Information and Policies
Introduction
The major in economics and mathematics is designed to meet the needs of undergraduate students who plan to pursue doctoral study in economics or business, or who wish to pursue a career as an actuary or other professional requiring a sophisticated understanding of economics and mathematics. The major combines the main undergraduate content of both economics and mathematics within a programmatic structure that joins the two disciplines. It provides a coursework combination required to prepare for an economics doctoral (Ph.D.) program, or for a group of technically demanding professional careers.
Program Learning Outcomes
Program learning outcomes for economics, economics and mathematics, business management economics, and global economics majors:
Critical Thinking Skills: Students are expected to be able to apply economic analysis to everyday problems in real world situations, to understand current events and evaluate specific policy proposals, and to evaluate the role played by assumptions in arguments that reach different conclusions to a specific economic or policy problem.
Quantitative Reasoning Skills: Students are expected to understand how to use empirical evidence to evaluate the validity of an economic argument, use statistical methodology, interpret statistical results, and conduct appropriate statistical analysis of data.
Problem-Solving Skills: Students are expected to be able to solve problems that have clear solutions and to address problems that do not have clear answers and explain conditions under which these solutions may be correct.
Specialized Knowledge and Application of Skills: Students are expected to develop critical and quantitative thinking skills specific to business and accounting.
Communication Skills: Students are expected to be able to communicate effectively in written, oral, and graphical form about specific issues, and to formulate well-organized written arguments that state assumptions and hypotheses supported by evidence.
Academic Advising for the Program
The Economics Department office is located at 401 Engineering 2. There are four staff undergraduate advisors, peer advisors (except summer), a field study coordinator, as well as a faculty director for each of the Economics Department's undergraduate programs. Our faculty, staff advisors and peer advisors play an important role in advising on all aspects of the major and assisting you to maximize your educational opportunities. Please check the department website for more information about drop-in hours.
Getting Started in the Major: Frosh
The economics curriculum begins at the introductory level: no specific high school preparation is required.
This is a course-intensive and sequential program, and students who intend to pursue this major must begin taking classes for the major in their first year at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Math placement is required for one or more of the foundational courses for this major. For more information, please review the Math Placement website.
All majors study a substantial core of economic theory and statistical methods and they then choose among a wide variety of subfields.
Transfer Information and Policy
Transfer Admission Screening Policy
The following courses or their equivalents are required prior to transfer, by the end of the spring term for students planning to enter in the fall: ECON 1, ECON 2 and first quarter of calculus (MATH 19A).
A minimum GPA of 2.8 must be obtained in the courses listed above. The admissions office screens transfer applicants for meeting major qualification criteria.
In addition, the following courses are recommended prior to transfer to ensure timely graduation: the completion of the calculus sequence (MATH 22 or MATH 23A and MATH 23B).
Prospective students are encouraged to prioritize required and recommended major preparation, and may additionally complete courses that articulate to UC Santa Cruz general education requirements as time allows.
Getting Started in the Major: Transfer Students
The department requests that new transfer students send unofficial transcripts of any previously completed coursework to econ_ugrad_coor@ucsc.edu. For coursework completed outside of a California community college, submitting course syllabi for articulation purposes is required. The advisors will then be able to make course recommendations for fall quarter or summer session courses prior to the first fall quarter.
All transfer students must complete the three-course senior comprehensive requirement (ECON 100A, ECON 100B, ECON 113) and the DC requirement at UC Santa Cruz. Economics/mathematics majors must take at least one of their upper-division economics electives at UC Santa Cruz. Courses taken for credit elsewhere may not be repeated for credit here.
Students who were admitted under a different proposed major and have advanced standing when they come to UCSC require permission from the department to change into the major. Admission to the major is not guaranteed.
Students who have met all lower-division requirements through articulations before transferring will need at least six economics and five mathematics upper-division courses at UC Santa Cruz to complete the major.
Major Qualification Policy and Declaration Process
Major Qualification
The Economics Department administers four undergraduate majors: economics, business management economics, global economics, and economics/mathematics. The qualification requirements for major declaration are the same for all four.
Students must complete three courses, with combined GPA of 2.8 or higher, to qualify for entry to the economics/mathematics major:
Take all of the following courses:
ECON 1 | Introductory Microeconomics: Resource Allocation and Market Structure | 5 |
ECON 2 | Introductory Macroeconomics: Aggregate Economic Activity | 5 |
MATH 19A | Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics | 5 |
All classes included for major qualification determination must be taken for a letter grade. If students have not taken a letter grade, they must appeal by submitting a letter to the Economics Department.
Students should submit a petition to declare as soon as they complete the major qualification requirements or reach their declaration deadline quarter (whichever comes first). Students receiving a grade of NP, C-, D+, D, D-, or F in one of the courses required for qualification to the major may only declare once they have passed the same or equivalent course with a grade of C or better. Students who receive two grades of NP, C-, D+, D, D-, or F in the qualification courses are not eligible to declare the major.
Equivalent courses may be taken at other universities or community colleges. Students should check on assist.org to determine whether a transfer course is designated as equivalent to ECON 1, ECON 2 or the first required calculus course. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to ask the department to review such courses prior to matriculation at UC Santa Cruz, since an offer of admission to UCSC does not automatically imply admission to the economics major.
Students can receive course credit for Advanced Placement (AP) examinations in Micro (ECON 1), Macro (ECON 2), and the first calculus class toward major qualification criteria according to the AP chart.
For economics and calculus AB, a score of 5 on the AP exam counts as an “A,” a score of 4 counts as a “B,” and a score of 3 earns unit credit only but no course credit toward major qualification (i.e., does not count). For calculus BC, a 3 counts as a "B" and scores of 4 or 5 count as an "A.”
A score of 5 on the IBH Mathematics exam counts as a "B" and scores of 6 or 7 count as an "A."
Please consult with an advisor if you have questions.
Appeal Process
Students not eligible for the economics majors may appeal by submitting a letter to the Economics Department. The appeal letter must be filed no later than the first quarter of their junior year. Please check the "Appeals" area on the department website for further information on declaring a major or appealing ineligibility and deadlines.
How to Declare a Major
Students can initiate the major declaration process by completing the Petition for Major/Minor Declaration and the Academic Planning forms and by supplying evidence of their grades in the three pre-major courses. Candidates must meet major qualifications listed above prior to declaring the major.
Declaration sessions are mandatory for those seeking to declare the major or minor. If you cannot attend a workshop, you must meet with an economics peer advisor first before obtaining signatures from a staff advisor. Workshop schedules and drop-in advising hours are available online, on our bulletin board outside the office, and in the department office. All are advised to bring in verification of their grades, which can be printed off the student portal, to the declaration of major advising session. Students who do not bring in verification of their grades could have the approval of their petition for major declaration delayed by up to two working days.
Letter Grade Policy
All classes included for major qualification determination must be taken for a letter grade. If students have not taken a letter grade, they must appeal by submitting a letter to the Economics Department.
The Economics Department allows classes toward major requirements taken for the Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grade notification. We recommend no more than two courses in the major be taken P/NP. Overall no more than 25 percent of a student's UC Santa Cruz classes can be taken P/NP.
Course Substitution Policy
For courses not already articulated through assist.org, students must present their transfer credit summary (available on the student portal) and course syllabi or descriptions to an Economics Department advisor. The department approves courses applicable for economics prerequisites and major requirements. The course substitution form can be found on the department website under "Forms for students."
Study Abroad
UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) is the University of California's official study abroad program and a global leader in international education for more than 50 years. All the benefits of home—UC credit, grades, and financial aid—travel with you. Approximately 600 UC Santa Cruz students study abroad on UCEAP every year.
Students can petition UCEAP courses to count toward their major or minor requirements. In addition, there are scholarships available and financial aid can be applied to UCEAP programs. UCEAP provides opportunities in:
- 46 countries around the world
- 420 summer quarter, semester or yearlong programs
- Internships, volunteer work, and research programs
Economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona--Direct Exchange Program
Located in Spain, the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) is an institution known for its excellent research and teaching. Unlike UCEAP, this direct exchange program through the UC Santa Cruz Economics Department offers the opportunity for students to enroll in three courses that will fulfill economics major requirements and one course outside of economics. Students must take a total of four courses and will receive transfer credit for all courses. Along with enrolling in courses, students may enjoy the renowned architecture, food, and art. This program is open to students who are economics majors in junior or senior class standing and have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or above. Students must also be in good academic standing and 18 years of age or older at the time of departure to Barcelona. Economics courses at UAB may also be taken in Spanish if students have completed two years of university-level Spanish with a minimum GPA of 2.85 in those language courses.
Honors
The Economics Department considers for honors and highest honors students who have completed a major program with superior or exceptional work. Honors decisions are made by the department’s honors and scholarship committee.
At the end of each quarter, faculty teaching the upper-division core courses submit to the department a list of students in their respective classes whose performance is at the honors level. At the time of graduation, all students who received an honors designation in one or more of these courses are reviewed by the department’s honor committee. The faculty committee looks for a record of excellence in courses offered toward the major, with a strong performance in the upper-division core (theory and econometrics—ECON 100A/ECON 100M, ECON 100B/ECON 100N, and ECON 113) being a necessary condition for honors. Although a GPA is not computed for the economics courses, in general highest honors are awarded to students who have received a grade of at least an “A” throughout their economics program. Honors are awarded to students who have no more than two courses with grades of less than an “A-.” Students who have completed a portion of the major at another institution may be asked to submit a transcript for evaluation.
Students interested in being reviewed for honors may request that the department conduct a review, and such requests are always granted.
In general, honors have been awarded to between 10 and 15 percent of each year’s graduating class.
Independent Study
Students are encouraged to petition for independent study on topics of special interest to them. ECON 199, Tutorial, may be used as only one of the upper-division courses required for the major or minor.
Field-Study Program
The Economics Department offers its majors the opportunity to integrate their academic knowledge with career-related work in areas connected to economics or business. The field-study program places students in internships under the supervision of a faculty sponsor and a professional at the workplace. Students can select from a wide variety of field placements such as accounting firms, community non-profits, government agencies, brokerage firms, marketing agencies, banks, and businesses in Santa Cruz and beyond. Students apply for field-study a quarter in advance. Participation in the field study program requires at least junior standing, completion of courses ECON 100A (or ECON 100M), ECON 100B (or ECON 100N), and ECON 113 as well as good academic standing. Students may earn a maximum of 10 academic credits and complete up to two quarters in a field placement. A 5-credit field study requires 12-14 hours per week spent working on internship duties (a 2-credit field-study requires 5-6 hours per week spent on internship duties) and completion of an academic project supervised by a faculty sponsor. Time spent toward the academic requirements set by the faculty sponsor is not included in the 12-14 internship hours spent at the field placement.
Along with the training and supervision by a professional at the workplace, students receive guidance from a faculty sponsor who directs their academic project. Students earn credit through the completion of this project and the job supervisor’s evaluation of performance. Economics field-study courses do not satisfy any upper-division requirements for the major and are available as Pass/No Pass only.
Interested students should make an appointment or stop by the Economics Department at 403C Engineering 2; or e-mail econintern@ucsc.edu.
Combined Majors
The Economics Department offers the following combined majors: economics/mathematics and environmental studies/economics. Requirements for these majors may be reviewed under their separate entries in this catalog.
Requirements and Planners
Course Requirements
Lower-Division Courses
Economics Required Courses
Take the following courses:
ECON 1 | Introductory Microeconomics: Resource Allocation and Market Structure | 5 |
ECON 2 | Introductory Macroeconomics: Aggregate Economic Activity | 5 |
Mathematics Required Courses
Take the following courses:
MATH 19A | Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics | 5 |
MATH 19B | Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics | 5 |
MATH 21 | Linear Algebra | 5 |
Plus one of the following options:
| Either this course | |
MATH 22 | Introduction to Calculus of Several Variables | 5 |
| or these courses | |
MATH 23A | Vector Calculus | 5 |
MATH 23B | Vector Calculus | 5 |
MATH 11A, MATH 11B, MATH 23A may be taken to satisfy the mathematics content only by petition via the Mathematics Department.
Plus the following statistics courses:
STAT 17 | Statistical Methods for Business and Economics | 5 |
STAT 17L | Statistical Methods for Business and Economics Laboratory | 2 |
Successful completion of one of the mathematics calculus sequences from the list above is required for all economics majors, and must be taken before enrollment in ECON 100A (or ECON 100M), ECON 100B (or ECON 100N), and ECON 113. Students are advised to complete the mathematics courses as early as possible in their academic career.
Transfer students interested in the combined economics/mathematics major are encouraged to complete as many lower-division mathematics and statistics courses as they can prior to transferring. The courses need to be equivalent to MATH 19A, MATH 19B, MATH 21 and MATH 22 or MATH 23A and MATH 23B.
Upper-Division Courses
Economics Required Courses
Choose one of the following courses:
ECON 100A | Intermediate Microeconomics | 5 |
ECON 100M | Intermediate Microeconomics, Math Intensive | 5 |
Plus one of the following courses:
ECON 100B | Intermediate Macroeconomics | 5 |
ECON 100N | Intermediate Macroeconomics, Math Intensive | 5 |
Plus the following course:
Mathematics Required Courses
Take both of these courses:
Electives
Students complete five electives. Two courses in economics and three in mathematics, as follows:
Economics Electives
Choose two from the following:
Mathematics Electives
Choose three three from the following:
Note: Lecture/lab combinations (i.e., MATH 145 and MATH 145L, MATH 148 and MATH 148L) count as one course.
Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement
All undergraduate majors must satisfy the campus’ Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The DC requirement in the economics/mathematics combined major is satisfied by completing one of the following options:
Option 1: Economics
Take one of the following:
ECON 104 | Is There Truth in Numbers: The Role of Statistics in Economics | 5 |
ECON 197 | Economic Rhetoric: Using Economic Theory and Empirical Evidence in Arguing Policy | 5 |
Option 2: Mathematics
Take this course
MATH 100 | Introduction to Proof and Problem Solving | 5 |
Plus one of the following courses:
Comprehensive Requirement
The comprehensive requirement is satisfied by passing the following intermediate core courses with grades of C/P or better here at UC Santa Cruz:
Choose one of the following courses:
ECON 100A | Intermediate Microeconomics | 5 |
ECON 100M | Intermediate Microeconomics, Math Intensive | 5 |
Plus one of the following courses:
ECON 100B | Intermediate Macroeconomics | 5 |
ECON 100N | Intermediate Macroeconomics, Math Intensive | 5 |
Plus the following course:
Students may elect to complete a senior thesis with consent of an instructor in addition to completing the intermediate core courses.
Planners
The tables below are for informational purposes and do not reflect all university, general education, and credit requirements. See Undergraduate Graduation Requirements for more information.
Sample Frosh Planner
* WRIT 2 should be taken in or before spring quarter of the second year.
The courses shown above satisfy the MF, PE, and SR and, if ECON 193 is completed, then the PR general education requirements. In addition, to the specific courses shown in these planners, a student must complete courses satisfying all UC Santa Cruz general education requirements as well as credit requirements.
Sample Transfer Planner One
*If MATH 23A is taken in the winter term, otherwise ECON 100A
This planner assumes that a student has completed the following major requirements: ECON 1, ECON 2, MATH 19A. In addition, to the specific courses shown in these planners, a student must complete courses satisfying the UC Santa Cruz general education requirements as well as credit requirements.
Sample Transfer Planner Two
This planner assumes that the student has completed the following major requirements: ECON 1, ECON 2, MATH 19A, MATH 19B, MATH 23A. In addition to the specific courses shown in these planners, a student must complete courses satisfying the UC Santa Cruz general education requirements as well as credit requirements.