James Wilson Department of Economics
Dynamics Building, 2015 Ivy Road
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
(434) 924-3177 Fax: (434) 982-2904
Overview The Department of Economics offers a program of study that instills an understanding of economic events and arrangements. In part, this understanding comes from learning facts about economic institutions and economic history. But facts do not interpret themselves. To be understood, these facts must be viewed through the lens of economic theory. The undergraduate program in economics emphasizes applications of economic theory to a wide variety of real-world events and arrangements. Students have opportunities to investigate the economic aspects of business, law, finance, public policy, and international trade. An in-depth study of economics teaches students to think clearly and critically about complex issues.
Faculty The University has a distinguished Department of Economics. Its faculty members have international reputations in their areas of specialization and are committed to teaching undergraduates, training graduate students, and conducting economic research.
Students Economics has traditionally been one of the most popular majors at the University, and the number of students who enroll in one or both of the introductory economics courses greatly exceeds the number of majors. The introductory courses are taught in a variety of formats, from large sections of as many as 500 students (which are supplemented by small discussion sections led by teaching assistants) to small sections of about 30. Higher-level courses range from 15 to 300 students, with most courses containing 30 to 60.
After graduating, most economics majors begin careers in business or finance. Of these, many enter M.B.A. programs after two or three years of work experience. A second group of the University’s economics graduates attend law school. Others choose a variety of paths: military service, work in the public sector, or medical school, for example. Each year, a few graduates continue their study of economics and related subjects in graduate school.