10 compelling reasons to earn your economics degree from CMU
College should prepare you for a fulfilling future, both as a professional and in your personal life. Few majors accomplish this quite like economics. This subject is difficult to define but can be boiled down to the study of decision-making. Specifically, economists determine how key decisions impact whether limited resources are optimized at the individual or community level.
Why earn your economics degree from CMU
Because decision-making is integral to economics, this topic is valuable in nearly any industry or position imaginable. A detailed understanding of economics can even make everyday life more rewarding. To illustrate the far-reaching value of an economics degree, we've highlighted the top benefits you could gain from pursuing this esteemed major at CMU.
1. CMU offers a rich and diverse curriculum
There's more to economics than crunching numbers. This diverse field requires a comprehensive understanding of human nature and financial systems.
CMU has developed a rich yet targeted curriculum to prepare you for the challenges and opportunities you'll encounter in your economics career. You'll have the opportunity to explore several relevant subjects, such as:
- Business calculus
- Statistical analysis
- Foreign languages
- Money and banking
- Behavioral economics
- Labor economics
- Managerial economics
2. You'll learn to think critically about complicated situations
Critical thinking rests at the heart of modern economics. Complex subjects cannot be mastered through memorization, number-crunching, or strict adherence to established economic principles. Instead, success in this evolving field relies on the ability to draw from several related fields, such as psychology and philosophy.
Critical thinking involves maintaining an open mind while also understanding the limits of that open mind. As the Foundation for Critical Thinking's Dr. Linda Elder explains, it's necessary to develop a "structure for independent, self-directed, self-disciplined, and self-monitored thinking." This is helpful not only for academic and professional purposes, but also while making individual decisions in your personal life.
This structure is developed progressively while studying economics at CMU. Beginning with foundational courses and extending through advanced electives, you will be encouraged to apply core economic concepts to hypothetical situations while using deductive reasoning and a wealth of evidence to support your solutions. You'll also receive plenty of opportunities to reflect critically on real-world scenarios with internships or other practical experiences.
3. Strengthen your analytical and decision-making skills
Economics demands an analytical mindset supported by mathematical models and solid statistical knowledge. To develop this mindset as a CMU student, you will study basic principles such as supply and demand, cost and benefit, and incentives and scarcity.
From there, you will take a deep dive into relevant research, working extensively with high volumes of data. Through quantitative reasoning, you will learn how to apply various math concepts and procedures in the real world.
4. Become a better writer and thinker
In economics, as in any field, success depends largely on your ability to communicate via the written word. Data analysis and problem-solving mean little if you cannot effectively share your findings with the professional community or the general public.
Communication skills are a priority at CMU, where core courses involve extensive written reflection and quantitative skills. You'll emerge capable of working with complex data and explaining what your analysis has revealed and why your findings matter.
5. Learn to identify problems and find solutions based on data-tested predictions of human behavior
Economics is a deductive social science centered around identifying and examining patterns in human behavior. The overarching goal is to reveal why, how, and when people conduct specific types of transactions with one another.
To answer these questions, economists use extensively tested predictive models. As an economics student, you will learn how to apply these models and identify societal or governmental concerns that call for such targeted application. You will develop an inquisitive yet solution-driven mindset that continually has you striving for the most effective forms of resource allocation possible.
6. Study at the only college in Michigan to combine law and economics
Are you interested in exploring the significant relationship between law and economics? If so, you're in luck: CMU is the only Michigan college to offer a dedicated major in law and economics. This provides strong preparation for law school while sharpening your analytical skills via targeted economics courses.
As part of this unique program, you will examine the economic impact of legislative processes and courtroom decisions. You'll come away with a thorough understanding of the modern regulatory environment, equipping you to shape the public policies of tomorrow.
7. Develop one-on-one faculty-student relationships
Close relationships with faculty members can make all the difference as you prepare for a bright future in economics. These relationships are a priority at CMU, where over 40 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. CMU's current faculty-student ratio is just 17:1, so you can expect to receive plenty of personal attention.
Opportunities abound for building meaningful relationships with economics faculty members, but few are as promising as research initiatives. Collaboration is a crucial part of CMU'S Master of Arts in Economics. Many graduate students even co-author papers with esteemed faculty members, which are ultimately published in peer-reviewed journals.
8. Rigorous courses prepare you to succeed at the Ph.D. level
While our program promises to help you find success in the professional world immediately upon graduating, there's a lot to be said for pursuing a Ph.D. This elite degree is essential for getting involved in high-level economics research.
No matter your preferred academic trajectory, you'll feel fully prepared for the challenges ahead after graduating with an economics degree from CMU. Our master's program, in particular, forms a solid stepping stone to your highest doctoral ambitions.
9. Be considered to earn financial aid
As a CMU student, you will enjoy several opportunities for financial aid. These include general talent and merit-based scholarships for students in undergraduate and graduate school . What's more, the Economics Department provides multiple scholarships, such as:
- Paul C. Mathis II Memorial Scholarship. This award is available to economics majors or minors who have a strong record in their economics courses.
- Habib Zuberi Scholarship. This scholarship is an excellent option for two types of students: undergraduates majoring in economics and those pursuing the Master of Arts in Economics. To qualify, students must maintain a GPA of 3.30 or higher.
- Debasish & Rebecca Chakraborty Endowed Award. In their junior and senior years, economics majors attending CMU full-time can qualify for this scholarship.
- Michael P. Shields International Graduate Summer Research Endowed Award. Exclusively available to international graduate students, this opportunity is ideal for those who work with faculty members on research — especially if they co-author with said faculty members.
10. Get practical experience and a resume boost with internship programs
Internships allow students to see economic concepts play out in the real world. These are heavily encouraged at CMU, where hands-on opportunities to apply newfound knowledge are plentiful.
The Capital City Internship Program (CCIP) is one of the most exciting options for economics majors. Drawing CMU students from several programs, CCIP allows participants to get involved in various legislative and executive offices in Lansing, Michigan. This is a popular internship among students from our law and economics program.
Elevate your economics education at CMU
If you find the above mentioned advantages compelling, you could be a fantastic candidate for the economics program at CMU. We offer economics majors and minors at the undergraduate level, plus a Master of Arts in Economics. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about our exciting opportunities in economics.