Economics Department to Add Bachelor of Science Degree

The faculty members present during the March 9 meeting in McCook Auditorium voted unanimously to add the Economics Department to the list of departments and programs authorized to offer the Bachelor of Science degree. The addition of the new degree will allow students the option of pursuing either a B.S. or B.A. in economics. In order to receive the B.S. degree, students will be required to include in their curriculum courses with more mathematical and statistical orientation. The Bachelor of Science in Economics will be offered next fall.

As indicated by the stated rationale for the additional degree, the economics field is much more mathematics-based than ever before and the lack of math in Trinity’s B.A. program can limit what students learn. Because most modern economics literature presupposes that students understand the basic concepts of calculus and/or statistical methods, much of that literature is beyond the grasp of current students—thereby limiting the scope of their education. “This provides a good option for students who are capable of handling more mathematics and will enable them to do more economics,” explains Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy Andrew Gold. “At the same time, we are still committed to economics as a liberal art.”

Another issue that prompted the addition of the B.S., according to the rationale, is the ability to properly prepare students for graduate work in economics. The new degree will provide an incentive for students to take courses that will better prepare them if they choose to pursue Ph.D.-level work in economics. Up until now this systemic limitation has been addressed informally through the advising process, with faculty members encouraging students to acquire more math skills as needed.

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