College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Department of Economics
HSS 140
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 Professor--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 preparation for further graduate work and professional training for those in business and public service. The Master of Arts in Economics with a Concentration in Applied Economics is available to students seeking strong application skills in their graduate training. The core of both programs focuses on theory and is appropriate for students who are interested in either a terminal master of arts or in pursuing further specialized graduate studies toward the doctorate. The Applied Economics Concentration is specifically designed to prepare students for professional positions as researchers or administrators in the public and private sectors. Instruction focuses on economic decision making and quantitative analysis, particularly the analytic and methodological skills essential to the design, evaluation, and operation of complex institutional systems. The concentration is specifically designed for students interested in a master of arts as preparation for employment in research firms or departments; public utilities; banks; international trade companies; federal, state and local government; planning and forecasting specialties; statistical and computer intensive occupations; and national manufacturers, among others. Both programs are rigorous in their standards, contain substantive offerings, and stress the development of writing skills.

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).

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence. Consult Index for page reference.

Program Units
Core Courses
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 3
ECON 311 Statistical Methods and Interpretation I 3
ECON 605 Senior Seminar in Economic Thought 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 36


Program Units
ECON 100 Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis 3
ECON 101 Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis 3
ECON 300 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory or
ECON 301 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 3
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 B's 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 can not 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.

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence. Consult Index for page reference. Students may select any upper division courses with the exception of ECON 300, 301, 305, 310, and 311.

Program Units
Core Requirements
ECON 700 Seminar: Macroeconomic Theory I 3
ECON 701 Seminar: Microeconomic Theory I 3
ECON 710 Seminar: Macroeconomic Theroy II 3
ECON 711 Seminar: Microeconomic Theroy 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
Additional graduate economics courses and
Oral Comprehensive Examination 6
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.

SFSU Home   Search   Need Help?  

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

Last modified July 03, 2012 by