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Economics

Economists study the way society uses its resources to attain varied—and often conflicting—goals. Some devise fiscal and monetary policies that make countries better off; others develop theoretical and statistical tools to analyze patterns of economic activities such as production and consumption. The skills and knowledge gained from the study of economics are flexible across career fields and in graduate programs from law to business.

About the Department

The economics program at TCNJ is built on small classes and individual attention. Averaging 25 students, our classes are designed for discussion-based learning and one-on-one interaction with faculty mentors. Students complete frequent writing assignments and oral presentations, developing the analytical and communication skills essential to success in economics and other business-related fields.

The department offers both a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in economics to support students with a wide range of career goals.

Foundation

Small Classes

Our average class size is just 25 students, and no economics classes are taught in large lecture halls.

Faculty

Expert Economists

Wide-ranging faculty expertise ensures our curriculum keeps pace with the continuous change in economics.

Engagement

Experiential Learning

Students apply knowledge outside the classroom through internships, conferences, competitions, and more.

Programs of Study

Bachelor of Arts in Economics

This program is designed for students seeking a broad liberal arts context for their study of economics and is especially recommended for those planning to pursue graduate study in economics, law, and public administration. Students take advantage of TCNJ’s strong curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences, choosing courses in math, history, and the social sciences to complement their study of economics.

Within the BA program, students may pursue two specialized options. The teacher education program prepares students for certification to teach social studies at the middle and high school levels. The seven-year medical program provides select students with an accelerated pathway via dual admission to both TCNJ and our partner medical school.

Bachelor of Science in Economics

This program offers more specialized training in economics and related business fields, including core courses in accounting, finance, management, and marketing. The economics sequence includes introductory- and intermediate-level courses in macroeconomics and microeconomics, among others. Students can round out their study of economics with course options that match career interests in an array of topics, including labor, health care, environment, economic development, banking and financial institutions, international trade, and international finance.

Minors

An understanding of economics is valuable in life and as a complement to a number of academic disciplines. By completing a minor in economics or international business, students expand their competitiveness in landing a first job and build a foundation for long-term career growth.

Experiential Learning and Networking

By extending your new knowledge of economics to its practical applications, you gain confidence in your chosen career and add experience to your résumé. Our students take advantage of the many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom, competing in the annual College Fed Challenge, sharpening skills in stock market and other simulation games, networking and presenting at national conferences, and taking on leadership roles in the Economics Club and other student organizations.

Our location along the powerhouse northeast corridor opens up internship opportunities for our students at global firms such as Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, and Coface. And our proximity to leading business and thought centers in economics—Princeton, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington DC—gives students exceptional access to meet and learn from guest speakers and panelists, including some of the most influential economists in the world.

Senior Thesis Capstone

All economics majors complete a senior thesis capstone as the culminating experience of their degree program. Not only does writing a thesis synthesize the skills and knowledge developed over a college career, producing original research on an important economic topic demonstrates an ability to integrate and analyze disparate sources of economic data to reach original, independent conclusions. And that adds value to your employment portfolio.

Your senior thesis is also an opportunity to practice the presentation and networking skills essential to a business career. Economics majors often present their senior theses before peers from colleges and universities in the tri-state region as well as at national forums, including the Omicron Delta Epsilon Undergraduate Business and Economics Conference at Ursinus College.

»Learn more about the senior thesis capstone

Outstanding Career Opportunities

As our students gain extensive experience in statistical programs including data processing, estimation, and experimental design, they are well positioned to launch careers in such fields as business, government, and public policy or administration. Prudential Financial, Texas Instruments, Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg L.P., and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, among others, have all hired recent TCNJ graduates.

Economics graduates are highly marketable, landing first jobs in:

  • Banking and finance (loan officer, stock broker, financial analyst, security analyst)
  • Insurance (benefit analyst, claims adjuster, underwriter, actuary)
  • Government, at local, state, and federal levels (budget analyst, urban planning administrator, forecaster, consultant, foreign service officer)
  • Business administration (management trainee, forecaster, labor relations specialist, sales consultant, logistics manager, buyer, systems analyst)
  • Communications and media (broadcaster, public relations specialist, reporter for international organizations such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund)
  • Teaching and consulting

The American Economic Association provides useful information on career and graduate school pathways for undergraduates studying economics.

Excellent Preparation for Graduate School

A full 37 percent of TCNJ economics majors have continued their studies at the graduate level since 2001, earning acceptance at prestigious universities across the nation. The most common choice is law (19 percent), with graduates accepted at both local (Rutgers–Newark, Rutgers–Camden, Seton Hall) and nationally ranked law schools (Duke, Michigan, Penn, Washington University).

Our economics graduates also enroll in MBA (7 percent), PhD (6 percent), and MA programs (6 percent). MBA candidates have pursued both standard and dual-degree programs at schools including New York University, Temple, and Pittsburgh. PhD candidates generally choose to study economics, although graduates have pursued fields as diverse as mathematics. For their master’s degrees, graduates have enrolled in public policy, economics, and human resources programs at such schools as Georgetown, Villanova, Boston University, and Rutgers’ Bloustein School.

Economics majors have also pursued medical school, through the TCNJ seven-year medical program or the traditional route, as well as dental school.

Respected Faculty of Expert Economists

In economics, change and development of economic theories, especially in the aggregate analysis, are continuous. Our faculty are leading thinkers and active researchers, publishing in prestigious journals and presenting at major conferences. They are also enthusiastic mentors, collaborating with students to publish research papers on such topics as competitive behavior and illegal music downloads. Faculty research interests are wide ranging and include:

  • Inflation
  • Economic growth
  • Economics of transition
  • International economic analysis
  • Health economics
  • Economics of religion
  • Gender issues in economics
  • Environmental and natural resource economics
  • Labor economics
  • Economics of law
  • Behavioral economics
  • Economics of land use
  • Economics of public goods
  • Economic history
  • Development economics

Contact Information

Chair
Subarna Samanta, PhD
609-771-3496
ssamanta@tcnj.edu

Department Secretary
Monique Clark
609-771-3063
mclark@tcnj.edu

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