Stevenson Hall

Economics - General Economics


Economics is the study of how to critically evaluate problems and make well-reasoned decisions. As such, the Economics major is particularly well suited to prepare students for the career challenges in the 21st century by helping them develop important skills, including the ability to apply a general framework of analysis for solving real-world problems, conduct mathematical and statistical analysis, work with data to address specific issues, and effectively communicate, in written and oral form, with others.

A student can earn either a B.S. or a B.A. degree in Economics. The major offers students the flexibility to select a set of courses that simultaneously satisfy the requirements of the major while focusing on a specific area such as business or pre-law. The curriculum is highlighted by a senior project required of Economics majors that gives each student an opportunity to work with an individual faculty member on a research project selected by the student.

The requirement of 33 hours allows the flexibility to consider a second major or minor as a way to expand your career possibilities and distinguish yourself from your peers. The list of majors students most frequently combine with Economics includes Business Administration, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Political Science.

Why Study Economics - General Economics?

The Economics major develops three skills: logical thought used in solving problems, observation and inference from data, and presenting ideas in compelling writing and speech. A degree in Economics provides students with the flexibility to adapt in a changing environment and take advantage of new opportunities. Majoring in Economics is excellent preparation for a variety of careers and occupations. Individuals who wish to be competitive in today's job market need to be ready and able to adapt as our economy evolves and grows.

Graduates of the Economics program have pursued a variety of careers, including entry-level business/management, sales, data processing, staff analysis and research, and teaching. An undergraduate degree in Economics is also excellent preparation for students who plan to pursue graduate-level studies in economics, business, and law.

Related Majors


Related Skills

  • Critical thinker
  • Good math and computer skills
  • Ability to prepare reports
  • Strong oral and communication skills
  • Flexible and adaptive to new ideas
  • Logical thinker
  • Ability to research and explain market phenomena
  • Ability to collect data
  • Ability to make sound predictions

Being Successful in the Field

  • Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, or internship experience to enhance career path. For example, complete a finance-related internship if interested in a career in banking.
  • Earn a graduate degree in economics, business, or other related fields for increased marketability.
  • Choose a career focus and structure curricular and extra-curricular activities to achieve goals.
  • Do informational interviewing with professionals to learn more about fields of interest.

Related Fields


  • Cost Analysis
  • Intelligence
  • Foreign Trade Analysis
  • Public Administration
  • Transportation Management
  • Urban Planning


Government departments involved in agriculture, business, finance, labor, transportation, urban economics, and international trade including: USDA, Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the United Nations, and the General Accounting Office


  • Become active in student government.
  • Complete an internship in a government agency.
  • Earn a graduate degree in economics, statistics, public administration,or related field for promotion and advancement.
  • Become familiar with government hiring practices.
  • Develop excellent computer, analytical, and quantitative skills.

Economic Market Research

  • Research Analysis
  • Consulting


  • Market research firms
  • Consumer goods manufacturing firms
  • Business firms
  • Consulting firms


  • Supplement curriculum with courses in business, political science, research design, survey design, statistics, and computer science.
  • Earn a graduate degree to obtain advanced research and consulting positions.
  • Obtain experience in business research.
  • Become a student member in related professional associations.
  • Get involved in student or community organizations to develop leadership skills.

Banking & Finance

  • Credit Lending
  • Operations
  • Systems
  • Trusts
  • Securities: Sales, Research


  • Commercial banks
  • Regional banks
  • Savings and loan associations
  • National and regional brokerage firms
  • Discount brokerage houses


  • Develop a solid background in business including finance, marketing, and accounting.
  • Gain experience through part-time, summer, or internship positions in financial service firms.
  • Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to work well with a diverse clientele.
  • Become the financial officer or treasurer of a campus organization.
  • Get involved with an investments club.
  • Earn an MBA for positions in investment banking.


  • Underwriting
  • Sales
  • Operations
  • Claims


Insurance firms


  • Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Earn a business minor.
  • Gain sales experience.
  • Participate in campus organizations.


  • Hospital Management
  • Healthcare Analysis


  • Private (LLC) corporations
  • US Department of Health
  • Hospitals
  • Health Maintenance Organizations


Earn a master's degree in public health or hospital administration. Gain experience in healthcare through internships.

Other Business Areas

  • Management
  • Buying and Purchasing
  • Human Resources
  • Hospitality
  • Sales


  • Department, grocery, drug, specialty, and variety store chains
  • Hotels, resorts, and tourism councils
  • Restaurants
  • Large corporations


  • Gain related business experience through internships or jobs.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and flexibility.
  • Secure leadership positions in campus organizations.
  • Earn a business minor. Obtain sales experience.



  • Colleges and universities
  • Secondary public and private schools


  • Earn a Ph.D to teach in post-secondary institutions.
  • Gain research experienceby assisting a professor.
  • Obtain certification for public school positions.
  • Get experience working with young people.
  • Develop strong public speaking skills.

Other Professions

  • Bank Officer
  • Bookkeeper
  • Budget Coordinator
  • Business Forecaster
  • Business Manager
  • Buyer
  • City Manager
  • Consultant
  • Cost Analyst
  • Credit and Loan worker
  • Demographer
  • Economist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Estate Planner
  • Insurance Sales
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Litigation Analyst
  • Loan Officer
  • Market Researcher
  • Politician
  • Public Utilities Manager
  • Research Analyst
  • Retail Sales Manager
  • Securities Analyst
  • Statistician
  • Trust Officer

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Maureen Roach  110 Student Services Building  (309) 438-5823 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Susan Chen  Stevenson Hall 426E  (309) 438-3616 

New Freshmen

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing periodfor freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

New Transfer

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA


Middle 50% GPA

2.37 - 2.99

Required Courses

Completion of finite math (MAT 120) with grade of B or better

Recommended Courses

Principles of Economics - ECO 105

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Christopher Mushrush  Stevenson Hall 426D  (309) 438-3935 

Illinois State Students

Middle 50% GPA

2.37 - 2.99

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

September 1 - September 30, February 1 - February 28

Major Requirements

2.50 average GPA in courses in the Economics major

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Christopher Mushrush  Stevenson Hall 426D  (309) 438-3935