Economics is Number One!

Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM PDT

Economics is Number One! On June 3rd, Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranked Albers number one in the nation among undergraduate business programs in the specialty area of macroeconomics!!  What a great honor for our economics faculty!  The ranking is based on student survey responses asking them to rank specialty areas on a scale from A to F. A few weeks ago, Albers was ranked #3 in the nation in the area of sustainability in the same survey.

What are some of the special things that characterize our macroeconomics courses?  We offer a rigorous macroeconomics curriculum that focuses on both theory and its application.  Our upper level elective courses apply macro models to economic growth, business forecasting, and financial market topics. Students are able to attend regional and national forecasting presentations and conferences such as meetings of the Seattle Economics Club featuring a variety of presenters, monetary policy simulations hosted by the Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference, and presentations by Federal Reserve representatives from the San Francisco branch. Albers economics students also have numerous networking and mentoring opportunities with professionals in the field by interacting with the Department of Economics Advisory Board.

Student members of the Omicron Delta Epsilon, the Economics Honor Society, help organize and attend panel discussions on campus related to current economic events, such as the Great Recession, regional transportation policy, economic forecasting, and, most recently, the debt crisis.

In other words, there is a lot that contributes to student satisfaction with our teaching of macroeconomics, not the least of which is the faculty who teach our macro classes - such as Dean Peterson, Meena Rishi, Quan Le, Vladimir Bejan, and Erin Vernon.

What needs to be mentioned is that some of the students in the survey took their Introduction to Macroeconomics course from me, yet the department was able to overcome my poor performance and lead the nation!  Very impressive! :}

One advantage we have over other business schools is that economics is housed in the business school.  On many campuses, economics is in the College of Arts and Sciences.  Having economics in the business school encourages the economics faculty to relate macroeconomic topics very specifically to business issues.  That is surely something that students appreciate.

Our Number One ranking is not a flash in the pan, by the way.  In 2012, the same survey ranked us fifth in macro and in 2011 we were ranked 25th.  This is out of the more than 500 AACSB accredited business schools in the US.  The same for sustainability - in 2012 we were fourth in the nation and in 2011 we were ranked 17th.  In both 2011 and 2012 we were ranked seventh in business ethics, but did not crack the Top Ten in that category in 2013.

In a previous blog, of spoken of the struggles we have to reconcile the rankings.  On the one hand, our students, alumni, and friends in the business community get very excited about a ranking such as this.  When we put out the announcement, we received a lot of congratulations from others.  On the other hand, can you really figure out who is #1??  Someone has to be, and we are glad it was us in 2013!

To read the Bloomberg BusinessWeek story on our macroeconomics ranking, you can go to:

To read the Bloomberg BusinessWeek story on our sustainability ranking, you can go to: