Department of Economics at Illinois State University Department of Economics at Illinois State University Department of Economics at Illinois State University

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Major in Economics?

Economics is a way of thinking that builds on two basic ideas; (1) there are always tradeoffs (we have to give something up to get something), and (2) when choosing from a set of alternatives, we want to choose the alternative that makes us as well off as possible. This general framework for decision making can be applied to a variety of problems people encounter in their personal and professional lives. The Economics major develops critical-thinking skills that will give you the added flexibility to compete in the ever-changing workplace.

The ability to communicate clearly and concisely with others is very important. Economics courses provide students with opportunities to develop their written and oral communication skills. In addition, many Economics courses enable students to develop their interpersonal skills, including the ability to work in a collaborative environment.

The faculty members in the Economics Department genuinely care about the welfare of their students. The Department's stated mission is to provide its students with the premier undergraduate education in Economics in the State of Illinois. To this end, faculty members are constantly exploring new classroom techniques designed to enhance student learning. In addition, all faculty members are actively engaged in research in their respective fields. As a result, course content is always at the cutting edge.

considering the economics major or minor?

What Kind of Job Can I Get With a Degree in Economics?

One of the main advantages of an Economics degree is the wide range of careers that are available compared with the opportunities associated with a more specialized degree. Economics majors find jobs in a wide range of settings, including private industry; federal, state and local government; international organizations; labor unions, and education. Over the past several years, graduates of the Economics program at ISU 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. For more information, please refer to the department's Career Resources page.

What Are the Graduation Requirements for an Economics Major?

The requirements for graduating from ISU with a degree in Economics provide students with a high degree of flexibility to accommodate their specific career objectives:

  • Depending on your catalog year and specific courses you use to satisfy certain requirements, you must complete between 31 and 33 hours for the major, including at least 27 hours of Economics courses.
  • The 31-33 hours of course work includes the following required courses: ECO 105, ECO 138, ECO 238, ECO 240, ECO 241, ECO 300, and MAT 121.
  • All Economics majors must complete at least one 300-level course in Economics. You must complete ECO 300 in conjunction with the 300-level elective to fulfill the Department's capstone requirement.
  • At least 15 of your senior hours in Economics must be completed at ISU.

Find more information about these requirements on the major requirements page.

What About a Second Major or a Minor in Economics?

For students who have already chosen a major other than Economics, a second major or a minor in Economics is worth considering. Economics is an excellent complement to majors in a variety of disciplines from business and social sciences to the fine arts. The critical-thinking skills that Economics helps you develop are applicable in any field. In addition, a second major or a minor is a way to distinguish yourself from your peers.

To minor in Economics you must complete 18 hours of economics courses, including ECO 105. In addition, MAT 121 or MAT 145 can be used to satisfy 4 of the 18 required hours. You can obtain additional information about an Economics minor by navigating the Minor in Economics section of the site.

Where Can I Go for More Information?

You can obtain additional information, including

  • Requirements for the Economics major and minor
  • Applying for admission to the major
  • Advisement, including student responsibilities and Advisor's responsibilities
  • Hypothetical plans of study and registration information
  • Information for transfer students
  • Overrides into Economics courses
  • Scholarships, awards, and honors in Economics
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE): Economics Honor Society
  • Undergraduate teaching assistants
  • Professional practice/internships

by viewing Major in Economics.

FAQs for Current Economics Majors and Minors

What's the Next Step After I Finish ECO 105?

After you finish ECO 105, we recommend that you take the required math (MAT 121 or MAT 145) and statistics (ECO 138) courses as soon as you can. In addition, it's a good idea to begin taking 200-level Economics electives. The specific courses you choose should be based on your career goals.

Why aren't all of my courses in my Plan of Study?

Do not worry if you check your degree progress in iCampus and some of your courses are not listed in the major or minor. Any courses you've taken must be manually added to your plan of study. When you complete and/or register for courses, the program director can add these courses if you provide some important information. Use the online PoS update form, and your plan will be updated as soon as possible.

Am I required to take ECO238?

All Economics majors from the catalog year 06-07 forward must take ECO238. Regression analysis is the foundation for applied economics throughout the world, and all quality Economics programs include this important course. In ECO238 you will gain valuable skills for whatever your future holds, whether your pursue a graduate degree in Economics, an MBA or law degree, a consulting position, government work, your own business, or any job using your Economics degree.

How does the senior project work?

Economics majors are required to complete the senior project, ECO300. This is a one-hour course tied to a 300-level elective. Most majors take ECO300 during their last sememster at ISU. Note: You must have completed both ECO240 and ECO241 with at least a C prior to doing your senior project. When you are ready to take ECO300, you must do the following:

  1. register for a 300-level elective
  2. complete the online override request form (for ECO300)
  3. when you have the override, register for ECO300

Does ECO____ count toward the minor?

All Economics electives (200-level and 300-level) count toward the Economics minor. We do not recommend that minors take ECO240 or ECO241 unless you are planning to switch to the Economics major. Most Economics minors complete requirements with 200-level Economics electives.

How do I meet with the Economics Advisor?

All advising appointments are by appointment only, and the appointment calendar is kept in the Economics department office. To schedule an advising appointment, visit STV 425 or call 438-8625.