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COVID-19 Update:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our department is following the University’s Return to Campus Plan for fall term. Staff will be working remotely, and at this time the office will not be open in-person. Questions may be e-mailed to

For the latest information, see the University’s COVID-19 response page.

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.


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.

Transfer Students
Suggested preparation for second-year college transfers include the following courses or their equivalencies:

  • Introduction to Economic Analysis: Microeconomics (EC 201)
  • Introduction to Economic Analysis: Macroeconomics (EC 202)
  • either Calculus for Business and Social Science I,II (MATH 241, 242) or Calculus I,II,III (MATH 251, 252, 253*)
  • and Introduction to Methods of Probability and Statistics (MATH 243)

*Students considering graduate school are urged to take the complete calculus series: MATH 251, 252, 253, along with the MATH 243 statistics course.


A bachelor’s degree in economics provides an excellent background for careers in:

  • federal, state, and local government agencies
  • private industry
  • various nonprofit organizations
  • journalism

Students also pursue graduate studies in:

  • law
  • business
  • public policy

Those 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.

“Economics students are excellent candidates for data science due to the prerequisites that are required for the economics degree. The way we are taught to think through problems in economics courses actually gives us an edge over someone who has only a computer science or programming background. I have found that I have been a very competitive candidate for many data science positions and my background in econ was cited as a reason. 

Econ undergrads should understand how their econ degree gives them a solid foundation to move into data science.”

– Chris T., BS ’16, Economics

Careers in Teaching

Economics majors interested in completing additional course work can also apply for admissions to the elementary or secondary teaching programs in the Department of Education Studies, if they meet the additional requirements of the program. For more information, please see the College of Education Section of the UO catalog or contact the department at

Economics Club

Students can also get involved with the economics department by joining the economics club. The club offers homework support and hosts economics-related events.