Program Objectives

The undergraduate economics programs at Seattle University seek to create persons who are eager and prepared to solve problems and make decisions in the private and public sectors. Our curriculum is designed to equip students with the different types of knowledge and skills necessary for them to achieve this goal, including preparation for graduate study in economics and related fields, such as law, business, and public administration. The course content acquaints students with the economy in which they live and provides them with an understanding of how economics relates to the other social sciences. Our analytical approach of studying society provides the students with the tools of analysis necessary to approach problems and decision-making. Finally, our choice of teaching methods has the goal of promoting the cognitive development of our students. We seek to create ethical persons who think like economists and want to serve society and further social justice.


A graduate of the economics or business economics programs at Seattle University should be able to:

  • understand, and describe to the lay person, the important aspects of a local, regional, national, and international economy.
  • explain to the non-economist the fundamental economic problem of scarcity (and tradeoffs).
  • explain the determinants of aggregate economic activity, including the basics of fiscal and monetary policy and how each affects the economy.
  • explain to the non-economist the meaning of a market economy and how markets allocate society's scarce resources.
  • explain to the non-economist what it means for markets to fail and the role of government in finding solutions for market failure.
  • understand the domain of economics—the questions covered by economics and the questions not covered by economics.


A graduate of the program in economics or business economics at Seattle University should be able to:

  • identify key relationships between important variables.
  • understand the difference between correlation and cause-and-effect.
  • identify the relationship between assumption and interpretation.
  • apply algebraic, graphical, and statistical tools to analyses of problems and issues in business and public policy.
  • think critically; for example, be able to:
    • summarize articles from professional journals.
    • articulate the connections between the different sub-disciplines of economics.
    • automatically compare and contrast different economic theories.
  • make oral presentations.
  • convey ideas in a variety of written forms.
  • understand how to employ their skills in service to the community.
  • present themselves in a professional manner.

Additional Skills for Economics Students

All Economic majors should know:

Analytical skills, good communication skills, facility with mathematics and statistics, familiarity with other social sciences. Students who want to become professional economists should consider graduate study and taking more than minimum in math (a minor in math is recommended).

Other skills that Economics majors develop:

Awareness of local and international economic conditions, ability to analyze and evaluate business and government proposals, critical thinking, problem-solving, forecasting, analysis of market competition, and strategic planning skills. Ability to think logically, critically, and creatively.
Economics is an excellent background for graduate studies in areas such as law, business, or public administration.