- Department of Economics
Department of Economics
403 Kern Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Program Goals and Assessment Mechanisms
(Note: This is a draft statement that will be reviewed and finalized by the Department’s Academic Programs Committee early in the fall semester. Hence, this statement is subject to change.)
Students who complete an undergraduate major in economics will:
- be familiar with intermediate microeconomic theory and intermediate macroeconomic theory.
- be able to apply the tools of economic analysis, and most notably the basic supply and demand model, to various issues and phenomena, dealing with individuals, firms, markets, and public policy.
- be knowledgeable about at least two applied fields in economics.
- be able to write a paper in economics that includes economic analysis and that is coherent, cogent, and grammatically correct.
- (B.S. only) be able to carry out quantitative analyses of economic data.
- Students are required to take ECON 302 (intermediate microeconomic theory) and ECON 304 (intermediate macroeconomic theory); exit surveys, which have been in use by the Department for some time, will be modified to include questions both on these courses and on the students’ sense of mastery of the relevant material.
- Students will be required to take at least one 400-level writing-intensive course in economics that typically requires a term paper applying the tools of economic analysis to some question or issue; the Department will poll instructors of these courses to determine that the level of economic analysis is appropriate, and exit surveys will include questions seeking students’ perceptions of their abilities in this area.
- In addition to the prescribed courses for the major, Liberal Arts students take six elective courses of 300- and 400-level economics. We will evaluate student records to ensure that each student’s electives in economics cover at least two different fields in the discipline.
- As noted above, students will be required to take at least one 400-level writing-intensive course in economics; the Department will poll instructors of these courses to determine that the economic analysis and the use of the English language are both satisfactory, and exit surveys will include questions on students’ perceptions of their ability to write good papers in economics.
- B.S. students in economics take ECON 490, Introduction to Econometrics, which teaches them the theory and practice of quantitative analysis in economics. Exit surveys will include questions on the 490 course and on the students’ sense of mastery of quantitative economic analysis.