Integrity. Innovation. Impact.

John Solow

John Solow

Associate Professor of Economics
Economics Department Executive Officer
Director, Business Honors Program


Ph.D., Economics, Stanford University, 1983
M.A., Economics, Stanford University, 1981
B.A., Economics, Yale University, 1976



Some people may wonder what you can do with an undergraduate degree in economics. For students in the Tippie College, they can thank faculty members like John Solow for developing three different tracks for economics majors.

"We felt it was important to help our students see that economics was not just business," explains Solow. "By having alternative tracks, our students are able to focus their interests and courses toward a career goal."

Tippie economics majors are able to choose between three options. The Business Track gives students an understanding of how economic principles apply in the real world of business; the Analytical Track is designed for those students interested in research; and the Policy Track prepares students for work in the government, the not-for-profit sector, or for those pursing a degree in law or public policy.

The department has also worked hard to ensure that the critical courses for these tracks are offered on a timely basis so that students can complete the requirements. Since the implementation of the track system, the number of students majoring in economics has increased 40 percent.

Solow has been a part of Iowa's economics faculty since 1981 and is an advocate for undergraduate education. As the Department Executive Officer, he works with numerous students and is a strong believer that "students need to take responsibility for their own education."

In addition to his work in the department, Solow oversees the College's Honors Program. This program offers students with a strong grade-point average and an interest in research the opportunity to work with a faculty member on a research paper on a topic of their choosing.

"These students are not acting as research assistants for a faculty member," he explains. "The projects are the students' own ideas and their tasks are to work through the problem or question. The faculty member provides feedback, advice, and ideas but these research projects belong to the student."

In the past, some students have gone on to co-author a professional journal article with their faculty advisor.

"I'm very proud of the department and the University," states Solow.

His dedication to teaching and the University is illustrated by the long list of University-wide and College-wide programs and initiatives that he has worked on including the First-Year Seminar program, the Student Success Team, and the Center for Teaching.