Why major in Economics?
- A STEM-like major – While economics is not usually classified as a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) major, in studies of lifetime salary and employment patterns, economics majors fall into the same class as STEM majors. Virtually all research on career performance and college majors suggests that if a student is able to do a major with technical content like economics, he or she should. For some interesting evidence on salary and major, take a look at payscale.com or the Wall Street Journal’s salary by major search engine.
- Something for everyone – Economics is at heart a theory of how people make decisions when confronted with scarcity. It can lend insight into a wide range of diverse subjects, such as History, Law, Environment, and Health. Economics majors may maintain an interest in social science and\or humanities while at the same time developing useful technical skills.
The Structure of the Major
The economics major is comprised of a basic core, an intermediate core, and electives. Officially the economics major requires 24 credits (8 courses). While ECO 200, 201, and MATH 150 must be taken, they do not count as official credit towards the major.
- Basic core – ECO 200 (Intro Micro), ECO 201 (Intro Macro), ECO 221 (Stats), and MATH 150 (Calculus) or MATH 152 (Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences). Students must achieve a grade of C or better in basic core courses.
- Intermediate core – ECO 300 (Inter. Micro), ECO 301 (Inter. Macro), and ECO 321 (Econometrics). These courses require as prerequisites the corresponding basic core class and MATH 150.
- Elective courses – Any four electives (listed below). Some courses are offered every semester, while others are offered less frequently depending on student demand and instructor availability. All courses are three credit courses.
Electives offered in recent years (with Prerequisites)
- ECO 210 Money and Banking (ECO 200)
- ECO 260 Business Organization and Management (ECO 200)
- ECO 295 Selected Topics (ECO 200 or 201)
- ECO 310 Financial Institutions (ECO 210)
- ECO 315 Public Finance (ECO 200)
- ECO 330 Economic Development (ECO 201)
- ECO 340 International Trade (ECO 200)
- ECO 341 International Finance (ECO 201)
- ECO 345 Women and Men in the Labor Market (ECO 200)
- ECO 350 Comparative Economic Systems (ECO 200, 201)
- ECO 355 Industrial Organization (ECO 200)
- ECO 356 Business and Public Policy (ECO 200)
- ECO 360 Managerial Economics (ECO 200)
- ECO 365 Corporate Finance (ECO 200, 221)
- ECO 366 Security and Investment Analysis (ECO 365)
- ECO 370 Law and Economics (ECO 200)
- ECO 390 Independent Study in Economics
- ECO 395 – 1 Health Economics (ECO 200)
- ECO 395 – 2 Environmental Economics (ECO 200)
- ECO 395 – 3 Other Selected Topics (Juniors, Seniors only)
ECO 100 – Introduction to Economics
ECO 100 is a course that is intended for non-majors, and hence is not technically part of the major. In fact, if a student thinks that there is a chance that he or she will major in economics, ECO 100 is not the course to take! Take ECO 200, as the form and content of the course are similar, but ECO 200 is a major requirement.
- Economics Minor – The economics minor requires that students complete ECO 200 and ECO 201, and two electives for a total of twelve credits. Students may count ECO 100 for credit towards the minor if it was taken prior to ECO 200 and 201. ECO 221 may not be counted towards the minor.
- Honors – Students who maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or better within the major are eligible for Honors. A semester-long research project must be completed with a selected faculty member in ECO 499. Before doing the thesis, students must have completed ECO 300, 301, and 321.
- BA/MA program – In this program, students simultaneously complete a bachelor’s and a masters degree in economics. If begun early in a student’s career, this can be done with the normal 120 credits required for a BA degree, although some students find that additional time is necessary. Read more here.
- The 700 level courses – 700-level courses are graduate courses, and are primarily intended for BA/MA students and MA students. However, advanced students, students attempting department Honors, and other students with a strong background in mathematics can, and should, take these advanced courses to further expand their knowledge of economics.
A list of full-time faculty with courses taught, research interests, and publications can be found here.
A description of advising services offered by the department is here.
Further questions about the major, and how best to go about negotiating it can be found by consulting the Economics Majors’ FAQ.