2023-2024 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Economics, BA

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Stuart Rosenthal
110 Eggers Hall


Merima Ali, Elizabeth Ashby, Badi Baltagi, Kristina Buzard, Carmen Carrion-Flores, Gary V. Engelhardt, Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, William Horrace, Hugo Jales, Andrew Jonelis, Leyla Karakas, Jeffrey D. Kubik, Derek Laing, Yoonseok Lee, Chung-Chin (Eugene) Liu, Mengxiao (Michelle) Liu, Michael Lorenzo, Mary E. Lovely, Devashish Mitra, Inge O’Connor, Jan Ivar Ondrich, Stuart S. Rosenthal, Alexander Rothenberg, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Abdulaziz Shifa, Perry Singleton, Aron Tobias, Yulong Wang, John M. Yinger, Maria Zhu

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 STEM-designated 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.

For all Arts and Sciences|Maxwell students, successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in this major requires a minimum of 120 credits, 96 of which must be Arts and Sciences|Maxwell credits, completion of the Liberal Arts Core requirements, and the requirements for this major that are listed below.

Dual Enrollments:

Students dually enrolled in Newhouse* and Arts and Sciences|Maxwell will complete a minimum of 122 credits, with at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences|Maxwell coursework and an Arts and Sciences|Maxwell major.

*Students dually enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences|Maxwell as first year students must complete the Liberal Arts Core. Students who transfer to the dual program after their first year as singly enrolled students in the Newhouse School will satisfy general requirements for the dual degree program by completing the Newhouse Core Requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Correctly define advanced/field specific level economics vocabulary

2. Correctly utilize advanced/field specific level economics vocabulary

3. Effectively identify the applications of advanced/field specific level graphical economic tools and analytic techniques

4. Independently choose and effectively utilize appropriate advanced/field specific level economic graphical analysis to policy analysis

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

Four other upper-division electives in economics

Upper-division electives are ECN 300  or higher, (excluding ECN 301 , ECN 302 , ECN 303 , ECN 311 , ECN 365 , ECN 422 , ECN 470  and ECN 521 ), including at least two courses that have a prerequisite of:

Additional Information

In all, 27 credits of economics courses are required.

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, no more than two of the upper division courses may be taken at another college or university and applied to the B.A. economics major at Syracuse University.

Graduation with a B.A. in economics requires an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher in 21 credits of upper-division economics courses.


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

  1. The Principles of Economics (ECN 101  and ECN 102  or ECN 101  and ECN 203 ) and the Calculus quantitative skills requirement MAT 284  should be completed by the end of the sophomore year or earlier.
  2. The quantitative skills requirement MAT 284  is a prerequisite for the intermediate theory courses ((ECN 301  or ECN 311 ) and ECN 302 ).
  3. The intermediate theory courses ((ECN 301  or ECN 311 ) and ECN 302 ) are the prerequisite courses for ECN 422  and many of upper-division electives. For this reason, it is important that students complete their intermediate coursework by no later than the fall of their junior year or earlier.
  4. Students should complete ECN 422  and at least two upper-division electives in economics by the end of their junior year or earlier.


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 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 , and ECN 487 . 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 ECN 451 . Those interested in macroeconomic theory should consider ECN 481 .

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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