Economics Bachelor of science degree

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Overview

An economics degree that combines math and statistics to research, collect, and analyze information, monitor economic trends, and develop forecasts to guide industries in making critical decisions. 


Economists play a role in a range of industries, from business and law to social sciences, agriculture, and environmental studies. They study how society distributes its resources – from land, labor, raw materials, and machinery – to produce a range of goods and services. They also conduct research, collect and analyze information, monitor economic trends, and develop forecasts to guide industries in making critical decisions. For students who have strong math skills, but are also interested in impacting policy and social issues, an economics degree is an exciting, dynamic major. RIT’s economics degree develops your communication, computational, and management skills in addition to refining your economic reasoning and quantitative abilities. You’ll be prepared to apply economic analysis to help solve real-world problems.

The economics degree emphasizes the quantitative analytical approach to dealing with economic problems in both the public and private sectors, providing students with marketable skills and the intellectual foundation for career growth. Graduates are prepared for entry-level managerial and analytical positions in both industry and government and to pursue graduate studies in economics, business, and law.

Plan of study

The economics curriculum develops communication, computational, and management skills in addition to economic reasoning and quantitative abilities. Required courses develop students' abilities to apply economic analysis to real-world problems. Liberal arts courses enhance oral and written communication skills. Business courses include accounting and finance. Quantitative analytical skills are developed by a course sequence that includes computer science, mathematics, and statistics. Free electives allow students to pursue advanced study in their individual areas of interest and/or develop a double major. Along with finance, marketing, mathematics, statistics, or computer science, there are many other possibilities. Faculty advisors help students develop professional options that assist them in attaining their career goals.

Tracks

Students choose one of the following tracks: economic theory, environmental economics, or managerial economics.

Capstone experience

Students are required to complete a creative capstone experience. Students may publish a paper in a refereed journal, present a paper at a professional conference or at an RIT-sponsored conference, present research at an approved exhibit at Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival, or fulfill a comparable creative capstone requirement in the student's primary major (if economics is the secondary major).

Double majors

The economics curriculum is flexible and allows students to pursue a double major in a secondary field of study. Even with a double major, students are able to graduate in four years.

Academic enrichment opportunities

Economics faculty members serve as mentors and are available to enhance students' personal and professional growth. Students may work as teaching assistants for professors in economics courses or learn about research techniques as research assistants for faculty. For both of these activities, students receive a stipend. Finally, students can engage in independent or joint research with a faculty member, receiving academic credit and obtaining funding for their research needs.

Graduate School

RIT/Syracuse University College of Law 3+3 Option

RIT has partnered with Syracuse University’s College of Law to offer an accelerated 3+3 BS/JD option for highly capable students. This option provides a fast-track pathway to law school in which students earn a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate degree in six years. In the 3+3 option, students interested in the following RIT majors–advertising and public relations, communication, criminal justice, economics, international and global studies, journalism, philosophy, political science, psychology, public policy, and sociology and anthropology–may apply to the option directly. Successful applicants are offered admission to RIT and given conditional acceptance into Syracuse University’s College of Law. Learn more about the RIT/Syracuse University College of Law 3+3 Option, including admission requirements and frequently asked questions.

Accelerated 4+1 MBA option

An accelerated 4+1 option is available for students who wish to earn a BS in economics and an MBA. The option is offered in conjunction with Saunders College of Business and allows students to obtain both degrees in five years of study. Please consult your advisor for more information.

Industries


  • Accounting

  • Government (Local, State, Federal)

  • Legal and Law Enforcement

  • Non-Government Organization

  • Non-Profit

Typical Job Titles

Economist Business Economist
Government Economist Academic Economist
Behavioral Economist International Economist
Public Finance Economist

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education, or co-op for short, is full-time, paid work experience in your field of study. And it sets RIT graduates apart from their competitors. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. RIT co-op is designed for your success.  

Students in the economics degree are strongly encouraged to participate in cooperative education. 

Explore salary and career information for Economics BS 

Curriculum for Economics BS

Economics, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ECON-100
Foundational Seminar in Economics
This course is designed to introduce new students in the economics program (freshmen and external and internal transfers) to the application of economic analysis in academia, business, government and the not-for-profit sector. Students will be exposed to the research and consulting activities undertaken by academic economists and economic practitioners as well as a discussion of the career outcomes of the alumni of the RIT economics program. (This course is restricted to ECON-BS Major students.) Seminar (Fall, Spring, Summer).
0
ECON-101
Principles of Microeconomics
Microeconomics studies the workings of individual markets. That is, it examines the interaction of the demanders of goods and services with the suppliers of those goods and services. It explores how the behavior of consumers (demanders), the behavior of producers (suppliers), and the level of market competition influence market outcomes. Lecture (Fall, Spring).
3
ECON-201
Principles of Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics studies aggregate economic behavior. The course begins by presenting the production possibilities model. This is followed by a discussion of basic macroeconomic concepts including inflation, unemployment, and economic growth and fluctuations. The next topic is national income accounting, which is the measurement of macroeconomic variables. The latter part of the course focuses on the development of one or more macroeconomic models, a discussion of the role of money in the macroeconomy, the aggregate supply-aggregate demand framework, and other topics the individual instructor may choose. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
MATH-171
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Calculus A
This is the first course in a three-course sequence (COS-MATH-171, -172, -173). This course includes a study of functions, continuity, and differentiability. The study of functions includes the exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Limits of functions are used to study continuity and differentiability. The study of the derivative includes the definition, basic rules, and implicit differentiation. Applications of the derivative include optimization and related-rates problems. (Prerequisite: C- or better in MATH-111 or C- or better in ((NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275) and NMTH-220) or a math placement exam score greater than or equal to 50.) Lecture 5 (Fall, Spring).
3
MATH-172
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Calculus B
This is the second course in three-course sequence (COS-MATH-171, -172, -173). The course includes Riemann sums, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, techniques of integration, and applications of the definite integral. The techniques of integration include substitution and integration by parts. The applications of the definite integral include areas between curves, and the calculation of volume. (Prerequisites: C- or better in MATH-171 or 1016-171T or 1016-281 or 1016-231 or equivalent course.) Lecture 5 (Fall, Spring).
3
STAT-145
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a math placement exam score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective†
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
Second Year
ECON-402
Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
The central question of macroeconomics is the determination of output, employment, and prices. This course develops models which incorporate behavioral assumptions concerning consumption, investment, and the role of money and their relationship to macroeconomic variables. Macroeconomics, unlike microeconomics, has been in a constant state of flux during the 20th and into the 21st century. Theories which purport to explain macroeconomic behavior have come into and gone out of fashion depending upon institutional changes and external factors. This course will primarily focus on examining four macroeconomic theories; the Classical, Keynesian, Monetarist, and New Classical models. In addition, macroeconomic public policy will be analyzed in the context of recent economic history. This analysis will be extended to consider open economy macroeconomics in a global context. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course) and ECON-201 or equivalent course.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
3
ECON-403
Econometrics I (WI-PR)
Econometrics I provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills in applied regression analysis. It covers various regression estimation techniques, data preparation and transformation, and the interpretation of regression results. There is particular emphasis on the dangers of misuse of regression techniques. The course covers regression analysis for both cross-sectional and time series data. (Prerequisties: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course and (MATH-171 or 1016-171T or MATH-181 or MATH-181A) and (STAT-145 or STAT/CQAS-251 or MATH-251 or STAT-205 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   ECON-405
   International Trade and Finance
This course first surveys the sources of comparative advantage. It then analyzes commercial policy and analyzes the welfare economics of trade between countries. Some attention is paid to the institutional aspects of the world trading system. Finally, the course introduces the student to some salient notions in international finance such as national income accounting, the balance of payments, and exchange rates. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
 
   ECON-406
   Global Economic Issues
This course is focused on understanding economic problems in a global perspective. The students will study the impact of globalization on economic growth and income disparity among countries. Global economic issues such as poverty, hunger, refugees, and transnational terrorism will be studied. We will also discuss global efforts to attain progress such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The course work will emphasize the analysis of international economic data. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Spring).
 
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
Track Courses
6
Third Year
ECON-401
Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
This course develops the tools that are commonly used to study the allocation of resources in a private enterprise economy. Topics covered include the theory of consumer behavior, cost and production, and alternate market structures. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course and MATH-161 or MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A or equivalent courses.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
3
ECON-404
Mathematical Methods: Economics
Mathematical Methods: Economics provides students with an introduction to quantitative techniques used in economics such as matrix algebra, one- and multi-variable differential calculus, and unconstrained and constrained optimization. The emphasis of the instruction is on the application of these techniques to fortify and broaden a student's understanding of traditional economic topics like utility maximization, cost minimization, duality in consumer theory, expected utility, and profit maximization. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course and (MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A) or equivalent courses.) Lecture (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   ISCH-110
   Principles of Computing
This course is designed to introduce students to the central ideas of computing. Students will engage in activities that show how computing changes the world and impacts daily lives. Students will develop step-by-step written solutions to basic problems and implement their solutions using a programming language. Assignments will be completed both individually and in small teams. Students will be required to demonstrate oral and written communication skills through such assignments as short papers, homework, group discussions and debates, and development of a term paper. Computer Science majors may take this course only with department approval, and may not apply these credits toward their degree requirements. Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
 
   ISTE-105
   Web Foundations
A hands-on introduction to Internet and web foundations for non-computing majors. Includes HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Stylesheets), web page design fundamentals, basic digital image manipulation, and web site implementation and maintenance. Students will design and build their own web sites using the latest technologies and deploy them to the web for world-wide access. (This class is restricted to non-computing majors. Students in GCCIS are not eligible to take this course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
 
 
General Education – Immersion 2, 3
6
 
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Open Electives
6
 
Track Course
3
Fourth Year
ECON-407
Industrial Organization
The study of the structure, conduct and performance of contemporary American industry. Involves the application of the tools of microeconomic analysis and empirical evidence to aid in understanding the behavior of modern industry. In addition, the course considers the historical determinants of contemporary market structure and the public policy measures designed to preserve a competitive market structure. The course concludes with an examination of alternative intellectual property rights mechanisms and how alternative mechanisms impact firm-level and economy-level innovation rates. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
3
ECON-510
Economics Capstone Experience
This course registers the student’s completion of the capstone experience required for economics majors. The requirement can be fulfilled by either presenting a class paper at an approved on-campus or off-campus research conference or submitting a solo-authored or co-authored research paper to a peer-reviewed journal. Economics students experience conducting research and presenting their findings before an audience of their peers and professionals in the field. Students are sponsored by a faculty member, developing their pre-professional skills while learning how to do research first hand. Double-majors who satisfactorily complete a capstone experience in their primary major automatically fulfill the economics capstone experience requirement. (This class is restricted to students with at least 2nd year standing in ECON-BS.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
0
 
General Education – Electives
12
 
Open Electives
6
 
Track Courses
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI-PR) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

† Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3- or 4-credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, the student must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement.

Tracks

Economic Theory and Policy
Course
ECON-410
Game Theory with Economic Applications
Game theory uses a mathematical approach to study situations of strategic interdependence, i.e., situations with two or more players in which each player's decision influences payoffs of other players and players are aware of this fact when making their decisions. Game theory has been applied to understand diverse economic, political and biological phenomena. We will study how to formulate situations of strategic interdependence as game theoretic models; how to explain/predict behavior of the parties involved, through the use of various equilibrium concepts; and/or identify guidelines for appropriate behavior. The concepts and methods will be illustrated with many examples. The objective is to introduce you to language of game theory and its methodology, and to develop analytical reasoning skills. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
 
Upper Division Economics Elective
Choose any combination of four of the following:
 
   Upper Division Economics Elective (from approved list)
 
   Mathematics Elective (from approved list)
 
   Computing Elective (from approved list)
Environmental Economics
Course
ECON-421
Natural Resource Economics
This course develops an economic perspective on one of the most important and challenging issues facing global society: the allocation, use, and preservation of natural resources. The course presents and discusses the methodology economists use to inform natural resource managers and policy makers. Economic thought and analysis are used to evaluate a variety of issues in this area. The course concludes with a brief discussion of the interdisciplinary aspects of natural resource management. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Fall).
ECON-422
Benefit-Cost Analysis
Benefit-Cost Analysis fosters better understanding of the efficiency consequences of governmental micro-economic actions, both regulatory and fiscal. The course explores the logic, value and limitations of benefit-cost analysis as a public policy tool commonly used, and misused, in comparing the relative merits of alternative government actions. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Spring).
ECON-520
Environmental Economics
This course examines the relationship and apparent conflict between economic growth and environmental quality, the economics of environmental issues and policy, the environment as a resource and a public good, and the ability and lack of ability of free markets and the government to deal adequately with pollution and other environmental problems. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Spring).
 
Upper Division Economics Elective or Computing Elective or Mathematics Elective (from approved lists)
 
Two Environmental Electives (from approved list)
Managerial Economics
Course
ACCT-110
Financial Accounting
An introduction to the way in which corporations report their financial performance to interested stakeholders such as investors and creditors. Coverage of the accounting cycle, generally accepted accounting principles, and analytical tools help students become informed users of financial statements. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
ECON-410
Game Theory with Economic Applications
Game theory uses a mathematical approach to study situations of strategic interdependence, i.e., situations with two or more players in which each player's decision influences payoffs of other players and players are aware of this fact when making their decisions. Game theory has been applied to understand diverse economic, political and biological phenomena. We will study how to formulate situations of strategic interdependence as game theoretic models; how to explain/predict behavior of the parties involved, through the use of various equilibrium concepts; and/or identify guidelines for appropriate behavior. The concepts and methods will be illustrated with many examples. The objective is to introduce you to language of game theory and its methodology, and to develop analytical reasoning skills. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
ECON-430
Managerial Economics
Managerial Economics involves the application of economic theory to business decision-making. Most of the emphasis is microeconomic in nature, the theory of the firm and consumer theory, but there is some macroeconomic influence, particularly in the forecasting area. Since this is an applied economics course, it has a strong quantitative flavor. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course) and ECON-201 or equivalent course.) Lecture (Fall).
Choose one of the following:
   FINC-220
   Financial Management
Basic course in financial management. Covers business organization, time value of money, valuation of securities, capital budgeting decision rules, risk-return relation, Capital Asset Pricing Model, financial ratios, global finance, and working capital management. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or ECON-201) and ACCT-110 and (STAT-145 or STAT-251 or CQAS-251 or MATH-251 or MATH-252 or STAT-205) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   ECON-431
   Monetary Analysis and Policy
This course is a study of monetary behavior and the role of monetary institutions in the modern economy. The primary focus of the course is upon understanding how money plays a role in individual decision making units (i.e., households and businesses) and ultimately affects the macroeconomy (e.g., output, employment and inflation). The first part of the course begins with a discussion of economic methodology including introduction to regression analysis and an overview of money and the financial system; the course then proceeds to a discussion of interest rates, portfolio analysis and exchange rates. The second part of the course considers how money affects the macroeconomy by discussing the money supply process and considering theories which explain how changes in the money supply affect the economy. (Prerequisites: (ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course) and ECON-201 or equivalent course.) Lecture (Biannual).
   ECON-433
   Financial Economics
The main objective of the course is to analyze financial decision-making and the role of the financial sector in modern life. The course explores economic theory and modeling of asset pricing, risk management, and digital currency (cryptocurrency). The course examines the history of financial institutions and regulations in an economy and the important roles they have in promoting economic stability and growth. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 and ECON-201 and (MATH-161 or MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Choose one of the following:
   ECON-405
   International Trade and Finance
This course first surveys the sources of comparative advantage. It then analyzes commercial policy and analyzes the welfare economics of trade between countries. Some attention is paid to the institutional aspects of the world trading system. Finally, the course introduces the student to some salient notions in international finance such as national income accounting, the balance of payments, and exchange rates. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
   ECON-406
   Global Economic Issues
This course is focused on understanding economic problems in a global perspective. The students will study the impact of globalization on economic growth and income disparity among countries. Global economic issues such as poverty, hunger, refugees, and transnational terrorism will be studied. We will also discuss global efforts to attain progress such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The course work will emphasize the analysis of international economic data. (Prerequisites: ECON-101 or completion of one (1) 400 or 500 level ECON course.) Lecture (Spring).
 
Upper Division Economics Elective or Computing Elective or Mathematics Elective (from approved lists)

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • Strong performance in English and social studies is expected

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in business, liberal arts, math, science, and computer science

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

AS degree in business administration or liberal arts

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

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