In a world without scarcity, economics as a field of study would be unnecessary. The most challenging task of economics is the study of how to best use resources in the satisfaction of human wants. Today, more than ever, the problems agitating society are predominantly economic. The problems of inequality, discrimination, pollution, energy, growth and stagnation are heavily economic, 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 in the 21st century.
With appropriate preparation, particularly in the areas of economic theory, statistical methods and computer-assisted data analysis, the career opportunities for economists are diverse. Economists are most typically employed at all levels of government, in banking and financial institutions, other business firms, labor organizations, and as researchers and teachers in the educational system. One of the most dynamic career areas for economists has been in business. Business economists are typically involved in planning and forecasting, production and market analysis, pricing, and government policy analysis. While various employment opportunities are available to the university graduate with a baccalaureate degree, the person who wishes to pursue a high-powered career as a professional economist should plan to do some graduate study.
The department’s faculty and staff invite questions about the program and career opportunities for economics majors. Interested persons are invited to visit the department office in Parks Hall 315 or to telephone 360-650-3910. Written inquiries should be directed to the Department of Economics, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9074. E-mail: Econ@wwu.edu. Website: http://cbe.wwu.edu/econ/index.shtml.
Typically all economics faculty on ongoing appointments hold the PhD degree and are engaged in research and consulting activities at the local, state, national and international level. Faculty members have a commitment to quality teaching, personalized student contact and student advisement.
STEVEN E. HENSON (1985) Chair and Professor. BA, California State University; MS, PhD, University of Oregon.
BRANDON DUPONT (2006) Associate Professor. BA, McNeese State University; MA, University of Iowa; PhD, University of Kansas.
YVONNE DURHAM (2000). Professor. BA, University of Wyoming; MA, PhD, University of Arizona.
MOHEB A. GHALI (1993) Professor. BCom, Cairo University; MA, University of California; PhD, University of Washington.
STEVEN GLOBERMAN (1994) Kaiser Professor of International Business and Director of the Center for International Business. BA, Brooklyn College; MA, University of California-Los Angeles; PhD, New York University.
DANIEL A. HAGEN (1988) Professor. BA, MA, PhD, University of California-Berkeley.
JULIA HANSEN (1988) Professor. BA, University of Vermont; MA, PhD, University of California-Berkeley.
L. HART HODGES (2000) Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Economic and Business Research. BA, Williams College; MEM, Duke University; PhD, University of Washington.
SHAWN KNABB (2005) Associate Professor. BA, Miami University; MA, PhD, University of California-Santa Barbara.
JOHN KRIEG (2000). Professor and Director of the Office of Survey Research. BA, Northwestern University; MA, PhD, University of Oregon.
DENNIS R. MURPHY (1979) Professor. BA, MA, Western Washington University; PhD, Indiana University.
DAVID M. NELSON (1977) Professor. BA, Whitworth College; MA, PhD, University of Oregon.
MATTHEW R. ROELOFS (1997) Professor. BA, Calvin College; MS, PhD, Purdue University.
SHARON SHEWMAKE (2013) Assistant Professor. BA, Duke University; PhD, University of California-Davis.
PAUL A. STORER (1996) Professor. BA, MA, University of Toronto; PhD, University of Western Ontario.
OZAN SULA (2006) Associate Professor. BA, Marmara University; MA, PhD, Claremont Graduate University.
PHILIP THOMPSON (2009) Assistant Professor. BA, Kent State University; PhD, University of Arizona.
The mission of the department is to provide students with an understanding of economic concepts and the functioning of the economy, and to equip them with the ability to apply economic analysis in problem solving. The department strives to provide a major program which gives students rigorous training in both economic theory and applications. The department plays an integral role in offering courses that are a component of Western’s General University Requirements and that are part of other undergraduate and graduate programs in the college and in the University. The department views the conduct of research in economics, and applied research in particular, to be an integral part of its instructional mission. In addition, the department strives to serve both the profession and the community and to help raise the level of economic awareness among the public at large.
Students must have achieved a 2.50 cumulative college GPA (including transfer work) to declare a major in economics. Completion of the CBE Foundation courses is not required to declare a major in economics, except for the economics-accounting combined major (see Economics/Accounting, BA ). Students planning to major in economics should declare their major as early as possible, preferably during their first year at Western. Early declaration is costless and in no way restricts the student’s options for changing plans later, but it provides many benefits. Advantages include faculty advising, and protection against possible future catalog revisions that change degree requirements. Declared majors are also eligible for departmental scholarships and other awards. Transfer students should contact the department prior to registering to be certain that they enter the course sequence correctly with the appropriate course equivalents from other institutions.
Other Departmental Information
The economics program at Western provides several options under the Bachelor of Arts degree.
The economics major requires a foundation in economic theory and quantitative skills and provides opportunities for pursuing in depth a number of important areas within economics, most notably financial, environmental, and resource economics.
A combined major is available as an option to students whose educational or professional interests may best be furthered by an integrated curriculum from two disciplines. A combined major may be fulfilled by the completion of requirements stipulated by both the Economics Department and a department with which Economics has established arrangements. A plan of study must be approved by both departments for completion of the major. Combined majors already exist with accounting, environmental studies, mathematics, philosophy and political science, social studies, and finance. Students are encouraged to explore the possibility of combining economics with other disciplines.
Students must consult with an advisor prior to the selection of a major option or the selection of elective credits in other departments of the College of Business and Economics (CBE) to be included as part of the economics major.
ProgramsUndergraduate MajorUndergraduate Combined MajorUndergraduate Minor
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.