photo of an economics student

Department of Economics


11207 051.jpgWelcome to the Department of Economics at Wright State University!

The Department of Economics provides inquisitive and capable students with excellent academic programs in the field of economics that prepare graduates for rewarding careers in business, government, or nonprofits.  The curriculum of each program also develops each student’s capacity for lifelong learning in order for them to achieve career advancement and to adapt effectively to our rapidly changing world.

In this website, you can learn about our programs, faculty, students, and alumni.  We also post updates on departmental activities and other information about our department here.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have by clicking on the Contact tab above.

Economics is the study of how resources are used and how to make the best use of available resources.  Economics students learn to make decisions that are vital to the success of businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, households, and for society as a whole.  By using information on costs, income, available resources, and other important factors, economics graduates can (among many other things):

  • choose the production level, price, and mix of resources that will achieve the highest profit for a business
  • determine the highest impact use of a nonprofit’s resources
  • assist governments in finding the most effective way to satisfy public needs
  • help a family determine the best use of their budget
  • judge proposed solutions for important social problems

By providing a logical and ordered way of looking at problems and issues faced by businesses, other organizations, or society as a whole, the field of economics helps students develop critical thinking skills that are useful in many professions.  Studying economics prepares students for a wider array of occupations than other majors.  This versatility is highly valued in today’s constantly changing world and is demonstrated by our graduates’ ability to pursue careers in the career fields of economics, finance, government, management, and marketing, among others.  Click on the Career Opportunities tab above to see lists that illustrate the extensive range of both employers and occupations in which our department’s graduates have recently been placed.

Degree Programs

Heather Carino - B.A. in Economics - Class of 2013

In our academic programs, we first stress the development of a strong understanding of economic theory and teach the critical thinking skills that allow students to analyze a wide array of economic problems.  Students are then taught how to apply these skills to solve the practical problems faced by businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations world-wide.  A key distinguishing feature of our economics department is the extensive diversity of our faculty’s research and teaching interests, which expose our students to many different economic topics and a wide ranging collection of methods for exploring and evaluating those topics.  We strive to develop inquisitive minds that are committed not only to the well-being of the organizations that employ them, but also to the social and economic welfare of their community.  We are working to generate a forward-thinking educational experience in which students grow, both personally and professionally, so that our current and future alumni are positioned to be and expected to be responsible and productive members of our society.

The Department of Economics at Wright State is committed to providing a great education for intellectually curious students who wish to pursue a fulfilling career using economics. At the undergraduate level, we offer two bachelor’s degree programs, a minor, and a certificate.  At the graduate level, we offer a Master of Science degree.  They are:

Undergraduate Programs

  • The Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree (through the College of Liberal Arts) – Designed for those who want to major in Economics while also studying other liberal arts fields, particularly other social sciences. Due to the smaller number of college level course requirements than our other bachelor’s degree program, students in the B.A. in Economics program can more easily pursue a second major or minor. Graduates of the B.A. in Economics program generally target careers in federal, state, or local government, the nonprofit sector, and business.  In addition, graduates of this program have been successful at pursuing further study at the Master's and Doctoral level in economics, law, business administration, or other fields.
  • The Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in Business Economics degree (through the Raj Soin College of Business) – Designed for students who want to major in Economics with a special focus on all the functional areas of business administration. Graduates of the B.S.B. – Business Economics program generally pursue careers in business economics/analytics, marketing analysis, finance, and management.  As with the B.A. in Economics, graduates of this program have successfully sought advanced degrees in economics, law, and business administration.  
  • The Minor in Economics – For undergraduates who want to complete a concentrated set of coursework in Economics.  Business students can complete this major by taking three upper level economics courses in addition to the economics courses already required of all business students.
  • The Certificate in Economic Issues – For undergraduate students who wish to study topical issues in economics without taking advanced economics courses.

Graduate Program

  • The Master of Science in Social and Applied Economics degree – A unique and well-respected graduate degree program that blends applied economics coursework that is common to most master’s degree programs in economics with social economics coursework.  Graduates of this program are frequently positioned in careers in which their strong economic analysis abilities are used to make them valuable members of business, nonprofit, or government organizations.  Some graduates have continued their education by pursuing doctoral degrees in economics or finance.

Dual Degree and combined Programs with the M.S. in Social and Applied Economics – Students have the opportunity to earn an M.S. in Social and Applied Economics along with a second degree with fewer credit hours than are required of the two programs separately.  These degree programs are:

  • The Combined B.A. in Economics – M.S. in Social and Applied Economics Program
  • The Combined B.S.B in Business Economics – M.S. in Social and Applied Economics Program
  • The Dual M.S. in Social and Applied Economics – Master of Business  Administration (M.B.A.) Program
  • The Dual M.S. in Social and Applied Economics – Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) Program

Please contact the Department of Economics to learn the specific requirements for these dual degree and combined programs.  

Career Opportunities

Recent Placements

Economics is widely regarded as one of the most versatile of all majors.

The broad occupational fields in which economics majors are regularly placed are:

  • banking and financial services;
  • marketing research and demand planning/management;
  • general business management;
  • government policy analysis and administration

The drop-down lists below contain a sample of the occupations obtained by recent graduates and a sample of employers who have hired our recent graduates.

  • PNC Bank
  • Dayton Power and Light
  • Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
  • Honda of America
  • State of Ohio
  • United States Army
  • City of Hamilton
  • Gem Real Estate Group
  • U.S. Bureau of the Census
  • Reynolds and Reynolds
  • ACCO Brands
  • First Financial Bank
  • Census Bureau
  • City of Dayton
  • Key Bank
  • Fifth-Third Bank
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • Citigroup
  • United States Air Force
  • UTC Aerospace Systems
  • Mountgomery County
  • Lexis-Nexis
  • JPG Consulting
  • TuneWiki
  • Marriott International
  • Sprint
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Economic Development Strategist
  • Portfolio Risk Manager
  • Investment Banker
  • Environmental Economist
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Economic Forecaster
  • Labor Market Analyst
  • Mortgage Portfolio Manager
  • Longitudinal Data Analyst
  • General Manager
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Risk Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Production/Cost Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Commercial Banker
  • Financial Regulation Compliance Officer
  • Financial Adviser
  • Product Sales Analyst
  • Department of Defense Contract Specialist
  • Senior Brand Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Office Manager
  • Financial Controller
  • Insurance Premium Auditor
  • Econometric Analyst
  • Bank Branch Manager

Spotlights on Students, Alumni, & Faculty

Spencer Brannon

Spencer Brannon is a Senior in the B.S.B. in Business Economics program.  He is also majoring in the B.A. in Political Science program.  Spencer is the Vice President of the Economics Club, is the Chairman and CEO of the Ohio Student Government Association, and is Chairman of Student Legal Services at WSU.  Currently, Spencer is an Intern with the Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C.

Heather Carino

Heather Carino is a Senior in the B.A. in Economic program.  She has been awarded an outstanding student scholarship by the Department of Economics for two years.  Heather is the Treasurer of the Economics Club this year and after earning her bachelor’s degree, she plans to enter our M.S. in Social and Applied Economics program in 2014.

Ameer Hafeez

Ameer Hafeez is a Senior in the B.A. in Economics program.  Ameer has been awarded an outstanding student scholarship by the Department of Economics for two years.  After completing his bachelor’s degree, his long term plans are to pursue a Medical Doctorate degree.  The B.A. in Economics program offers the flexibility that allowed Ameer to complete pre-medical coursework and his economics coursework within four years.

“I like studying Economics at Wright State because I get to apply Economics to lots of different subjects. In addition, I get to learn from professors who have different perspectives.” – Ameer Hafeez on why he chose to study Economics at Wright State.

Mathew Muhlenkamp

Mathew Muhlenkamp is a Senior in the B.S.B. in Business Economics Program.  Mathew was awarded an outstanding student scholarship by the Department of Economics for this academic year.  He is in the Wright State University Honors Program and is currently working on Senior Honors Thesis on the effects of sales taxes. 

“Politicians and economists have told us that sales taxes are regressive, that is, they hurt the poor more than the wealthy. I want to find out for myself what the real-world effects are – I will gather data on taxes, income distribution, and other factors and then use regression analysis to measure their effects.” - Mathew Muhlenkamp on his Honors Thesis

Sirisha Naidu

Ph.D. Associate Professor Economics

Dr. Naidu holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Her research focuses on the political economy of development and the environment in U.S. and India. Dr. Naidu’s recent research publications have included analyses of the distribution of costs of environmental pollution, and of the impacts of property rights and social structure on access to and management of the natural commons. 

G. Thomas Sav, Ph.D.

Professor of Economixs

G. Thomas Sav holds a Ph.D. in Economics from George Washington University. Professor Sav’s research in the area of public finance currently has a special focus on issues related to higher education.  Recent work includes analyses of cost efficiency in higher education and of the impact of private giving on the level of public support for higher education.  Dr. Sav is currently Wright State University’s Frederick A. White Distinguished Professor of Professional service, a title he was awarded for his extensive work on curriculum development at Wright State.

Hee-Young Shin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Economics

Dr. Shin earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in 2012 and joined our department this fall. His research in the area of macroeconomics currently concentrates on the causes and consequences of financial crises.  Dr. Shin’s recently published book, “The Economics of Crisis,” was awarded the Dr. Yu In-Ho Academic Award in Seoul, South Korea in May, 2013.  He is now working on a new book on the causes and consequences of the East Asian Financial Crisis.


Department of Economics
290 Rike Hall
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH 45345-0001
Phone: (937) 775-3070