Program Information

The principal objective of economics courses is to help students develop the ability to think clearly about complex economic, political and social issues and to gain an understanding of how the economic activities of private and public institutions or interest groups relate to issues such as inflation, unemployment, poverty, environmental quality, urban and regional problems, and international economic concerns.

A solid background in economics is valuable to students preparing for graduate work in economics, business, public administration, and law; it is also useful as preparation for possible careers in such diverse fields as business, law, government, medicine, social work, and education. Courses in the other social sciences, mathematics and computer science, English and foreign languages, also contribute significantly to preparation for such graduate study and career opportunities.

Advanced degrees in economics require a strong background in mathematics. Students who are interested in pursuing an economics education beyond the undergraduate level should strongly consider supplementing the major requirements with MATH 249 (Multivariable Calculus), MATH 253 (Linear Algebra), MATH 256 (Differential Equations), and MATH 446 (Real Analysis).

This interdisciplinary major combines coursework in both the mathematics and economics programs. It is suitable for economics students who are interested in the technical/mathematical aspects of economics, and mathematics students who are interested in applied problems in economics. The major requirements provide a solid foundation for graduate studies or careers in applied mathematics, finance or various fields of economics.

Requirements for the Economics Major (10 Credits)

9 credits in Economics, 1 in Mathematics

(Note: Students taking ECON 230 will receive only 0.5 credit if they have completed MATH 138 or similar statistics course.)

  • ECON 363 Microeconomic Theory (1)
  • ECON 364 Macroeconomic Theory (1)
  • ECON 470W Advanced Topics in Economics (1)
  • ECON 496W Senior Research Seminar (1)
  • Three elective credits in Economics (3)
    • At least one elective must have Microeconomic Theory or Macroeconomic Theory as a prerequisite

The Economics major is structured to progressively build the skills and tools of economic analysis. Students in the major begin with ECON 132 Introduction to Economic Inquiry, which introduces students to the discipline and lays the foundation for subsequent study. ECON 230 Economic Statistics and MATH 140 Modeling with Calculus can be taken concurrent with or subsequent to the Inquiry course. Students must complete Economic Statistics and the theory courses (ECON 363 Microeconomic Theory and ECON 364 Macroeconomic Theory) prior to enrolling in ECON 470W Advanced Topics in Economics, the penultimate course in the major. The Advanced Topics course applies the analytical and empirical tools developed in intermediate economic theory to a contemporary public policy issue and prepares students for an independent research project in the capstone course in the major: ECON 496W Senior Research Seminar.

Requirements for the Economics Minor (5 Credits)

  • ECON 132 (US) Introduction to Economic Inquiry (1)
  • ECON 363 Microeconomic Theory (1) or
  • ECON 364 Macroeconomic Theory (1)
  • Three other courses in Economics (3)

Requirements for the Mathematics/Economics Major (12 Credits)

Economic theory (3)

Mathematical theory (2)

Data Analysis* (1)

One of the following courses

Electives** (5)

Any 2 additional courses in Economics numbered 300 or higher. Highly recommended are:

Any 3 additional courses in Mathematics numbered 200 or higher. Highly recommended are:

  • MATH 249 Multivariate Calculus
  • MATH 256 Differential Equations
  • MATH 446 Real Analysis
    **At least one 400-level course must be taken in each department

Senior Experience (1)

MAEC 499W Senior Experience

An independent study advised by a faculty member(s) in either mathematics or economics (or both). Each student completes a research paper that demonstrates mastery of mathematical techniques; e.g., modeling or data analysis, as they apply to a topic in economics. Other activities include written and oral analysis of related work and oral presentation(s) of their paper.