Economics Department

Student Opportunities

The college offers numerous opportunities for students to learn through experiences both within and outside the normal curriculum. Although selection for most of these programs is quite competitive, students are encouraged to pursue internships, independent and collaborative research activities, and student assistantships as complements to their education. Financial support for these activities is often available through various sources within the college.

Research and Internships
Student Assistantships
Gerald M. Meier Award for Distinction in Economics
Walter Mintz Economics Scholarships
The Simpson Fund
Off-Campus Study

Research and Internships

Each year a number of funded opportunities are available for students to undertake individual research, to conduct collaborative work with faculty, or to engage in policy or public service work with organizations outside of the college.  Some sources of funding are intended to support research that arises within the regular curriculum, including senior thesis research.  Other programs are explicitly extra-curricular.

Experience in the "real-world" environment of a private or public organization also can be of great value to a student of economics. It gives you the opportunity to see what people actually do in such environments and, if arrangements work out well, to contribute to their activities. For more information about potential internship possibilities, students should consult with the appropriate faculty members and the Career Services staff.

Students who are considering projects that may require financial support should confer with relevant members of the faculty early in the planning process to assess the likelihood of obtaining support and to develop alternative plans should support not be forthcoming.

In the coming year, opportunities will likely be available through the Corbett and Goldhammer Collaborative Summer Grant, the Ducey Summer Internship, the Simpson Fund, the Initiatives Grants in Undergraduate Research, the McGill-Lawrence Internship Award, the Luce Foundation Grant, and the Freeman Student-Faculty Research Grant.  Most (but not all) awards are expected to be used in the summer and their application deadlines are usually in early March.  The most recent information about most of these opportunities can be found at the Student Fellowships and Grants site.

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Student Assistantships

Members of the economics faculty often employ student assistants for a wide variety of tasks, including simple photocopying and filing, research assistance, help with introductory experiments, tutoring in Econ 201 or other courses, and grading homework papers. Hiring and pay arrangements for student assistants are handled by individual faculty members, not by the department. Students with Federal work-study funds may use those funds if they are hired as student assistants.

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The Gerald M. Meier Award for Distinction in Economics

The Gerald M. Meier Award is presented by the Reed College Department of Economics to an economics student in recognition of outstanding achievement in the Reed undergraduate program. The Meier Award was established in 1998 by Gerald Meier, a distinguished development economist and alumnus of the Reed Economics Department.

Eligibility for the award is limited to senior economics majors, seniors in interdisciplinary majors of which economics is a part, and juniors in economics-related majors who are departing to complete a 3/2 program. Outstanding achievement may include a challenging, creative, and well-executed senior thesis, outstanding performance in economics coursework, excellence in the broader academic record, significant extracurricular work (including summer grants or internships), and other contributions to the Economics Department. Evidence of continued interest in the study of economics shall be given positive weight.

The Meier Award consists of a certificate and a $250 cash grant to be used for the purchase of books relating to economics. It is expected that one award will be made in most years, though more or fewer may be made in some years.

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Walter Mintz Economics Scholarships

Each year, a selection of junior and senior economics majors is honored through their receipt of the Walter Mintz Economics Scholarships. The Mintz scholarship fund was established in 1982 to support economics students by the late Walter Mintz, former chairman of the Reed Board of Trustees and a highly successful graduate of the Reed Economics Department. In keeping with Reed's universal policy of providing only need-based financial aid, only students who qualify for general Reed financial aid are eligible for selection as a Mintz Scholar. Selection occurs early in the fall semester.

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The Simpson Fund

The Simpson Fund is managed within the economics department. The late William Simpson graduated from Reed in 1942 and went on to a distinguished academic career as an economist. Prior to his death in 1995, Mr. Simpson and his wife Ruth endowed a substantial fund to be used exclusively for the benefit of the Reed Economics Department.

The economics faculty has set aside a large share of the Simpson Fund for student support. Examples of the kinds of activities supported by the Simpson Fund in the past are acquisition of costly data for thesis use, partial reimbursement for essential thesis-related travel expenses, and fees and partial travel costs for attending or presenting research at academic conferences. The department may also contribute to registration fees for students who attend academic conferences if the budget allows.

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Off-Campus Study

Off-campus study can provide an opportunity to take economics courses that are not offered at Reed, but without advance planning it may disrupt the student's progress through the Reed curriculum. It is crucially important that economics majors who are considering study at another institution to make their plans well in advance. Advance preparation will enable you to make the most of any off-campus experience. Reed's core courses in economic theory are unique in level and scope, so economics majors should plan to fill these requirements at Reed. Taking Econ 313 and Econ 304 or 314 as a sophomore is recommended for students who plan to be away during the junior year. This puts students in a good position to take advantage of the electives available at their off-campus study institution. Reed offers you many opportunities to study off campus, both domestically and abroad. The complete list of programs is available at the International Programs website. You can get more details from Paul DeYoung at the International Programs Office in Eliot 203. Students interested in international education-as part of their major or after graduation-will find this an excellent starting point.

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