Economics at SMU
Dedman College of the Humanities and Sciences is the heart of SMU, and the Department of Economics plays a crucial role within Dedman College. The department offers rigorous degree plans at the undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. level. Classes at all three levels are taught by faculty members who excel in both research and teaching. In the 1993 National Research Council (NRC) rankings of economics departments, SMU’s Department of Economics ranked third in publications per faculty member. In rankings released in September 2010 by the NRC, the department is ranked as high as sixth in publications per faculty member. Recent faculty member publications are found in American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Econometrics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Applied Econometrics, among others. Current faculty members serve on the editorial boards of Advances in Econometrics, Empirical Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Productivity Analysis, and Journal of Public Economic Theory.
An undergraduate education in economics was originally offered at SMU in 1915 through a joint economics/history department. The department contained two economics faculty members and offered eight courses. Today, undergraduates can choose from over 30 courses designed to lead to one of four degrees: the B.A., B.S., B.S. with Finance Applications, and B.S. with Systems Analysis. Currently, economics is the most popular undergraduate major in Dedman College, and indeed one of the most popular in the entire University.
At the graduate level, the Department of Economics offers a Ph.D. in Economics, as well as a Master’s degree in Economics, an M.A. in Law and Economics, an M.A. in Applied Economics, and an M.A. in International Economics and Policy. The first M.A. degree was conferred in 1958.
The Ph.D. program has a long and distinguished history. In 1959, the Department of Economics became the first department at SMU to offer a Ph.D. The first Ph.D. degree was conferred in 1963, which was also the first Ph.D. granted in any field by a university in Dallas. In 1966, the Department of Economics conferred the first Ph.D. at SMU to a woman. Ever since, the department has maintained a small and vibrant Ph.D. program that attracts students from all over the world. Recent graduates have gone on to tenure-track positions at institutions such as the Appalachian State University, Auburn University, Bowling Green State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, University Nevada-Las Vegas, and the University New Hampshire. Other other graduates have gone on to positions at the World Bank, Bank for International Settlements, Fannie Mae, and Exxon-Mobil.
The department has an active seminar series and organizes a symposium every semester during which faculty present ongoing research. In addition, the department participates in the annual Texas Camp Econometrics and Texas Monetary Conference.