Major Descriptions

The Five Majors or Major tracks in Economics

The Economics department supports five different majors:

1. Economics (Economics Track)

2. Economics (Political Economy Track)

3. Economics and Mathematics

4. Economic and Social History

5. Economics-Statistics

The department also offers a 4+1 Bachelor/Master's program in Economics and Operations Research in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) at Columbia University.

The best way to understand the difference between them is to begin by understanding the first track, since the other three are variations designed to allow students to focus more attention on those dimensions of economics that connect up with Political Science, Mathematics, History, and Statistics respectively. All five majors are constructed around a common core. All five provide excellent preparation for graduate study in Business, Law, Public Administration, and International Affairs, as well as Economics.

A strong minor in Economics, including mainly courses from the common core and quantitative dimension of the major, will also prepare you adequately for most graduate programs. A strong minor in Economics together with a strong mathematics program will serve as good preparation for a PhD in Economics.

The important thing in choosing a major is to choose something that appeals to your curiosity and interests. You are more likely to be admitted to programs of graduate study if you have good grades in your major, whatever it is, than if you have lower grades in an Economics major. Equally, your job prospects immediately after the BA depend more on the specific courses you have taken than on your major.