University at Albany
 

What is Economics?

Economics is the study of how individuals and society deal with scarcity. To understand the world around us, it is necessary to study economics. How does globalization affect income inequality? What are the costs of climate change and how are they distributed? What are the advantages and disadvantages of raising the minimum wage? Why does the State of New York subsidize the SUNY system? What is the role of money? These are the kinds of questions economists address.

Why choose economics?

Economics provides an excellent foundation for a variety of careers, including law, business, banking, government, and many others. In addition to learning about the economy and economic institutions, our students gain valuable analytical, statistical and communication skills that are highly prized in other areas.

For those wishing to begin their career upon graduation, the employment opportunities for economics majors are strong. The National Association of Colleges and Employers, Salary Survey, Spring 2016 shows that economics graduates earn more than either business administration or accounting.

In the process you will acquire skills, in data analysis and problem solving that are highly sought after in the job market. To discover more about what economics can do for you, follow the “A Future in Economics�link to the left.

Programs offered

We currently have 4 programs available to undergraduates:

  • The BA program. Most Economics majors choose the B.A. program, which provides a good background for students who plan to begin their careers immediately after graduation.
  • The B.S. program. Designed for students who seek a more challenging and rigorous academic program, it is well suited for those who plan to go on to graduate school or professional study in economics, business or law.
  • The economics minor. Provides an opportunity for students whose main interest is in another field, to enhance their economics training.
  • The combined B.S.-M.A. program. The combined degree program prepares students for professional careers in economic and empirical analysis in government, business, financial and non-profit institutions. It allows students to apply up to twelve credits towards both their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • The Honors program. Is designed to provide capable and motivated students with a greater understanding of economics and to better prepare students for graduate and professional schools.


Distinction between BA and BS programs

Employers are typically equally happy with graduates from the B.A. and B.S. programs. The value of graduating with a B.S degree is realized when you apply to graduate school. They will request an academic recommendation from UAlbany. That recommendation will make clear the higher level of rigor associated with the B.S. degree.

The general curricular distinctions are:

  • The B.A. program requires an introductory calculus course. The B.S. program requires two semesters of calculus.
  • The B.A. program requires one statistics course. The B.S. program has an additional capstone Applied Statistics course.
  • The B.A. program requires 6 elective courses at the 300 level or above. The B.S. program requires 5 elective courses above the 300 level, of which 2 must be at the 400 level.