Dartmouth's Best Major
The reason economics is the most popular major at Dartmouth is simple: it's the best subject!
People study economics because they're interested in learning about (and addressing) the world's most pressing issues. Economics isn't limited to finance and business: economics is the study of how people use resources and respond to incentives, and it's also the study of decision-making. So yes, a lot of economics is the study of money, but it's far more multi-faceted than that.
As an officially-declared economics major (finally!), I thought I'd share a little about econ at Dartmouth with you:
- No. 1
Introductory Econ (Econ 1):
Most freshmen start out by taking Econ 1 (unless you took AP Micro in high school) to see if they're interested. You'll hear a mixed bag of reviews about Econ 1: people either love it, or they absolutely hate it. That's the point of Econ 1! As an introductory class, it's meant to help you figure out whether or not econ is the right fit for you. Your freshman year is all about exploring your options and learning about what you like, and what you don't. I first arrived on campus thinking I'd be a math major, but Econ 1 changed my mind. It's not an easy class, but I recommend taking it if you're even remotely interested!
- No. 2
Core Major Classes
All econ majors are required to take Econ 20, 21, and 22. I have yet to take Econ 20 (which is essentially a course on statistical analysis of economic data), but I've taken 21 and 22 and loved both of them! Econ 21 and 22 are in-depth classes on the two main divisions of economics -- microeconomics and macroeconomics, respectively. Generally, people who've taken both classes will passionately recommend one over the other. Personally, I liked Econ 21 (Microeconomics) a bit more, but it's all dependent on what your personal preferences!
- No. 3
In addition to the core classes, econ majors also need to choose two specific tracks that interest them. These tracks include: industrial organization, money and finance, labor, public, development, and international economics. I haven't figured out my second track yet, but I know that one of my concentrations will be in industrial organization (dubbed the '5s track, because all classes in this field end in the number 5). Industrial organization includes classes on game theory, and competition and strategy.
- No. 4
Fellow Econ Friends!
I have friends studying a variety of subjects, but several of my closest friends have varying interests in economics (econ majors, modified majors, and minors). There are also a bunch of organizations on campus that cater to an economics skillset/interest: Women in Business, Dartmouth Consulting Group, Dartmouth Investment and Philanthrophy Program, etc. I'm personally involved in Women in Business, and it's a great community and network of people.
- No. 5
My econ profs have been wonderful. Dartmouth profs in general are wonderful, but I've taken a pretty good chunk of econ classes, so I can speak best to that department. Dartmouth econ profs are not only super intelligent scholars, but super great people too. I've found that they genuinely care about me and how well I'm learning, so I'm never afraid to pop in during office hours if I'm hopelessly confused. Even after I've finished their classes, I still stop by just to say hi.