The Department of Economics offers programs leading to two degrees, the B.A. in Economics and the B.S. in Mathematical Economics. We also offer a minor in economics.
Our faculty members are dedicated to undergraduate instruction and scholarship. We do not have a graduate program. The courses we offer and the primary interests of individual professors span a broad spectrum, ranging from relatively technical mathematical and statistical treatments of economic theory to public policy evaluation and to intellectual history. We take pride in the quality of our teaching and in the intellectual growth and accomplishments of our students.
The great English economist Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) defined economics as "a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life; it examines that part of individual and social action which is most closely connected with the attainment and with the use of the material requisites of wellbeing." Though increasing numbers of students have the opportunity of studying economics in high school, most students know very little about the discipline when they enroll in the introductory college course. There they learn not just the nuts and bolts of economic theory, but more importantly the usefulness of economic theory in managing their personal affairs and dealing with social and political problems. The "economic way of thinking" is indeed a powerful tool for students to take with them through the rest of their lives.
Former Wake Forest economics and mathematical economics majors are in a wide variety of professions. Our programs are excellent preparation for graduate study in law or business as well as economics and public policy. Many of our alumni go on to graduate school in these and other fields. Others move directly into professions from our undergraduate programs. Banking, financial and management consulting, medical services and pharmaceuticals, real estate and consumer products are only a few of the market areas in which alumni take jobs. Numerous other opportunities for our majors are in the non-profit and public sectors, in areas such as education, fine arts, and public administration.
Highly qualified majors have the opportunity to participate in the Department's Honors Program. This involves completing a research paper under the guidance of a faculty committee. Wake Forest has a chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society in economics. Each year we recognize our most accomplished majors at the local chapter's induction. We also award the Prize in Economics and the Wall Street Journal Prize to two outstanding students of the graduating class during Commencement weekend each spring.
Requirements and options
The major in economics consists of twenty-seven hours in economics, including Economics 150, 201, 205, 206, 207, and at least one course from ECN 211, 222, 252, or 274. A minimum grade of C- is required in ECN 150,201, 205 and 207; in addition, students must achieve an overall 2.0 average in economics courses. The student also must make a minimum grade of C- in MTH 109 or MTH 256 and MTH 111(or similar course with permission of department chair). Students who have ever received a grade below C- in ECN 150 may not major in economics