Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Economics

Undergraduate Degrees

Advisement

Upon declaring a major or minor in economics, students should consult with the department’s undergraduate adviser. Students can check their academic progress on the USCweb under OASIS.

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Students are required to take ECON 203, ECON 205, ECON 303, ECON 305, ECON 317, ECON 414 and four economics elective courses. Of the four elective courses (300 level or above) a minimum of two must be economics courses at the 400 level or higher. The remaining two economics courses must be approved by the department’s director of undergraduate studies. A grade of C (2.0) or better is required for each of the core courses ECON 303, ECON 305, ECON 317 and ECON 414. MATH 118x or MATH 125 is required for the major; students are advised to meet the requirement by their sophomore year. Majors are also required to take at least one two-unit course on computing chosen from ITP 101x, ITP 110x or CSCI 101L.

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy explores the intersection of economics with politics in domestic and international contexts. It prepares students for engagement with global and regional questions that require analysis of economic and political causes and consequences and provides a useful background for a wide variety of entry positions in the public and private sectors.

Lower-division courses (16 units) Units
Complete two ECON and one MATH course (12 units):
ECON 203 Principles of Microeconomics 4
ECON 205 Principles of Macroeconomics 4
MATH 118x Fundamental Principles of the Calculus, or
MATH 125 Calculus I 4

Choose one (4 units):
IR 210 International Relations: Introductory Analysis 4
POSC 120 Comparative Politics 4
POSC 130 Law, Politics, and Public Policy 4

Upper-division requirements (32 units) units
ECON 303 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 4

Choose three, at least two from ECON (12 units):
BUAD 350 Macroeconomic Analysis for Business Decisions 4
ECON 305 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory, or
ECON 330 The Political Economy of Institutions 4
ECON 332 Contracts, Organizations, and Institutions 4
ECON 340 Economics of Less Developed Countries 4
ECON 360 Public Finance 4
ECON 366 Urban Economics 4
ECON 395 Economic Policy Issues 4
POSC 335 Political Parties, Campaigns, and Elections 4

Choose one (4 units):
FBE 402 Government and Business 4
IR 305 Managing New Global Challenges 4
IR 308 Globalization: Issues and Controversies 4
IR 323 Politics of Global Environment 4
IR 324 Multinational Enterprises and World Politics 4
IR 325 Rich and Poor States in the World Political Economy 4
IR 326 U.S. Foreign Economic Policy 4
IR 330 Politics of the World Economy 4
IR 333 China in International Affairs 4
IR 358 The Asia Pacific in World Affairs 4
IR 360 International Relations of the Pacific Rim 4
IR 362 The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East 4
IR 364 The Political Economy of Latin American Development 4
IR 371 Global Civil Society: Non-State Actors in World Politics 4
POSC 320 Urban Politics 4
POSC 321 Urban Political Problems 4
POSC 325 State Politics 4
POSC 334 Interest Groups and Elite Behavior 4
POSC 347 Environmental Law 4
POSC 363 Cities and Regions in World Politics 4
POSC 380 Political Theories and Social Reform 4
PPD 357 Government and Business 4

Choose two, at least one from ECON (8 units):
ECON 450 International Trade 4
ECON 487 Resource and Environmental Economics 4
IR 430 The Politics of International Trade 4
POSC 425 Legislative Process 4
POSC 437 Mass Media and Politics 4

Choose one (4 units):
IR 430 The Politics of International Trade 4
IR 439 Political Economy of Russia and Eurasia 4
IR 454 The International Political Economy of Development 4
POSC 430 Political Economy of Mexico 4
POSC 451 Politics of Resources and Development 4
POSC 453 Political Change in Asia 4
POSC 456 Women in International Development 4
POSC 463 European Politics 4

Total: 48 units required for the major

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts, Social Sciences, with an Emphasis in Economics

Students are required to take ECON 203, ECON 205, ECON 303, ECON 305 and three economics elective courses numbered 300 or 400. A grade of C (2.0) or better is required for each of the core courses ECON 303 and ECON 305. MATH 118x or MATH 125 is required and an additional 12 units of upper-division courses from departments in the social sciences (anthropology, geography, international relations, history, political science, psychology, sociology).

Progressive Degree Program in Economics

The Economics department offers students who have demonstrated exceptional academic success the opportunity to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a progressive degree program. This program allows students to earn both the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Arts degrees in five years. Students may also pursue the Bachelor of Science in Economics/Mathematics and the Master of Science in Mathematical Finance. Further details about progressive degree programs can be found here.

Admission

Admission is available after the completion of 64 units of course work toward the undergraduate degree. Students must apply for admission to the progressive degree program after completing 64 units of applicable course work to their undergraduate program, but prior to the completion of 96 units of course work. The application for admission to the progressive degree program must be accompanied by a course proposal plan and two letters of recommendation from USC Economics faculty.

Awarding of Degrees

The bachelor’s and master’s degrees may be awarded separately upon completion of all degree requirements, but the master’s degree will not be awarded before the bachelor’s degree. Students who elect not to complete the master’s must complete 128 units to earn the bachelor’s degree.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Economics/Mathematics

Students are required to take seven courses in economics, seven courses in mathematics and one course in computer programming languages. Pre-major requirement: MATH 125 or equivalent.

In Economics: ECON 203, ECON 205, ECON 303, ECON 305, ECON 414 and at least two other ECON courses at the 400 level or above

In Mathematics: MATH 126 or MATH 127; MATH 225 or MATH 245; MATH 226 or MATH 227; MATH 407, MATH 408 and at least two other MATH courses at the 400 level or above

In Computing: At least one course chosen from ITP 110x, ITP 150x, ITP 165x; CSCI 101L

Electives must be approved by the program advisers.

Minor in Economics

Students from all disciplines will benefit from an economics minor. The economics minor is offered in three tracks. Each track is designed to help the student explore a coherent area of economic thought and methodology. Students minoring in economics must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA (cumulative) in courses taken for the minor.

The minor includes the core courses ECON 203, ECON 205, ECON 303 or ECON 305, MATH 118x or MATH 125 plus three courses chosen from one of the following tracks:

Law and Political Economy

This track introduces students to the economic theory that underlies the economic choices made by individuals and the ways in which law and policy combine to regulate such behavior. Economic models of individual choice, contracts, and law are analyzed in courses in this track. Choose three courses from: ECON 317, ECON 330, ECON 332, ECON 434.

Finance and Money

This track guides students through the economic thought and theory that underlie the importance of money. Courses cover topics that shed light on the ways in which institutions, individual preferences and financial markets affect the allocation and investment of money. Choose three courses from: ECON 317, ECON 350, ECON 357, ECON 360, ECON 450, ECON 452, ECON 457.

International Economics

This track concentrates on the foundations, complexities and importance of the global economy as well as the role of economics and political economy in societies outside of the United States. Choose three courses from: ECON 317, ECON 330, ECON 340, ECON 342, ECON 343, ECON 346, ECON 450.

Undergraduate Honors Program

The department offers an honors program. First and second semester seniors can enroll in ECON 495 Honors Thesis. Honors will be awarded upon completion of the thesis, an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and a major GPA of 3.5.

Department Policy Regarding Transfer Credits

Students who have taken courses equivalent to ECON 303, ECON 305, ECON 317 or ECON 414 from an economics department at another four-year college or from a program deemed comparable by the director of undergraduate studies, can earn transfer credits provided they received a B (3.0) or better in the courses.