BA in Economics

Undergraduate students gathered around a computer.

The Department of Economics offers two bachelor's degree tracks. The standard BA in Economics Track is designed for students who plan to pursue careers directly after graduation, or possibly pursue graduate study in a related field. The BA in Economics: Graduate Track is designed for students who are considering continuing on with graduate study in economics.

Both tracks prepare students to understand and apply the economics of government and business, and to think anylytically about economic challenges. Undergraduate students may also pursue a joint major or a combined BA/MA option. 

Degree Requirements

Both BA in Economics tracks require students to earn a total of 120 university credits and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in their economics classes, as well as an overall 2.0 GPA. Students are encouraged to review their DARS reports frequently to monitor their progress. Please note: Transfer students must also maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA after entering UB, and their final overall GPA, including past courses, must equal or exceed 2.0. 

Economics majors are encouraged to pursue courses in related fields, such as English, political science, advanced mathematics and/or other social sciences. The Department of Economics recommends that students take every available opportunity to explore the paths that interest them. 

Standard BA in Economics

  Courses Credits
Prerequisites

MTH 121, or MTH 131, or MTH 141

4
Required Courses

ECO 380 Economic Statistics and Data Analysis

ECO 405 Microeconomic Theory

ECO 407 Macroeconomic Theory

ECO 480 Econometrics I

3

3

3

3

Economics Upper-Level Electives

Five (5) additional Economics courses at the 400-level. These cannot include ECO 495 (Undergraduate Supervised Teaching) or ECO 496 (Internship in Economics). A maximum of three (3) credits may be from ECO 499 Independent Study or ECO 498 Undergraduate Research.

ECO 406 is required to graduate with Honors in Economics and can be used as an upper level elective course.

15
Other Economics Electives Economics courses at any level (ECO 495 and ECO 496 can be used toward these credits). 8
Permitted Substitution for ECO 480

Option A: MTH 411 or STA 301 together with MTH 412 or STA 302

Option B: GEO 211

Option C: CIE 308

 
Total Economics Credits   35

BA in Economics: Graduate Track

  Courses Credits
Prerequisites

MTH 141: College Calculus 1

MTH 142: College Calculus 2

4

4

Required Courses

ECO 380 Economic Statistics and Data Analysis ECO

405H Microeconomic Theory

ECO 406H Topics in Microeconomics*

ECO 407H Honors Macroeconomic Theory

ECO 480H Econometrics I, or MTH 411 Probability Theory with MTH 412 Introduction to Statistical Inference

 

3

3

3

3

3 or 8

Economics Upper-Level Electives

Five (5) additional Economics courses at the 400-level. These cannot include ECO 495 and ECO 496. A maximum of 3 credits may be from ECO 499 Independent Study or ECO 498 Undergraduate Research.

15
Other Economics Electives Economics courses at any level. 6
Total Economics Credits   38
Total Credits   46 or 51

Other Mathematics Electives: It is recommended that students considering graduate studies in economics take additional mathematics courses, particularly MTH 309 Introduction to Linear Algebra and MTH 431 Introduction to Real Variables I.

*This course is also required to graduate with Honors in Economics

Planning Your Courses

Once students have declared an economics major, the department recommends the following courses for consideration:

General Course Recommendations

  • ECO 181 Introduction to Macroeconomics and ECO 182 Introduction to Microeconomics are introductory economics courses that assume no prior knowledge and have no prerequisites. These are the best place to commence the study of economics. It does not matter which course is taken first. Passing both of these 4 credit courses satisfies the “Other Economics Electives” requirement of the economics major.
  • ECO 405 Microeconomic Theory and ECO 407 Macroeconomic Theory are required intermediate level courses for the economics major. They are prerequisites for most of the 400-level economics electives and therefore should be taken as early as possible. The only prerequisite for ECO 405 and ECO 407 is MTH 121 or MTH 141 or MTH 131, but the knowledge gained in ECO 181 (Introduction to Macroeconomics) is helpful in ECO 407, and the knowledge gained in ECO 182 (Introduction to Microeconomics) is helpful in ECO 405.
  • ECO 380 Economic Statistics and Data Analysis is a required course for the economics major. It presents basics of statistics, probability theory, sampling, estimation and hypothesis testing. ECO 480 Econometrics I, which is also a required course, uses this knowledge to introduce students to econometric methods, the primary estimation and inference tools of applied economics, so that students may add value to their education by acquiring applied economics skills. These are valuable skills that are strongly sought by employers.

Recommendations for Students Interested in Finance Careers

ECO 425 Money and Financial Institutions provides an explanation of the Federal Reserve System, commercial banking, and financial products. Emphasized topics include measuring and managing the risks faced by commercial banks, with particular focus on the global financial system. Case studies will be presented. Prerequisite: ECO 407.

ECO 426 Capital Markets and Financial Institutions provides an overview of financial decision making by individuals and by firms. The course then investigates the way these decisions are implemented through financial systems. The key concepts are resource allocations over time, evaluations of cash flows, risk management, project evaluation, and asset pricing models. Prerequisite: ECO 405.

ECO 434 International Finance introduces basics needed to understand the functioning of the global economy and international financial markets. The course develops a framework for analysis of current account deficits, international capital movements, and real and nominal exchange rates. Also examined are the relationships between interest rates and exchange rates, and policy issues such as external debt crises and balance-of-payment difficulties. Prerequisite: ECO 407.

ECO 461 Economic Fluctuation and Forecasting introduces important topics in economic fluctuations and forecasting. Topics covered include ordinary least squares techniques, time series and trends, seasonal patterns, autoregressive and moving average processes, and forecasting models. Real data are used with each topic. Prerequisite: ECO 480. ECO 407 recommended.

ECO 490 Monetary Theory commences by examining why fiat currencies have become ubiquitous everywhere when, by themselves, they are worth very little. It is shown that introducing a currency into an economy without a currency greatly improves the functioning of that economy by serving as a medium of exchange and making markets function far more efficiently, and achieving much greater gains from trades. The course then considers the roles that money plays in inflation, central banking, the international finance system, saving, investment, production, and government policies. Prerequisite: ECO 407

Recommendations for Students Interested in Corporate Law

ECO 406 Topics in Microeconomics extends the content of ECO 405 to a variety of more advanced topics, such as imperfect markets, strategic behavior (game theory), making choices with incomplete information, investment decisions, general equilibrium analysis, and externalities and public goods. Prerequisite: ECO 405.

ECO 425 Money and Financial Institutions provides an explanation of the Federal Reserve System, commercial banking, and financial products. Emphasized topics include measuring and managing the risks faced by commercial banks, with particular focus on the global financial system. Case studies will be presented. Prerequisite: ECO 407.

ECO 469 Industrial Organization studies types of industries and the behaviors of firms in the industries; e.g., pricing, production, marketing, investment, and research and development. The strategic abilities of competing firms to affect each other’s behaviors is examined closely. This helps to understand why different industries often take different forms. Understanding these topics helps students to become better managers, industry analysts, investors and policy makers. Prerequisite: ECO 405.

ECO 464 Public Economics uses cost-benefit analysis to explain why a public sector can more efficiently supply certain types of beneficial commodities and services (e.g., national defense, courts) and can better reduce the supply of harmful commodities (e.g., air pollution) than can a private sector. The course then considers the merits and demerits of various ways to fund these beneficial activities (e.g., voluntary donations, taxation, user fees). Prerequisite: ECO 405.

For further information about undergraduate economics courses, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog