The Department of Economics offers the opportunity for concentrated study of economic principles and economic theory as well as specific social issues and fields of economics including: crime, health care, the environment, labor relations, government regulation, public finance, economic systems, economic development, and international trade & finance. The curriculum developed by the Department of Economics is based on the premise that economics students, regardless of their professional goals, should be well informed about the basic principles that underlie all areas of economic inquiry.

The study of economics has always required an understanding of mathematics and statistics as well as the institutional arrangements of society. More recently, as economic analysis has come to play a central role in public policy debates, interactions between economic theory, law, the physical sciences and other social sciences have become even more important. For these reasons, whether students plan to teach, find employment in business or government, or pursue graduate studies, the same core curriculum is required for all. However, given the range of possible elective courses, students are able to create customized programs of study that meet their individual needs.

In support of the mission of liberal arts education in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Economics actively supports ISU programs in Foundational Studies, Honors, International Studies, and Gender Studies.