Undergraduate Program Learning Objectives*



1. MICROECONOMIC THEORY.  Students should be able to define, describe and illustrate microeconomic concepts, using verbal, written, graphical and mathematical expression, in three microeconomic “hallmark” areas: Incentives (the law of demand, law of supply, rational decision making on the margin), Opportunity Costs (sunk costs, production possibilities, gains from interpersonal & international trade, comparative advantage) and Supply and Demand (movement versus shift, welfare analysis, understanding the S&D model as a representation of individual choices in exchange,) and also be able to examine, assess and criticize policies, projects and other current events, using core microeconomic theory, through the Intermediate level.

Assessment: Analysis of student answers to multiple choice and essay problems.

2. MACROECONOMICS THEORY  Students should be able to define, describe and illustrate macroeconomic concepts, using verbal, written, graphical and mathematical expression, in three macroeconomic “hallmark” areas: Comparative Advantage (specialization and the gains from trade; globalization), Macroeconomic Measures (real versus nominal calculations; components and concept of GDP; components and concept of unemployment figures; calculation of inflation), Macroeconomic Models (circular flow; monetary and fiscal policy; the market for loanable funds & interest rate determination; the demand and supply of money & price level determination) and also be able to examine, assess and criticize policies, projects and other current events, using core macroeconomic theory, through the Intermediate level.

Assessment: Analysis of student answers to multiple choice and essay problems.

3. RESEARCH METHODS   Students should be able to describe the contours of, and differences and similarities between, qualitative and quantitative economic research methodologies, including the case study, historical narrative, applied econometric, and policy analysis methods, and to produce an original economic study using an economics methodology. 

Assessment: analysis of student attempt to use an economics research methodology to answer a economic problem in a term paper or other research report.

4. SPECIALIST AREAS.  The Economics Department emphasizes four Specialist Areas:

a. History / Development
b. International / Finance
c. Policy Economics
d. Quantitative Methods

Student should be able to define, describe and illustrate intermediate theoretical concepts, using verbal, written, graphical and mathematical expression, important to one or more of these areas, to discuss one or more research methods common to a specialist area, and to produce an original economic study using an economics methodology from the specialist area.

Assessment: analysis of exams or term papers where students describe an aspect of a specialist area within economics, for example by being able to describe the historical development of thought in the field, relevant microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, and important examples of the use of research methods to answer a question of interest to the specialist area.

5. COMMUNICATION  Students will be able to describe and explain conclusions, recommendations, and implications from theory and methods of micro and macro theory, and specialist areas of economics, using written, spoken and other forms of communication.

Assessment:  Economics communication will be evidenced by successful term papers, research presentations, debate performances, and other communication outlets.   

 


* The B.A. and B.S. program share a common set of PLOs, but the B.S. program emphasizes PLO 4d.