The Economics Department participates in two organized, “standing” interdisciplinary programs at Reed. The Environmental Science—Economics major is for students who want to combine focused study in economics with interdisciplinary work on environmental themes across the natural sciences, history, and social sciences. The International and Comparative Policy Studies—Economics major allows a student to integrate a concentration in economics with courses in other social sciences relating to international issues and the study of public policy. The department does not support ad-hoc interdisciplinary majors and, instead, encourages students to pursue a minor in economics.
Environmental Studies-Economics Major (ES-Econ)
The Environmental Studies-Economics major is for students who wish to combine focused coursework in economics with interdisciplinary work on environmental themes across the natural sciences, history, and social sciences. ES-Economics majors take seven units of nonthesis economics coursework, including the microeconomics and macroeconomics core courses required of economics majors. ES students are required to pass the junior qualifying exam in their home department. In addition, they must prepare a research proposal for the ES committee. The research proposal must be signed by an advisor in the home department and by a potential first reader from a different department. The research proposal must be signed by a member of the ES committee. These signatures indicate approval that the proposed research contains sufficient environmental content. Approval of the proposal by the ES committee constitutes passing the ES portion of the junior qualifying exam. Students must complete a thesis with an environmental focus. The thesis orals board must include the thesis advisor from the home department and a first reader from outside the home department.
International and Comparative Policy Studies (ICPS)
The ICPS program is appropriate for students who wish to combine a topical interest in international policy with a disciplinary interest in economics, political science, history, sociology, or other fields. Each ICPS major has a “home” discipline, in which he or she completes nearly all of the courses necessary for an ordinary major. In addition, each student takes substantial coursework in related disciplines to fulfill the ICPS core requirement. (See the current Reed Catalog or the ICPS student handbook for the exact requirements.) ICPS—Econ majors take seven units of nonthesis economics coursework, including the microeconomics and macroeconomics core courses required of regular economics majors. They must take the economics junior qualifying exam as well as the ICPS exam, which consists of an oral defense of a written thesis proposal. The thesis is usually jointly supervised by faculty in the home department and a member of the ICPS committee.