Why Economics and Accounting

Frequently Asked Questions


Why Study Economics at Holy Cross?

The Economics Department at Holy Cross provides students with the tools necessary to comprehend the fascinating and intricate workings of our local, national and international economy. Whether students choose to explore the wide variety of topics offered by the major in Economics or simply take a few courses to augment other fields of study, they are taught the benefits of understanding the theories of economics and how they can be used to interpret current or historical events. Professors in the department have a lot to offer students because they are active professionally and are engaged in high quality economic research programs.

An excellent opportunity for faculty-student collaboration is offered by the department Honors Program. This program offers a special opportunity for students to conduct independent research on topics of their own choosing under the guidance of faculty advisors. Each student presents a final paper in a public forum in the spring of the senior year.

Students may elect to pursue a major in Economics after they have completed at least one course in Economics at the College. Applications to the major are solicited in September and January each year. Admissions are competitive.

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Why Study Accounting at Holy Cross?

The Accounting major at Holy Cross provides students with a unique opportunity to complete a program in accounting within the environment of one of the country's leading liberal arts institutions. Although students will find that the accounting major provides the appropriate background for a career in public accounting or industry, our students receive special opportunities for oral and written communication, critical thinking and faculty interaction not typically found at larger accounting programs. By grounding the program in economic concepts and the liberal arts tradition, our program provides students with an appreciation for accounting as a vital information system in contemporary society.

Enrollment in the Accounting major is limited to 32 students each year and admission is competitive. Compared to accounting programs at other institutions, class sizes are relatively small and students have an opportunity to work together on group projects, participate in microcomputer lab exercises and get to know the faculty. The majority of the faculty are CPAs with extensive field experience.

The Accounting major at Holy Cross is extremely well-regarded by professionals in the field. Each year, three of the four largest national accounting firms visit the campus to recruit summer interns and full-time staff. Over the last five years, approximately 70% of the majors have accepted positions with Big 4 public accounting firms, while the remainder joined firms in private industry, smaller regional accounting firms or enrolled in law or graduate school.

In addition to studying accounting and enrolling in a variety of liberal arts courses, our majors volunteer regularly at local charitable and social service agencies. Many of our majors also participate in intercollegiate or intramural sports or serve as residence advisors.  Their well-balanced program helps them develop into active, community-minded professionals.

Although the program is small, it has a reputation of excellence. Many of the students completing the program pass the CPA examination on their first attempt. Jon Monson '96 was awarded the silver medal on the May 1996 CPA examination after earning the second highest score of 57,000 national candidates. The faculty are regularly asked to nominate graduating students for the Financial Accounting Standards Board post-graduate internship program. Two students have completed this highly selective program since 1990. Our students are often selected to participate in national leadership conferences offered by the major public accounting firms.  In recent years, several Accounting majors have been selected for Phi Beta Kappa and two Accounting majors have been selected as College valedictorians.


Questions about the Accounting Program should be directed to the Accounting Coordinator,
Professor Nancy Baldiga (

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What Can I Do After I Graduate?


Economics majors enjoy a variety of career opportunities. Many graduates pursue careers in the consulting, banking and insurance industries. In general, the economics major can lead to careers in business, law, journalism, teaching, educational administration, politics, finance and banking, government service, public and private overseas service, and labor leadership. The Holy Cross Career Planning Office provides a wealth of information on careers and job opportunities for Holy Cross Economics and Accounting students. The Pre-Business Program may also be helpful for students preparing for a career in business.  The National Association of Business Economists (NABE) is a nonprofit organization for people interested in non-academic careers. They offer a free booklet on careers for business economists, which can be ordered from their www site.

Economics majors with strong math backgrounds are encouraged to apply to top graduate programs in economics, business and related fields. In recent years, Holy Cross economics students have entered Ph.D. progams at MIT, Stanford, University of Chicago, Ohio State, Emory, and others. The Job Openings for Economists publication lists academic and non-academic job openings for economists with advanced degrees. Many economics majors enroll in law school after graduation, work for several years and go on to top MBA programs, and some go directly to MBA and Ph.D. programs. Consult the Graduate Studies Page and the Holy Cross Pre-Law School Page for information on graduate and law school opportunities for Holy Cross graduates.


Placement of graduating accounting majors is excellent with 60- 70% securing jobs in public accounting.  In the last five years, graduates have joined firms in Boston, Hartford, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Cleveland, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. The Holy Cross Career Planning Office provides a wealth of information on careers and job opportunities for Holy Cross Accounting students. The Pre-Business Program may also be helpful for students preparing for a career in business. See the Accounting Home Page for more details.

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Student Organizations

Economics Organization

The Economics Organization provides an opportunity for students to meet with faculty in both scholastic and informal settings. In the past, the group has published a journal of student papers and organized the annual faculty/student volleyball and softball games.

Omicron Delta Epsilon

Omicron Delta Epsilon is the honor society for Economics. The Holy Cross Zeta chapter takes applicants at the spring of every year.

VITA Program

Many students in the major participate in the Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) Program. Students complete an examination conducted the the IRS and then serve as volunteer income tax preparers for low-income and elderly taxpapers in the Worcester area. Interested students can enroll in this course through the Worcester Consortium.

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Honor Societies & Awards

Omicron Delta Epsilon -- International Honor Society in Economics

Each year, several Economics majors are inducted into this honor society in recognition of their high scholastic achievements. The society was established to honor accomplishments in economics and to promote close ties between faculty and students.

Students earning a 3.5 GPA in their Economics program are eligible to apply for admission into the society. Approximately 15 students are inducted each year. Application details can be found on the Omicron Delta Epsilon page.

The John D. O'Connell Prize for Accounting Excellence

Established in 1993 by several accounting alumni, this award recognizes the accomplishments of one junior Accounting major each year. Named in honor of a highly respected longtime Accounting professor, now retired, the award provides a cash prize and engraved desk set to the accounting student who has demonstrated a record of academic excellence, service to the community and commitment to the profession of public accounting.

The Student Achievement Award

The Student Achievement Award is given to the student who has contributed most significantly to the department in terms of scholarship, enthusiasm, and/or service. The winner receives a cash prize. Consideration for the award is by faculty nomination only.

The Freeman Saltus Prize

The Freeman M. Saltus Prize is given for the best essay in economics. Any topic in economics is acceptable, and the paper may be descriptive, empirical, or theoretical. Information about the Saltus Prize is emailed to economics and accounting majors in February with a paper submission deadline typically set for mid-March. The Saltus Prize includes a substantial cash award.

Financial Executives International Outstanding Graduating Senior Award

The Financial Executives International (FEI) Outstanding Graduating Senior Award recognizes outstanding students who are in the final semester of their senior year, majoring in Accounting, Economics, or Finance, and who are planning careers in corporate financial management. The winner will receive a nominal gift certificate and be honored at a reception and dinner meeting of the FEI Boston Chapter in April. Consideration for the award is by faculty nomination only.

The John J. Cummings, Jr./BAI Award

This competition recognizes the best student essay or research paper on a topic related to financial institutions. Contact the Dean's Office for more information.

The John J. Crowley Memorial Prize

Awarded annually to the student author of the best essay on a religious, literary, historical, economic or scientific subject. Contact the Dean's Office for more information.

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