Economics Major: Global Trade and Finance Option (B.A.)

The Option in Global Trade and Finance (B.A. degree) studies the global trade and financial systems and their importance for understanding macroeconomics and business activity, foreign direct investments and other international capital flows, globalization, economic growth and development, international financial markets, and currency fluctuations and risk.

Students will learn about the role of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other institutions undergirding the global economy. Students will develop institutional knowledge and analytical skills to study some of the most hotly debated issues of our day, including free-trade policies such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and WTO, global financial crises, Basel III and other financial reforms, European monetary union, and international policy coordination.

The option is designed for students interested in careers at international organizations such as the IMF, WTO, World Bank, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This option also prepares students for careers in the financial services sector, including commercial and investment banking, financial trading, security analysis, portfolio management, and financial advising, and in the government sector, especially at the Federal Reserve System, U.S. Trade Administration, and U.S. State Department.

Economics Major (B.A.)

B.A. economics majors must complete nine courses in economics plus ADMN 510 Business Statistics with a grade of at least C- (1.67) in each Paul College major course and an average grade of 2.0 or better in major courses.

Freshman Year
ECON 401Principles of Economics (Macro)4
ECON 402Principles of Economics (Micro)4
ECON 501Business and Economic History4
ADMN 403Computing Essentials for Business1
MATH 422Mathematics for Business Applications4
or MATH 424A Calculus for Social Sciences
PAUL 405Freshman Academic Experience I1
PAUL 406Freshman Academic Experience II1
PHIL 431Business Ethics4
Sophomore Year
ADMN 510Business 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 four (4) additional ECON electives 216
Total Credits55

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.

Global Trade and Finance Option Requirements

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

Required courses:
ECON 645International Economics4
Select two of the following (at least one course must be an ECON course):8
Money and Banking
Innovation in the Global Economy
Economic Development
Introduction to Econometrics
International Finance
International Financial Management
Wealth and Politics in Asia 1
Introduction to International Political Economy 1
Global Trade and Local Development 1
Other 600-level or 700-level course, must be approved by ECON department
Total Credits12

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

  • Students have core proficiency in  microeconomics. They understand key concepts including opportunity cost, marginal analysis, voluntary exchange, diminishing marginal returns, equilibrium and market structure.
  • Students have core proficiency in macroeconomics. They understand key concepts including GDP, inflation, interest rates, business cycles, exchange rates, financial institutions and fiscal and monetary policy.
  • Students have strong oral communication skills. This includes fundamental skills in preparing and delivering presentations, as well as being able to explain technical material clearly and concisely.
  • Students are able to use economic models to understand real-world issues relevant to business, public policy and society.
  • Students are able to communicate economic concepts clearly in writing. This involves having strong fundamental writing skills as well as being able to explain technical material clearly and concisely.