Economics Major

Social Venture students

When you choose to study Economics, you will explore how a society should manage its resources. Economic decisions are crucial in determining not only what products a society will produce, but also how we produce and distribute those products among competing interests.

About the Economics Major

When you major in Economics in the School of Business, Government, and Economics at SPU, you have an opportunity to tackle critical issues from a Christian perspective. What are the best policies to reduce poverty or protect the environment? Should the telecommunications industry be regulated? What about antitrust? Additionally, what does the Bible tell us about wealth and stewardship?

As an Economics major, you will complete classes within the Economics general core. That program is structured to provide the widest latitude for you to select elective courses that will develop your economic interests. You may also choose a concentration option within the Economics major.


A major in Economics gives you a deep, well-rounded background for success – a better understanding of the system behind profit and loss, micro- and macroeconomics, and the ethical implications of commerce.

You'll learn from professors with decades of practical business and industry success, in an environment that emphasizes both competence and integrity. You'll benefit from a unique approach that brings together the practical applications of business principles and the policies to put these principles into practice.

Major Courses and Degree Requirements

As an Economics major, you will be required to take 70 credits, including 55 general core credits and 15 elective credits. You must meet the major requirements in effect at the time you were admitted to the major and have a minimum of 35 credit hours in the major at SPU.

If you plan to seek employment immediately after graduation, an internship (ECN 4940) is recommended.

Review all the Economics major courses and requirements by exploring these concentration options.

Concentration Options

If you wish to pursue a disciplinary concentration in the Economics major, you must take at least 15 upper-division elective credits from courses in that discipline. Concentration options include:

Graduate School Track

If you plan to attend graduate school in Economics, you are encouraged to complete MAT 1236 Calculus III (requires prerequisites). Students completing this course may count it toward 5 credits of electives in the Economics major, and they may waive the requirement for GEO 1110, POL 1110, or POL 1120.

Career Opportunities

After graduation, you'll be equipped for a variety of career options:

  • Sample job titles
  • Budget Analyst
  • Small Business Owner
  • Forensic Economist
  • Possible job settings
  • Consulting firms
  • Peace Corps
  • Federal and state government

Some Economics majors pursue graduate study at schools such as the University of Washington, Notre Dame, or Baylor University Law School. For more options, review "What you can do with a degree in Economics." (PDF)


All Economics majors are encouraged to gain industry experience through internships, and an SPU career counselor is available to help you find just the right internship fit. Students have held internships at leading local businesses and industries such as Safeco, Morgan Stanley, Starbucks, and Nordstrom.

Internships are routed through the Center for Career and Calling, which updates an online job/internship website and posts a weekly printout of open positions in McKenna Hall. Contact the CCC at 206-281-2485 or

Students and employers also use SPU's internship and job-posting system, SPULink, which is updated weekly.

Faculty Contact

Douglas Downing

Associate Professor of Economics, and Economics Chair

Phone: 206-281-2890
Office: McKenna Hall 216

Doug Downing

Why I Teach at SPU

Douglas Downing, Associate Professor of Economics; Adjunct Professor of Astronomy

"It is always exciting to have the opportunity to interact with SPU students in the classroom and help them learn very difficult material step-by-step, or to travel with students on a study abroad program. I became an economics teacher because of stories my parents told about growing up in the depression and seeing the need to find ways to help solve economic problems. I teach astronomy because it is very fun."

Financing Your Education

Seattle Pacific will administer $100 million in financial aid for 2015–16. See how we can design a financial aid package for you.