Department of Economics

BA in Economics

Career Options

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
  • law

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.

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.

Choose either Track A (48 or more credits) or Track B (55 or more credits); both tracks have the same major prerequisites and major requirements.

Track A is recommended for students interested in a traditional liberal arts economics education.

Track B is recommended for students interested in graduate study in economics or related policy fields.

ECO 120 satisfies the Quantitative Reasoning Core curriculum requirement; all other 100-level Economics courses satisfy a second-tier Core curriculum requirement.

Note that only one course carrying the prefix ECO can be used to satisfy both Core curriculum and economics major requirements.

Major Prerequisites (6 credits)

     ECO 101 Introduction to Macroeconomics
     ECO 102 Introduction to Microeconomics

Major Requirements (9 credits)

     ECO 301 Intermediate Macroeconomics
     ECO 302 Intermediate Microeconomics
     ECO 303 Political Economy

Track A:

Other Requirements (9 or more credits)

     ECO 103 Critical Thinking About Economic Issues

Select one of the following courses:
     MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics
     MAT 380 Probability and Statistics

Select one of the following courses:
     ECO 305 Research Methods in Economics
     MAT 105 Mathematics for Quantitative Decision Making
     MAT 108 College Algebra
     MAT 140 Pre-Calculus Mathematics
     MAT 152 Calculus A
     MAT 153 Calculus B

Major Electives (24 or more credits)

Select any five economics major elective courses numbered 200 or above, from the following list of economics elective courses:
     ECO 220 U.S. Economic and Labor History
     ECO 305 Research Methods in Economics
     ECO 310 Money and Banking
     ECO 312 U.S. Economic Policy
     ECO 315 Economic Development
     ECO 316 Case Studies in International Development
     ECO 319 Macroeconomics: Debt and Finance
     ECO 321 Understanding Contemporary Capitalism
     ECO 322 Economics of Women and Work
     ECO 323 U.S. Labor and Employment Relations
     ECO 325 Industrial Organization
     ECO 326 Environmental Economics
     ECO 327 Natural Resource Economics
     ECO 328 Rural and Regional Economic Development
     ECO 330 Urban Economics
     ECO 333 Economics and Happiness
     ECO 335 The Political Economy of Food
     ECO 340 History of Economic Thought
     ECO 350 Comparative Economic Systems
     ECO 370 International Economics
     ECO 380 Public Finance and Fiscal Policy
     ECO 381 State and Local Public Finance
     ECO 399 Special Topics in Economics
     ECO 450 Readings in Economics
     ECO 490 Independent Readings and Research in Economics

Students who select ECO 305 under Other Requirements above cannot also use that course to satisfy this major elective requirement.

Select three additional economics electives from the above list of economics electives, or up to three courses from the following list of acceptable courses offered by other departments:
     BUS 260 Marketing
     BUS 335 International Business
     CRM 216 White-Collar Crime
     FIN 330 International Financial Management
     GEO 303 Economic Geography
     MAT 252 Calculus C
     MAT 290 Foundations of Mathematics
     MAT 295 Linear Algebra
     POS 340 The Politics of Developing Nations
     SWO 350 Social Welfare Policy
     WST 365 Topics in Women, Gender, and Institutions II
     WST 465 Topics in Women, Gender, and Institutions III

Track B:

Other Requirements (16 or more credits)
     ECO 305 Research Methods in Economics
     MAT 152 Calculus A
     MAT 153 Calculus B

Select either:
     MAT 281 Introduction to Probability
     and  MAT 282 Statistical Inference
OR

     MAT 264 Statistical Software Packages
     and  MAT 380 Probability and Statistics

Major Electives (24 or more credits)

Select any five economics elective courses numbered 200 or above (excluding those ECO courses taken to fulfill requirements listed above), from the list of economics elective courses under Track A above.

Select three additional economics elective courses from the above list of economics electives, or up to three courses from the following list of acceptable courses offered by other departments. Students may also propose other upper-level courses for Economics Department approval if adequate justification is presented.
     MAT 252 Calculus C
     MAT 290 Foundations of Mathematics
     MAT 295 Linear Algebra
     MAT 350 Differential Equations
     MAT 366 Deterministic Models in Operations Research
     MAT 383 System Modeling and Simulation
     MAT 460 Mathematical Modeling
     MAT 485 Introduction to Applied Regression
     FIN 320 Basic Financial Management
     FIN 326 Financial Modeling
     FIN 327 Investment Management
     FIN 330 International Financial Management
     GEO 303 Economic Geography
     GEO 305 Remote Sensing
     GEO 308 GIS Applications I
     GEO 408 GIS Applications II
     ESP 200 Environmental Planning
     ESP 305 Community Planning Workshop

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.

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

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

Economics is a social science and as such is best studied in the context of broader exposure to the liberal arts and sciences.

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.

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.

Note to incoming and/or current USM students

The specific USM Economics BA Requirements listed within the Requirements tab above are valid only if:

  1. You are presently considering applying to USM for admission to pursue a baccalaureate degree in Economics
    OR 
  2. You are/were a newly matriculated USM Economics major during this current academic year catalog edition
    OR 
  3. You are currently a matriculated USM student, you have declared the Economics major, and you have formally elected this current academic year catalog edition (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:
http://usm.maine.edu/catalogs
and you may also access USM Department of Economics BA and BS curriculum "Worksheets" that correspond to your USM "Requirement Term" for use in tracking your academic progress in the Economics major and the USM Core at the following URL address:
http://www.usm.maine.edu/eco/academic-advisement-worksheets

Richard Wolff/Harriet Fraad Lectures

USM University of Southern Maine Richard Wolff Harriet Fraad lecture

The two-day lecture event by Dr. Richard Wolff, UMass professor emeritus, and Dr. Harriet Fraad, psychotherapist and journalist, drew hundreds of enthusiastic participants. Follow the link here to the video recordings of their highly popular lectures.

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