BA (Honours) degree from the University of Delhi with major in economics is, without any exaggeration, the finest undergraduate course in the discipline available in India. The coverage and levels of academic sophistication are at par with undergraduate Economics taught anywhere in the world. It is important, therefore, for the prospective applicant to have a realistic idea of what the subject is. It is technically demanding and requires strong mathematical and “quantitative” skills. It is not a simple extension of the economics that a student may have encountered in school, and it is not primarily descriptive in character. In many respects, it has more in common with the physical sciences in its reliance on model-building as a guide to the “real world”; and the empirical testing of models (“theories”) requires sophisticated statistical tools.

 Students who want to opt for Economics as Discipline I should be very comfortable with Class XII mathematics and logical reasoning starting from clearly stated assumptions. A Class XII background in the sciences, especially school Physics, is in fact, very good preparatory training. If the student has the basic mathematical skills and the ability to reason logically, there is no need to have done Economics at Class XII since the course is entirely self-contained.

 The major constituent units of the Economics Discipline Course I are: Mathematical Methods for Economics, Statistical Methods in Economics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Money and Financial Markets, Econometrics, Indian Economic Development, International Economics, Development Theory and Experience, Political Economy, and Public Economics. A student opting for Economics Discipline I will have two papers in the seventh and eighth semesters respectively that are devoted to research under faculty supervision. In the seventh semester there will be a taught course on Research Methodology that will introduce the student to applied econometric analysis and will develop the skills required for empirical research in economics. In the eighth semester the student will write a research paper under faculty guidance on a topic of her/his choice. Students will also have the option to choose up to four applied courses in economics in addition to 20 Discipline I papers. The applied courses offered by economics department are Game Theory, Financial Economics, Public Finance, and Environmental Economics. Full details of the course structure are available on the College website.

 A significant proportion of the graduating class pursues higher studies in Economics in India or abroad. There is a very distinguished list of former students of Economics in the College who have gone on to senior positions as economists in Government, in the World Bank or Asian Development Bank, the IMF and so on; many are in teaching positions at Universities in India (the Delhi School of Economics, Indian Statistical Institute, JNU, etc.) or abroad (Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia, Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon, Brown, Michigan, the London School of Economics – the list is very long). But it is far from the case that studying Economics in St. Stephen’s College leads only to academic or research careers. Many former students of the Department are now High Court Judges and distinguished lawyers. A very large number of students have chosen careers in civil service and some have reached the highest levels of policy making in the government as highest ranking officers or ministers. Many students go on to do management studies at one or the other of the business schools, and thence to the corporate sector. A very large number of top executives of leading multinational companies and many captains of Indian industry studied economics at St. Stephen’s College. A fair proportion of students get jobs immediately after the undergraduate degree in a variety of private sector firms and in the print and electronic media.


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