Economics majors can earn either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics through the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences or a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Business Economics through the Williamson College of Business Administration. The economics major is designed to prepare students for careers both in the public and private sectors and for graduate study in economics. Economics majors are qualified for a wide variety of positions in the financial sector, and jobs in business and government research. Students also frequently use a major in economics as preparation for law school. For career information, see Careers & Resources.
Students who have completed 78 semester hours with a GPA of 3.3 or higher are eligible to participate in the Department of Economics "4+1" program. Students in the program can take graduate courses that will count both towards their bachelors degree and towards a masters degree in Economics or Financial Economics, allowing them to complete an MA one year after earning their bachelors degree.
Requirements for a Major in Economics
The economics coursework required for the students pursuing a BA in Economics and a BSBA in Business Economics is identical. To earn a major in economics a student must complete 32 semester hours of courses from the Department of Economics. Required courses are: 2610, 2630, 3790, 3710, 3712, and 4880. Students must take a course in calculus (MATH 1552, 1570, or 1571) prior to taking ECON 3710, 3712, and 3790. Economics courses at the 1500 level cannot be counted toward the major.
College Requirements for the BA and BSBA
The BA in Economics and the BSBA in Business Economics differ in the college level requirements. The BA in Economics is awarded by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). CLASS requires students to demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency in a foreign language, which is met by completing an intermediate course in a foreign language (2600) or receiving a sufficiently high score on the foreign language placement exam. The BSBA in Business Economics is awarded by the Williamson College of Business Administration (WCBA), which is accredited by AACSB International, the most highly regarded accrediting organization for business programs. Students earning a BSBA in Business Economics must take all of the WCBA tool and core courses.
Choosing Between the BA and the BSBA
The BA in Economics is most appropriate for students who intend to pursue graduate study in economics or law, or combine their work in economics with another liberal arts discipline. Students intending to apply for Ph.D. programs in economics should consider taking MATH 1571, 1572, 2673, and 3720. Graduates choosing to pursue additional study in economics have been very successful in gaining admission to masters and doctoral programs. The BSBA in Business Economics is best suited for students who intend to seek a job in the private sector after graduation or who intend to pursue an MBA.
Links to Program and Course Information
Fields of Specialization
The following are suggested curricula for students wishing to concentrate their studies in a specific area of economics, you do NOT need to complete a specialization to meet the requirements for the major.
Specialization in International Economics:
Recommended economics electives: ECON 3701, 3720, 5809, 5811, and 5812. Students should also consider taking electives outside the major in accounting, marketing, and international relations.
Specialization in Labor Markets:
Recommended economics electives: ECON 4843 and 5831. Students should also consider taking electives outside the major such as labor law and other courses offered by the Department of Management.
Specialization in Money and Banking:
Recommended economics electives: ECON 3701, 3702, 5809, and 4810. Students should also consider taking electives in accounting and finance.
Specialization in Quantitative Economic Methods:
Recommended economics electives: ECON 5824, 5853, and 5856. Suggested non-economics electives are MATH 1571, 1572, 2673, and 3720, as well as introductory courses in computer programming.