Economics Major: Public Policy and Sustainability Option (B.A.)

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The Option in Public Policy and Sustainability (B.A. degree) examines the factors that influence economic, social, and environmental outcomes, such as unemployment, poverty, economic inequality, health disparities, technological innovation, and pollution. Students will develop the institutional knowledge and theoretical perspective to understand the impact that decisions of individuals, firms, communities, and governments have on such outcomes. Students will analyze the impact of specific government policies and potential reforms, theoretically and empirically.

This option is designed for students seeking careers in policy analysis and research positions at government agencies; think tanks such as RAND Corporation, Urban Institute, and Mathematica Policy Research; consulting firms such as Abt Associates; and non-governmental organizations.

Economics Major (B.A.)

B.A. economics majors must complete eight courses in economics plus ADMN 420 Business Statistics with a grade of at least C- (1.67) in each course and an average grade of 2.0 or better in the major courses.

Freshman Year
ECON 401Principles of Economics (Macro)4
ECON 402Principles of Economics (Micro)4
PAUL 405Freshman Academic Experience I1
PAUL 406Freshman Academic Experience II1
MATH 420Finite Mathematics4
or MATH 424A Calculus for Social Sciences
PHIL 430Ethics and Society (or equivalent ethics course)4
Sophomore Year
ADMN 420Business Statistics4
ECON 605Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis4
or ECON 606 Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus
ECON 611Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis4
Junior and Senior Years
ECON 774Senior Economics Seminar 14
Select three(3) additional ECON electives 212
Total Credits46

ECON 774 Senior Economics Seminar is the capstone course for the B.A. major and satisfies the capstone requirement of the University Discovery Program.


Specific electives for the BA Options must be chosen from an approved list of courses.

Coursework in accounting is recommended but not required. B.A. economics majors may choose to focus their major electives to satisfy the requirements of one of the three options defined by the Department of Economics.

Public Policy and Sustainability Option Requirements

(Note: Some courses may have prerequisites that are not part of the option.)

Required courses:
ECON 656Labor Economics4
EREC 572Introduction to Natural Resource Economics 14
or EREC 708 Environmental Economics
Select one of the following:4
Economic History of the United States
Health Economics 1
Topics (Micro-Finance)
Economics of Climate Change
Introduction to Econometrics
Introduction to Natural Resource Economics 1
Land Economics Perspectives: Uses, Policies, and Taxes 1
Community Economics 1
Agricultural and Food Policy 1
Environmental Economics 1
Rural and Regional Economic Development 1
Global Trade and Local Development 1
Health Policy 1
Health Policy Analysis 1
International Environmental Politics, Policy, and Law 1
Other 600-level or 700-level course, with approval from ECON Dept.
Total Credits12

Satisfies the requirement of the option, but does not count toward the four-elective requirement of the economics B.A. degree.


 Course may not be used toward the option requirements more then once.