courses (See Program Organization, above), all students must complete at least 12 other credits in economics. Of these, at least 8 credits must be from upper-level courses, i.e., courses currently designated at the 3000 level. Of these electives, one or more can be non-class instruction, including independent studies, research opportunities, internships, or other individualized instruction. All majors must have a C average for Economics courses.
The remaining 24 credits may be selected from additional courses in Economics or other related disciplines as appropriate to the student’s goals. (See section above on Cognates.) However, every Economics major is encouraged to consult with his/her preceptor before course selection.
GRADUATION WITH DISTINCTION
A bachelor of arts degree with distinction in economics will be awarded to those students who achieve 70% A or A- grades in program and cognate course work completed at Richard Stockton College and maintain at least a B+ average in economics courses. Only Stockton courses will be reviewed for this distinction. The award will be conferred by the economics faculty on those students whose senior thesis or project is judged to be academically excellent.
The thought processes encouraged by the study of economics have wide application outside the discipline itself. A background in economics is useful for someone who plans a career in business, financial services, government or the non-profit sector, as well as someone who wishes to teach social studies in secondary schools. It is also excellent preparation for graduate study in a variety of fields, including economics. In fact, a graduate degree in economics may make available more options than any other single discipline because the skills developed are demanded by business, federal, state and local governments, and by colleges and universities for teaching and research.