If you choose an economics degree at Central College, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of economic theory—and how to apply it to contemporary issues. You’ll have many opportunities to study the economic decision-making behavior of individuals, firms, nations and other economic groups.

Central’s economics program offers you a strong foundation for countless career options. Many economics majors enter the business world, working in banking, finance or actuarial fields. Others begin careers in the public arena, working with such agencies as the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Federal Reserve. Also, Central economics majors have a spotless track record of admittance into graduate school—many acquire graduate degrees in economics, law, business or public administration.

of majors are admitted into their first- or second-choice grad school
of majors who seek graduate school attend law school or study public administration
of economics grads are employed within six months of graduation and 90% use quantitative analysis

The Central Difference


The Weller Center for Business and International Studies houses faculty offices and classrooms for the department of economics, accounting and management, department of sociology and anthropology and department of modern languages.

The $3.9-million building completed in 1999 includes state-of-the-art technologies,  a 24-hour computer lab on the main floor and eight high-tech classrooms, two of which contain student computers.

An Introvert’s Path to Leadership

“Meticulous” accounting student Anne Williamson ’20 steps out of her comfort zone and finds success.

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.

Economics majors have the opportunity to gain world perspective on global business and international corporations.

Professional Development

Finding and landing your first job is an important step. Central makes sure students are fully prepared for the job search through multiple events focusing on search strategies, resume building, interviewing practice and networking skills.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Blaine Hawkins ’21, Investment Banking Associate, Piper Sandler
  • Austin Pfiffner ’20, Inbound Asset Specialist, Service Express, LLC
  • Ryan Sprain ’20, Senior Actuarial Technician, EMC Insurance Companies
  • Kayla Bagby ’19, Actuarial Associate, Athene
  • Kelly Cavner Kroeger ’19, Software Engineer, Principal Financial Group
  • Kiel Pederson ’19, Operations Associate, Cetera Financial Group
  • Mark Zinkula ’89, President and CEO, Thornburg Investment Management

Mark Zinkula ’89 Named President and CEO of Thornburg Investment Management

Mark Zinkula ’89,  was named the new president and CEO of Thornburg Investment Management.


  • Omicron Delta Epsilon (international honor society in economics)
  • EAM Club (economics, accounting and management)

Graduate Placement

  • Drake University, Law
  • University of Oregon, Ph.D., Economics
  • George Washington University, Master’s in Public Administration
  • Iowa State University, Ph.D., Economics
  • The University of Iowa, Law
  • University of Chicago, Master’s in Public Administration


In today's competitive job market, proven experience is a priceless commodity. Many students turn their internship into employment after graduation.

  • Policy intern, Senator Charles Grassley’s Des Moines office
  • Financial Architects, Pella
  • Transamerica, Cedar Rapids
  • Policy intern, Senator Tom Harkin’s Des Moines office
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

Economics majors take courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, plus a minimum of five additional courses at the 300-400 level.

Students are encouraged to study at one of Central’s international centers and/or in the Chicago program and to extend their education beyond the classroom through internships and other co-curricular activities on campus.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Graham Lemke, B.Sc., M.S., Ph.D., Donald T. Butler Endowed Chair and Professor of Finance
  • Tuan Nguyen, B.B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics
  • George Nwaogu, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics
  • Maggie Schlerman, B.A., M.Acc., C.P.A., Associate Professor of Accounting
  • Julie Summers, Lecturer of Management and Marketing

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Calculus I
  • Computer science course

Sophomore Year

  • Applied Statistics
  • Quantitative Methods in Business and Economics
  • Public Speaking

Junior Year

  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Upper-level economics courses
  • Macroeconomic Theory

Senior Year

  • Upper-level economics courses
  • Economics Research Seminar


Learn More

Want to find out more about Economics at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


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