Economics and Management

Study the fundamental mechanisms of how economies work—in relation to energy, finance, technology, and more—and learn to investigate and understand the world around you.

Most people on Earth live in an economy, and being able to reason from cause to effect is an extremely important skill to have. Whether at home or abroad, in history or today, in business trends or in personal decision-making, this challenging program provides insights and preparation necessary to become a well-informed, specialized economist.

Classroom ready for studying
Faculty member doing some reading
Speakers on farm workers' equality

Understanding the structure and function of economic systems 
allows for intelligent assessment for their strengths and weaknesses. Utilizing 
theoretical and functional approaches, students begin to understand the problems 
and policies for each.

Available as a concentration in the Economics and Management major or as a minor.


Being an effective and appropriate manager takes more than 
intuition. Students will learn concepts and techniques needed to make 
appropriate administrative decisions and the economic and organizational 
contexts in which management decisions are made.

Available as a concentration in the Economics and Management major or as a minor.

You could say that economics is the most fascinating subject matter in the world. Consider the issues that concern people in any society: growth and energy use, inequality and poverty, climate change, technological development, employment and the job market, and the potential for changes to any of these factors over time—these are the topics that our economics and management professors tend to address.

The themes explored in the classroom are also motivated by the interests of our students as they learn to process and understand economic principles—to untangle what is happening in the United States and internationally not just by reading textbooks but by a thorough investigation and interpretation of what it all means. And, beyond that, how it all fits into the modern globalized, financialized, technologically-changing world.

It's a challenging program, but students really learn how to stay ahead of the game. The economics and management program starts in larger introductory courses, in which you'll become familiar with the methods and history of the field. As you move into advanced courses, you'll take a much more involved role in the classroom: interpreting literature, giving presentations, and learning to apply material to real-world situations. For instance, you might be assigned an empirical project in which you study and test an economic model, describe the variables to identify reasons for changes or growth, analyze outside factors that might affect results, and quantify the relevance of given economic indicators.

There are two specific areas of focus within the program that set Wells' economics department apart from other colleges. For those interested in international and global economics or management, the courses "The World Economy: Trade and Finance," "Economics of Developing Countries," "International Business," and "The Political Economy of Globalization" are ideal. Those interested in sustainability will likely take "Environmental Economics," "Energy and the Economy," and "Ecological Economics and Political Economy." Either—or both together—offers a good degree of specialization that you can build on throughout your career.

The economics program also contributes to other majors on campus, so you'll spend time learning alongside students in business, mathematics, healthcare management, and more—leading to a more varied education and experience applying what you learn in different ways and for different audiences.


Wells' economics and management students are required to hold an internship before graduation, and given the sharp focus of the major and the skill-building involved, these are easily tailored to your interests. Economics students often earn placement in prestigious internships related to finance, international relations, or politics. Wells students have recently held internships with:

  • The Bank of New York, New York, NY
  • National Archives and Records Administration Office of Government Information Services, College Park, MD
  • The Office of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal
  • Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Legal Aid Society, Rochester, NY
  • Cornell University College of Human Ecology, Ithaca, NY
  • Constellation Brands, Canandaigua, NY
  • LiquidFIRE Productions, San Francisco, CA
  • Finger Lakes Boating Museum, Penn Yan, NY

Co-curricular Activities

Wells offers many opportunities to get involved on campus. Economics and management students often serve in the Collegiate Council student government or in student body leadership positions; others hold the role of treasurer in one of the many student clubs and organizations.

Gain firsthand experience in management in one of Wells' newest campus spaces, the student-run café The Grind. The management staff includes a president, vice president, human resource manager, a finance manager, and an operations manager who work together each semester to ensure the success of the venture.

While Wells doesn't have a study abroad program with an exclusive focus on economics, there are many other affiliated programs around the world that can help you round out your liberal arts education and gain interesting and valuable experiences in other cultures.

What comes next?

Economics students do not have trouble finding jobs. Our graduates have gone on to work for government or in the economics industry. Many have found that the mathematics focus prepares them well for a career in finance—such as the former students who are now in upper-level leadership roles with Cayuga Lake National Bank and Citibank. Others are running their own nonprofit, working for the Environmental Protection Agency, or holding civil society jobs with organizations such as the Peace Corps or Teach for America.

Graduate school is also frequently the next step, and Wells students in the economics and management program have gone on to master's and doctoral programs such as:

  • University of Rochester, William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
  • State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • University of Calfornia at Berkely
  • Cornell University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Arizona

As all Wells majors, there are many ways to make your education personalized and rewarding. If you have any questions, just let us know.

"Wells has given me incredible opportunities to get involved and not only learn from my professors but also from my peers. Some of the most insightful conversations I have had have been in the dining hall or on my way to class. At Wells the learning doesn't end at the classroom door."

David Glidden '16
Political Science Major, President of POWER, President of SAGA, President of SECS Collective
Dominic Frongillo
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Program Faculty
Kent Klitgaard
Professor of Economics
Matthew C. McCabe
Lecturer in Business and Management
Muin Uddin
Professor of Economics
Economics in Practice

Students in the Economics major work closely with their faculty members on professional-level research projects focusing on relevant, important issues that affect our society. In fact, the connection of economic theory to social concerns gave rise to one of Wells' most popular annual programs—Activism Symposium—and economics students still contribute much to discussions both political and personal. The liberal arts environment provides flexibility and ties the program to other departments, such as International Studies, Healthcare Management, Psychology, and more as students learn to apply economic principles to the ways that people relate to others, work, think, and act.


Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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