Major in Economics
The wealth of nations.
If you want to understand the causes and consequences of critical world issues like income inequality and economic development, you have to follow the money. As an economics major, you not only will gain an understanding of how economies work, but also will develop the problem-solving skills needed to address these issues for the betterment of all.
Clark has a long tradition of innovation in economic research and teaching that dates back to Carroll Wright, America’s first Commissioner of Labor and the first president of Clark’s undergraduate college.
Why Study Economics at Clark?
- Gain relevant insights through our unusually broad and deep curriculum, with particular strengths in international economics, spatial environmental economics, applied econometrics, and development economics.
- Put your learning into practice through research projects, worldwide internships, study abroad programs, and membership in Clark’s Undergraduate Economics Society.
- Customize your academic program with electives and courses outside the department to align your experience with your personal interests and career or graduate school objectives.
Your Will. Your Way.
The Major Path
The economics major is designed to give you an understanding of the core theory of economics, frameworks for analyzing issues, how to identify and manipulate relevant data, the basic tools of statistical analysis (statistics and econometrics), and the ways such knowledge and skills can be applied to research and problem-solving.
Courses are available in international trade and finance, economic development, monetary economics and labor, environmental economics, development economics, economic history, and the economics of sport.
Eleven courses are required for the major:
- Six core courses in quantitative methods and economic theory
- Four elective courses in economics
- One related course in mathematics (calculus is recommended)
- A senior year capstone experience (this can count as one of your four electives)
In addition, we encourage you to take two courses that complement your major from outside the Economics Department. Your faculty adviser will work with you to develop a program that meets your interests and goals.
Qualified juniors and seniors can join the Clark chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE), the international economics honor society. ODE offers members a number of benefits, including access to other members from around the world and opportunities to publish original research.
Read the Undergraduate Economics Handbook [pdf]
David R. Porter ’35 Prize for Excellence in Economics
The David R. Porter ’35 Prize for Excellence in Economics was established in honor and memory of David R. Porter, a member of the Class of ’35, and Trustee of the University, by his family and friends. The award is given every fall to the outstanding senior majoring in Economics.
Harry B. and Alice N. Sheftel Endowed Prize in Economics
Awarded annually by the Economics department to an outstanding undergraduate student, except in those years when extraordinary scholarship by a graduate student or faculty member deserves recognition.
The Roger Van Tassel Book Prize
The Roger Van Tassel Book Prize is awarded each year to an outstanding freshman or sophomore in elementary economics. The award takes the form of a book such as a biography of an economist or classic work in economics. Professor Van Tassel taught at Clark for 42 years, including 21 years as Department Chair. He had a special passion for introducing undergraduate students to economics and also taught courses in international economics.
Skills you will learn include how to:
- Summarize an argument in the academic literature and interpret statistical results at the level of basic regression analysis
- Identify, collect, and interpret data appropriate to a topic for economic analysis
- Build on existing knowledge to analyze an economic issue or conduct a positive or normative analysis of a policy proposal
- Present ideas in written, oral, or other form
During your junior year, you might be accepted into the economics honors program. Joining the program means you’ll work closely with a professor to create a thesis on a topic of your choice. Examples of recent honors thesis topics are:
- Measuring the Gender Wage Gap in Pakistan’s Education Sector
- Will the Integration of Morocco to the African Union have a Positive or Negative Impact on its Economy?
- Does Money Buy Happiness: An Analysis of Income’s Impact on Happiness in the United States from 1974-2016
- The Effect of Socioeconomic Factors on Water Quality throughout the United States
- Institutions of Integration: The Role of Educational Systems in Integrating Foreign-Born Youth
Building your foundation
The Clark Experience
We structure our curriculum around Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP), which connects classroom learning with action through world and workplace experiences.
We’ve Got It Covered
This course invites you to learn why people around the globe want to live and work in cities, and how markets in housing, location, and education cope with the challenges of urban growth — and sometimes, decline.
The Economics and Policy of Food
Use the lens of applied economics to explore a wide range of issues associated specifically with the U.S. food system, then undertake a research project on the value chain of one Massachusetts-based food product.
Modeling Ecological–Economic Systems
Master the art and science of creating computer-based simulations to model ecological-economic systems, and use them to address a range of problems by generating and testing hypotheses, and making predictions.
Policy Evaluation & Education in Developing Countries
Learn the tools and methods needed to assess the impact of student education policies, and how they’ve been used in the developing world — then write a policy evaluation proposal to solve a real-world problem.
Explore what the Economics Department has to offer