The Department of Economics at RIT offers a B.S. in Economics that emphasizes the quantitative analytical approach to dealing with economic problems in both the public and private sectors. The program prepares graduates for entry-level managerial & analytical positions in both industry and government, and to pursue graduate studies in economics, business, or law.
There are four distinguishing features of our program that we feel provide a unique Economics experience at the undergraduate level.
First, our undergraduate students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty members on publishable research projects. We encourage student and faculty partnerships as soon as the first undergraduate year, so that research skills may be developed over the entire undergraduate experience. A number of student-faculty research collaborations result in peer-reviewed, published studies. Click here for a complete list of publications co-authored by RIT Economics undergraduate students and faculty.
Second, our degree program features a core curriculum followed by the opportunity to study within one of three possible tracks. The Managerial Economics track is primarily aimed at students interested in managerial and analytical positions in both the public and private sectors. The Economic Theory and Policy track is primarily aimed at students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Economics, Business, and other related fields. It is also suitable for those interested in more technical positions in the public and private sectors. The Environmental Economics track is aimed at students who are primarily interested in environmental issues.
Third, our program offers small class sizes, a wide range of courses, and the opportunity to study economics within an institute of technology. Our typical principles-level course is capped at 40 students, while our upper-division courses are capped at 32 students. Upper-division courses include Cost-Benefit Analysis, Economics of Native America, Health Care Economics, Behavioral/Experimental Economics, Open Economy Macroeconomics, and others that are not typically taught at the undergraduate level. Moreover, while forging friendships and collaborations with fellow economics students, a good portion of one’s classmates will actually be computer scientists, natural scientists, and engineers. The significant presence of students at RIT studying computing and other technology-related subjects infuses the Economics curriculum with frequent discussions of research, development, globalization, and innovation.
Fourth, our faculty is highly engaged in research and our program stresses both disciplinary and interdisciplinary education and faculty research. RIT Economics faculty research is published in a number of Economics journals including American Economic Review, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Computational Economics, Ecological Economics, and International Review of Law and Economics. We are the campus-leaders in double-major enrollment and we have a significant enrollment of Economics minors. The presence of so many double majors and minors naturally shapes class discussions and project development in an interdisciplinary direction. The RIT Economics faculty also conducts research with a wide variety of other specialists—including computer scientists, computer engineers, environmental scientists, health-related professionals, and mathematicians—and their research has appeared in interdisciplinary venues such as Geographical Analysis, Journal of Regional Science, Nursing Outlook, Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Journal of Mountain Science, Waste Management, Biological Theory, and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
Taken together, these four features create an electric learning atmosphere in which undergraduate students pursue their interests in Economics coursework alongside students training to be scientists and engineers, and with personal, custom-crafted mentoring from research faculty. Our students enjoy employment in various private and public sector positions, and gain admission to a great variety of graduate and professional schools. Click here for a sample list of private and public sector job placements, and graduate/professional school placements.
Should you have any questions regarding how an Economics major, double major, minor, immersion or elective course could be right for you, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Javier Espinosa, Chair of the Economics Department, or Dr. Jeffrey Wagner, Economics Undergraduate Program Director.