2019-20 Catalogs

Economics Overview

Professor: Hillard; Associate Professor: Medley; Visiting Associate Professor: Mamgain; Lecturer: Cote


Economics offers valuable perspectives on local, national and international patterns of employment, living standards, business activity, and community development. While learning the discipline’s technical skills, students develop analytical tools applicable to contemporary issues.  The USM economics program emphasizes the links between schools of economic thought and the public policy positions (on unions, housing, food, militarism, imprisonment, health care, and banking, for example) which follow from those schools. Students develop analytical expertise and an appreciation for the diverse areas in which economic inquiry is relevant. As a liberal arts degree, students also develop excellent skills in critical thinking, research, quantitative analysis, and writing.

Because a degree in economics provides an excellent foundation for an array of professional and advanced academic pursuits, we offer Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees to accommodate student strengths and preferences. The BS degree, often favored by students with an interest business and finance, takes a more quantitative approach to the curriculum. The BA degree, often favored by students interested in a more liberal arts/social sciences interpretation, tends to stress a more qualitative, critical thinking approach.  Notwithstanding, graduates in possession of either degree have pursued careers in economics, law, public policy, business, and education.

Housed within the Department of Economics and Sociology, the Economics program partners with Sociology and other majors, as well as the Labor Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies, and Food Studies minors to offer students opportunities to deepen and enrich knowledge and skills in Economics with interdisciplinary learning. Many students combine an Economics major or minor with a major or minor from USM’s School of Business.

Economics offers two options for accelerated learning, which allow qualified students to begin a graduate degree while still an undergraduate. The Accelerated Law Pathway allows students to complete both a Bachelor's and a J.D. degree in six years rather than the usual seven.  Please see the Accelerated Law page in the catalog for more information. The Accelerated Graduate Pathway to Policy, Planning and Management (PPM) prepares students for leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector by developing a strong, multi-disciplinary foundation of skills and knowledge in the fields of policy, planning, and management.  For more information see Accelerated Graduate Pathway - Economics to Policy, Planning, and Management (MPPM) in the catalog.


In both accelerated programs, qualified undergraduates take graduate courses while still undergraduates for the same price per credit hour as they’d pay to complete their bachelor’s degree.