The undergraduate program in economics equips students with tools helpful in understanding a wide variety of economic events and institutional arrangements. In part, this understanding comes from learning facts about economic institutions and economic history. But facts do not interpret themselves. Economic facts are best viewed through the lens of economic theory. Similarly, economic data must be subjected to careful statistical analysis. The undergraduate program in economics emphasizes applications of economic theory and statistical analysis to a wide variety of real-world events and arrangements in both the private sector and the public sector.
After graduating, economics majors disperse in many directions. Most begin careers in business or finance. Of these, many enter MBA programs after two or three years of work experience. About one-fourth of the University's economics majors go to law school after they graduate. Others enter military service, work in the public sector, go to medical school, etc.
Each year, a few graduates go to graduate school to continue their study of economics or related subjects. For more information on admission to the University's graduate program in economics check out this page: http://economics.virginia.edu/graduate/admissions or for nation-wide graduate level offerings in Economics: http://www.aeaweb.org/gradstudents/Schools.php
To help guide majors in their internship and career searches, the Department launched the Economics Career Office (ECO) in the Fall of 2013. The ECO services are exclusively for declared Economics majors and it has quickly become a valuable resource. Please visit the Career website for information on the ECO.
Currently, there are about 600 economics majors at the University. Most years, Economics is the largest single major in the College of Arts & Sciences.
In addition, the number of students who enroll in one or both of the introductory (Principles) economics courses greatly exceeds the number of majors. The Principles courses are taught in a variety of formats - from large sections of over 500 students (supplemented by small discussion sections) to small sections of about 30. Higher level courses typically have 40-60 students in them.
If you're considering an economics major, we advise you to join the mailing list. The pre-economics mailing list was created to provide important information to students who have not yet declared the major.
We are often asked by other departments, organizations, firms, and universities to pass along information to Economics students. These announcements include speakers, fellowships, internships, newly formed graduate programs, etc.
We do not routinely forward these announcements to majors or prospective majors for fear that our e-mail will be discounted as spam. If you would like to receive information of this kind, please subscribe the Econ-Miscellaneous mailing list.