BS in Economics

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: LA-BS-ECON

Economics is about more than money and profits. It is a way of looking at the world through the lens of incentives, choices, and markets to help uncover new solutions to the persistent problems in our society. This economic perspective sheds light on important issues in the areas of production, education, crime, the environment, international trade, immigration, health care, economic growth, poverty, and more. The Bachelor of Science in Economics provides a stronger emphasis on quantitative analysis. Students prepare for a career as an analyst in government, consulting, trade associations, or other private sector positions, and for graduate school in economics or more quantitative business administration programs.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Students pursuing departmental honors must complete 6 hours of ECON 495 RS: Honors Thesis in Economics (Mason Core) culminating with an original work of research and an oral presentation. Requirements for departmental honors are in addition to the coursework required for the major. Students must complete ECON 495 RS: Honors Thesis in Economics (Mason Core) with a grade of B or higher to receive departmental honors.

Economics majors who have completed 90 credits with an overall GPA of 3.50 and a GPA of 3.50 within the major are eligible to apply. Not all applicants who meet the minimum requirements are guaranteed acceptance.

Applications will be available starting May 1st of each year. Applications are due by August 1st.

To be accepted into the program and enroll in ECON 495 RS: Honors Thesis in Economics (Mason Core) students must submit a research proposal. Research proposals can be developed independently or by completing ECON 494 Introduction to Independent Research in Economics with a grade of B or higher. Completion of ECON 494 Introduction to Independent Research in Economics is not required for departmental honors.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Some economics courses may fulfill the Mason Core requirement in global understanding. Check with the departmental advising office for more information.

Core Courses without Concentration

Required Courses 

ECON 103 Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core) (with a grade of C or above) 3
ECON 104 Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core) (with a grade of C or above) 3
ECON 306 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
ECON 309 Economic Problems and Public Policies 3
ECON 311 Intermediate Macroeconomics 3
ECON 345 Introduction to Econometrics 3
MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core) 4
MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II 4
Total Credits 26

Statistics

Select one from the following: 1 6
STAT 250& STAT 350
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
and Introductory Statistics II
STAT 344& STAT 354
Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II
Total Credits 6
1

With departmental permission, BUS 210 Business Analytics I (Mason Core) and BUS 310 Business Analytics II may also be substituted for the two required courses in statistics; however, a two-course sequence of STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core) and STAT 350 Introductory Statistics II OR STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I and STAT 354 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II is highly recommended for students who wish to pursue graduate study in economics.

Additional Course 

ACCT 203 Survey of Accounting 3
or STAT 362 Introduction to Computer Statistical Packages
Total Credits 3

Electives without Concentration

Electives
Select 18 credits of electives from courses in economics at the 300 or 400 level 1 18
Select 6 credits of electives from courses in economics at the 400 level or higher. 6
Total Credits 24
1

ECON 385 International Economic Policy may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

ECON 340 Introduction to Mathematical Economics may be used in place of the 4-credit course MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II. If this option is taken, students will not be able to apply ECON 340 as an elective in the major. MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II is strongly recommended for students considering graduate school in economics since it is required for admission to most graduate programs. An additional calculus course beyond MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II is also advisable for students considering graduate study in economics.

Optional Concentrations

Students interested in a degree in economics with a concentration will complete the coursework for one of the concentrations below.

Available Concentrations

  • Concentration in Managerial Economics (MECN)
  • Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Concentration in Managerial Economics (MECN)

Students who wish to focus their BS in economics for application in the business world may choose to pursue a concentration in managerial economics. They complete 62 credits, 10 of which may be used also to fulfill Mason Core requirements.

Required Courses
ECON 103 Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 104 Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 306 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
ECON 308 Managerial Economics and Strategy 3
ECON 309 Economic Problems and Public Policies 3
ECON 310 Money and Banking 3
ECON 311 Intermediate Macroeconomics 3
ECON 345 Introduction to Econometrics 3
Total Credits 24
Statistics
Select one from the following: 1 6
STAT 250& STAT 350
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
and Introductory Statistics II
STAT 344& STAT 354
Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II
Total Credits 6
1

With departmental permission, BUS 210 Business Analytics I (Mason Core) and ​BUS 310 Business Analytics II may also be substituted for the two required courses in statistics; however, a two-course sequence of STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core) and STAT 350 Introductory Statistics II OR STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I and STAT 354 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II is highly recommended for students who wish to pursue graduate study in economics.

Required Courses in Math, Accounting, and Information Technology
ACCT 203 Survey of Accounting 3
MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core) 4
MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II 1 4
Total Credits 11
1

ECON 340 Introduction to Mathematical Economics may not be substituted for MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II for the concentration

Two Required Courses in Business Writing
BUS 103 Develop Professional Skills I: Foundational Elements 3
BUS 303 Develop Professional Skills II: Advanced Elements 3
Total Credits 6
Electives in Economics1
Select 9 credits from the following: 9
Economics of Labor
Economics of Industrial Organization
International Economics
Game Theory and Economics of Institutions
Law and Economics
International Money and Finance
Financial Economics
Airline Economics
Special Topics in Economics
Total Credits 9
Additional Electives in Economics
Select 6 credits of electives in economics from courses at the 300 and 400 level or higher. 2 6
Total Credits 6
1

At least 6 credits of electives in economics must be at the 400 level.

2

ECON 385 International Economic Policy may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Elective not in Economics
Select one elective from the following: 3
Legal Environment of Business
Financial Management
Principles of Management
Principles of Marketing
Introduction to Business Information Systems (Mason Core)
Operations Management
Total Credits 3

Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

This is a high credit concentration for students interested in a program that explores the interdisciplinary connections between philosophy, political science, and economics.

Required Courses in Economics
ECON 103 Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 104 Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 306 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
ECON 311 Intermediate Macroeconomics 3
ECON 345 Introduction to Econometrics 3
Total Credits 15
Statistics
Select one from the following: 1 6
STAT 250& STAT 350
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
and Introductory Statistics II
STAT 344& STAT 354
Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II
Total Credits 6
1

With departmental permission, BUS 210 Business Analytics I (Mason Core) and BUS 310 Business Analytics II may also be substituted for the two required courses in statistics; however, a two-course sequence of STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core) and STAT 350 Introductory Statistics II OR STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I and STAT 354 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II is highly recommended for students who wish to pursue graduate study in economics.

Required Courses in Math and Information Technology
MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core) 4
MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II 4
Total Credits 8
Electives
Select 18 credits of electives in economics at the 300 and 400 level or higher. 1 18
Total Credits 18
1

ECON 385 International Economic Policy may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

ECON 340 Introduction to Mathematical Economics may be used in place of the 4-credit course MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II. If this option is taken, students will not be able to apply ECON 340 as an elective in the major. MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II is strongly recommended for students considering graduate school in economics since it is required for admission to most graduate programs. An additional calculus course beyond MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II is also advisable for students considering graduate study in economics.

Philosophy
Foundational
Choose one of the following: 3
PHIL/GOVT 324
Modern Western Political Theory
or PHIL/GOVT 327
Contemporary Western Political Theory
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Philosophy of the Natural Sciences
Electives
Choose two of the following: 6
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Philosophy of the Natural Sciences
Ethics and Economics
Culminating
PHIL 353 Theories of Justice 3
Total Credits 12
Political Science
Foundational
GOVT 133 Introduction to Comparative Politics (Mason Core) 3
Electives
Choose two of the following: 6
GOVT 101
Democratic Theory and Practice (Mason Core)
GOVT 301
Public Law and the Judicial Process
GOVT 307
Legislative Behavior
GOVT 308
The American Presidency
GOVT 312
Political Parties and Campaigns
GOVT 318
Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process
GOVT/PHIL 323
Classical Western Political Theory
GOVT 422
Constitutional Interpretation
GOVT 331
Politics of Latin America
GOVT 332
Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
GOVT 333
Politics of East Asia
GOVT 334
Politics of Europe
GOVT 338
Politics of Eurasia
GOVT 345
Islam and Politics
GOVT 361
Introduction to Environmental Policy
GOVT 364
Public Policy Making
GOVT 366
Public Policy Analysis
GOVT 367
Money, Markets and Economic Policy (Mason Core)
GOVT 422
Constitutional Interpretation
GOVT 423
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
GOVT 443
Law and Ethics of War
Culminating
GOVT 467 How Washington Really Works 3
Total Credits 12
Culminating Course in Economics
ECON 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 3
Total Credits 3

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated as "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in economics fulfill this requirement by successfully completing:

Select one from the following: 3
The Political Economy of Nonprofit Institutions (Mason Core)
Topics in Economic History (Mason Core)
Effective Writing in Economics (Mason Core)
Economics of Energy (Mason Core)
Economics of Regulation (Mason Core)
Smithian Political Economy I (Mason Core)
Total Credits 3

Upper Level Requirements

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Students who have completed the following credentials are eligible for a waiver of the Foundation and Exploration (lower level) requirement categories. The Integration category (upper level) is not waived under this policy. See Admissions for more information. 

  • VCCS Uniform Certificate of General Studies
  • VCCS or Richard Bland Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Arts and Sciences (A.A.&S.), or Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.)
Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (lower-level) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements
Arts 3
Global Contexts 3
Global History 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Just Societies (optional) 1
Integration Requirements
Written Communication (upper-level) 3
Writing Intensive 2 3
Mason Apex 3 3
Total Credits 40
1

In addition to covering content related to the designated category, Exploration level courses marked with a Just Societies "flag" are specifically designed to help students learn how to interact effectively with others from all walks of life, including those with backgrounds and beliefs that differ from their own. Courses marked with the Just Societies flag are available for students starting in Fall 2024. Students admitted prior to the Fall of 2025 are not required to take courses with a Just Societies flag but may wish to do so to increase their knowledge and skills in this important area. Students interested in this approach to completing their Mason Core Exploration Requirements should work closely wiht their advisor to identify the appropriate Just Societies-flagged courses.

2

Most programs include the writing-intensive course designated for the major as part of the major requirements; this course is therefore not counted towards the total required for Mason Core.

3

Minimum 3 credits required.