Undergraduate Studies

Economics addresses the problem of using scarce resources to satisfy society’s unlimited wants. The discipline is divided into two general areas: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics explores questions about the way society allocates resources; it applies to public policy in such areas as urban, industrial organization, and labor economics. Macroeconomics considers such questions as the causes of inflation and unemployment; it applies to such areas as monetary development and international economics.

The Department of Economics offers an undergraduate major leading to a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate courses in economics provide broad knowledge of the field as a part of the program of liberal arts education offered by the College of Arts and Sciences. They also lay a solid foundation in economics to students interested in professional graduate training in economics or in careers in business, law, government, or journalism.

For more detailed information, students are encouraged to inquire at the Economics department’s Career and Academic Advising Office at 405 PLC.

Careers

Career opportunities in economics are found in federal, state, and local government agencies; private industry; various nonprofit organizations; and journalism. A bachelor’s degree in economics provides an excellent background for graduate admission in law, business, and public policy. Students with superior undergraduate academic records frequently go on to graduate work in economics, which leads to careers in higher education, economic research organizations in government, and private industry.

Kindergarten through Secondary Teaching Careers

Students who complete a degree in economics are eligible to apply to the College of Education’s fifth-year licensure program in middle-secondary teaching or the fifth-year licensure program in elementary teaching. More information is available in the College of Education Section of the UO catalog.

Preparation

Suggested preparation for freshmen is four years of high school mathematics. Prospective majors are strongly urged to satisfy part of their science group requirement with an introductory calculus sequence and the combination of mathematics and computer and information science required for the bachelor of science degree, to be taken in the freshman or sophomore year. Suggested preparation for second-year college transfers is (1) the equivalents of Introduction to Economic Analysis: Microeconomics (EC 201) and Introduction to Economic Analysis: Macroeconomics (EC 202) and (2) the equivalents of either Calculus for Business and Social Science I,II (MATH 241, 242) or Calculus I,II,III (MATH 251, 252, 253) as well as Introduction to Methods of Probability and Statistics (MATH 243). Student considering graduate school are urged to take MATH 251, 252, 253.

Major Requirements

See UO Catalog for more information.

  1. Introduction to Economic Analysis: Microeconomics (EC 201) and Introduction to Economic Analysis: Macroeconomics (EC 202). Should be completed by the end of the sophomore year
  2. Calculus for Business and Social Science I,II (MATH 241, 242). Should be completed by the end of the sophomore year
  3. Introduction to Methods of Probability and Statistics (MATH 243). Should be completed by the end of the sophomore year
  4. Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (EC 311) and Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (EC 313). Should be completed by the end of the junior year
  5. Introduction to Econometrics I,II (EC 320, 421). Should be completed by the end of the junior year
  6. Additional 28 credits in economics courses numbered 300 or above, with at least 20 credits in courses numbered 400 or above. No more than 8 of the 28 credits may be in courses numbered 401, 404, 405, or 408
  7. Grades of C– or better in courses taken to satisfy major requirements. Exceptions are courses offered P/N only—EC 401 404, 405, and 408. No more than 8 credits graded P/N may be applied to the economics major
  8. At least 28 of the 44 required upper-division credits required for the major (i.e., EC 311, 313, 320, 421, and the 28 required field course credits) must be taken at the University of Oregon

EC 320 (or EC 423) is a prerequisite for almost all 400-level courses. EC 311 and sometimes EC 313 are as well. Because MATH 242 and 243 are prerequisites for EC 320, it is important for students to take those courses early. See the course listings for details on prerequisites.

Note: Econ 320 (or Econ 423) is a prerequisite for 400 level courses, and Math 243 is a prerequisite for Econ 320.

Minor Requirements

      A minor in economics requires a minimum 24 credits distributed as follows:
Introduction to Economic Analysis: Microeconomics (EC 201) 4
Introduction to Economic Analysis: Macroeconomics (EC 202) 4
Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (EC 311) 4
Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (EC 313) 4
Two additional upper-division 4-credit courses in economics 8
Total 24

Two of the four upper-division 4-credit courses must be taken from the UO economics department. Courses not counted toward the minor are EC 401, 404, 405, and 408. All courses applied to the economics minor must be completed with grades of C- or better. Please note that students with transfer credits in some required courses may have to complete more than 6 courses to satisfy the minimum 24 credit requirement.

Online Courses

Three economics courses are offered online — Introduction to Economic Analysis: Microeconomics (EC 201), Introduction to Economics Analysis: Macroeconomics (EC 202), and International Economic Issues (EC 380). These courses are self-paced; the examinations are administered in the Social Sciences Instructional Laboratory for on-campus students and online for off-campus students. The courses, which must be completed within a standard ten-week term, are open to enrolled and community-education students and to high school students who want accredited university course work. More information is available from the department.

Professional Concentrations

Given the breadth of a degree in economics, students are encouraged to choose one or more professional concentrations that are consistent with their career goals. Suggested course work for seven professional concentrations is described below. Sample programs for each concentration, descriptions of career possibilities, and recommendations for additional preparation are available in the department office (435 PLC).

Business Economics—Banking and Finance
  1. Complete major requirements including
    • Money and Banking (EC 370) or Monetary Policy (EC 470)
    • Issues in Industrial Organization (EC 360), Theories of Industrial Organization (EC 460), Industrial Organization and Public Policy (EC 461), or Multinational Corporations (EC 484)
    • International Economic Issues(EC 380) or International Finance (EC 480), or International Trade (EC 481)
  2. Complete a minor or approved equivalent in business administration
Business Economics—Management, Marketing, and Accounting
  1. Complete major requirements including
    • Labor Market Issues (EC 350) or Labor Economics (EC 450)
    • Urban and Regional Economics (EC 430), Economy of the Pacific Northwest (EC 432), or Public Economics (EC 440)
    • Issues in Industrial Organization (EC 360), Theories of Industrial Organization (EC 460), Industrial Organization and Public Policy (EC 461), or Multinational Corporations (EC 484)
  2. Complete a minor or approved equivalent in business administration
Economics and Public Policy and Administration
  1. Complete major requirements including
    • Issues in Public Economics (EC 340) or Public Economics (EC 440)
    • Urban and Regional Economics (EC 430) or Economy of the Pacific Northwest (EC 432)
    • Issues in Industrial Organization (EC 360), Theories of Industrial Organization (EC 460), Industrial Organization and Public Policy (EC 461), or Multinational Corporations (EC 484)
    • Labor Market Issues (EC 350) or Labor Economics (EC 450)
  2. Complete a minor or equivalent in political science or planning, public policy and management
Environmental Economics
  1. Complete major requirements including
    • Resource and Environmental Economic Issues (EC 333) or Resource and Environmental Economics (EC 433)
    • Issues in Public Economics (EC 340) or Public Economics(EC 440)
    • Issues in Industrial Organization (EC 360), Theories of Industrial Organization (EC 460) or Industrial Organization and Public Policy (EC 461)
  2. Complete the environmental studies minor or an approved equivalent
Graduate Preparation in Economics and Mathematical Economics
  1. Complete major requirements including
    • Advanced Microeconomic Theory (EC 411) and Advanced Macroeconomic Theory (EC 413)
    • Calculus I,II (MATH 251, 252)
    • Econometrics (EC 423, 424)
    • Games and Decisions (EC 427) or Behavioral and Experimental Economics (EC428)
  2. Complete a minor in mathematics
International and Development Economics
  1. Complete major requirements including
    • International Finance (EC 480) and International Trade (EC 481)
    • Problems and Issues in the Developing Economies (EC 390), or Economic Growth and Development (EC 490), or Issues in Economic Growth and Development (EC 491)
    • Issues in Industrial Organization (EC 360) or Theories in Industrial Organization (EC 460) or Multinational Corporations (EC 484)
    • Money and Banking (EC 370) or Monetary Policy (EC 470)
  2. Complete a minor or the equivalent in business administration, political science, history, international studies, or an area studies program
Law and Economics and Political Economy
  1. Complete major requirements including
    • Issues in Public Economics (EC 340) or Public Economics (EC 440)
    • Labor Market Issues (EC 350) or Labor Economics (EC 450)
    • Issues in Industrial Organization (EC 360), Theories of Industrial Organization (EC 460), Industrial Organization and Public Policy (EC 461), or Multinational Corporations (EC 484)
    • International Economics (EC 380) or International Trade (EC 481)
    • Games and Decisions (EC 427)
  2. Complete a minor or equivalent in political science.

Departmental Honors

Qualified students may apply to graduate with honors in economics. Two requirements must be met:

  1. Completion of upper-division economics courses with at least a 3.50 grade point average.
  2. Completion of a research paper, written under the guidance of a faculty member, for 4 credits in Research (EC 401). A copy of the completed paper, approved by the faculty adviser, must be presented to the department by Friday of the week before final examinations during the term the student plans to graduate.

Students who intend to satisfy these requirements should notify the director of undergraduate studies early in the term in which they intend to graduate. Students interested in honors should also consider taking EC 418 or the EC 418-419 sequence in community economics.