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 content and pedagogy help students develop the skills necessary for competitiveness in the labor market: analytical, research, writing, quantitative, teamwork, computer-oriented, and communication. Second, the economics curriculum prepares students for graduate study, especially in law, international affairs, MBA, and Economics PhD programs. Finally, an independent livelihood includes participation in a democratic society as an independent thinker who is sensitive to her connectedness and responsibility to others.


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.