2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Sep 27, 2021  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Economics, BA

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William Horrace
110 Eggers Hall


Elizabeth Ashby, Badi Baltagi, Kristina Buzard, Donald H. Dutkowsky, Gary V. Engelhardt, Jerry Evensky, Susan H. Gensemer, William Horrace, Chihwa (Duke) Kao, Leyla Karakas, Jerry S. Kelly, Jeffrey D. Kubik, Derek Laing, Yoonseok Lee, Chung-Chin (Eugene) Liu, Mary E. Lovely, Robin P. Malloy, Devashish Mitra, Piyusha Mutreja, Inge O’Connor, Jan Ivar Ondrich, John L. Palmer, Eleonora Patacchini, Lourenço Paz, J. David Richardson, Stuart S. Rosenthal, Abdulaziz Shifa, Perry Singleton, A. Dale Tussing, Michael Wasylenko, Peter J. Wilcoxen, John M. Yinger

Economists analyze the internal functioning of markets and market outcomes. While modern economics focuses on market forces, markets function imperfectly in some cases and that introduces scope for policy action. Our curriculum emphasizes the application of economics to the study of public policy issues and the role of government in a market economy. Examples include analysis of international trade and relations, economic behavior in the workplace, health care, taxation, and numerous other spheres of a global economy. Students who major in economics prepare themselves for a variety of careers. Some move on to graduate study in economics and become professional economists; the majority, however, pursue careers in law, public policy, government, and many aspects of business, including banking and financial analysis, management, and marketing. Consequently, some students choose to pursue double majors and dual degrees. Further information on these programs is available in the Academic Rules and Regulations section of this catalog or in the economics department office.

The department offers both the B.A. degree in economics as well as a B.S. degree in economics. The B.A. has a liberal arts focus and emphasizes the applied and policy aspects of economics. The B.S. is attractive to the more mathematically oriented student.

Major Requirements

To Earn a B.A. in Economics

A student becomes an economics major after consulting with an economics advisor on a plan and course of study and bringing them to the department office for approval. To earn a B.A. in economics, a student:

1. Quantitative Skills Requirement

Fulfills the quantitative skills requirement for the liberal arts core

2. Principles of Economics

Completes 3-6 credits of

Six other upper-division electives in economics

(ECN 300  or higher, excluding ECN 365  and ECN 470 ), including at least two courses that have a prerequisite of

Additional Information

In all, 27 to 30 credits of economics courses are required (depending on whether 3 or 6 credits of principles are taken).

The Economics Department applies a two-thirds rule to the upper-division economics courses (item 3 above). Two-thirds of the upper-division coursework must be taken at Syracuse University or its affiliate programs, such as SU Abroad. In practical terms, for the B.A. degree, no more than two of the upperdivision courses may be taken at another college or university and applied to the economics major at Syracuse University.

Graduation with a B.A. in economics requires an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher in 24 credits of upper-division economics courses.


It is recommended that students sequence their courses in the following manner:

  1. The Principles of Economics (ECN 203  or equivalent) and the quantitative skills requirement of the Liberal Arts Core should be completed by the end of the sophomore year or earlier.
  2. The quantitative skills requirement of the Liberal Arts Core should be completed before the intermediate theory courses ((ECN 301  or ECN 311 ) and ECN 302 ) are taken.
  3. By the end of the junior year or earlier, students should have taken the intermediate theory courses ((ECN 301  or ECN 311 ) ECN 302 ) and perhaps taken two upper-division economics courses.
  4. It is recommended that students take at least 3 credits of statistics, such as ECN 521  or STT 101  and MAX 201 .
  5. Senior majors are encouraged to enroll in courses numbered 500-599. Often these classes are designed to be small seminars for the advanced undergraduate. Undergraduate majors who have completed the stated prerequisites for the 500 -level courses should not be discouraged by the possibility that some master’s students may also be enrolled.


Courses not listed in the above plan and/or taken outside Syracuse University will not be counted toward the fulfillment of economics degree requirements except upon the approval of a petition. Such petitions should be approved before the substitution course is taken, unless it was completed while the student was regularly enrolled in the school or college in which the course was offered. For management students with a second major in economics, FIN 355  may be used as a substitute for ECN 481 . Credit is not given for both ECN 481  and FIN 355 .

Curriculum Suggestions

Students who are more analytically inclined or interested in graduate school should plan to take MAT 295 /MAT 296 , and take ECN 311  rather than ECN 301 . In addition, they may wish to take ECN 505  and ECN 521 /ECN 522  as upper-division economics electives.

Students planning to enter law school after graduation may find ECN 431  ECN 451  and ECN 481  of particular interest, while those who plan to pursue graduate degrees in management may want to choose from ECN 465 , ECN 481 , ECN 487 , and 566. Students pursuing an international specialty might be interested in ECN 410  Economic Development, ECN 465 , and ECN 481 . Students preparing a public sector specialty might find ECN 431  of particular interest. Those with a human resources interest should select electives from ECN 451  and ECN 481 . Those interested in macroeconomic theory should consider ECN 431 , ECN 481  and ECN 566 .

The School of Management allows economics majors to take one course per semester in the School of Management. These courses are counted as general electives and not as economics or arts and sciences electives.

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