Economics and Quantitative Economics

Economics and Quantitative Economics

Economics Department Website

Study the big picture.

Why are some nations rich and others poor? What determines the price of gasoline, corn, and airline tickets? Why is it so difficult for the world to tackle climate change? What causes housing shortages? Why are there inflation and recessions? Who is helped and who is hurt by international trade? And at a basic level, how do tomatoes, computers, and swimsuits get from the people who make them to the people who want them—all without government direction?

Economics studies humanity “in the ordinary business of life,” as Alfred Marshall said more than 100 years ago. People who understand Economics are in an excellent position to make sound business decisions, evaluate government policies, and analyze evidence in legal cases.


At Drake, you will study Economics in small classes with good teachers—several have won teaching awards. Alongside fundamental economic concepts, you will learn methods of data analysis, so important in today’s world and so critical for getting your first job. You will cap your Economics major by writing a data-intensive research paper on a topic of your choosing, all with close assistance from faculty.


Economic understanding is critical for law, government, and business, so Economics majors do very well in the job market, earning substantially more than graduates of most other majors. Drake Economics grads additionally bring data-analysis skills that are increasingly important in today’s job market.

Professional economists (with masters degrees or higher) enjoy excellent pay and faster-than-average employment growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


At Drake, you can major in Economics through either the College of Arts and Sciences (earning a BA degree) or the Zimpleman College of Business (earning a BSBA degree). The BA degree is ideal if you want a career in law or government because you will have time to pursue a minor or second major in Politics, International Relations, Sustainability, etc. The BSBA degree is ideal if you want a career in business because it includes Drake’s Business Core Curriculum.

Most Drake Economics students want to apply Economics to careers in law, government, or business, but a few want to continue to graduate school and become professional economists. If you are one of them, you can major in Quantitative Economics, co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, which includes all the mathematics and statistics courses that graduate schools require.

Drake also offers a minor in Economics, requiring 21 credits of coursework.


Required major courses: Microeconomic theory, Macroeconomic theory, Data analysis, Senior seminar

Elective courses: Applications courses analyze taxes, government programs, inflation, recessions, climate change, environmental policy, work and pay, monopolies in pharmaceutical drugs and big tech, international trade, the banking system, developing countries, poverty and inequality, etc.

For a comprehensive list of courses required for Economics offered by the Zimpleman College of Business, visit this page.

For a comprehensive list of courses required for Economics offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, visit this page.


Because Des Moines is both a financial center and the state capital, Drake Economics majors often find rewarding local internship experiences working part-time during the regular term. More adventurous students find summer internships related to economics farther afield at Federal Reserve Banks in Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, or Minneapolis.


We love talking about the great things happening at Drake, but nothing beats a visit to campus. Let us know you’re coming and we’ll arrange for you to meet professors, sit in on a class, or just hang out with current students.


Bill Boal
Zimpleman College of Business

Economics Department Website