Housed within a top research and teaching department, the undergraduate program in economics at the University of Virginia emphasizes applications of economic theory and statistical analysis to a wide variety of real-world events and arrangements in both the private and public sectors. Students move through a progression of coursework providing the foundational understanding of the discipline, theoretical tools and frameworks; they then learn quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis, and delve into advanced coursework for a deeper understanding of anti-trust policy, development economics, economics of education, environmental economics, experimental economics, health economics, financial markets, industrial organization, international trade, labor markets and policies, law and economics, and poverty alleviation.
The Economics Career Office welcomes you to partner with us to reach your hiring goals.
Our students are recruited for internships and full-time positions with leading organizations across sectors and industries. The major encourages broad and critical thinking, skill development in quantitative reasoning and problem solving, data analysis and econometric methodology. Majors go on to work in fields such as consulting, banking and finance, information technology, public policy, government, marketing, nonprofit, law, public administration, urban and regional planning, and environmental services.
Through our program, majors learn to:
- Apply economics principles to analyze and evaluate information.
- Draw economic policy references based on study of micro- and macro-economic systems.
- Abstract and simplify in order to identify and model problems.
More than one-third of our students graduate with double majors. These double majors include mathematics, statistics, natural and social sciences, commerce, engineering, government/foreign affairs, humanities and languages. Many of our majors are studying big data and approaches to capture, manage, and understand the stories data tells.
Distinguished Majors Program
This is a highly selective program that brings together a collective of majors in their fourth year to more deeply participate in the intellectual life of the department. Students pursue independent research working closely with faculty, and write and present an original thesis. These students often pursue work in research-focused organizations/go on to attend graduate school.
While the undergraduate program in economics already is challenging and comprehensive, some students choose to declare a concentration, formally adding another focus to their studies.
Financial Economics is technically challenging and requires a high level of mathematical and econometric knowledge and skill. It provides an academic grounding in financial markets and financial decision making. Students learn how economic theory and econometric methods can be combined to analyze economic phenomena and study core issues in financial decision-making. Majors may be considering jobs on Wall Street and/or ultimately pursue careers as economists for governments, research institutes, or in private industry.
Industrial Organization has as its focus the exercise of market power by firms and the strategic interaction between firms. Courses in the concentration use theoretical and empirical analysis to explore a wide variety of issues related to the functioning of markets and related public policies. In combination with the major requirements, the concentration prepares students for careers in business, law, and consulting.
International Economics is designed for ambitious majors with a keen interest in global economic policy. Many students will combine this concentration with a study abroad program and/or a foreign affairs major. Students may be considering jobs in international development with the U.S. government and/or other governments, multi-laterals, NGOs, or non-profits.
Public Policy develops critical evaluation of arguments for particular government action. Students study fiscal and regulatory policy, which includes the effects of taxes and spending as well as regulation on individuals and organizations. Students use behavioral models and statistical techniques that help predict the size of these effects. Students compete successfully for the best entry-level positions in government and public policy research as well as entry into competitive graduate programs.
Working with the ECO
With more than 700 declared Economics majors each year, we welcome you to partner with us and connect with our students. We have listed some points of entry below and welcome your creative suggestions:
- Publicize job and internship openings through our job posting database.
- Host a skills-based or industry-focused workshop, critique resumes, offer mock interviews, or present a case competition (on grounds or remotely).
- Sit on one of our Economics Career Series panels or Career Chats.
- Engage U.Va. alumni, who work at your firm, in recruiting efforts.
- Collaborate with the Economics Club.