These days, the economy is on everyone’s mind. Studying economics gives you a more thorough understanding and opens doors to countless opportunities in business, public service, and education. Here at Birmingham-Southern, we make sure every student is prepared for whatever comes next. Our graduates have gone on to succeed in the banking and investment world; in nonprofit organizations; in government and policy work locally, regionally, and nationally; and in many other fascinating careers.
What makes economics different at BSC?
We emphasize the fundamentals so that every single graduate has the groundwork for their next stage in life, whether that’s graduate school or the beginning of a career in business, public service, or education.
Given the connected nature of the world’s economies, our program has a strong international focus and many opportunities to study abroad, whether that means taking a travel course during Exploration Term, doing a banking internship in Spain, or participating in an exchange with the HES School of Economics and Business in Amsterdam.
Seniors tackle a research project, conducting primary research under the guidance of faculty and producing a research paper and presentation. Seniors also have a chance to talk with a panel of alumni—including business people in the financial sector, those in the nonprofit world, and college professors—about career opportunities.
Faculty profile - Guangjun Qu
Our economics faculty is always trying to find a new way to look at the world. Sometimes, that means looking at underpants. Yes, underpants! Professor Guangjun Qu—his students just call him "Dr. Q"—teaches an Exploration Term class that looks at how and where underwear is made, and what that can tell us about the rising manufacturing power of China and the effects of globalization on people’s lives. And Dr. Qu should know, as he’s a native of China and earned his B.A. and M.A. from Chongqing Technology and Business University there before coming to this country for his Ph.D. So when he teaches about economic development and Asian economics, he brings first-hand knowledge right here to BSC.
Economics – Success stories
From BSC, your future could take you anywhere. As evidence that our graduates are prepared for a wide range of challenges, here is an informal look at one of our recent graduating classes of Economics majors:
10% entered medical school
30% went to work for financial services companies
10% entered the non-profit sector
50% pursued other fields such as: real estate, theatre, professional golf, and law school
“As a student at BSC, the staff and professors were dedicated to giving me the tools to succeed. My professors pushed me to develop my analytical abilities, hone my communication skills, and explore the importance of my class work within the greater context of society. When studying economics and related topics at BSC, I developed an interest in economic development issues and was prepared to step into a leadership position in a statewide nonprofit soon after graduation. Now, whether I am writing, compiling research, working with community partners, or speaking in public, I am reminded daily of the importance of what I learned in class and on campus.“
KATHLEEN SMITH SHELTON ‘10 / Economics
SaveFirst Coordinator at Impact Alabama
Economics – Learning outcomes
Economics uses a set of powerful and flexible tools to understand trades: trades between producers and consumers, trades between workers and employers, trades between investors and firms, trades among banks, trades between one generation and the next, trades between countries, and the taxation and regulation of trades. Economics also considers issues associated with equity and property rights.
Economics majors will acquire an understanding of the small set of basic tools of economics and an understanding of their usefulness, their limitations, and the details of their application to important issues.
The core courses in both the major and the minor are two introductory courses (EC 201 and 202) and two intermediate courses (EC 308 and 309). Introductory courses in calculus and statistics are also required for the major. It is recommended that these six courses be completed prior to taking others in the major, and introductory calculus should be completed prior to taking Microeconomics (EC 309). For more information, visit the College Catalog.
Upon completion of the economics major, students will be able to
- demonstrate understanding of the basic theoretical tools of economics,
- demonstrate understanding of the usefulness and limitations of the theoretical tools economics uses in evaluating issues in policy or business,
- articulate how the skills and knowledge acquired through the major will contribute to career goals.