Getting Through the B.A. in Economics Program
Pathway into the Economics Major
Students can enter the Economics major in two ways:
- Take Econ 2000 (The Economy: Problems and Perspectives)
- Take both Econ 2201 & Econ 2202. These are Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics.
After fulfilling one of the above requirements—and completing the required lower-division Math and Statistics courses—you can start taking many upper-division Economics courses. However, you should take them in the order suggested below.
What Classes Should You Take Next?
Once you’re completed the above, take the following:
- One or more of: Econ 3312 (Firms and Markets), Econ 3314 (Public Economics), Econ 3316 (Labor Economics), or Econ 3318 (International Economics)
- Econ 3400 (Money, Banking, Financial Markets)
- Econ 3500 (Tools of Economic Analysis)
These courses give you experience in microeconomic analysis (Econ 3312, 3314, 3316, and 3318), a foundation for understanding financial markets and macroeconomic analysis (Econ 3400), and an introduction to the empirical tools used by economists (Econ 3500).
These courses are prerequisites for other important classes such as Econ 4100, 4200, 4300, and 4400. Take all of the above prerequisite classes early, and certainly by the end of your junior year at the latest.
What Other Classes Should You Take?
The Economics Department offers classes that focus on different parts of the economy and use a variety of theoretical frameworks. While you will need to take the courses within your concentration (discussed below), the Economics major provides enough flexibility for you to pick classes that you find most interesting and which contribute to your career goals.
Regardless of what classes you take, remember that all Economics classes seek to teach you about the economy and to improve your analytical abilities and/or data analysis skills.
Suggested Courses for Your Senior Year
In your senior year, take the following classes:
- Econ 4100 (Intermediate Microeconomics)
- Econ 4200 (Intermediate Macroeconomics)
- Quantitative classes such as Econ 4300 (Econometrics) and Econ 4400 (Quantitative Methods)
- Econ 3900 (Writing in Economics)
These classes build upon material learned in other Economics classes, and students will do better in them the more background they have in Economics.
Do not put off taking one of the quantitative classes (Econ 4300 or Econ 4400) until your last semester. True, many students find these classes to be difficult, but if you put off looking for these classes until your final semester, you might find they are not scheduled for that semester. If this happens, you’ll have to attend an additional semester to take these classes; don’t let that happen to you!
The Economics major has three concentrations. None is better than the others, but one might better prepare you for what you would like to do after graduation.
General Economics: this concentration exposes students to many aspects of economics along with experience in analytical thinking and data analysis. Many students will find this is the best concentration for them as it equips them for careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Mathematical Economics: this concentration is the most challenging as it requires the completion of numerous mathematical courses and requires more quantitative courses. This is the preferred concentration for those considering graduate school in economics. or those who just want a challenge.
Applied Economics: this is the best concentration for students who are sure they want to enter the business world. It provides a mix of business courses and Economics courses and is suitable for students who want to work in existing businesses or those who want start their own business. Students with this concentration can go into other fields also.
Getting Through the B.A. in Political Economy Program
This is a new program, and students who are interested in majoring in Political Economy should meet with an Economics Department faculty member to discuss the program and the course they should take. This B.A. program is appropriate for someone who wants to get involved in community activism, work for nonprofits, or work for labor unions.
The B.A. in Political Economy major can be easily combined with the Minor in Ethnic Studies, the GE Minor in Diversity and Social Justice Minor, the Minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Minor in Sociology, and/or the Minor in Economics.