Economics Major

Learning Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Students will understand how all issues in economics involve making choices in the context of scarcity.       

Objective 1.1: Students will be able to explain the concept of opportunity cost.

Objective 1.2: Students will understand the concept that decision-making takes place at the margin and explain how this affects the behavior of consumers and firms.

Goal 2: Students will understand how economic agents interact.

Objective 2.1: Students will be able to explain the supply and demand model and how it is applied to input and output markets as well as the macro economy.

Goal 3: Students will be able to identify important economic variables, understand how they are measured, and explain what they tell us.

Objective 3.1: Students will be able to define and know the approximate value of some key macroeconomic variables in the US, including GDP growth, inflation, unemployment, and interest rates. Furthermore, students will know how these variables are measured, how they affect us and understand the difference between “nominal” and “real” values.

Goal 4: Students will understand how public policy impacts the economy.

Objective 4.1: Students will be able to explain how fiscal and monetary policy work .

Objective 4.2: Students will be able to explain how markets sometimes “fail” and how public policy can address these problems .

Requirements for the Economics Major

The traditional undergraduate programs include 40 courses distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive, and
  3. Writing Intensive. Overlay requirements are part of the forty-course requirement.

GEP University Distribution

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses. Six courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

  1. Social/Behavioral Sciences: Principles Microeconomics (ECN 101)
  2. Natural Science: A natural science course with a laboratory, or two courses without a laboratory
  3. Students can take any Math "Beauty" course to fulfill the requirement of the GEP. However, we recommend:
    MAT 131Linear Methods3
    MAT 132Math of Games & Politics3
    MAT 134Math of Uncertainty:Rules/Prob3
    MAT 155Fundamentals of Calculus3
    MAT 161Calculus I4

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses

Economics majors must take one course from each of the following three categories

  • Any Statistics Course, including:
MAT 118Introduction to Statistics3
MAT 123Differential Calculus3
MAT 128Applied Statistics3
MAT 322Mathematical Statistics3


  • Note: For students who have already taken Calculus I or who earned credit for AP math, no additional math courses are required for the economics major.  For these students, the second ILC course may be satisfied with one of the following:
    Any additional math course (this is in addition to the Beauty requirement and the statistics requirement).  For students considering graduate school in economics, we highly recommend additional courses in Calculus or linear algebra.
Any Computer Science (CSC) course
Any Social Science course
THE 373Economic Ethics3
  • Choose one of the following
    An additional math course (this is in addition to the Beauty requirement, the statistics requirement, and the Differential Calculus course listed above).  For students considering graduate school in economics, we highly recommend students take at least a year of calculus.
Any Computer Science (CSC) course
Any Social Science course
THE 373Economic Ethics3

Major Requirements

Major Concentration*

ECN 301Microeconomic Theory3
ECN 302Macroeconomic Theory3
Economics Majors: Select one of the following tracks:
Economics Track
Any six additional ECN 300/400-level economics courses
Economics Track with Econometrics
ECN 410Econometrics3
Any four additional ECN 300/400-level economics courses
Quantitative Economics Track
ECN 410Econometrics3
Three quantitative economics courses 1
Any additional ECN 300/400-level economics course

Requirements for Departmental Honors

Requirements for departmental honors are found under Honors Programs and in the brochure published annually by the Director of Honors programs.