Mission and Learning


The Economics Department advances the Simmons mission — to prepare our students for an "independent livelihood"— in its fullest meaning and in a manner exemplifying the liberal arts tradition. First, the economics curriculum and teaching helps students develop the skills necessary for competitiveness in the labor market, including analytical, research, writing, quantitative, teamwork, computer, and communication skills. Second, economics prepares students for graduate study, especially in law, international affairs, MBA, and Economics PhD programs. Finally, the economics curriculum helps students make sense of worldviews, current events, and policy debates which helps prepare them to participate in a democratic society as an independent thinker.


To achieve the mission, the Department defined the following goals for student learning:

  • To acquire knowledge of economic concepts, institutions, theories, models, and methodologies, and to demonstrate competency in applying this information to analyze economics events and to evaluate alternative economic policy initiatives.
  • To develop and demonstrate an ability to access and retrieve economic data and information, to manipulate and interpret critically such information, and to identify key relationships among economic data and behaviors.
  • To develop and demonstrate economic literacy through discussion and creative synthesis of economics articles which apply and integrate data, quantitative tools, theoretical models, and policy prescriptions.
  • To refine and demonstrate analytical and critical thinking skills, including logical reasoning and the abilities to apply and interpret quantitative, qualitative, and graphical information in a problem-solving context.
  • To develop and demonstrate the critical thinking skill of comprehending the logical construction of theories and, on that basis, comparing competing explanations and policy implications.
  • To develop and demonstrate an understanding of heterodox approaches to economics and to engage in the study of economics in an interdisciplinary context.
  • To apply course material and analysis in new areas or in new ways, including formulating and conducting economics research and presenting this research both orally and in writing in a polished, professional manner.