Program Overview:

Undergraduate Economics Major

The major in economics enables students to understand the basic concepts, theories and techniques of economics, and to become familiar with the way economists think about problems and devise solutions to them. Through introductory and intermediate courses in macroeconomics (the study of national income and price determination) and microeconomics (the study of consumers and producers within the larger economic system), the major provides students with the tools to learn a variety of economic problems. That foundation is complemented by the study of econometrics and advanced courses in macroeconomics and banking, international finance and trade, taxation and public spending, behavioral economics, the economics of developing countries, health care and the environment, as well as in economic theory and methods. Economics majors acquire analytical and critical thinking skills valuable for employment across many fields, including business and government; the study of economics is excellent preparation for advanced studies in economics, law, and other disciplines. 

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of macroeconomics, microeconomics and international economic concepts
  • Apply economic analysis to evaluate everyday problems and specific policy proposals
  • Understand how to use empirical evidence to evaluate an economic argument
  • Conduct statistical analysis of data and use qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Communicate effectively in written, spoken, and graphical form about economic issues
  • Understand and evaluate current economic events and new economic ideas
  • Organize, interpret and present quantitative data and communicate complex concepts in speech and writing


Distribution Requirements

Economics Major Requirements

  • ECON  201  Introduction to Macroeconomics

    This course is an introduction to economics with emphasis on macroeconomics. The course covers aspects of general economics that everyone should know, including how the market system works, how prices are determined, why shortages and surplusses occur, and why some people earn high incomes and others earn low incomes. Topics include: supply and demand, competition vs. monopoly, inflation, unemployment, recessions, booms, fiscal and monetary policy, budget deficits, international trade, and exchange rates. Prerequisite: two years of high school mathematics or MATH 101.

    View All Sections
  • ECON  202  Introduction to Microeconomics

    In a market economy, the interaction of buyers and sellers in many connected markets governs how the economy's resources are allocated. Market prices are determined by the decisions of all consumers and firms but mostly taken as given by any individual. We will construct models of the behavior of consumers and firms, and of the determination of prices in markets under a variety of conditions. We will examine the properties of the allocations, especially their efficiency, and the role of the government in these matters. Prerequisite: ECON 201.

    View All Sections
  • ECON  281  Applied Econometrics

    The purpose of this course is to guide students with the understanding and interpretation of economic data. There are many issues that arise when using economic data as compared to scientifically controlled data. Econometrics is the methodology used for solving these problems. A basic introduction to econometrics, the course covers basic data analysis, regression analysis, functional forms, heteroskedasticity, serial correlation, and forecasting. Actual economic data is used to address most of the issues studied in class. Prerequisite: STAT 202 or equivalent.

    View All Sections
  • ECON  310-A  Microeconomics I

    This course covers supply, demand, price controls, taxes and subsidies; consumer choice and demand; production, costs, and supply; perfect competition, equity, and efficiency; economic models, optimization, and equilibrium. Prerequisites: ECON 202 and MATH 220.

    View All Sections
  • ECON  310-B  Microeconomics II

    This course will survey several advanced topics in microeconomic theory, placing a special emphasis in the consumer, managerial, and public policy decisions that result from theoretical analysis. The course introduces the concept of Pareto efficiency and its relation with the evaluation of social outcomes and social choice. We will also extend the standard consumer choice setup to include situations in which outcomes are uncertain, focusing on investment and insurance decisions. The course also covers game theory and examines a number of applications, such as optimal pricing strategies by firms acting in an oligopoly. Prerequisite: ECON 310-A.

    View All Sections
  • ECON  311  Macroeconomics

    This course covers macroeconomics and monetary policy and the behavior of the economy as a whole, with an emphasis on the current economic crisis in the United States and Europe. Topics include income, inflation, unemployment, and growth; consumption, investment, and rate of interest; monetary and fiscal policy. Prerequisites: ECON 201, 202, and MATH 220, or equivalent.

    View All Sections
  • 6 additional 300-level economics courses   
  • MATH  220  Differential Calculus of One-Variable Functions

    This course covers definition of a function; trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic and inverse functions; graphs, limits, continuity; derivative of a function; product, quotient and chain rule; implicit differentiation; linear approximation and differentials; related rates; mean value theorems; curve plotting; optimization problems; Newton's method; and antiderivatives. Prerequisite: three years of high school math, including trigonometry, or MATH 113.

    View All Sections
  • STAT  202  Introduction to Statistics

    This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of statistics. Throughout the course, students will learn to: summarize data using graphs and tables; explain/calculate descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, correlation, regression, and probability; and explain tests of significance and data-production including sampling and experiments. Basic knowledge of algebra is recommended.

    View All Sections
  • 3 additional courses in social sciences, mathematics or statistics