Economics and Decision Sciences


Program Details

The Department of Economics and Decision Sciences offers two undergraduate degrees in Economics: (1) the Bachelor of Business (BB) in Economics and (2) the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics. Your specific career interests will determine which degree program is best for you. The potential financial rewards and diverse career opportunities provided by either degree in Economics are among the greatest offered by any program.

Bachelor of Business or Bachelor of Arts

The BB in Economics is a comprehensive major in that it supplements the Economics requirements with additional College of Business and Technology courses. This includes classes in Accounting, Management, Marketing, and Finance. Additionally, BB students must complete more technical courses such as Applied Calculus, Business Communications, and Forecasting as part of their Business requirements. Given these additional classes, students in the BB program are not required to declare a minor. The BB is well-suited for students interested in pursuing a degree in banking, financial institutions, or as a business analyst.

The BA is more focused on developing the general critical thinking skills highly valued by the job marketplace. Since the BA focuses more on general economic problem solving, students are not required to take the business and technical courses such as Calculus or Forecasting. However, since the BA does not require these additional courses, students must select an appropriate minor. Students majoring in Economics can minor in Decision Sciences, Political Science, Finance, or other suitable areas. Although the BA is well-suited for any career path, it is generally recommended for students interested in government or law.

The Economics and Decision Sciences department has an innovative approach to career development. A series of “emphases” have been created to assist Economics majors in preparing for a particular career of interest. Students will select two emphases to help prepare them for their future career paths. Possible emphases include Monetary Economics, Public Policy, Quantitative Economics, International Economics, Business Economics, and Pre-Law. For instance, . . .

  • If you’re interested in working in a bank or other financial institution, you will be encouraged to study money and banking, money and capital markets, economic forecasting, and managerial economics.
  • If you decide to pursue a career as a business analyst in retail manufacturing or services, you should study managerial economics, forecasting, micro/ macroeconomics, labor economics, and international economics.
  • If you desire a career in government or law, you will study economic theory, public finance, urban economic development, taxation, and monetary policy.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Master's Degree Option

You may choose to integrate either the Bachelor of Arts in Economics or the Bachelor of Business in Economics degree with the Master of Arts in Economics and finish both degrees in only five years. With careful planning, and by taking summer classes, you may be able to finish both degrees in even less time than this. Since 9 semester hours (sh) of “bridge” courses count towards both degrees, you will also save on tuition. The WIU Cost Guarantee, which covers tuition, fees, room, and board, also applies to all five years of the integrated program. Graduate tuition will be higher than undergraduate tuition, but it will be at the same level it was your first semester as an undergraduate. The reduction in the time required for completing the two degrees also means that you will save on living expenses, and you will be able to start earning a higher income sooner.

View detailed integrated degree requirements for economics.

Student Activities

The Economics Student Association (ESA) is a student-run organization committed to the promotion of economic thought and professional development of its members. It takes a professional trip at least once every semester. Typically, they travel to Chicago or St. Louis. The sites visited have included the Federal Reserve District Banks (Chicago and St. Louis), World Trade Center Chicago, Chicago Board of Trade, World Trade Center St. Louis, Edward Jones Headquarters, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Internal Revenue Service Fraud Division, and Lexecon.

As a member of ESA, you will have the opportunity to help organize Economics Day, which provides all students with an opportunity to meet and interact with our alumni. You will have an opportunity to participate in our Career Development Program as well. This program is designed to prepare you for both a career and for the job search.

Economics majors also have the opportunity to compete in the College Fed Challenge. This is a national competition between College and University teams sponsored by the Federal Reserve System, the organization which manages the money supply in the United States. Each team presents an analysis of the current state of the U.S. economy, develops a short-term forecast, and makes a monetary policy recommendation. They are then questioned and evaluated by a team of economists from the Federal Reserve.

Economics majors are also strongly encouraged to participate in student organizations related to other disciplines, service organizations, and other College- and University-level organizations.

Additional Resources

No matter what your career interests, you will be encouraged to earn academic credit through internships and study abroad programs. Internships are a “capstone” experience that will enhance your attractiveness to employers. Employers also value an appreciation of the global nature of the world which you can acquire through one of the many study abroad programs offered at Western.

A unique career development program will assist you in identifying and acquiring those skills employment experts identify as necessary for success. The program provides guidance in selecting courses and activities that will strengthen these skills.

Alumni Job Titles

Within 5 Years of Graduation
  • Business Account Executive
  • Business Operations Manager
  • Lawyer
  • Mortgage Broker
  • Pricing/Contract Specialist
  • Pricing Controller
5+ Years Past Graduation
  • Competitive Intelligence Analyst
  • Economic Analyst
  • Financial Economist
  • Investment Advisor
  • Product Marketing Manager
  • Senior Economist

A degree in Economics is very marketable and offers challenging opportunities, career flexibility, and financial rewards. Virtually no other academic major offers the diversity and flexibility in employment opportunities you can find with an Economics major. Salaries for Economics majors are among the highest for any major. As preparation for law school, Economics is one of the best majors you can choose. Majors are employed in financial institutions, many types of corporations, consulting firms, economic development organizations, and government.

Employers of Alumni

  • Aon Hewitt
  • BP (British Petroleum)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Caterpillar Logistics Services
  • GEA Farm Technologies
  • John Deere
  • Menards
  • Pinnacle Government Consulting, Inc.
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

Course Descriptions


303 Applied Business Forecasting and Regression Analysis. (3) A survey of the basic methods and techniques that are available for business forecasting including moving average and exponential smoothing techniques; classical decomposition; and simple, multiple, and time series regression techniques. Prerequisite: STAT 171.

423 Management Science Techniques and Business Analytics. (3) An introduction to management science/ operations research techniques. Students are introduced to theory and applications of linear, integer, goal, and dynamic programming models; transportation, assignment, network and inventory models; PERT/CPM, capital budgeting, and decision theory. Prerequisite: STAT 171 or equivalent.

435 Applied Data Mining for Business Decision- Making. (3) This course provides an introduction to data mining methods for business applications. Students will learn the basics of data selection, preparation, statistical modeling, and analysis aimed at the identification of knowledge fulfilling organizational objectives. Prerequisite: STAT 171 or consent of instructor.

460 Independent Study in Decision Sciences. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Independent research on topics in Decision Sciences mutually selected by student and instructor. Prerequisites: DS 303 and senior standing, with written consent of department chairperson.

490 Statistical Software for Data Management and Decision Making. (3, repeatable to 6 for different titles) This course provides students with the basic concepts of statistical computing. Students will gain experience with statistical software packages, such as SAS, R, or SPSS, and their applications. Methods of data preparation and validation, analysis, and reporting will be covered. Prerequisites: STAT 171 or equivalent, or PSY 223, or SOC 324, or POLS 284, or consent of department chairperson.


100 Introduction to Economics. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) Introduction to Economics with emphasis on application to contemporary social issues. Core concepts include price theories, money and banking, national income accounts, economic fluctuations and growth, and international economics, with special applications in criminal activity, health care, and environmental quality. Not open to students who have already completed both ECON 231 and 232. IAI: S3 900.

170 The Global Economic Environment. (3) An introduction to exchange rates, balance of payments, trade barriers, trade agreements and economic unions, relevant international institutions, ethical considerations in international dealings, and related topics. Impacts on U.S. consumers and firms will be emphasized.

197 Skill Development. (0) All undergraduate majors must begin their skill development program and portfolio during their first semester as a major. Prerequisite: first semester B.A. or B.B. Economics major. Graded S/U only.

231 Principles of Macroeconomics. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) An introduction to aggregate economics—monetary and banking institutions, national income theory, business cycles, government finance and taxation, and the international trade. IAI: S3 901.

232 Principles of Microeconomics. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) This course focuses on industrial and labor organizations, supply and demand, profit maximization under varying conditions of competition, and factor pricing. IAI: S3 902.

310 Economics and Law. (3) An introduction into the economic analysis of the basic areas of law including property, contracts, torts, criminal law, and civil law. The purpose of the course is to examine legal rules using economic concepts and methods. Prerequisite: one of the following courses—ECON 100, 231, 232; or consent of instructor.

315 Economics of Sport. (3) The application of economic tools and concepts to the business of sport. Emphasis on economic incentives as they apply to professional sports teams and leagues as well as public policy issues impacting professionals and college athletics. Prerequisite: ECON 100 or 231 or 232.

325 Money, Banking and Credit. (3) An introduction to the monetary aspects of society, with stress on the role of commercial banks and the Federal Reserve System in our economy. Prerequisite: ECON 231.

330 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. (3) Theory of producer and consumer choice; theory of prices and output determination under varying degrees of competition; theory of factor pricing and income distribution. Prerequisite: ECON 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

331 Intermediate Macroeconomics. (3) An analysis of the determinants of inflation rates, unemployment, interest rates, and international trade. Theories of cycles of recession and recovery and policies to achieve the society’s goals are examined with particular emphasis on stabilizing the economy. Prerequisite: ECON 231; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

332 Managerial Economics. (3) Economic theory and analysis designed for business administration students. Economics majors interested in careers in business are encouraged to take this course. Prerequisites: ECON 231 and 232.

350 Economics of Poverty and Discrimination. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) Application of economic tools and concepts to the nature and causes of poverty with an emphasis on discrimination. Analyzes both economic characteristics of the poor and the public policies intended to alleviate poverty and discrimination. Writing Instruction in the Discipline WID course. Prerequisites: ECON 100 or 231 or 232; ENG 180 and 280.

351 Global Economic Poverty Issues. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) (Global Issues) Economic principles will be utilized to define, examine, and analyze the scope and breadth of underlying poverty-related policy issues in both developing and developed countries. BGS online writing course. Prerequisites: junior standing or 3 s.h. of ECON credit.

381 Economic Problem Solving. (3) An overview of problem-solving methods utilized in many upperdivision Economics courses. Students review the techniques and general approaches to solving both microeconomic and macroeconomic problems. Prerequisites: ECON 231 and 232; any MATH course which satisfies the University General Education requirement.

390 Introduction to Health Economics. (3) Application of basic Economics to the health care industry. Issues surrounding the economic relationships among providers, insurers, and consumers of health care are examined in terms of market structure, economic motives, financial costs, and social costs and benefits. Prerequisite: ECON 100 or 231 or 232.

408 Economics for Decision-Makers. (3) This course develops the macro- and microeconomic concepts most useful to decision-makers. Topics covered include measures of aggregate economic activity, unemployment, inflation, business cycles, monetary policy, fiscal policy, international trade, market demand and supply, and alternate market structures. (Not open to students who have taken ECON 231 or 232. Cannot be used to meet the requirements for the B.A. or B.B. in Economics, a minor in Economics, or to meet the requirements in any B.B. degree. This course is designed for the Pre-MBA minor.) Prerequisite: junior standing and STAT 171 with a C or better.

410 Economics of Crime and Punishment. (3) Uses economic principles and statistical methods to analyze trends in crime, the economic approach to modeling crime, the economic impacts from criminal behavior, as well as to evaluate various policies in criminal justice. Prerequisite: 3 s.h. of ECON credit; DS 303 or LEJA 303, or consent of instructor.

420 Economic Development. (3) A study of less developed countries; problems such as population growth, urbanization, agricultural transformation, unemployment, education and training, and capital formation are addressed. Solutions to these problems are examined and evaluated based on feasibility and practicality. A multi-disciplinary approach is used. Prerequisite: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

425 Money Markets, Capital Markets, and Monetary Theory. (3) An institutional and theoretical study of money and capital markets in conjunction with monetary policy. Prerequisite: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

428 (Formerly ECON 328) American Economic History. (3) A study of the development of various economic institutions in the United States with special emphasis on the changing structure and performance of the economy from the colonial period to the present. Prerequisites: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

430 (Cross-listed with AGEC 430) Environmental Economics. (3) This interdisciplinary course examines economic issues involving the interactions between humans and the environment. The course addresses conflicts in land, air, and water use and the role of assigned property rights and public policies in resolving environmental problems. Not open to students with credit in AGEC 430. Prerequisite: ECON 232 or AGRI 220.

432 Public Expenditures and Taxation. (3) Studies the role of government in promoting a system of effective markets. Includes analyses of the causes and implications of market inefficiencies, the economic rationale for government intervention in markets, and the criteria used for public investment decisions. Prerequisites: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

433 Honors Readings in Economics. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Graded S/U only.

440 Labor Theory. (3) Understanding labor market dynamics using theory and empirical methods. Topics of focus include labor supply and demand, labor force composition and trends, human capital, wage differentials, migration, minimum wage, trade unions, and occupational licensure. Prerequisite: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

445 Game Theory and Economic Behavior. (3) Analysis and solution of non-cooperative games toward a deeper understanding of economic behavior. Applications include auction design, bargaining, firm market entry games, information economics, and prisoner’s dilemma type games in general. Prerequisites: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

451 History of Economic Thought. (3) A study of the origins and development of economic thought to mid-twentieth century. Includes the mercantilist, physiocratic, classical, historical, and marginalist schools. Prerequisite: ECON 232.

460 Urban and Regional Economic Analysis. (3) A study of the economics literature on urban and regional economic development theories and techniques. Particular attention is paid to economic policies to stimulate employment and foster income growth. Various measurement techniques for monitoring economic development are examined. Prerequisite: ECON 232.

465 Economics of Energy. (3) A study of primary and secondary sources of energy as they affect the levels of production and consumption in the economy. A general survey of the economic and regulatory problems of coal, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear industries (including those of utilities) and brief discussion of the problems and prospects of alternative sources of energy in the context of national energy policies and individual decision-making. Prerequisite: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

470 International Trade. (3) (Global Issues) A study of the theoretical and institutional aspects of international trade; effect of trade and factor movements on economic welfare; problems of international disequilibrium, and the search for economic stability and growth through international cooperation. Prerequisite: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

471 International Monetary Economics. (3) A study of exchange rate determination; monetary and fiscal policy in an open economy; balance of payments crises; the choice of exchange rate systems; international debt and global financial imbalances. Prerequisites: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

481 Mathematical Economics. (3) Introduction to the mathematics most frequently used by economists: basic set theory, linear algebra, differentiation, comparative statics, optimization, constrained optimization, and linear programming. Prerequisite: ECON 381 (C grade or better), or passing department placement exam.

487 Econometrics. (3) Extensions of the single equation regression model, estimation, and testing; multicollinearity, heteroskedasticity, and errors in variables; maximum likelihood estimation and binary response models; simultaneous equation models and estimation. Interpretation and application of econometric models and methods is emphasized. Prerequisites: DS 303; ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

494 Internship. (1–12, repeatable to 12) Supervised employment experience with an approved employer/ sponsor. Only 3 hours per semester can be included in the major. For internships that are two semesters or more in length, and with approval of the department chair, a maximum of 6 hours may be included in the major. Prerequisites: ECON 231, 232, one intermediate theory course, and consent of the department chairperson. Graded S/U only.

495 Current Economic Issues. (3) Prerequisite: ECON 231, 232, 330, 331; senior Economics major status.

496 Seminar in Economics. (1–3, repeatable for different topics to 9) Each offering in the series provides students with an opportunity for intensive study in specialty topics within Economics. Prerequisites: ECON 231, 232; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or consent of instructor.

497 Senior Knowledge Assessment. (0) All majors are required to submit a completed skill development portfolio and complete the knowledge assessment examination prior to graduation. Prerequisites: senior standing; B.A. or B.B. Economics major. Graded S/U only.

499 Individual Research in Economics. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Prerequisites: junior status and consent of the instructor. Graded S/U only.


Economics and Decision Sciences

Dr. Tara Feld, Interim Chair/Associate Professor
Location: Stipes Hall 430
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1153
Fax: (309) 298-1020

Economics and Decision Sciences Website

Economics and Decision Sciences Directory

College of Business & Technology (CBT)

Dr. John A. Elfrink, Interim Dean
CBT Email:
Location: Stipes Hall 101
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-2442
Fax: (309) 298-1039

CBT Website

CBT Directory

Economics and Decision Sciences Advising

Andrea Riebling, Academic Advisor
Business Disciplines (A-I)

Chris Ramsey, Academic Advisor
Business Disciplines (J-L)

Sara Lytle, Director/Academic Advisor
Business Disciplines (M-O)

Anna James, Academic Advisor
Business Disciplines (P-Z)

Macomb: Stipes Hall 133
Phone: (309) 298-1619
Website: Stipes Hall Advising

Economics and Decision Science vinyl window cling