Learning Goals for Majors

The Economics Department at Hunter College has specified a set of learning goals for the Economics major.   Their purpose is to set out what graduating seniors are expected to know or to be able to do at the end of their course of study.

One definition of economics is that it is the social science that deals with how best to use scarce resources to satisfy unlimited needs and wants. While economists do not claim to have the answer to what people should want, we do have something to say about how to get it. Economics is more about how to think than what to think.

Limited resources make tradeoffs necessary for consumers, businesses, and nations.  Microeconomics addresses the decisions of consumers and firms. Macroeconomics is concerned with aggregate income, inflation and unemployment.  At both the micro and macro levels, economists study the impact of government policies, ranging from regulatory activities in individual markets (warning labels on cigarette packages) to general measures for stabilizing and steering the economy at large (dealing with failing banks) on the well-being of society.

Our learning goals include the following competencies.:

Critical Thinking Skills
CT1: Understand everyday economics problems
CT2: Use economic theory to understand and evaluate policy proposals
CT3:  Differentiate between positive and normative Statements
CT4: Understand the role of assumptions in reaching conclusions
Quantitative Skills
QT1: Understand the role of empirical evidence in evaluating economic problems
QT2: Interpret results
QT3: Conduct statistical analysis
QT4: Gather or obtain research data
Problem Solving Skills
PS1: Solve problems with clear solution
PS2: Analyze Ambiguous Situations
Specialized knowledge in fields
SP1:  Specialized knowledge in fields
Communication Skills
CS1: Formulate and support economic arguments in writing and/or orally
Lifelong Learning Skills
LL1: Information databases
LL2: Primary data Sources
LL3: Understand economic news

Matrices showing how particular courses help students achieve these competencies are here: