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Economics Major and Minor

Economics is defined as the study of how people choose to use their scarce resources in an attempt to satisfy their unlimited wants. In other words, we have unlimited possibilities in life to do whatever we want, but we are limited by the resources we have to do these things.

Economics builds scientific models to explain why people behave the way they do. And economists use these models, in conjunction with their observations of the world, to analyze and explain why things happen the way they do.

Economics is about solving problems. Even more, economics is about finding the truth, even if the truth may go counter to what you, and most people, may intuitively believe. From The Wealth of Nations to Freakonomics, the writings of economists have had a major impact on social thought and the decisions of policy makers.

Students majoring in Economics should have good analytical skills along with good writing skills. Economic graduates find employment in banking, finance, retail, government, planning, and forecasting. Also, Economics is a perfect preparation for Law School.

Top Student Research is recognized annually by our Adam Smith Prizes. These prizes are awarded to the top two research papers submitted each year. Beginning in 2010, this award is funded by alumnus John Haines.  First prize is $2000 and second prize is $1000.

The Economics Department hosts the Joseph Lucia Memorial Lecture each year. Past speakers include several Nobel Laureates such as James Tobin, James Buchanan, and Joseph Stiglitz. Since 2003, this event has been funded by alumnus William Stewart.

One strength of the Economics degree is the wide variety of topics students can study –Public Finance, Industrial Organization, International Trade and Game Theory to name just a few of our upper division electives. In addition, students interested in graduate study, are strongly encouraged to take Econometrics, Mathematical Economics, and Advanced Macroeconomics.

Students in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Economics receive the Bachelor of Arts in Economics.


2020 Adam Smith Contest Announcement:

The Economics Department announces its 2020 Adam Smith Contest, its annual student research paper competition.  Eligible papers (by Villanova Economics majors or minors in the class of 2019, 2020 or 2021 in conjunction with Villanova coursework) may address any economics topic.   Entries up to 10,000 words are acceptable.  Email submissions to by midnight, 3/31/20.  Finalists present papers at event on 4/28/20.  Finalists are judged on both written content and oral presentation.  First- and second-place winners are recognized with awards of $2000 and $1000, respectively; honorable mention awards (if any) are $500 each.   The Adam Smith Contest is funded by a gift from John Haines (A&S ’79).

Required Courses

ECO 1001 - Intro to Micro
ECO 1002 - Intro to Macro
MAT 1430  - Business Statistics  -OR-  MAT 1235 - Intro Statistics II
ECO 2101
- Macro-Econ Theory
ECO 2102 - Micro-Econ Theory
ECO 3137 - Econometrics (fulfills the core research requirement)
ECO 4132 - Seminar in Economics

One semester of calculus (which is taken as part of the core requirements)

Four economics elective courses numbered 3000 or higher

For the minor: Eco 1001,1002, 2101,2102 plus 2 courses numbered 3000 or higher.

**Note that Calculus (which can be used to satisfy the core) is a prerequisite for ECO 2101 and ECO 2102.

Why major in Economics?

Don't just take our word for it that Economics is a great major, see what others have to say:

-- The American Economic Association Undergraduate Guide

And if salary is a consideration, see what has to say.

Top majors are invited to join Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE), the International Honor Society in Economics.  Students with Junior or Senior standing

1) with an overall G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher, 

2) with a G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher in Economics Courses and  

3) who have completed at least four Economics Courses

should contact Dr. Peter Zaleski or Mary Kelly to apply for membership.