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Majors & Minors

“The Department of Economics at the University of Minnesota holds a special place in the economics world, of which our undergraduate majors play an important role. A unifying theme throughout the department is that careful theoretical and empirical reasoning underlies all research and teaching. Or put more simply: any economic question worth examining is worth examining well.”
—Christopher Phelan, professor and chair

The department offers four options to undergraduates majoring/minoring in economics:

  he BS is designed for students interested in graduate school within the field of economics, or a career in which quantitative/statistical economic analysis plays a significant role. The major’s strong quantitative component stresses multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and econometrics—essentials to economics graduate training. The BA gives you a solid background in all facets of economics but without the quantitative emphasis of the BS option. It is the least quantitative of our three majors and it offers considerable freedom in course selection. The BA option provides excellent preparation for working after graduation, or pursuing a master’s degree. The quantitative emphasis BA (BA-Q) includes basic quantitative training in calculus, linear algebra, and econometrics. This degree is particularly suitable for those considering graduate work in business administration or those considering work in places that require data and statistical work.

Below is an at a glance chart outlining the requirements for each degree program. Please see your Econ advisor for additional course sequencing information.

 
Bachelor of Arts
(34 Credits)
Bachelor of Arts - Quantitative
(35 Credits)
Bachelor of Science
(48 Credits)
Econ 1101* - Principles of Microeconomics
Econ 1102* - Principles of Macroeconomics
Econ 1101* - Principles of Microeconomics
Econ 1102* - Principles of Macroeconomics
Econ 1101* - Principles of Microeconomics
Econ 1102* - Principles of Macroeconomics
Math 1271* - Calculus 1 Math 1271* - Calculus 1
Math 1272* - Calculus 2
Math 2243 - Linear Algebra
Math 1271* - Calculus 1
Math 1272* - Calculus 2
Math 2243 - Linear Algebra
Math 2263 - Multivariable Calculus
Stat 3011 - Intro to Statistical Analysis
Stat 3022 - Data Analysis    or
Stat 3032 - Regression Analysis & Correlated Data
Stat 3021 - Intro to Probablility & Statistics
Stat 3022 - Calculus II
Stat 3032 - Regression Analyis and Correlated Data
Stat 4101 or 5101 - Theory of Statistics I
Stat 4102 or 5102 - Theory of Statistics II
Econ 3101 - Intermediate Microeconomics
Econ 3102 - Intermediate Macroeconomics
Econ 3101 - Intermediate Microeconomics
Econ 3102 - Intermediate Macroeconomics
Econ 3101 - Intermediate Microeconomics
Econ 3102 - Intermediate Macroeconomics
Electives - 6 upper-division Econ courses (18 credits) to include 1 Econ 4XXX** course Electives - 4 upper-division Econ courses (12 credits) to include 1 Econ 4XXX** course Electives - 4 upper-division Econ courses (20 credits) to include 1 Econ 4XXX** course AND 2 advanced upper-division electives including 1 Econ 4/5XXX WI** course
No Econometrics Course Econ 4211 - Principles of Econometrics Econ 4261 -Intro to Econometrics
Econ 3951 - Major Project Seminar Econ 3951 - Major Project Seminar No senior project seminar
Second Language degree requirement Second Language degree requirement No second language degree requirement

*Pre-requisite courses for admission to the major
**Writing Intensive Course

If you prefer a program less quantitatively stringent than an economics major, you may be interested in the bachelor of individualized studies (BIS) program, through which a 15-credit concentration in economics courses may be combined with courses in two other areas of concentration.

Capstone Project

BA and BA-Q majors are required to complete the Capstone Project. The goal of the College of Liberal Arts is to have every student produce a significant piece of written work in the subject matter of the major. The Economics Capstone Project requires students to demonstrate their ability to think critically and creatively; gather, recognize, and interpret data; solve problems; interpret and communicate findings; and attain understanding and proficiency in the modes of inquiry common to the discipline.

For the Capstone Project, the Department of Economics asks that students be able to:

  • define an economic problem;
  • review some relevant literature related to the problem;
  • use economic data and analysis to describe or explain the problem;
  • and present a conclusion or resolution.

Note that survey papers are not acceptable. You must make some contribution to the field of study.

Students have FOUR options to complete the Capstone requirement:

  • Option 1: Most students register for Econ 3951 (2 credits). Students must receive a grade of A or B. Students choosing this option need to register for Econ 3951 if the instructor is going to help them write a paper to fulfill the Capstone requirement.
  • Option 2: If a student receives a grade of 90/100 or more on a paper written for an Economics Writing Intensive course (ECON 4331W, 4431W, and 4432W) the student can submit the original paper to the Capstone instructor for review. If the paper is accepted, the student is exempt from writing the senior project paper. **Please contact the Econ Advisors for clarification.
  • Option 3: If a student completes an Honors Thesis (3 credits or more) it does not need to be submitted for further review. See additional information regarding the Honors Thesis in Economics below.
  • Option 4: Students pursuing more than one major may finish their Capstone in another declared major. Once the Capstone Project has been completed the student should notify the Econ Advisors to update APAS.