BA in Economics

General

Program Description

Economics is the science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economics majors explore how producers, distributors, and consumers make their decisions. Majors also analyze the events that shape and result from these decisions. Inflation, unemployment, taxation, money and banking, efficiency, international exchange, and growth are some of the many parts of this complex system studied through the economics major at SDSU.

The Department of Economics offers two emphases which students may select to satisfy a wide range of career goals: (1) International Economics, where students can focus on worldwide economic policy and global business; and (2) Public Policy, in which students prepare for graduate study in law school, health administration, and business administration. Specialization in Quantitative Analysis is also offered which focuses on developing analytical and mathematical skills for conducting economic research. A fourth option is a comprehensive program offered in the general economics major, which provides breadth by covering areas from the emphases and specialization.

Economics majors may find employment in government, financial institutions, businesses, and international agencies. The combination of an economics major with a business minor provides a foundation for a variety of careers. And, students interested in studying the developing nations, the environment, government policies, or population will find that economics is a useful approach. Many entry-level positions in business and government are available to students with a bachelor’s degree in economics. A graduate may find employment as research, statistical, data, or pricing analyst. There are management trainee positions with banks, savings and loan associations, or other lending institutions.

Major in Economics

The department offers four programs of study: the regular Economics Major, an Emphasis in International Economics, an Emphasis in Public Policy, and a Specialization in Quantitative Analysis. An Emphasis will appear on your diploma and transcript but a specialization will not. All programs of study lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Economics Major

The regular Economics major provides broad exposure to all aspects of the field. This general major provides a well-rounded liberal arts background that is excellent preparation for a wide range of career options.

Preparation for the Major

Consists of 18 units:

  • Economics 101 (3 units)
  • Economics 102 (3 units)
  • Accountancy 201 (3 units)
  • Economics 201 or Statistics 119 or 250 (3 units)
  • Mathematics 120, 124, or 150 (3 units)
  • Management Information Systems 180 (3 units)

These prerequisite courses may not be taken Cr/NC; except for courses taught as Cr/NC only. The minimum grade in each class is C or higher. Students completing the California Community College Associate in Arts in Economics for Transfer (AA-T) will satisfy preparation for the major. If Accountancy 201 and Management Information Systems 180 were not completed as part of the AA-T, it must be completed at SDSU

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 27 upper-division units to include:

  • Economics 301 (3 units)
  • Economics 320 (3 units)
  • Economics 321 (3 units)
  • 18 units of electives.
    • At least six units of electives selected from the international group: Economics 330, 360, 365, 460, 463, 464, 466, 489, 561, 592.
    • Maximum nine units of Economics 496 or 596; maximum three units of 499; and a maximum of three units of 495 may be applied to the major. Units of 495, 496, 499, 596 may be counted towards the international group requirement as approved by the adviser.

Additional Requirements

  • Competency (successfully completing the third college semester or fifth college quarter) is required in one foreign language to fulfill the graduation requirement.
  • Passing the Writing Placement Assessment with a score of 10 or completing one of the approved upper-division writing courses (W) with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Emphasis in International Economics

The Emphasis in International Economics, as the name suggests, focuses on courses with international content. Choosing this major can signal to future employers that you have a strong interest and solid training in international issues.

Preparation for the Major

Consists of 18 units:

  • Economics 101 (3 units)
  • Economics 102 (3 units)
  • Accountancy 201 (3 units)
  • Economics 201 or Statistics 119 or 250 (3 units)
  • Mathematics 120, 124, or 150 (3 units)
  • Management Information Systems 180 (3 units)

These prerequisite courses may not be taken Cr/NC; except for courses taught as Cr/NC only. The minimum grade in each class is C or higher.

Requirements for the Emphasis

A minimum of 33 upper-division units (27 units in economics and six to seven units from the College of Business Administration) to include

  • Economics 301 (3 units)
  • Economics 320 (3 units)
  • Economics 321 (3 units)
  • At least 12 units of electives must be selected from the international group: Economics 330, 360, 365, 460, 463, 464, 466, 489, 561, 592.
  • Up to six units of electives may be selected from Economics 311, 338, 349, 380, 382, 401, 403, 406, 422, 441, 449W, 455, 456, 485, 490.
  • Six to seven units selected from Business Administration 323 and Finance 329, or Business Administration 350 and Management 357, or Business Administration 370 and Marketing 376.
  • Maximum nine units of Economics 496 or 596 and a maximum of three units of 499 may be substituted into groups A or B as appropriate with approval of adviser except for Economics 360, 561, or 592. Maximum three units of 495 may be substituted into group A with appropriate international content as approved by the adviser

Additional Requirements

  • Successful completion of a course in a foreign language at the fourth semester or higher level, that is, one course beyond the B.A. language requirement. Students who have graduated from high school in another country where the language of instruction is not English have met the language requirement for this major.
  • Passing the Writing Placement Assessment with a score of 10 or completing one of the approved upper-division writing courses (W) with a grade of C (2.0) or better.
  • Completion of a study abroad or internship abroad of at least 12 units of coursework or six units of the internship course in another nation. Students may also choose to complete a combination of nine units of study and three units of the internship abroad. Students who have graduated from a high school outside the U.S. meet this requirement by studying at SDSU.

Emphasis in Public Policy

The Emphasis in Public Policy was originally designed for students wishing to go on to law school or administration programs. There is a stronger emphasis on communication and analytic skills and it requires that students take more courses related to regulation and policy institutions.

Preparation for the Major

Consists of 21 units:

  • Economics 101 (3 units)
  • Economics 102 (3 units)
  • Accountancy 201 (3 units)
  • Economics 201 or Statistics 119 or 250 (3 units)
  • Mathematics 120, 124, or 150 (3 units)
  • Communication 160 (3 units)
  • Management Information Systems 180 (3 units)

These prerequisite courses may not be taken Cr/NC; except for courses taught as Cr/NC only. The minimum grade in each class is C or higher.

Requirements for the Emphasis

A minimum of 30 upper-division units in economics to include:

  • Economics 301 (3 units)
  • Economics 320 (3 units)
  • Economics 321 (3 units)
  • Business Administration 323 (3 units)
  • 18 units of electives in economics
    • At least 12 units selected from the public policy group: Economics 311, 338, 349, 380, 382, 401, 403, 406, 422, 441, 449W, 455, 456, 485, 487, 490.
    • Three units of electives selected from the international group: Economics 330, 360, 365, 460, 463, 464, 466, 489, 561, 592.
    • Three additional units of upper-division economics electives.
    • Maximum nine units of Economics 496 or 596 may be substituted as upper-division electives with approval of adviser. Maximum three units of 495 and a maximum of three units of 499 may be substituted into group A with appropriate policy content as approved by the adviser.

Additional Requirements

Competency (successfully completing the third college semester or fifth college quarter) is required in one foreign language to fulfill the graduation requirement.

Passing the Writing Placement Assessment with a score of 10 or completing one of the approved upper-division writing courses (W) with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Specialization in Quantitative Analysis

The Specialization in Quantitative Analysis is intended for students with strong math skills. Anyone intending to do graduate work in economics is strongly encouraged to choose this major.

Preparation for the Major

Consist of 19 units:

  • Economics 101 (3 units)
  • Economics 102 (3 units)
  • Economics 201 or Statistics 119 or 250 (3 units)
  • Accountancy 201 (3 units)
  • Mathematics 150 (4 units)
  • Management Information Systems 180 (3 units)

These prerequisite courses may not be taken Cr/NC; except for courses taught as Cr/NC only. The minimum grade in each class is C or higher.

Requirements for the Specialization

A minimum of 27 upper-division units in economics to include:

  • Economics 301 (3 units)
  • Economics 320 (3 units)
  • Economics 321 (3 units)
  • Economics 441 (3 units)
  • Economics 507 (3 units)
  • 12 units of upper-division economics electives, with at least six units at the 400 or 500 level
    • Maximum nine units of Economics 496 or 596 may be substituted as upper-division electives with approval of adviser. Maximum three units of 495 and a maximum of three units of 499 may be substituted as an upper-division elective with appropriate quantitative content as approved by the adviser.

Additional Requirements

  • Competency (successfully completing the third college semester or fifth college quarter) is required in one foreign language to fulfill the graduation requirement.
  • Passing the Writing Placement Assessment with a score of 10 or completing one of the approved upper-division writing courses (W) with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Why Economics at SDSU?

Flexible

The requirements for the regular Economics major allow students to take a range of elective courses so you can focus on topics that you find most interesting. There are only three required core courses (Micro and Macro Theory, as well as a course in the collection and use of data); the other six economics courses are electives (though two must be selected from a group of courses that have international content). Students may also choose an Emphasis in either International Economics or Public Policy or specialization in Quantitative Economics. These have a few more restrictions but are designed to give students a more focused curriculum in the chosen area.

Accessible

The Department strives to make it as easy as possible for students to navigate the Department and University requirements. There is a Student Handbook for majors and minors, available on the Department website as well as from the Department Office. The website also has additional information about job opportunities, scholarships, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. There are several department advisors who have open office hours when any student can drop-in (no need for an appointment) to ask questions and receive advice about the major. Requests that require a signature (such as adjustment of requirements or declaration of major) are processed through the department office and generally returned within one week.

Diverse

The Department provides a range of elective courses, covering most sub-fields of micro and macroeconomics. Our newest courses include Health Economics, Economics of The Middle East, and Economics of Strategy. Other electives include Economics of Sports, Labor Economics, Public Finance, Money and Banking, Economics of Latin America, and Environmental Economics, to name just a few. The research specialties of the Economics Faculty (listed on the reverse) also give a flavor of the diverse interests found across the Department.

Estimated Cost of Attendance (2020-21)

The total estimated cost of attendance includes tuition expenses for which you are billed, housing expenses, which include food and housing, and transportation, and additional expenses, such as books, supplies, and personal expenses. Costs of attendance are subject to change by the Trustees of the California State University without prior notice. The amounts indicated are the estimated minimum costs required to attend SDSU full time for the 2020–21 academic year (9 months):

Domestic undergraduate

Tuition Expenses California Residents Nonresidents (Out-of-State)
Basic Tuition and Fees $7,720 $7,720
Nonresident Tuition* $0 $11,880
Living Expenses - -
Housing and Food† $18,531 $18,531
Additional Expenses‡ - -
Transportation $1,121 $1,121
Books and Supplies $1,079 $1,079
Miscellaneous and Personal $1,789 $1,789
Total $30,240 $42,120

*Undergraduate nonresident tuition is based on 15 units each semester at $396 per unit. Graduate nonresident tuition is based on 9 units each semester at $396 per unit.

†Freshmen from outside SDSU's local admission area are required to live on campus for two years. Be sure to review the on-campus food and housing payment schedule on the Rates web page of the Housing and Residential Education website. Your total cost and payments will vary depending on the meal plan and room type (double, single) you request. The cost listed for an upper-division transfer is based on a student living off-campus.

‡Plan for additional expenses that will increase your cost of attendance. For domestic undergraduates, we estimate the average annual cost of books and supplies to be $1,969, transportation to be $1,587, and personal expenses to be $1,704. For domestic graduate students, we estimate the average annual cost of books and supplies to be $1,969; transportation to be $2,316, and personal expenses to be $1,704. For international freshmen, the average annual cost of books and supplies is $1,969, transportation is $1,587. For international upper-division transfers, the average annual cost of books and supplies is $1,969, transportation is $2,038. For international graduate students, the average annual cost of books and supplies is $1,969, transportation is $2,316.

International undergraduate

Tuition Expenses First-Year Freshman Upper-Division Transfer
Basic Tuition and Fees $7,720 $7,720
Nonresident Tuition* $11,880 $11,880
Living Expenses - -
Housing and Food† $18,531 $13,860
Additional Expenses‡ - -
Books, Supplies, Transportation‡ $2,200 $2,149
Health Insurance*‡ $1,703 $1,703
Total $42,034 $37,312

*‡Based on one academic year of JCB student health insurance.

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

San Diego State University (SDSU), a truly global learning community, is an ideal place to begin your international education. Part of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system, SDSU is t ... Read More

San Diego State University (SDSU), a truly global learning community, is an ideal place to begin your international education. Part of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system, SDSU is the third-largest university in the state with an enrollment of more than 35,000 students. We offer 97 bachelor's, 84 masters, and 21 doctoral degree programs. Read less