Nichols’ economics program empowers you to lead by showing you the driving forces behind the global marketplace.

As an economics major, you’ll discover and evaluate the behavior and interrelations of consumers, businesses, labor unions, and governments. You’ll benefit from internships and alumni looking to hire. You’ll explore local, regional, national, and international economic challenges to find out what drives economic behavior and policy.

In other words, we’ll prepare you to lead in any number of economic fields, including:

  • state and local government
  • federal and international agencies
  • business
  • finance and banking
  • insurance
  • consulting
  • teaching
  • politics
  • law

Take a look at our diverse economics courses and see for yourself how we educate the economic leaders of tomorrow.

Leading the Way

Karrie Gorman ’14 Financial Architects Partners, Associate, Client Services

The Economics Department is staffed with professors who are passionate about both economics and teaching. This makes classes interesting and informative. During my time at Nichols I have grown not only as a student but also as an economist. I credit that to the incredible professors Nichols has. Being in smaller classes allows for more individual attention which promotes productive discussions and critical thinking.

Courses & Requirements

Economics majors must complete 121 credit hours (approximately 40 courses), including courses from the foundation and business core curricula or liberal arts core curricula, focused electives and these required specialization courses:

Required Courses

ECON 222 Principles of Macroeconomics

An introduction to the macroeconomic concepts of employment, income, and output, with an emphasis on their measurement and determination. The impact of policy decisions on the business cycle is investigated.

ECON 303 Prices and the Market System

An intermediate course in microeconomics analyzing the process by which the decisions of households and business firms interact through a price system to influence the allocation of resources. Practical applications are used to illustrate the usefulness of economic theory.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, and ECON-222.

ECON 304 Inflation, Employment & Income

An intermediate macroeconomic course analyzing the determination of national income, employment, the price level, interest rates, and exchanges in the economy. Piece-by-piece, a theoretical model will be constructed that is capable of describing how each of these variables is determined. After the model is completed, the course investigates issues of business cycle theory, foreign trade, and macroeconomic policy. Special attention will be given to theoretical and policy debates.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, and ECON-222.

ECON 307 Money, Banking & the Economy

An examination of the role that money, interest rates, and financial intermediaries play in the operation of the U.S. economy. The goal of the course is to give students an overview of the U.S. financial system and an understanding of the theory and practice of monetary policy. The topics blend institutional analysis with theoretical modeling and empirical/historical perspectives.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, and ECON-222.


ECON 305 Labor Economics

Labor Economics deals with labor markets, the arrangement under which firms demand workers and the workers supply their labor. Labor is demanded because of its productivity in producing goods and services. Labor is supplied for monetary as well as non-monetary reasons, such as stability of employment, job safety, and opportunity for advancement. Special course attention is given to recent developments affecting the market, including technology, international competitiveness, minimum wage legislation, union activities, income distribution, and ethical issues.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, and ECON-222.

ECON 412 International Economics

An economic analysis of the foundations of international trade and the impact of trade on domestic and global economies. Impediments to trade, such as tariffs and quotas, are analyzed. The course includes a study of the balance of payments, world debt, exchange rates, and the international monetary system. Current issues and problems are emphasized.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, and ECON-222.

ECON 415 Urban and Regional Economics

In this course, economic analysis is applied to urban and regional problems of redevelopment with emphasis on analysis and techniques relevant to changing urban form and function, regional public finance, housing and renewal, poverty and race, transportation, and environmental problems.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, and ECON-222.

ECON 309 World Economic Geography

This course focuses on the connections between physical, cultural, and political geography and our economies. Case studies are used to explore both natural and global economic issues.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, and ECON-222.

ECON 352 American Economic History

This course traces the evolution of American economic life from its agricultural/rural origins and economy through the Industrial Revolution, the rise of industrial capitalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Great Depression era and its aftermath, to the emergence of our modern, postindustrial urban society of today.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, ECON-222 HIST-118, and HIST-201.

ECON 370 Special Topics in Political Economy

These courses will consider a variety of topics of contemporary interest in the political economy. A broad array of political economic issues and problems will be studied, including the political economy of women and leadership, capitalism in crisis, and other courses offered on a rotating basis.

ECON 470 Special Topics in Economics

These courses consider a variety of topics related to the practice and science of economics. A broad array of economic issues will be studies, including the history of economic thought, behavioral economics, social issues in economics, and other courses offered on a rotating basis.

Prerequisites: ECON-221, and ECON-222.


  • Hans Despain

    Hans Despain
    Associate Professor of Economics / Economics Program Chair & Honors Scholar Program Chair

  • Karol Gil-Vasquez

    Karol Gil-Vasquez
    Assistant Professor of Economics

  • Kalpana Khanal

    Kalpana Khanal
    Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance