What is Economics?
Economics is the study of the wise allocation of scarce resources over competing and alternative uses. The problems of inequality, discrimination, pollution, energy, growth and stagnation are rooted in economics, as are their solutions. Whether as intelligent citizens or as professional economists, we need the perspective and analysis of economics to understand and deal with the realities of life.
The Department of Economics at Western offers the opportunity to focus your study in economics or to combine it with a number of complementary subjects.
This degree will provide you with an understanding of fundamental economic concepts & the ability to apply economic analysis to problem solving, will prepare you for a career in a variety of fields, and can serve as a gateway to professional schools in law and business.
Economics / Environmental Studies, BA
Students who choose this degree will learn how to use economic principles to help understand the economic causes of environmental problems and how to identify potential remedies through law and policy. The degree awarded is a B.A. in Economics.
This major is designed for students wishing to obtain a strong preparation in both Economics and Accounting, and is an excellent undergraduate program for those who are considering pursuing a Masters of Business Administration.
This degree is an excellent way to prepare for a career as an economist. The integration of concepts from both areas of study is particularly well suited for those who are thinking about applying to graduate programs or professional schools in law and business.
Economics/Political Science, BA
This major will provide you with an interdisciplinary perspective important to understanding both political and economic issues. You'll gain insight into trade, monetary systems, development, and the interplay between politics and economics within the U.S. and the international system.
Economics/Social Studies, BA
This major is open to any student who desires to study Economics and a variety of other social sciences, but it is specifically designed for students who wish to pursue a career in teaching. Secondary Education students who wish to be endorsed in Social Studies may choose this major, however, you are not required to pursue a teaching certificate.
Financial Economics, BA
This major is designed for students interested in both economics and finance, and is aimed particularly at those who wish to pursue careers in corporate finance, financial analysis, insurance and real estate, and/or government agencies where special emphasis is placed on financial economic knowledge.
In this major, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics are combined in a multidisciplinary effort to study modern political science, questions of political philosophy, pursue social scientific research, and apply economic analysis in problem-solving. The PPE combined major is not a triple major; rather, it strives to provide a broad exposure to these three fields.
Economics at Western
Western's College of Business & Economics is a student-focused school engaged in scholarly and professional activities that contribute to the well-being of society.
Do social and political issues such as income inequality, economic development, sustainable resource use, globalization, or the implications of free trade capture your interest? If so, you should consider a major in economics and its related fields.
From gaining critical experience of what an industry is actually like to building a portfolio of marketable experience internships and jobs may be the difference in a highly competitive job market.
Internships that may offer academic credit are available in, and in some cases are required in, most CBE degree programs. For more information about how to connect internships or jobs to your education, contact the department office.
The College of Business and Economics offer annual scholarships which students apply for in Winter quarter and are awarded the following academic year. CBE’s commitment includes supporting BIPOC students, LGBTQ+ students, women, students with disabilities and more.
Students complete a simple online application to apply for many different scholarships at once, and will be considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible. Learn more about CBE scholarships and review the available scholarships included in the general application.
Organizations and Clubs
Western's Economics Association is a student-led club that promotes career development to help members succeed in an increasingly competitive job sector. The club coordinates events that will provide valuable resume experience, a view into possible job paths in economic fields, and networking opportunities.
Other clubs within the College of Business & Economics include:
- Accounting Society
- American Production Inventory Control Society
- Artificial Intelligence Association
- Beta Alpha Psi
- Collegiate DECA
- Financial Management Association
- Institute for Supply Management
- International Business
- Management Information Systems Association
- Net Impact
- Professional Women's Association
- Sigma Iota Epsilon
- Student Marketing Association
WWU's economic program offers a wide array of possibilities into different focuses in the field of economics. The department offers students mentorships that will last throughout their economic careers.Marciana HillEconomics/Environmental Studies Major
What can you do with?
A degree in economics can lead to a number of career paths. Western graduates in economics have found success in business, as advisors and researchers, and in the field of education. Other graduates have gone on to professional schools such as MBA programs or law school. Employment as a professional economist often requires further study and a number of Western economics graduates have gone on to pursue a Ph.D. in economics or a related field.
- Economic Researcher
- Financial Planner/Analyst
- Urban/Regional Planner
- Corporate Attorney
- Financial Economist
- Real Estate
- Business Management
- Insurance Consultant
Western students have also been accepted to the following Graduate programs:
- Georgetown University Law School
- University of Washington, Evans School
- University of Utah, Law School and PhD Programs
- University of Southern California, Law School
- University of Connecticut, MPP
- University of Colorado at Denver, Master's in Econ
- University of Texas at Austin, Master's in Econ
- Seattle University, MBA
- University of Oregon, PhD program
- University of Manchester
- University of San Francisco
- New York University, PhD program
Employers of Recent Western Graduates:
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- City of Bellingham
- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond-Baltimore
- Homchick, Smith & Associates PLLC
- JP Morgan
- Key Bank
- Office of the Secretary of State (WA)
- Renewable Northwest
- Washington Environmental Council/Conservation Votes