The Language of Economics Is Mathematics

A degree in economics and math is excellent preparation for a career as an economist. Employment as an economist generally requires completion of a graduate degree in economics, math or both. The integration of concepts from both areas of study provides the foundation to be successful in advanced study in economics or business.

Detailed Program of Study

Professor explaining a diagram in a presentation

Why Economics/Mathematics?

A degree in economics and math can be an excellent gateway to many careers, particularly ones that require advanced skills in quantitative and analytical analysis.

The combination of economics and mathematics develops students skills in both fields and is particularly well suited for students preparing for graduate work in economics or business.

Professional economists are employed as researchers in both business and government and as teachers and researchers in academic institutions.

A career as an economist generally requires the completion of graduate studies beyond the bachelor's degree. Given the importance of math to economic analysis the combined economics/math major has led to a high success rate for admissions to graduate programs in economics and to professional schools in law and business (MBA).

For more information please see a video made by the American Economics Association: "A Career in Economics...it's Much More Than You Think"

Plan of Study

For complete information and requirements see the university catalog.

Flowchart of Econ/Math courses, which visualizes the text description available in the University Catalog link on this page.

 

Please download and read carefully the Economics/Mathematics 2021-22 Plan of Study. This includes a flowchart for the required courses and will also serve as your planned course schedule when submitting your paperwork for your senior evaluation for graduation.

For help with planning your courses, please see your advisor or the department office.

The required courses build a strong foundation of economic and mathematical theory. One course with a Communication Focus (CF) as well as a minimum of three Writing Proficiency (WP-3) points are required. The CF course must be taken within CBE, while the WP requirement can be met with courses from any of the combined major departments. These requirements can be met as part of required or elective courses.

General University Requirements (GUR):
Several of your prerequisite and required courses also count as GURs. Look for classes in the course lists below that are labeled as "GUR." By planning your schedule properly you can reduce the total number of classes needed.
Course List

  • ECON 206 - Introduction to Microeconomics Credits: 4 GUR SSC
  • ECON 207 - Introduction to Macroeconomics Credits: 4 GUR SSC
  • ECON 303 - The History of Economic Thought Credits: 4 (WP1)
  • ECON 306 - Intermediate Microeconomics Credits: 4
  • ECON 307 - Intermediate Macroeconomics Credits: 4
  • ECON 475 - Econometrics Credits: 4
  • Choose either
    • MATH 124 - Calculus and Analytic Geometry I Credits: 5
    • MATH 125 - Calculus and Analytic Geometry II Credits: 5
    • OR
    • MATH 134 - Calculus I Honors Credits: 5
    • MATH 135 - Calculus II Honors Credits: 5
    • OR
    • MATH 138 - Accelerated Calculus Credits: 5
  • MATH 204 - Elementary Linear Algebra Credits: 4
  • MATH 304 - Linear Algebra Credits: 4
  • MATH 331 - Ordinary Differential Equations Credits: 4
  • MATH 224 - Multivariable Calculus and Geometry I Credits: 5
  • MATH 225 - Multivariable Calculus and Geometry II Credits: 4
  • MATH 226 - Limits and Infinite Series Credits: 4
  • M/CS 435 - Nonlinear Optimization Credits: 4

Advising Note: It is recommended that MATH 204, MATH 304 and MATH 331 be taken in that order in successive quarters. It is wise to take MATH 224 before or concurrently with 204.

  • One course from:
    • CSCI 140 - Programming Fundamentals in C++ Credits: 4
    • CSCI 141 - Computer Programming I Credits: 4
    • MATH 307 - Mathematical Computing Credits: 4
  • One Course from:
    • ECON 406 - Topics in Microeconomics Credits: 4
    • ECON 407 - Topics in Macroeconomics Credits: 4
  • Choose one of the following options:
    • MATH 341 - Probability and Statistical Inference Credits: 4
    • MATH 342 - Statistical Methods I Credits: 4
    • OR
    • MATH 441 - Probability Credits: 4
    • MATH 442 - Mathematical Statistics Credits: 4

The required courses build a strong foundation of economic and mathematical theory. Take one course with a Communication Focus - Economics (CF-E) or Communications Focus (CF) course within the College of Business and Economics. Also required a minimum of three Writing Proficiency (WP-3) points. The CF-E (or CF) course must be taken within CBE, while the WP requirement can be met with courses from any of the combined major departments. These requirements can be met as part of required or elective courses.

Electives

  • 16 additional credits in upper-division economics, under departmental advisement; 8 of these 16 credits must be at the 400 level.

Note: ECON 309, ECON 446 and ECON 447 may not be counted toward this major.