Economics and Decision Sciences

students working together students in class economics graph students working together


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
career fair

Annual Career Fairs

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
career fair

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

Economics (ECON) Courses

ECON 100 Introduction to Economics

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.

ECON 170 The Global Economic Environment

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.

ECON 197 Skill Development

All undergraduate majors must begin their skill development program and portfolio during their first semester as a major.

ECON 231 Principles of Macroeconomics

An introduction to aggregate economics—monetary and banking institutions, national income theory, business cycles, government finance and taxation, and the international trade.

ECON 232 Principles of Microeconomics

This course focuses on industrial and labor organizations, supply and demand, profit maximization under varying conditions of competition, and factor pricing.

ECON 310 Economics and Law

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.

ECON 315 Economics of Sport

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.

ECON 325 Money, Banking and Credit

An introduction to the monetary aspects of society, with stress on the role of commercial banks and the Federal Reserve System in our economy.

ECON 328 American Economic History

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.

ECON 330 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

Theory of producer and consumer choice; theory of prices and output determination under varying degrees of competition; theory of factor pricing and income distribution.

ECON 331 Intermediate Macroeconomics

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.

ECON 332 Managerial Economics

Economic theory and analysis designed for business administration students. Economics majors interested in careers in business are encouraged to take this course.

ECON 350 Economics of Poverty and Discrimination

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.

ECON 351 Global Economic Poverty 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.

ECON 360 Economics and Urban Problems

The development and application of economic analysis to problems of the urban economy. Areas of emphasis include land-use patterns, municipal finance, transportation, crises in public services, impact of industrialization on the local economy, and housing market problems.

ECON 381 Economic Problem Solving

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.

ECON 390 Introduction to Health Economics

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.

ECON 408 Economics for Decision-Makers

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.

ECON 410 Economics of Crime and Punishment

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.

ECON 420 Economic Development

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.

ECON 425 Money Markets, Capital Markets, and Monetary Theory

An institutional and theoretical study of money and capital markets in conjunction with monetary policy.

ECON 430 Environmental Economics

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.

ECON 432 Public Finance

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.

ECON 433 Honors Readings in Economics
ECON 440 Labor Theory

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.

ECON 445 Game Theory and Economic Behavior

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.

ECON 451 History of Economic Thought

A study of the origins and development of economic thought to mid-twentieth century. Includes the mercantilist, physiocratic, classical, historical, and marginalist schools.

ECON 460 Urban and Regional Economic Analysis

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.

ECON 465 Economics of Energy

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.

ECON 470 International Trade

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.

ECON 471 International Monetary Economics

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.

ECON 481 Mathematical Economics

Introduction to the mathematics most frequently used by economists: basic set theory, linear algebra, differentiation, comparative statics, optimization, constrained optimization, and linear programming.

ECON 487 Econometrics

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.

ECON 494 Internship

Supervised employment experience with an approved employer/ sponsor.

ECON 495 Current Economic Issues
ECON 496 Seminar in Economics

Each offering in the series provides students with an opportunity for intensive study in specialty topics within Economics.

ECON 497 Senior Knowledge Assessment

All majors are required to submit a completed skill development portfolio and complete the knowledge assessment examination prior to graduation.

ECON 499 Individual Research in Economics


Economics and Decision Sciences

Dr. Tej Kaul, Chairperson
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. William Bailey, 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)

Anna James, Academic Advisor
Business Disciplines (J-L)

Chris Ramsey, Director/Academic Advisor
Business Disciplines (M-O)

Michelle Terry, Academic Advisor
Business Disciplines (P-Z)

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

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