Economics (College of Arts and Sciences)
Are graduate studies available for this program? No
Can you major in this program? Yes
Can you minor in this program? Yes
Emphasis within the major: development economics, poverty and microcredit, financial economics
Popular second majors: finance, political science
This major focuses on economics as a social science.
This fact sheet is also available as a PDF.
For the economics program offered by the School of Business Administration, please refer to the Economics (School of Business Administration) page.
The economics major focuses on economics as a social science. Students will gain an understanding of the behavior of individuals and social systems including national economies, civic organizations, markets, governments, voluntary agencies and families. A variety of questions are posed in the courses, including:
- Is microcredit an effective tool to reduce poverty in the world?
- What types of political regimes best promote economic development?
- Are resource-rich developing countries cursed?
- Are drug cartels economically sound?
- Can humans work towards a better economic basis for prosperity of self and others?
- What does it mean to think like an economist?
The department has a strong international flavor, with courses on Latin America, Russia, China and sub-Saharan Africa. It also encourages students to gain practical experience and to become involved in the local community.
A Distinctive Program
Our unique focus on social justice, poverty and inequality and cross-cultural examination of social systems allows us to make policy recommendations to help people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The expertise of our faculty has led us to create significant service-learning and social-justice programs such as the Center for Holistic Microcredit Initiatives and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance to Needy Families to empower local communities.
Academics and Research
Each student majoring in economics undertakes a senior research topic to culminate their studies. Students who are interested in graduate school typically complete their senior research toward co-publication with a professor in the department. Students may also elect to pursue a topic of interest through independent study with a professor.
Facilities and opportunities
The department funds an economics lab where students can receive help on problems they may have with their work. This lab is staffed by upper-level economics students. Any economics student can attend the lab free of charge and receive help studying for tests, homework problems or any problems they may have with economics. This service allows students to receive help at times convenient for them.
Preparation for graduate study
Students are prepared for graduate school by taking core mathematics courses as well as the econometrics and advanced statistics courses. Students who are interested in graduate school typically complete their senior research towards co-publication with a professor in the department.
Awards and Recognition
Benhua Yang, who has published in top economic journals, is considered one of the top researchers in the field of development economics and trade. Renjini Thaver is the recipient of the McEniry Award in Teaching. The department has received top honors for its work in the community through C.H.O.M.I. Faculty include:
- Ranjini L. Thaver, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame; sub-Saharan Africa, environment, microfinance, humane economics
- Richard H. Wood, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; international economics, Latin America, meeting basic needs in less-developed countries
- Benhua Yang, Ph.D., Texas Technical University; applied open economy macroeconomics, economic growth and development political economy and macroeconomics, international economic policy, applied econometrics, applied time series economics
One of the ways Stetson University fosters excellence in undergraduate programs is through the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience program. Each year undergraduate scholars are selected in a university-wide competition for grants to work with a faculty mentor on a summer research project.
Undergraduate awards and honors
Each year an award is made to an outstanding economics student. Students also have the opportunity to join Omicron Delta Epsilon, the economics honorary society.
Beyond the Classroom
A number of economics majors have had internships with Volusia County government and the City of DeLand.
Economics alumni have careers with various businesses and banks, and with government at the local, state and national levels. Graduates work at the Florida Department of Insurance, Oracle Software and GTE Communications Corp. Many have gone on to graduate studies in law, economics and business.
Our alumni have studied at Boston University, Florida State University, Stetson University College of Law, University of Chicago, University of Florida and Vanderbilt University Law School, among others. Two former students are now on the faculty at the university. Another is the branch manager of a finance company in DeLand, while another is a director and writer of film in India who has received international honors for her film "Land Gold Women." Another former student is now employed in Tanzania by the World Bank.