Economics Resources

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Graduate and Professional School Resources

Graduate School Information

Students interested in opportunities for post-graduate work will find it helpful to start at the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS). The CLS offers general assistance with the planning and application process to graduate and professional schools. Most graduate and many professional schools require the GRE, while professional schools may require specialized tests — like business and law. Information and rankings on graduate programs can be found at U.S. News and World Report and Peterson’s.

Additional information about graduate work in economics, public administration, mathematical finance, business, and law is provided below.

Graduate Study in Economics

Becoming a professional economist typically means getting a doctorate, but many economics majors choose to pursue other paths. If you think you may be interested in graduate school in economics, it is a good idea to talk with your professor or advisor about this to help you choose classes. Our recent graduates have attended such prestigious schools as Columbia, Cornell, Berkeley, Yale, Stanford, the University of Michigan, Duke, and others./p>

Virtually all well-reputed Ph.D. programs have a first-year theory sequence that is heavily mathematical. There is a simple rule of thumb about that first year in graduate school: the more math you have had, the easier it will be.

  • A year of calculus and a semester of linear algebra should be regarded as a bare minimum.
  • Most doctorate programs strongly recommend work in real analysis (as covered in Math 316, Foundations of Analysis).
  • It would also make sense to include Math 335 and 336 in your program.

General information about requirements for graduate school can be found on the AEA website.

Graduate Study in Public Administration

Economics majors are often attracted to public policy and public administration programs. Graduates in these areas — usually with master's degrees — typically work in federal, state, or local government. They are usually managers or administrators but sometimes work in research.

Graduate study in public policy or public administration normally requires less quantitative training than economics, but intermediate theory courses will usually be required if you have not completed them as an undergraduate. Econometrics would likely prove useful. Also, courses related to the operation of the government in the economy (e.g. Public Finance, Current State of the U.S. Economy) might be of special interest.

Graduate Study in Mathematical Finance

This relatively new field provides an outlet for those with strong math and econ backgrounds who are interested in the financial industry. Issues addressed include budgeting, trading financial assets, borrowing, lending, insuring, hedging, diversifying, forecasting, and managing risk. Because the future cannot be known with certainty, financial economics deals with the impact of uncertainty in resource allocation.

Business and Law School

Probably the most common areas of graduate study among economics majors are business and law. Many students are surprised to learn that neither business nor law schools have undergraduate course requirements. They accept students with all kinds of diverse backgrounds. Nevertheless, some courses in the economic curriculum are especially useful in those disciplines.

All business students must eventually take microeconomic theory (our ECN 280), in graduate school if not as an undergraduate. Microeconomics also comes up in law courses.

Similarly, Financial and Managerial Accounting (326) and Corporate Finance (327) are useful to both law and business students.

Graduate School Information

Career Resources and Other Links

Career Information

  • Employment Resources at Grinnell College CLS
    The CLS offers an assortment of resources and assistance for you throughout your college years and beyond. Employment opportunities are available through Consortia, on-campus recruiters, and resume referrals from employers. Let the CLS help you with your job search. Full-time, part-time, and summer positions are available.

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