Prospective Students

Here in the Department of Economics we create an experience for our students! We want to ensure that you are working towards your degree, but also getting involved and building the skills you need for your future. We offer many activities and opportunities to build upon your foundation of academic training, creating well-rounded students who are prepared for post-college life. Special events, networking opportunities, workshops, student organizations, and other activities promote students’ personal growth.

We offer an excellent program which has been growing in popularity every semester. Currently, we have around 1,300 students who are current majors, or students planning on adding the major, because of the versatility. Located within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) allows students to double major and/or minor in numerous disciplines, and have access to the incredible resouces offered by our Department, College, and Campus.

Sectors where our graduates work include for-profit and non-profit business organizations, all levels of government, and education. Examples of some of the industries our graduates have gone on to include banking and finance, marketing, insurance, and consulting. Students also continue into a variety of graduate studies as well, including Accounting, Finance, Business, Statistics, Financial Engineering, Economics, and various other professional and academic Master and Doctorate programs. Your experience is what you make of it in Economics! Visit our Economics Career Website for additional information on careers.

We encourage you to visit the different pages on our website (including the main undergraduate studies page) to find out more about our program, view our different events, see the resources provided (including researchstudy abroad, and academic assistance), and other opportunities we offer. We especially recommend you look at our Econ Ambassadors who are current leaders in our Department, as their bios offer information about why they selected Economics as their major, and various activities they are doing as majors (you may also email these students to ask them questions about their experience).

Department Visits

We are always happy to meet with prospective students! Please schedule your visit through Admissions and let them know you would like to schedule a Department visit. You may also email if you have specific questions we may answer.

Admissions (New & Transfer Students)

All admissions are handled through the University Admission's Office and the LAS College Office. The Department does not review applications or may any decisions on admitting students. If you have questions about the transfer process and applying to the program, please refer to the two websites below. Any questions about the curriculum or Department once you transfer may be directed to our office ( or 217-333-2682).

Transfer Student Requirements

Transfer Students must meet the admissions criteria set by the University and College, and submit all application requirements to the University. Students wishing to major in economics typically must have completed the Introductory Microeconomics and Macroeconomics courses (ECON 102 & 103) and Calculus 1 (MATH 220 or 221). Business Calculus (MATH 234) is not accepted as Calculus 1.

What is Economics?

Economics is concerned with the creation, consumption, and transfer of wealth. The study of economics encompasses the major areas of microeconomics, which studies of how people and firms produce and consume goods and services, and macroeconomics, which studies mass economic progress and inter-country trade. Economic methods can be used to study all kinds of issues, from land and other natural resource use, to how much people should work, to how to develop human capital through education. Economics can provide insights in areas as diverse as how workers should be rewarded, how government should conduct fiscal and monetary policy, and how health care markets work.

The basic theoretical and statistical tools of economics are applied to virtually every field of human endeavor. Major fields of study within economics include Behavioral Economics, Development, Econometrics, Economic History, Financial Economics, Industrial Organization, International Economics, Labor Economics, Macroeconomics, Mathematical Economics, Political Economics, Public Economics, Economic Theory, and Urban Economics.

About Economics Courses

Visit our Economics Curriculum & Courses Website for additional information about our Major Requirements and Courses.

Students choose from many courses to build their major. Beyond the introductory and intermediate courses in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Statistics and Econometrics, topics courses offer specialized studies in a wide range of fields.

Microeconomics is concerned with understanding how individual persons and firms make choices. From a basic grounding in microeconomic theory, one can describe and predict the responses of consumers and firms to economic conditions and extrapolate from these individual choices to understand aggregate supply, demand, and price determination.

Macroeconomics takes a higher-level perspective on the economy, focusing on national production, national income, and the overall level of employment of productive resources such as labor and capital. Benefits of this perspective are better understanding of country growth, monetary policy, and international trade.

Economics has developed specific techniques for analyzing economic relationships using real-world data. Econometrics, grounded in classical statistics, provides tools for estimating all aspects of economic phenomena, including labor supply, supply and demand, and business cycles. Econometrics is used to test hypotheses about the world that are developed from economic theory. Econometric estimates can be used to forecast future conditions, aiding individuals, businesses, and governments in making decisions.

The department offers varied topics courses each semester. Recent examples: 
Development Economics
International Finance
Economic Analysis of Environmental Policy
Economics of the Household
Economics of Innovation and Technology
Economics of Labor Markets
Environmental Economics
Game Theory
Government Regulation of Economic Activity
Health Economics
Industrial Competition and Monopoly
International Economics
The Latin American Economies
Law and Economics
Public Sector Economics
Economic Growth
Urban Economics
Women in the Economy


Double Majors, Dual Degrees, and Minors

Virtually any major or minor compliments the economics degree. Popular choices for double majors (within LAS) include Math, Statistics, Actuarial Science, Political Science, Sociology, Communications, Psychology, History, and Global Studies. Dual Degrees consist of majors in different colleges, such as Business and Engineering, and require additional hours. Minors are a great way to add a concentration in an interest area and offered in many areas.


Because students gain a variety of analytical skills through the Economics major, career opportunities are broad. Sectors where our graduates work include for-profit and non-profit business organizations, all levels of government, and education. Examples of some of the industries our graduates have gone on to include banking and finance, marketing, insurance, and consulting. Visit the Economics Career Website

Graduate Programs

Our majors have entered graduate programs in everything from law to medicine. Historically, the most popular programs are in Business, Accounting, Finance, Public Policy, and Law. Some pursue a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in Economics. The student may wish to gain post-college work experience first, depending on the program. The economics major prepares students to do well in a wide variety of graduate programs in which analytical thinking is stressed. Visit the Economics Graduate School Information Website

Honors and Distinction

Eligible students have the opportunity to be a part of many honors programs, including James Scholars, Campus Honors, and the Economics honor society Omicron Delta Epsilon. Students receiving high major and overall GPAs and who have completed an independent study (ECON 399) under the supervision of a recommending faculty member may graduate with Economics Departmental Distinction. The Department, College and University have several scholarships that are awarded for undergraduate students.