Economists study how scarce resources are allocated so that the well-being of individuals is maximized. Whether the resource that is being allocated is income, time, or a precious commodity, there is always some tradeoff associated with allocating the resource for one use and not another. Individuals, businesses, and governments face these tradeoffs in countless ways every day. The most important thing students learn from studying economics is how to identify, measure, and understand the essential elements of this tradeoff.
The Economics major is built on a foundation of strong theoretical and statistical training. The major provides students solid grounding in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, statistical and econometric methodology, as well as applied economic analysis. The Economics major emphasizes the role of incentives and institutions in shaping economic outcomes and how public policies influence economic performance and individual outcomes. Special emphases in the program include labor economics, public economics, political economy, law and economics, environmental economics, empirical methods, and U.S. economic history.
In addition to having a solid understanding of economic theory, our program has a special emphasis on empirical research methods in economics. All students engage in research (with faculty, in teams, and independently) that involves analyzing data and answering well formulated questions related to public policies. With these research experiences, our students are competitive for research internships, fellowships, and pre-graduate summer programs while still in school.
Because students with a degree in economics develop strong analytical and quantitative skills and the ability to solve complex problems effectively, studying economics is excellent preparation for many careers in business, law, management consulting, education, or public service. Businesses of all types and sizes, financial institutions, consulting firms, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, as well as graduate business and law schools actively seek graduates with bachelor’s degrees in economics. In addition, many of our students go on to do graduate study in economics, law, public policy, or business.
Economics Four Year Major Plans
Below, please find four year plans for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Students should choose the plan that corresponds to the catalog year in which they matriculated to UC Merced. For more information on catalog rights, please click here.
Economics Major Planning Guides
Below you will find planning guides for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics. Students should choose the planning guide that corresponds to the catalog year in which they matriculated to UC Merced. For more information on catalog rights, please click here.
Specializations in Economics
Students are encouraged to choose one of the following two "Specializations", each requiring three upper division courses [12 units] that also help satisfy the five course upper-division Economics major requirement.
The following courses count towards the "Specializations" for the Economics major at UC Merced:
Strategy & Finance
- ECON 115: Industrial Organization
- ECON 116: Economics of Organizations
- ECON 117: Marketing Strategy
- ECON 121: Economics of Money, Credit and Banking
- ECON 141: Human Resource Economics
- ECON 153: Judgment and Decision Making
- ECON 161: International Finance
- ECON 162: Corporate Finance
- ECON 163: Economics of Investments, Futures and Options
- ECON 170: Game Theory
Economic Analysis & Policy
- ECON 111: American Economic History
- ECON 120: Economics of the Environment and Public Policy
- ECON 140: Labor Economics
- ECON 141: Human Resource Economics
- ECON 142: Economics of Gender and Poverty
- ECON 145: Health Economics
- ECON 150: Economic Development
- ECON 151: Public Economics
- ECON 152: Law and Economics
- ECON 155: Political Economics
- ECON 156: Urban and Regional Economics
- ECON 160: International Microeconomics