The curriculum in economics and business leads to the bachelor of arts degree. The major is designed to provide an understanding of the economic system and the function of business enterprise in the economy. It includes many courses common to other liberal arts curricula, with the aim of developing the cadet’s ability to think critically about society’s economic issues. In particular, the curriculum features an emphasis on developing analytical tools and methods of both public economic policy and business decision making.
As one of VMI’s liberal arts curricula, economics and business is based on a foundation of studies in mathematics, languages, social sciences, and humanities. In addition to the core curriculum requirements listed on page 15, cadets must also take core curriculum courses as listed on the next page (9 hours of humanities or social science electives, plus 12 hours of one foreign language through the 200-level). The curriculum provides a broadly conceived liberal arts education and is an excellent preparation for a wide range of business pursuits, military service, or graduate studies in economics, business, or law.
The department sponsors several extracurricular activities in support of the academic program. These include the visiting scholars’ programs under the Northen and Conquest Chair endowments, the VMI chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon (the international honor society in economics), the VMI chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (the international honor society in business) and the Cadet Investment Group that affords actual experience in securities investments.
Three awards, the Roberts Medal, the Wheat Medal, and the Philpott Medal, recognize the top graduating seniors in economics and business studies. Academic Excellence Awards are presented annually to the top members of the upper three classes.
The Andrew L. McDowell Scholarship is available to cadets majoring in economics and business. It is based primarily on academic excellence, although other factors such as need, character, extracurricular activities, and leadership may be considered. Applications for this scholarship will be accepted during the spring semester for awards to be made the following academic year.