BA/BS in Quantitative Economics

The department offers two majors in Economics: BA/BS in Quantitative Economics and a BA in Economics. Both majors carry STEM certification and include courses in mathematics, principles of economics, intermediate microeconomic theory, intermediate macroeconomic theory, and statistics. However, the BA/BS in Quantitative Economics follows a more mathematical approach to the study of economics and provides the background recommended for those contemplating graduate study in economics or the more quantitative areas of business and finance. 

Majors will learn to use fundamental economics concepts - such as scarcity, incentives, trade-offs, opportunity costs, comparative advantage, price system, efficient allocation of resources, market failures, government failures, and scope of fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policies. Through their course work, majors will apply economic theory to a range of economic issues across a variety of fields and economics sub-disciplines and will develop the ability to effectively communicate their analysis. In addition, select courses in the major show how the tools of multivariate calculus and linear algebra can be used to study economic issues and to derive results in economic theory and econometrics.

Program Requirements and Policies

  • 12 courses are required for the BA/BS in Quantitative Economics. 
  • It is recommended that students begin taking the principles course and required mathematics courses during their first year, and begin taking the core economic theory courses during their second year. Once the principles and core prerequisites have been met, a wide range of elective courses is available. 
  • All courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade. A minimum grade of C- is required for all mathematics, core, and elective courses used to satisfy major requirements.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite Course

  • Economics 5: Principles of Economics or Economics 8: Principles of Economics with Environmental Applications or course equivalent.

Mathematics Courses

  • Mathematics 32 (formerly Mathematics 11)
  • Mathematics 34 (formerly Math 12).

Note: Students can waive all or part of this requirement by showing adequate prior preparation as determined by the Departments of Economics or Mathematics. Students should be aware that Mathematics 39 and 44 can be offered as substitutes for Mathematics 32, 34, and 42. 

Core Courses

Five core courses in Economics are required:

  • Economics 11: Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Economics 13: Statistics
  • Economics 16: Foundations of Quantitative Economics or Economics 203: Microeconomic Theory I
  • Economics 18: Quantitative Intermediate Macroeconomics or Economics 205: Macroeconomic Theory I 
  • Econometrics (either Economics 107 or 202).

One core course in Math is required: 

  • Mathematics 70 or 72

Notes: Students must complete Economics 11 before taking Economics 16 or 203. In turn, students must complete Economics 16 or 203 before taking Economics 18 or 205.

In place of Economics 13, students can take Mathematics 166, Engineering Science 56, Electrical Engineering 24, Electrical Engineering 104, or Economics 201.

No course offered as a core course can also be used as an elective course.

Elective Courses

Four additional upper-level economics courses numbered Economics 20 or above with the following distribution requirements: 

  • At least three of these four courses must be at the 100 level or higher.
  • At least one elective course must be open only to students who have completed the relevant quantitative prerequisite course (Economics 16, 18, or 107) or its equivalent.
  • In addition, at least one of the electives must be an upper level seminar class. Seminars are small classes that place an emphasis on class interactions, the writing of papers, and the reading of journal articles. Seminars provide alternative ways to have "hands-on" research experience. Courses that satisfy the seminar requirement are listed with an ampersand (&) in the department's Course Listing. Please note that many seminars have prerequisite requirements of at least one of the core courses, so they are typically taken during the junior or senior year.

Majoring in Quantitative Economics After Taking Economics 12 or 15

If you have taken Economics 12 or 15 and decide you want to be a Quantitative Economics major rather than an Economics major, we recommend taking the following steps.

Students who have taken Economics 12 and wish to be Quantitative Economics majors can fulfill the Core Macroeconomics requirement by doing one of the following:

  • Taking Economics 18. This will result in the loss of units for Economics 12.
  • Signing up for Economics 19 as a two unit course in Quantitative Macroeconomics and participating as a regular student in Economics 18. The Economics 19 enrollment must be prearranged with the Economics 18 instructor who will sponsor and will assign the course grade. The student is responsible for all lectures, homework, and exams given in Economics 18 and must earn a grade of C- or above in order to satisfy the requirement. The two units in Economics 19 can not be used for major elective credit but will count as general credit toward graduation.
  • Taking an extra elective economics course from a list of approved quantitative macroeconomics substitutes. The currently approved list is: Economics 205 and Economics 206.

Students who have taken Economics 15 and wish to be Quantitative Economics majors can fulfill the Core Microeconomics requirement by doing one of the following:

  • Taking Economics 107. This will result in the loss of units for Economics 15.
  • Signing up for Economics 109 as a two unit course in Econometric Theory and participating as a regular student in Economics 107. The Economics 109 enrollment must be prearranged with the Economics 107 instructor who will be the sponsor and will assign the course grade. The student is responsible for all lectures, homework, and exams given in Economics 107 and must earn a grade of C- or above in order to satisfy the requirement. The two units in Economics 109 can not be used for major elective credit but will count as general credit toward graduation.
  • Taking an extra elective economics course from a list of approved quantitative microeconomics substitutes. The currently approved list is Economics 202.