Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions

Economics Department

Undergraduate Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a major in economics involve?

What does a joint major in economics involve?

What does a minor in economics involve?

Is there anything special about the UA economics degree and the economics department?

How useful is an economics major or minor?

What can I expect to be paid upon graduation?

Can I combine economics and business?

Can I combine economics and any other area I'm interested in?

What if I am interested in a Law degree?

What are the required courses in economics for a BA?

What are the required courses in economics for a BSLE?

Are there a lot of pre-requisites for economic courses? What are they?

Are there courses I can't combine?

Are there courses that are only available in specific semesters?

Do I have to make appointments for advising well in advance and only get to see someone for a few minutes?

Is advising only for majors or can minors get it as well?

Where can I get more information about economics careers?

How do I contact the Undergraduate Advisor?

How do I contact the Department Chair?

What does a major in economics involve?

There are two different degrees: BA (Bachelor of Arts) and BSLE (Bachelor of Science in Labor Economics).

For the BA: 32 credits in Economics (required courses listed below), plus Calculus (3450: 210 or 215) and Introductory Statistics (3470:261;262), 2 years of foreign language and 24 further credits in 300/400 courses in any department.

For the BSLE: 33 credits in Economics (required courses listed below), plus Calculus (3450: 210 or 215) and Introductory Statistics (3470:261;262), 8 credits in 300/400 courses in Social Sciences outside Economics and 15 further credits in 300/400 courses in any department.

What does a joint major in economics involve?

If you have a major in Business you just need to meet the 32 (or 33) credits in Economics. Your Business Quantitative Business Analysis coursework replaces the Economics statistics requirements and you do not need to meet any other Arts and Sciences requirements.

What does a minor in economics involve?

A minor requires 18 hours of economics. Principles of Micro and Macro give you six hours in total. You are then required to take either Intermediate Micro or Intermediate Macro and nine hours of economics electives. If you took 3250:244 instead of Principles of Micro and Macro then you have 12 hours of electives.

Is there anything special about the UA economics degree and the economics department?

We think there is. Our department helps you develop your analytical and quantitative skills while helping you demonstrate them to potential employers in a special way. In the Computer Skills for Economics Analysis course (3250:226) you will start to develop an electronic portfolio in which you will store examples of your work from this course and others in a form that shows what you can do. Some students have elected to make their portfolios available on the Internet and they can be viewed at the Economics Department Website. In your final semester you will undertake a Senior Project with an advisor that pulls together all your skills and finishes your portfolio. You will be able to show effectively to an employer what you can accomplish, using a cutting-edge format.

We have something else that is special: our student community. Upper-division classes are all held near where department offices are located and we have both a library for you to study and meet in. Our students go each year to meetings in places like Chicago or New York and have meetings every two weeks with pizza and pop (free!). Class sizes are small at the upper-division level. This is a department where you will get to know both your instructors and fellow students.

How useful is an economics major or minor?

"(Economics) becomes increasingly valuable as you move up the career ladder. I can't think of a better major for corporate CEO's, congressmen, or American presidents. You've learned a systematic, disciplined way of thinking that will serve you well." --Robert D. McTeer, Jr., President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas



With an economics degree or minor you can do anything which requires analytical or problem-solving skills. You will have a background for a wide range of careers in both the private and public sectors. Examples include management, financial analysis, city and state economists, and public policy: anyplace where analytical and data skills are important. You can combine your Economics with other fields to make it even more useful.

What can I expect to be paid upon graduation?

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Job Outlook 2009, economics and finance ranks within the top ten degrees in demand by employers in 2009, along with accounting, computer science and engineering.

Starting salaries are comparable with many of those with undergraduate degrees in business and better than most liberal arts majors.

Below are the average entry-level salaries as of April 2008 for selected undergraduate majors:

Economics $52,926 Marketing/Marketing Mgmt. $43,459
Finance $48,795 Arts/General Studies $37,351
Accounting $47,413 Sociology $27,911
Business Administration $47,641 Psychology $30,877
Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers, Salary Survey, 2008

The National Association of Business Economists reported a median base salary of $85,000 per year for their members, with 38 percent reporting base salaries at $100,000 or more.

In addition, check out the recent CNNMoney for further information on this.

A slightly earlier study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that among women, economics majors had the highest salary! Economics is second only to engineering as the degree of CEOs among men and women.

Can I combine economics and business?

Many students combine economics and business. It is an excellent combination, because it shows that you have analytical skills that differentiate you from others. Some students have a major in economics and then get a minor in business (it's an effective way to get the extra credits of 300/400 level courses you need to graduate). Others have a joint major in business and economics. Still other students have a major in business and a minor in Economics.

Can I combine economics and any other area I'm interested in?

Yes! If you are an economics major you have the flexibility to get a minor in any field that interests you. Our majors have had minors in finance, managements, communication, computer science, math, English, geography, pre-law, psychology, as well as interdisciplinary certificate programs like Environmental Studies. Discuss you potential minor (or minors) with the Undergraduate Advisor as early as possible.

What if I am interested in a Law degree?

Economics provides an excellent background for Law school. Here are the average LSAT scores and rankings for the 12 undergraduate majors with more than 2200 students taking the test to enter law school in the 2003-2004 academic year:

Major Field LSAT Average
2003-2004
2003-2004
Rank
1994-1995
Rank
1991-1992
Rank
Economics 156.6 1 1 1
Engineering 155.4 2 4 2
History 155.0 3 2 3
English 154.3 4 3 4
Finance 152.6 5 6 5
Political Science 152.1 6 9 9
Psychology 152.1 7 7 8
Accounting 151.1 8 8 6
Communications 150.5 9 10 10
Sociology 150.2 10 12 13
Bus. Administration 149.6 11 13 12
Criminal Justice 144.7 12 14 14

What are the required courses in economics for a BA?

Principles, Intermediate Micro and Macro, Computer Skills for Economic Analysis, Applied Economics, and the Senior Project.

What are the required courses in economics for a BSLE?

Principles, Intermediate Micro, Computer Skills for Economic Analysis, Applied Economics, Labor Economics, Labor Market Policy and Labor Market Evaluation.

Are there a lot of pre-requisites for economic courses? What are they?

No! For almost all courses the only pre-requisites are Principles (200 and 201 or 244). For Applied Econometrics the additional pre-requisite is Introductory Statistics or its equivalent.

Are there courses I can't combine?

Yes, if you have taken Principles (3250:200 and 201) you cannot take Introduction to Economic Analysis (3250:244) for economics credit.

Are there courses that are only available in specific semesters?

Yes, this is why you should talk to the Undergraduate Advisor! For example, the required course in Computer Skills for Economic Analysis is usually only available in the Fall. Labor Economics is usually only taught in the Spring.

Do I have to make appointments for advising well in advance and only get to see someone for a few minutes?

No! The great thing about being an economics major or minor is that you can get to talk to your advisor with only a day or two's notice. And you can e-mail or call her any time. You will have time to discus what your interests are, what might be the best economics courses to take and what minor you might want, plus any problems you are having with your program.

Is advising only for majors or can minors get it as well?

Minors are as important as majors for advising.

Where can I get more information about economics careers?

The following publications describe in more detail what people with degrees in economics do, future employment prospects, and additional salary information.

Careers in Business Economics. National Association of Business Economists, available at the following website: http://www.nabe.com/Careers/index Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-9; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, available at the following website: http://www.bls.gov/ooh University of Akron Career Counseling Services, Career software is available at the following website: http://www.uakron.edu/counseling/career/web-based.dot

How do I contact the Undergraduate Advisor? The Undergraduate Advisor is Dr. Elizabeth Erickson. Call her at 330.972.7973 or email her at ee2@uakron.edu

How do I contact the Department Chair?

The Department Chair is Dr. Michael Nelson. Call him at 330.972.7939 or email him at nelson2@uakron.edu