In the broadest sense, economics is the science of decision making. In economics, students learn how to identify the costs, benefits and consequences of a decision. Government economists assess economic conditions in the U.S. and abroad and estimate the economic impact of specific changes in legislation or public policy. Economists in private industry work largely for marketing research firms, management consulting firms, banks, investment firms, and insurance companies. A degree in economics is also highly desirable for students who plan to attend graduate school or law school. The College of Business and Economics has an excellent record of placing economics students in both.
The Department of Economics at West Virginia University has seventeen permanent/full time faculty and about fifty Ph.D. students in residence. Members of our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for their contributions to research and teaching.
The Department teaches a large number of undergraduate and graduate students. We are committed to provide high quality education at all levels by building a solid foundation in economic theory and empirical analysis that can be used to evaluate business and public policy problems. The Department has an excellent reputation preparing students for their professional careers in academia, government, international organizations, and corporate sector.
Faculty members conduct research in a variety of fields and their work has been published in the most respected journals. The Department has a well-established research tradition in the areas of public economics, political economy, financial economics, international trade and development, and urban and regional economics.
The Department has developed several areas of strength including market-based solutions to social and economic problems and, through its long relationship with the University's well-known Regional Research Institute, a focus on spatial econometric and regional analysis. Cooperation with the finance department faculty allows the department to leverage its strength in financial economics.
Our Ph.D. Program in Economics currently offers six fields of concentration: financial economics, international economics, monetary economics, public economics, regional and urban economics, and resource economics.
The department has substantial ties with several other units across campus. The specialization in the area of resource economics is offered in collaboration with the Division of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and some of our faculty are also associated with the Regional Research Institute.
We have an active research seminar series which brings in many prominent scholars from around the world. These visits give students and faculty the opportunity to stay updated with recent developments in the field, and serve to spread the College’s reputation as an educational institution engaged in high quality teaching and research.