College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Department of Economics
HSS 142
Web Site:
Chair: Donald Mar

Graduate Coordinator: S. Chattopadhyay


Professors—Blecha, Mar, Moss, Sisk, Vencill

Associate Professors—Chattopadhyay, King, Potepan, Xu

Assistant Professors—Bar, Chaudhuri, Takeyama, Zhang


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 economic theory while allowing them to apply what they have learned in real world settings. The program fully exposes students to the primary methods of economic inquiry and analysis. Courses in the program call on students to use both quantitative and qualitative reasoning to analyze and explain economic events and problems. Students also develop practical skills in collecting and statistically analyzing economic data to reach conclusions about economic issues. The undergraduate program in economics provides an excellent preparation for students planning to enter careers in business management, government service, and in non-profit organizations. It can also serve to fully prepare students for advanced graduate and professional study in economics, business, public policy, urban and regional planning, law, and other related fields.

The Master of Arts in Economics allows students to pursue advanced study in economics and focuses on theoretical foundations and real world applications. The program requires students to develop skills in the mathematical modeling of economic theory and statistical analysis of economic data, as well as writing and communicating economic ideas. The M.A. program provides excellent advanced training for students wishing to obtain professional positions as researchers or administrators in private businesses, governmental agencies, or non-profit organizations. The program also offers a solid foundation for students interested in continuing their graduate studies in Ph.D. programs elsewhere.

Career Outlook

Both the undergraduate and graduate programs prepare students for a wide variety of careers in business, government, and non-profit organizations. Their somewhat practical orientation and strong emphasis on quantitative reasoning allow graduates of these programs to move into interesting, useful careers in a number of fields. Undergraduate students majoring in economics, particularly those who have supplemented their program with additional course work in accounting and computer programming, are very attractive job candidates. Graduate students in the master's program develop advanced theoretical, statistical, and data analytical skills, which allow them to compete successfully for more advanced positions. Economics majors have recently been placed in entry level positions in business management, marketing, financial services, research consulting firms, public policy analysis, teaching, and many other fields. The undergraduate major also provides excellent preparation for advanced graduate and professional studies in economics and related disciplines. M.A. graduates have recently been placed in advanced positions with public utilities, economics consulting firms, the research divisions of large companies, and local and state governmental agencies.


Lower Division Core Courses

Economics majors are required to take three courses at the lower division level: ECON 100, Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis; ECON 101, Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis; and MATH 226, Calculus I.

Upper Division Core Courses

Economics majors are required to take six upper division core courses: ECON 300, Intermediate Macroeconomics Theory; ECON 301, Intermediate Microeconomic Theory; ECON 311, Statistical Methods and Interpretation I;  and ECON 312, Statistical Methods and Interpretation II. Majors are also required to take ECON 605, History of Economic Thought. Finally, in the senior year, majors are required to take the capstone course ECON 690, Senior Seminar: Economic Inquiry and Analysis.

Upper Division Electives

Economics majors are required to take five upper division elective courses in economics. There are over twenty elective courses offered each year on such subjects as: money and banking, international economics, labor economics, public finance, law and economics, economic history, urban economics, the economics of crime and justice, environmental economics, economic geography, and economic development.

Declaring the Major and Undergraduate Advising

Students can declare economics as a major at the Economics Department Office at HSS 142. Upon declaring the major, each student is assigned an adviser from among the regular faculty. The Economics Department requires that all majors meet with an adviser each spring. Students who do not see an adviser will not be able to register for the fall semester. Advisers advise students on the selection of economics courses, as well as G.E. requirements and other courses in the university. Advisers provide important information and guidance for meeting career and/or life objectives.

On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Courses
ECON 100 Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis
ECON 101 Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis
MATH 226 Calculus I
ECON 300 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
ECON 301 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
ECON 311 Statistical Methods and Interpretation I
ECON 312 Statistical Methods and Interpretation II
ECON 605 History of Economic Thought
ECON 690 Senior Seminar: Economic Inquiry and Analysis
Upper Division Electives
Units selected from upper division economics courses. Upon prior advisement, 1 course may be from another department in a related discipline.


Economics is highly complementary with a number of other disciplines and some students may choose to minor in economics while pursuing a major in another field. Students often decide to minor in economics after having already taken several economics courses and realizing that a few more courses will satisfy the minor requirements. Students minoring in economics are required to take ECON 100, Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis, and ECON 101, Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis. They are also required to take either ECON 300, Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory, or ECON 301, Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. In addition, minors are required to take four upper division elective courses. Upon advisement, two of these elective courses may be taken in a related discipline including courses counting toward the major.

ECON 100 Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis
ECON 101 Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis
ECON 300 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory or
 ECON 301  Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
Units selected from upper division elective economics courses


Graduate Advisers—Chattopadhyay, King, Vencill, Xu

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 satisfy the following criteria:

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. 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 in economics must submit the following material to both the Division of Graduate Studies and to the graduate coordinator of the Department of Economics. These materials should be submitted to both places at the same time.

The deadlines for submission of all of the above material to both the Division of Graduate Studies and the graduate coordinator of the Department of Economics are determined by the university. These deadlines are available at

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 take the Graduate Essay Test (GET) before their first semester. A fee is charged for this examination. Students who do not pass the examination will be required to take the appropriate course (CHS 514, EDUC 614, CA 514) during their first year of graduate study. Level Two: to demonstrate advanced level proficiency, the student must complete a written term paper as part of the required ECON 890 course.

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting all general requirements for advancement to candidacy, applicants must earn at least a B- in ECON 615, 630, 700, 701, 710, 725, 730, 890, and earn a 3.0 grade point average in the six combined. On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Requirements
ECON 615 Mathematical Economics
ECON 630 Introduction to Econometrics
ECON 700 Seminar: Macroeconomic Theory I
ECON 701 Seminar: Microeconomic Theory I
ECON 725 Data Research Methods
ECON 730 Seminar: Econometric Methods
ECON 890 Graduate Seminar in Applied Economics
Other Requirements
Graduate elective course. May be taken upon advisement in an allied field or in interdisciplinary study.
ECON 898 Master's Thesis and Oral Defense or
  Additional graduate economics courses and Oral Comprehensive Examination
Minimum total

Oral Comprehensive Examination: A three-hour comprehensive oral examination is required of all candidates. The examination covers the project completed in ECON 890 or the master's thesis. Examinations are conducted during the regular fall and spring semesters. No student is permitted to take the examination until having completed 24 units of the Graduate Approved Program with a B (3.0) average. ECON 615, 630, 700, 701, and 890 must be included in these 24 units. The examination may be taken only twice.

SFSU Home   Search   Need Help?  

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111

Last modified July 05, 2012 by