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"Among a recent study of 925 private colleges, Calvin ranks 15th in the number of students going on to earn a Ph.D."

Where students and faculty work together to test theories, challenge assumptions, and change the world.


The field of economics is most simply defined as the study of how people choose to use resources.  Resources include not only the time and talent people have available, but also the land and other natural resources, buildings, equipment, and other tools, and the knowledge of how to combine them to create useful products and services.  Microeconomics involves the behavior of individuals, and macroeconomics focuses on the collective behavior of businesses and industries, governments and countries, and the globe as a whole.

Economics graduates are uniquely prepared to excel in a fast-paced global economy. Economic theories are vital for understanding how law, health, policy, ethics and the environment are changing the business world.


The study of economics is a key element in understanding business, government and policy-making, health administration, environment and resource management, international trade, international development and much more.  Because Economics graduates have a varied skill set in communication and team work, political awareness, mathematics and computing, research, and analysis and problem solving, they are employed in a range of jobs which may or may not be directly related to the discipline they studied.  They work in manufacturing, transportation, communications, banking, insurance, investment and retailing, law, and a variety of non-profit or government positions. Economics students develop a quantitative and analytical toolset appropriate for a digital age that is awash in information but lacking clear direction. Our program emphsizes learning how to handle data responsibly and develop practical solutions for real world problems.


Economics majors tackle some of the toughest problems head on. Here is are some examples of professions that our recent graduates have entered:

- reforming health care
- shaping a healthy financial system
- assisting new business owners in the developing world
- envisioning environmentally sustainable business practices and government practices
-working for the U.S. State Department overseas


Academic Programs

Our department offers several programs, each of which can be tailored to specific student interests.

  1. Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and
  2. a group concentration* in the social sciences, and
  3. a group concentration* involving economics and mathematics, and
  4. minors tailored to other majors, including specialties within the business major.

You may also enter the Teacher Education Program to pursue a future in teaching.

*Group concentrations must form a coherent, planned program approved by your advisor.




Alumni Comments

Jeff Bloem, '13

Currently I am working in Kenya as a Research Assistant for Partners Worldwide. In the fall of 2014, I start graduate work at Michigan State University in the Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics Department.

Majoring in economics has prepared me not only for success in my current role but also for my future. Learning economics at Calvin taught me to how to think critically, how to analyze situations, and how to solve problems. In my current role as a research assistant I am constantly recalling skills and tools I learned while working my way through Calvin's Economics program.

My advice for economics students is learn to enjoy learning. This is important, especially for the aspiring economist, as learning can happen anywhere, while grocery shopping, commuting to work, or over dinner with friends.

Jeff Bloem