Economics studies the institutions and arrangements that are used to create, protect, and allocate scarce resources that have alternative uses. It advances our understanding of the behavior of individuals, firms, governments and other organizations. Economics’ deep intellectual roots, rigorous analytical methods, and powerful ability to explain and evaluate social phenomena make it an exceptionally rewarding field of studyVISIT DEPARTMENT WEBSITE
- Economics is one of the most popular majors at the University of Washington. Economics courses are popular with non-majors as well, with approximately 3,500 students enrolling in ECON 200: Intro to Microeconomics and ECON 201: Intro to Macroeconomics each year.
- The Department of Economics has student exchange programs with six leading international universities in Europe and Asia.
- Economics alumni and friends have given the department endowments of nearly $18 million for the support of scholarships, fellowships, and faculty research.
- Economics has strong connections with the local technology industry, with many affiliate faculty from Amazon and Microsoft.
The Department of Economics offers three degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. The Department has a competitive admission process, which reflects the rigor of the major to prospective students and thereby improves the experience for all students seeking an Economics education.
The Bachelor of Arts is for students who are intrigued by economic problems and questions and are attracted to economists’ challenging and analytical approach to explaining social phenomena. The BA provides an excellent preparation for employment in the private and public sectors, and for graduate study in a variety of fields, such as law and business.
The Bachelor of Science requires a more intensive background in math and statistics, reflecting the distinctive quantitative character of modern economics. It is especially suitable for students intending to go on to graduate study in economics and related fields such as finance.
Special programs for undergraduates include a departmental honors program; study abroad programs in Thailand, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan; a mentorship program; and certificate programs in four areas of specialization: international economics, economic theory and quantitative methods, quantitative managerial economics, and environmental and natural resource economics.
Our graduate program prepares students to undertake original research and instructional responsibilities as academic economists at universities and colleges, or to undertake original and applied research as economists in public or private organizations.
- 694 Undergraduate majors
- 93 Graduate students
- 3,500+ Students from across campus enroll in ECON 200 and 201 annually
September 2021 - June 2022
- 163 Bachelor of Arts degrees
- 139 Bachelor of Science degrees
- 15 PhD degrees
Major Student Awards
- 3 Arts & Sciences Dean’s Medals
- 2 President’s Sophomore Medalist
- 6 Fulbright Scholarships
- 3 Bonderman Fellows
- 19 Husky 100 Awards
- 11 Professors
- 1 Teaching Professor
- 5 Associate Professors
- 2 Associate Teaching Professors
- 6 Assistant Professors
- 1 Assistant Teaching Professor
- 3 Visiting Scholars
- 12 Emeritus Professors
- 8 Adjunct Professors
- 8 Affiliate Professors
The Department of Economics has two elected Fellows of the Econometric Society: Professor Stephen Turnovsky and Professor Emeritus Charles Nelson. The Econometric Society is widely considered the most significant society in economic science. Its aim is to promote the integration of theoretical and empirical quantitative approaches to economic problems.
Additional faculty honors and leadership positions include Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Fellow of the American Statistical Association, Fellow of the Journal of Econometrics, Fellow of the International Association for Applied Econometrics, past President of the Society of Economic Dynamics and Control, past President of the Society for Computational Economics, Director of the International Trade and Macroeconomics Program at the Central Bank Research Association, and honorary doctorates from Aix-Marseille University (France) and Victoria University (New Zealand), among many others.
Journal publications are the critical source of visibility and impact in economics, and in this respect the Department has been well represented in leadership positions across a wide range of economic journals. These include editorships of leading general journals such as the European Economic Review and Review of Economics and Statistics, and leading field journals such as the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. Members of the Department are currently serving, or have recently served, as Co-Editors of major journals such as the Journal of Finance and Macroeconomic Dynamics. The Department has also been well represented on editorial boards of many leading journals in sub-fields of economics. These include Econometrics (Econometric Reviews, Econometric Theory, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Financial Econometrics), Macroeconomics (Journal of Macroeconomics, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking), International Economics (International Finance, Journal of International Economics, Journal of International Money and Finance, Review of International Economics), Behavioral Economics (Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization), and many others.
The Department of Economics is at the forefront in research on contract theory and game theory, development, econometrics, international and macroeconomics, and time-series econometrics. Our faculty members have received public and private research support from numerous organizations, including the Ford Foundation, German Research Foundation, IZA, J-PAL, Korea Research Foundation, PIMS, Russell Sage Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, UW PHI, and others.
A distinctive and important feature of our graduate program is the willingness of faculty to involve graduate students in their research, providing an environment that nurtures scholarship and leads to collaborative research efforts culminating in joint papers written with faculty. Consequently, our students often graduate with completed research papers that are well advanced in the publication process.
Areas of Research
- Applied Microeconomics
- Big Data and Machine Learning
- Contract Theory
- Development Economics
- Economic Growth
- Econometrics of Optimal Transport
- Financial Economics
- Game Theory
- Heterogeneity in Macroeconomics
- Industrial Organization
- International Macroeconomics and Finance
- Network Economics
- Nonparametric and Semi-perimetric Econometrics
- Time Series Econometrics
The Department of Economics has a robust alumni outreach program in place, designed to engage our nearly 15,000 alumni with the department and one another in meaningful interactions. With support from members of the Economics Visiting Committee, our outreach efforts facilitate student/alumni engagement in the form of mentoring, networking, and internship programs.
The Mentorship Program pairs current students with alumni, with a goal of helping students transition from college life to the workplace. The program started in 2012 and boasts over 100 participating members each year.
The UW Women in Economics group was formed in 2013 by Economics alumni to expand opportunities for women in economics and promote diversity in the field. Each year, they host events open to all students including LinkedIn and resume workshops, workplace visits, keynote lectures from speakers at organizations like the Federal Reserve and World Bank, and more.
The department hosts a variety of public lectures throughout the year that provide opportunities for engagement with leading scholars. The annual Nobel Prize lecture each spring examines the transformative research of the previous year’s Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, while the Biennial Endowed Milliman Lecture in Economics brings distinguished scholars to the UW campus for free public lectures on timely and compelling economics themes.
The department’s Visiting Committee consists of community and business leaders who provide advisory council to the department chair and facilitate faculty outreach.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee (DEI) of the Department of Economics was created in 2015 in response to the UW’s Race & Equity Initiative. The DEI Committee aims to foster an inclusive environment for all community members, especially for students of historically underrepresented groups, for whom access has systematically been limited. Members of the DEI Committee include faculty, staff, alumni, and student representatives who meet monthly throughout the academic year.
To address these issues, we work to:
- Increase access and awareness of the Economics Undergraduate Program to students who are directly affiliated with the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity suite of outreach & support programs (Educational Opportunity Program, TRIO SSS, College Assistance Migrant Program, and the Champions Program). We aim to support students who identify as historically underrepresented minority students, economically disadvantaged students, first-generation college students, students from migrant & seasonal migrant families, as well as students who identify as alumni of the foster care system and/or identify as unaccompanied homeless youth.
- Support Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity students in introductory-level Economics coursework, by providing academic advising support, exam review sessions, and tutoring.
- Empower the faculty, staff, and students of the UW Department of Economics to nurture an inclusive environment.
In addition to offering quarterly exam review sessions for our introductory-level courses, the DEI committee has hosted career panels and panels on diversity in the Economics profession.
SUPPORTING ECONOMICS AT UW
We strive to prepare the next generation of economists through extraordinary faculty, education, and experiential learning. But we can’t preserve our standard of excellence without your help — your contributions make a difference.
There are many opportunities for you to make a difference in the Department of Economics, from supporting need-based undergraduate student scholarships or endowing a faculty chair to supporting graduate student research or helping support the purchase of new computer lab and library materials. Graduate fellowships have become crucially important to the success of our graduate students and our graduate program, allowing us to recruit stronger students by making more competitive admission offers, and providing financial support to senior students that allows them to fully focus on their research.
Endowments Supporting Students
- Bogdan, Albert L. Endowed Fund
- Buechel, Henry T. Memorial Scholarship Endowment
- Corkery, George & Pearl Memorial Scholarship
- Corkery, Alberta C. Endowed Scholarship
- Economics Endowed Fund
- Ensley, Grover & Creta Fellowship in Economic Policy
- France, Dorothy L. Endowed Scholarship
- Freimuth, Stan Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship
- Hall, James K. and Viola M. Fellowship Fund
- Heyne, Paul T. Endowed Fund for Undergraduate Teaching Development
- Kahl, Clifford G. and Wanda M. Student Support Fund in Economics
- Langton, Steven Endowed Fund in Economics
- Milliman, Glen S. & Alison W. Endowed Fund in Economics
- Sroufe, J. Parker & Evelyn Cruz Endowed Scholarship
- Storer, Rachel M. Memorial
- Turnovsky, Michelle and Stephen Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship
- Wallin, Clark D. Endowed Fund in Economics
- Wesley, Richard B. Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Economics
- Yang Yanlan and Robert Endowed Fund
York, James O. Endowed Fund
Endowments Supporting Faculty Research
- Brimmer, Andrew Felton Professorship in Economics
- Buechel, Henry T. Memorial Endowment
- Castor Professorship in Economics
- Corkery, Alberta C. Endowed Chair
- Cressey, Bryan C. Endowed Professorship
- Dvorak, Eldon J. Endowment
- Glaser, Paul F. Endowed Professorship in Economics
- Milliman Endowed Chair in Economics
- Nelson, Charles R. Endowed Professorship in Economics
- Preston, Howard H. Endowed Scholarship in Economics
- Richards, Robert R. Endowed Chair in Economics
- Turnovsky, Stephen and Michelle Endowed Faculty Research Support Fund
- Van Voorhis, Ford & Louisa Professorship in Political Economy
- Wesley, Richard B. Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Economics
Department of Economics
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
last update: December 2022