Economics for College Students

This website describes economics for students who are considering college study and provides information useful to students who are enrolled in undergraduate programs. Students who study economics will learn to use the ideas developed by economists and to investigate current issues. Economists present their ideas in essays and books as well as in the courses they teach. This website provides an overview of the skills, the literature, and the issues found in modern economics. It also provides information about careers, graduate study, and other opportunities for undergraduates. The questions below link to the same pages as the menu on the right.

The AEA video “A career in economics... it’s much more than you think" gives the perspectives of four people who use economics in different ways.  Their discussion illustrates the breadth of economics in the world today.

1. What is Economics?

Economics is the study of how people choose to use resources.

2. What are the fields of economics?

Economists organize their discipline in fields from agricultural economics to urban economics. Many economists specialize in a field by publishing original essays on topics and teaching courses in a specific field.

3. What are the current issues in economics?

Economists study changes occurring in specific countries or individual sectors of an economy; some ask fundamental questions about the nature of economic decisions; some address proposals to change government policies.

4. How do you find facts and ideas that address economic issues?

Students can search databases to identify essays, books, government documents, newspaper and magazine stories that address economic issues. Economists have published essays and books to make their ideas available for use by others and works are often available online and through library subscriptions.

5. What skills are needed for success in an undergraduate program?

The undergraduate major in economics develops three skills: logical thought used in solving problems, observation and inference from data, and presenting ideas in compelling writing and speech.

6. Are there popular books on economics that may be useful for people who have not studied economics?

Some economists write books for a general audience that will be useful for students who may consider studying economics.

7. What colleges offer programs in economics?

Hundreds of colleges offer four-year baccalaureate programs with majors in economics.

8. What careers follow the economics baccalaureate?

Economics majors are successful in a wide variety of careers. Although various roles in businesses are most common, economics majors are successful in law, medicine, government, non-profits, and international relations, as well as in academic roles.

9. What’s needed for graduate study in economics?

Students who consider graduate study in economics might seek MAs or PhDs in economics. Students need not major in economics as undergraduates to pursue graduate study. Preparation in mathematics, however, is increasingly important.

10. What opportunities are available to learn about and discuss research?

Here are announcements about organizations and services relevant to undergraduates in economics.


The information provided on this webpage does not imply an endorsement by the American Economic Association.  It is provided as is for use by members of the Association and their students.








For Undergraduate Students

Economics for College Students

What is Economics?

Fields of Economics

Current Issues

Finding Facts

Developing Skills

Popular Books

College Programs

Careers in Economics

What's needed for Graduate Study?

Opportunities to Learn and Discuss Research

For Graduate Students

Graduate Study in Economics

-- Timeline

-- Funding

-- Mathematical Preparation

Graduate Schools

-- Graduate Program Rankings

Graduate Education Research

-- Gender and Race

-- Foreign Students

-- Miscellaneous Topics

Job Market and Salary

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