The Department of Economics and Finance at Shepherd University has five full-time faculty members, all of whom hold Ph.D.s in economics from major universities. The economics curriculum provides the student with a firm grounding in economic theory and exposes students to a breadth of issues in the elective courses. Students are also required to take a capstone course (The Senior Seminar in Economics) during their senior year. In the capstone course students engage in directed independent research. The emphasis in this course is on a senior thesis that requires the student to select a topic and formulate a testable hypothesis, survey the relevant literature, collect data and statistically test the stated hypothesis.