CLAS - Program Overview

Program Overview


Economics is a social science concerned with how societies deal with scarcity. Economists in general are interested in explaining and predicting economic behavior at both the micro- and marco- levels. One of our program goals is to teach our students how to model economic phenomena in a precise and rigorous way using quantitative tools such as algebra, calculus and statistics.

Economists are involved in a variety of activities. Corporate economists often collect data and make forecasts concerning the nature of the business of the firm. Economists employed by public utilities, for example, are concerned with the energy market and how the forces of supply of and demand for electric power interact to determine energy prices and quantities both now and in the future. Some economists work for consulting firms. These economists may advise governments, private litigants, and often give testimony in court as an expert witness. Economists hold important positions at many banks and financial firms including the Federal Reserve Banks. Many economists work in the public sector. In Arizona, economists work for the Department of Revenue, Department of Economic Security, Department of Environmental Quality, and the Department of Administration. At the Federal level, economists are employed by the Labor Department, Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and even the Central Intelligence Agency. Still other economists teach economics and do research on topics in their specialties -- economic development, international trade, labor economics, econometrics, economic theory, and many other areas.

Economics at A.S.U.

A Bachelor of Science degree in Economics is offered in both the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the W. P. Carey School of Business.  In addition, students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences can obtain a minor in General Economics or Law and Economics.  Contact for more information.

The program requires a strong core of economic theory, supplemented by mathematics and data analysis. Students in our B.S. program choose from a variety of electives within the department, as well as in the W. P. Carey School of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the university. All students are encouraged to develop programs of study tailored to their individual needs and interests. The department's undergraduate program aims to provide students with the critical thinking and communication skills needed to succeed in business or graduate school. The mission of the Department of Economics at Arizona State University is to provide the highest quality instruction to our students, conduct cutting-edge research in economics, and provide leadership and service to our professional communities.

The Department encourages you to plan your program carefully. Read through the course descriptions and degree requirements for the two options noted above. Remember that some upper division courses are not offered every semester so some planning is necessary to complete your program in a timely manner. The departmental advisors and members of the faculty are all available to help you. In addition, you should also be familiar with the provisions contained in the ASU General Catalog.

Career Opportunities

A major in economics provides students with the analytical and quantitative skills needed to prepare them for careers in business, government or public policy. The program of study can also be tailored to prepare students for graduate programs in economics, business or law. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in economics are strongly encouraged to minor or major in mathematics as well.

Graduates have taken positions:

  • As corporate economists who collect data and make forecasts relevant to the firm's business.
  • As consultants who serve as advisers to state and federal governments as well as private corporations.
  • In banking and financial services firms.

Others have gone on to the best law schools in the country, or to the top Ph.D. and M.B.A. programs here and abroad. Finally, many of our graduates have won prestigious national awards, such as the Marshall Award, the NSF Fellowship, Fulbright fellowships and most recently, the Truman Award.