Each year, approximately 40 students participate as interns in local public agencies and private corporations.
Seniors who participate in the department honors program prepare and defend a thesis with close guidance from a professor. Recent honors projects have focused on collusion in major league baseball, the gender wage gap, and the efficiency of the crude oil market.
Beyond the core curriculum, students work with their advisers to design a program of study to meet individual interests and career objectives. For example, a student choosing to concentrate in international economics would elect departmental courses within this area plus courses in related departments such as history, government and law, and foreign languages.
In addition to teaching, faculty members continue their professional development through research, writing, and consulting. Students can collaborate with professors as research assistants through the EXCEL Scholars undergraduate research program. Several students have co-authored published articles with faculty members.
Students who are curious about the interdisciplinary aspect of an economics major may be interested in Lafayette’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project (EEGLP). Multidisciplinary teams of students and faculty work together to solve contemporary problems in a variety of places. Currently, the EEGLP team is working with residents in rural Honduran villages, New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, and Lafayette’s home city of Easton to facilitate social entrepreneurship and economic sustainability.
The Investment Club is a student-run organization that manages a portfolio of about 30 securities, most of which are stocks, valued at about $316,000. Students learn about investing firsthand by making decisions regarding the purchase and sale of securities, and observing the results of their actions. In addition to managing the portfolio, the club holds workshops to educate members about investing and Wall Street. Members invite speakers and organize trips to meet firms, gain exposure to Wall Street, and network with alumni in the financial world.
The campus chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international economics honor society, provides tutoring for students in economics and business courses, operates a speaker’s program, and sponsors social events. Members also help community residents complete income tax returns as part of the Internal Revenue Service’s program of volunteer income tax assistance. The volunteers receive special training outside the classroom using materials provided by the IRS—and gain valuable professional experience.