Package for Undergraduate Economics Majors
The following document contains information regarding the requirements for an economics major, a graduation certification check-off sheet, mathematics requirements for Ph.D. programs and programs in finance, suggestions for selecting a graduate program, and advice on requesting recommendations from faculty.
Economics Major with a Mathematics Minor
Economics students interested in pursuing graduate school at either the MA or Ph.D. levels in Economics, Business or Finance are strongly encouraged to have at least a mathematics minor. Those interested in the better Ph.D. programs, even in business and finance, will need considerably more. The following document outlines two model programs depending on interest and background.
The economics department will waive Econ 3801 - Mathematical Economics as a required course for the major for those students with Calculus 1, 2 and 3 with grades of B or better. The total number of econ hours required for the major remains 40.
Honors in Economics
Below is a PDF with information about the requirements for departmental honors. Students wishing to earn departmental honors should consult with their advisor no later than the beginning of their senior year.
Geographic Information Science (GIS) Certificate
A number of students who are in the job market report that they are being asked about their knowledge of GIS. Students can get a certificate in GIS with 18 credit hours (he also said that students should really take a couple more courses to be truly proficient). Students should be advised of this option. Below is the website for the certificate program:
General Advice for Economics Majors
Be visible. Hang out in the computer room in the department. Contribute to discussions in class, and ask your teacher when you need help. Form study groups. It will be more fun and when it comes time to collect letters of recommendation your instructor will have more to say. Take your courses in Economics in order. Classes increasingly emphasize statistics and econometrics and it will be more and more important to take these before your electives. The intermediate theory classes will also help with electives. The order should be: Principles of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, then Statistics and Math Economics (if you do not plan a Mathematics minor). Then take Econometrics and the Intermediate Theory courses. You will have better success in the Health, Trade, Development and Labor electives if you have Intermediate Micro and Econometrics. You will do better in Finance and International Finance if you have Intermediate Macro and Econometrics. Race and Gender, Sex and Drugs can still be taken immediately after principles.
The department strongly recommends a Mathematics minor or a dual Math/Economics major for those students with graduate school ambitions. A strong math background will dramatically affect your placement. The minor is Calculus 1, 2 and 3 along with 3 more. There are two tracks mathematics recommends. A practical track includes Linear Algebra, Differential Equations and Problem Solving (Math 3191, 3200, 3250). The Theory track includes Real Analysis and its prerequisites. If you do the minor, (with grades of B or better in Calc. 1 and 2) then you do not need Econ 3801, but you will still need 40 hours of Economics. If you do the dual major (Math and Econ) then you do not need Econ 3811 or Econ 3801 and the total number of Econ hours is reduced to 30. Details may be found on the department Advising page.
Many of our students take courses in the Business School. The two beginning courses in Accounting are popular. (Acct 2200, 2220) There are limits for non-Business majors but it is possible to petition to take additional courses. If your petition is denied, do not despair. Economics is considered a strong foundation for graduate work in Business, especially Finance. There is a dual MA/MS in Finance and Economics, with details on the department’s advising page. The Finance program also has a variety of MS degrees that require significant graduate work in Economics. The Business School offers a minor in Insurance and may soon offer a minor in Finance. (Ask the business representative about this.) The Risk, Management and Insurance Minor is described here.
There are many other popular programs and courses. Good computer and statistical skills are always useful, so Econ 4030 (SAS) is highly recommended or the Math 4810, 4820 sequence (Probability and Statistics). The SAS certificate is good for 12 months so you may want to take 4030 your Senior year. There is a certificate program in Geographic Information Systems that will give you strong data analysis skills.
Please e-mail Dr. Steven Beckman with any information you feel would be useful on this page.