About the Department

The UO Economics Department, located in the College of Arts and Sciences, employs a vibrant group of 25 faculty members. The department is distinguished among others in the College with four endowed chairs/professorships. The faculty publishes regularly in leading journals in the profession, and serves on several editorial boards and national advisory panels. In addition to pursuing frontier research, the department’s faculty strives for excellence in the classroom. Among our faculty, two are previous recipients of the Ersted Award, a University-wide award for distinguished teaching. In the most-recent NRC rankings of economics departments, which rate the quality of a department’s faculty and doctoral program, the department ranked 16th among all public institutions in the nation.

The department’s undergraduate student enrollment continues its long-term upward trend. In the 2000-2001 academic year the Department served more than 4,200 students across all undergraduate course offerings, with about 300 undergraduates choosing to major in Economics. Today, the department has grown to include more than 900 undergraduate majors, in addition to thousands of other students with other majors for whom Economics coursework is an integral part of their undergraduate studies.

Our majors have many opportunities to expand their academic activities beyond coursework, including participating in the Peer Advising Group and participating in research projects supervised by the faculty. Career opportunities abound for Economics majors and our graduates have found positions in both the public (federal, state, and local government agencies) and private (banking, consulting) sectors. In addition, a degree in Economics is an excellent springboard for graduate studies across a wide variety of fields, including law, business, and international relations, among others.

The department is unique among many of its peers in that in addition to offering a PhD in Economics there is also a focused, terminal Master’s degree program available to prospective students. Our PhD program, with its low student/faculty ratio, is structured to develop high quality research and teaching skills. It prepares students for faculty positions in colleges and universities, and for advanced research positions in both government and private industry. Likewise, our Master’s program prepares students for a wide range of consulting and applied research positions in private industry and government, as well as teaching positions in two-year and other colleges for which a PhD is not required. The job market for economists at all levels has been excellent, and our graduates have obtained positions across the U.S. and internationally.

In the most-recent NRC rankings of economics departments, which rate the quality of a department’s faculty and doctoral program, the UO Economics Department ranked first in the nation in the proportion of PhD graduates finding employment in academic positions.