College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Department of Economics
HSS 142
Web Site:
Chair: Michael J. Potepan

Undergraduate Advisers: See advising information and roster posted outside department office

Graduate Coordinator: David Sisk


Professors—Blecha, Gemello, Moss, Osman, Schweitzer, Shen, Sisk, Vencill

Associate Professors—King, Mar, Potepan

Assistant Professors—Haase, Xu


B.A. in Economics
Minor in Economics
M.A. in Economics

Program Scope

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics provides students with a foundation in economics which will prepare them for careers in business, government, and many other areas of endeavor as well as for post baccalaureate study in economics, business, law, and other fields.

The Master of Arts in Economics emphasizes both theory and applications. Instruction focuses on economic decision making and quantitative analysis. The program is rigorous in its standards and requires students to develop skills in mathematical modeling of economic theory, statistical analysis of economic data, as well as writing and communication of economic ideas. The program is appropriate for students who are interested in either a terminal M.A. degree, or in pursuing further specialized graduate studies toward a Ph.D. at another institution. For students interested in the terminal degree, the program offers solid preparation for obtaining professional positions as researchers or administrators in the private and public sectors. The program also offers a solid foundation for students interested in continuing their graduate studies in Ph.D. programs elsewhere, and faculty members advise and assist students interested in that option.

Career Outlook

With a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, the usual careers open to liberal arts graduates are available. In addition, the slightly more "practical" orientation of economics gives graduates somewhat of an edge in private and public sector jobs. Our students have found good positions by combining the major with skills in computers, statistics, and accounting.

For those who continue on to a Master of Arts or Ph.D. in Economics, there are professional positions to be found in the business world, teaching, and government at all levels.

In addition, economics is excellent preparation for graduate study in: law, business administration, public administration, urban studies, international relations, world business, health administration, and gerontology.


Undergraduate Advising

Every Economics major is encouraged to choose an adviser from any of the full-time Economics faculty members. Advisers advise students on the selection of core courses and elective courses in Economics, as well as on their G.E. requirements. Advisers provide information on what to expect from particular courses, how important particular courses are for meeting career and/or life objectives, the expected future offering of particular courses, and alternative ways to fulfill graduation requirements. All Economics majors are expected to meet with their adviser at least once each year to discuss their progress towards the B.A. degree. Majors who fail to choose an adviser will be assigned one by the Economics Department, and they will still be expected to meet with the adviser once each year. Please see additional advising information posted outside the department office (HSS 142).

Majors may choose to complete a business administration minor to complement their economic degree and better achieve individual career objectives. The Economics Department adviser should be consulted regarding this option.

Online course descriptions are available.

Core Courses Units
ECON 100 Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis 3
ECON 101 Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis 3
ECON 300 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory 3
ECON 301 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 3
ECON 310 Mathematics for Economists 1 3
ECON 311 Statistical Methods and Interpretation I 3
ECON 605 Senior Seminar in Economic Thought 3
ECON 610 Senior Seminar: Economic Inquiry and Analysis 3
Additional Requirements
One of the following quantitative courses 3
ECON 312 Statistical Methods and Interpretation II
ECON 315 Mathematical Economics
ECON 320 Introduction to Econometrics
ECON 325 Computerized Economic Analysis
ECON 601 Applied Microeconomics
Four additional upper division courses of which three must be in economics. On prior advisement, one of the four courses may be in another department 12
Total 39


Program Units
ECON 100 Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis 3
ECON 101 Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis 3
ECON 300 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory or 3
  ECON 301   Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
Electives in economics and related fields on advisement of which not more than six units are in other departments 12
Total 21


Graduate Advisers—Sisk, Vencill

Admission to Program

For admission to the graduate program in Economics, a student must meet the general university requirements as stated in this Bulletin. To qualify for classified status, a student must earn a 3.0 grade point average in an undergraduate major in economics, with a grade of at least a B in the first semester of intermediate macro and micro theory (ECON 300 and 301), mathematics for economists (ECON 310) or a semester of calculus (MATH 220), and statistical method and interpretation (ECON 311), or equivalent. Students who do not have Bs in all of the above four courses, or who did not major in economics but earned overall grade point averages of 3.0 or better, may be admitted conditionally. If room is available, students with less than 3.0 averages, but at least 2.7, may be admitted. Students admitted conditionally should understand that any prerequisite courses indicated in their conditional admission cannot be applied toward their graduate program.

Students applying to the master's program in Economics must submit the following material to both the Graduate Division and to the graduate coordinator of the Department of Economics. These materials should be submitted to both places at the same time.

The following deadlines for submission of all of the above material to both the Graduate Division and the graduate coordinator of the Department of Economics are in effect:

Written English Proficiency Requirements

The university requires that graduate students must demonstrate both initial English proficiency (level one) upon entrance to graduate study and an advanced English proficiency (level two) prior to graduating. Level One: each economics graduate student is required to pass a test of written English during the first semester in the graduate program. A fee is charged for this examination. Students failing the examination will be required to take a course or courses in English. Level Two: to demonstrate advanced level proficiency, the student must complete a written term paper or a master's thesis during the M.A. program.

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting all general requirements for advancement to candidacy, applicants must earn at least a B- in ECON 700, 701, 710, 711, 720, and 730 and earn a 3.0 grade point average in the six combined.

Online course descriptions are available. Students may select any upper division courses with the exception of ECON 300, 301, 305, 310, and 311.

Core Requirements 2 Units
ECON 700 Seminar: Macroeconomic Theory I 3
ECON 701 Seminar: Microeconomic Theory I 3
ECON 710 Seminar: Macroeconomic Theory II 3
ECON 711 Seminar: Microeconomic Theory II 3
ECON 720 Seminar: Applied Quantitative Techniques 3
ECON 730 Seminar: Econometric Methods 3
Other Requirements
Graduate economics courses or upper division elective economics courses. May be taken upon advisement in an allied field or in interdisciplinary study 6
ECON 898 Master's Thesis and Oral Defense or 6
Additional graduate economics courses and Oral Comprehensive Examination
Minimum total 30

Oral Comprehensive Examination: A three-hour comprehensive oral examination is required of all candidates who waive the thesis requirement. The examination covers macroeconomics, microeconomics, and one elective field chosen by the candidate. Examinations are conducted during the regular Fall and Spring semesters. No student is permitted to take the examination until the completion of 24 units of the Graduate Approved Program with a B (3.0) average. ECON 700 and 701 must be included in these 24 units. The examination may be taken only twice.

Oral Defense of Thesis: Students who have chosen the thesis option must pass an oral defense of their thesis. This defense consists of a three hour oral examination by the thesis committee.


  1. Prerequisite: completion of general education quantitative reasoning requirement.
  2. Under certain circumstances and with the approval of the graduate adviser, students may substitute one elective graduate level economics course for one of the following courses in the core: ECON 710, 711, or 730.

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