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|
|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|
|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: