The economics major offers the opportunity to apply theoretical analysis and empirical techniques to current economic problems and policy issues. Moreover, the tools, techniques, and analytic methods of economics are used every day in public policy and the business world. There is, therefore, a carryover from what you will learn as an economics major and what you will utilize every day in the real world. This guide can help you decide whether the economics major is for you and, if it is, help you to plan your course schedule. All faculty members of the Department of Economics will be happy to assist you in this planning, even before you declare a major. Even if you choose not to major in economics, you can benefit from this guide. Economic analysis is useful in studying history, political science, and sociology, as well as certain issues in the natural sciences and humanities. If you have any questions about specific courses, consult an Economics Department faculty member.

Planning your schedule

Your first-year advisor can help you plan the course schedule that best fits your needs. The department recommends that most students begin their study of economics by completing ECON 150, however, those with an extensive background in economics and mathematics may begin their study of economics by taking ECON 260 or 270. ECON 150 does not count toward the major in economics. When you declare a major in economics, usually in the sophomore year, you will be given an advisor in the Economics Department. In your senior year, you will also be assigned a thesis advisor with expertise in your thesis topic. In addition, Economics faculty members are all willing to help you plan your courses, at any stage in your college career. Prospective economics majors should take the following two courses during their first three semesters at Bates: ECON 250, and MATH 105. Both courses are taught in both the fall and winter semesters. If you are interested in an off-campus program, bear in mind that three of the four core courses of the economics major (ECON 250, ECON 260, ECON 270, ECON 255) must be taken at Bates. Also, no fewer than two 300-level electives must be taken at Bates. Because of the numerous, vital, and constantly developing interconnections between economics and other disciplines, economics majors are encouraged to explore how their knowledge and skills can be applied in conjunction with courses in other departments or programs. Exclusion:  Economics majors may not combine the Applying Mathematics Methods (GEC C006) with Economics Major for General Education.

Related courses

Several courses in other departments will enrich your understanding of economics. Some history courses touch upon and develop economic themes, as do several sociology, anthropology, and political science courses. If you are considering graduate study in economics, you should take additional courses in mathematics. You may find some philosophy and psychology offerings relevant to the economics major. Indeed, there are always a few students who complete double majors in economics and other fields.