Undergraduate Programs


The Department of Economics offers two baccalaureate degrees. The bachelor of arts program provides students with a strong intuitive understanding of the role economics incentives play in shaping society, and in the role society plays in shaping incentives. The bachelor of science program, in addition, emphasizes statistical and quantitative methods used to model and evaluate human action, particularly as those actions are carried out by governments or businesses.

Both degree programs provide excellent preparation for employment in business, government, or foreign services, for law school, or for graduate studies in business administration or public policy. The Bachelor of Science program provides stronger preparation for graduate study in economics. Students can also add an emphasis in financial economics to the Bachelor of Science degree.

All majors are expected to complete a capstone research paper in conjunction with any 400-level economics course or as part of Economics 492. In this paper the student demonstrates a satisfactory ability to analyze an economic issue or problem and explain their findings effectively in writing. The research paper is evaluated and jointly approved by the professor of the corresponding 400-level economics course and the director of undergraduate studies.

Minor in Economics

For students in other disciplines, we provide a very flexible minor. A student with a major in business, another social science, mathematics, engineering, computer science, journalism, or any number of other disciplines may find it both intellectually rewarding and employment enhancing to minor in economics. The department also participates in the following interdisciplinary minors: Black Studies, Environmental Studies, International Relations, Latino and Latin American Studies, Public Administration and Urban Studies.

Other Degree Options

We offer both teaching licensure and honors degree options for majors:

Distinguished Faculty

Because the department offers strong graduate programs at the masters and doctoral levels, there is a distinguished faculty of specialists teaching in fields such as government and business, public finance, labor economics, international trade and finance, econometrics, monetary policy, and economic development. These distinguished faculty members devote most of their teaching time to undergraduate classes, which enables a close and important connection between professor and student at NIU. Compared with other universities of Northern's standing, undergraduate Economics students have greater access to a distinguished faculty.

Careers in Economics

Students who major in Economics possess important skills that are highly valued in today's job market. Hence, majors in Economics have a wide and varied array of employment opportunities in administration, marketing research, financial services, sales, management, insurance, real estate, public and social services, as well as many other exciting fields.

For more information on employment of Economics majors, see the employment outlook.