Welcome from the Undergraduate Director

Matthew Oliver
Matthew E. Oliver
Director of Undergraduate Programs

 

The Georgia Tech School of Economics offers three undergraduate degree programs: Economics (ECON), Economics and International Affairs (EIA), and Global Economics and Modern Languages (GEML). By enrolling in one of our programs, you join an intellectually curious and highly engaged cohort of fellow students in learning from expertly skilled faculty mentors who are passionate about economics. An economics degree from Georgia Tech affords you the advantages of an academically rigorous social science education in a world-class research institution with an innovative, technologically advanced, and entrepreneurial environment.

Economics is the science of decision making through which you learn to analyze problems in terms of trade-offs and incentives. By studying economics you develop a way of critical thinking and analysis that you can apply to a nearly unlimited range of questions. In his seminal work, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, the great economist John Maynard Keynes states:

“The object of our analysis is, not to provide a machine, or method of blind manipulation, which will furnish an infallible answer, but to provide ourselves with an organized and orderly method of thinking out particular problems; and, after we have reached a provisional conclusion by isolating the complicating factors one by one, we then have to go back on ourselves and allow, as well as we can, for the probable interactions of the factors amongst themselves. This is the nature of economic thinking. Any other way of applying our formal principles of thought (without which, however, we shall be lost in the wood) will lead us into error.”

The fact is that any issue can be studied by economists—it’s just a matter of how you approach the problem. I always tell my students, the beauty of economics is that any question can be made into an economic question if you ask it in the right way.

Just a few examples of the challenging and diverse problems that our faculty are currently researching include: the market and environmental impacts of the transition to renewable energy, the relationship between income equality and labor market outcomes, the effects of ‘choice overload’ on consumer behavior, the short- and long-term effects of armed conflict on the health and education of children, and the impact of physician networks and market structure on the adoption of information technology in healthcare services.

You can engage in in-depth research by working with a faculty mentor through our Research Option program. You can also develop significant global competencies by participating in the International Plan. Our curriculum has a strong quantitative focus with courses in statistics, econometrics, and forecasting. It also gives you the flexibility to obtain a minor or certificate in another area that interests you. We assist and encourage students to do internships where they can use the knowledge and skills developed in the classroom.

Our graduates typically have highly marketable skills in economic modelling, quantitative methods, and policy analysis. They pursue careers in industry, banking, consulting, government, education and non-profit organizations. They also attend graduate schools in economics, business, finance, law, and even medicine.

An undergraduate education in Economics at Georgia Tech is an excellent preparation for a variety of productive careers and equips you well to continue learning and adapting in a fast-changing world. I welcome and encourage you to explore and discover the exciting world of economics with us!

- Dr. Matthew E. Oliver, Director of Undergraduate Programs