2013-14 Catalogs

Economics Overview

Chair of the Department: Vaishali Mamgain, 11 Chamberlain Avenue, Portland

Professors: Feiner, Hillard, Roberts; Associate Professors: Bouvier, Mamgain, Medley

The undergraduate program in economics provides practical preparation for a variety of careers as well as for graduate study in economics, business administration, public policy, and law. Economics is a social science and as such is best studied in the context of broader exposure to the liberal arts and sciences.

To be eligible for a degree, a student must complete 120 credit hours fulfilling the University's Core curriculum requirements and all requirements for the major. Note that only one course carrying the prefix ECO can be used to satisfy both Core curriculum and economics major requirements. ECO 120 satisfies the Quantitative Reasoning Core curriculum requirement; all other 100-level Economics courses satisfy a second-tier Core curriculum requirement.

The Department offers two different undergraduate degree programs (bachelor of arts, bachelor of science), which allow students to choose the combination of courses most appropriate for their future plans.

Note also the interdisciplinary minor in labor studies, which is described in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences section of this catalog.

Specific, current academic year catalog edition USM Economics major and minor degree requirements can be viewed via Degrees & Certificates.

Note to incoming and current USM students—The specific USM Economics major and minor degree requirements identified above are valid only if:

  1. You are presently considering applying to USM for admission to pursue a baccalaureate degree
  2. You are/were a newly matriculated USM Economics major or minor during the current academic year catalog edition period identified above
  3. You are currently a matriculated USM student, you have declared the Economics major or minor, and you have formally elected the current academic year catalog edition identified above (or intend to) by offically notifying the USM Registrar of your intention.

Otherwise, please refer to the USM undergraduate catalog edition that corresponds with your USM "Requirement Term."  You may access previous USM catalog editions online at the following URL address:
and you may also access USM Department of Economics BA, BS and Minor in Economics curriculum "Worksheets" that correspond to your USM "Requirement Term" for use in tracking your academic progress in the Economics major or minor at the following URL address:

What Skills Does an Economics Education Provide?

Economics is a marketable liberal arts degree. Liberal arts majors (social sciences and humanities) develop excellent writing and research skills, and increase a student's knowledge of the world. These majors also help students build a stronger and more informed sense of identity and values. Economics at USM also provides students critical thinking and analytical (including statistical) skills.

What Can I Do with a Degree in Economics?

One of the biggest concerns students have is life after graduation. An economics degree is a solid foundation for many careers and for graduate school.  Our graduates have, for example, found jobs at Bath Iron Works (finance department), the Maine State Legislature (Senate Majority Leader's staff), and the Maine Department of Labor (data analysts).

Our graduates have also pursued Master's and Doctoral programs at Cornell UniversityUniversity of California-RiversideUniversity of California-Santa CruzUniversity of Notre DameUniversity of Denver, and USM Muskie School of Public Service.  Several have completed a Ph.D. in Economics.  Undergraduate students considering graduate school must maintain a high grade-point average (GPA).  A high GPA is essential to having broad choice in choosing particular graduate schools and programs.

Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

To be eligible for a baccalaureate degree, a student must complete 120 credit hours, including fulfilling the University's Core curriculum requirements and all Department of Economics degree requirements, either through courses taken at USM or through the transfer of courses from other institutions of higher education.

(View the Department of Economics student Core curriculum worksheet that is used to track Economics student progress in meeting USM Core curriculum requirements.)