Do you want to understand how the economy functions, what drives price changes, business and employment opportunities, and business cycles? Are you interested in how government policies can influence economic activity, and how to formulate and implement effective policies? Majors in economics learn how public policies interact with the decisions of households and businesses to affect economic well-being, from how small changes in incentives can alter the behavior of individuals to how monetary policy impacts economic growth and inflation.

Students will begin by gaining an understanding of the basic principles of economics They learn economic approaches to the analysis of the economy and its problems, from both the microeconomic (decision-making) and macroeconomic (equilibrium and dynamics) perspectives. Students can expect to gain a better understanding of how a market economy works, and of the sources of movements in interest rates, unemployment, inflation, trade, government deficits, etc. They will become familiar with decision-making by consumers and profit-maximizing firms, and how those decisions interact to generate market outcomes.

They will also learn how to analyze economic statistics and use econometric analysis to understand economic relations and make predictions. Application will also be made to important social issues and the decisions behind the formulation of public policy and economic regulation. At a personal level, the program provides practical decision-making skills (evaluating alternatives, determining the market value of a house, making investments for retirement, and evaluating risks) and opens up a wide variety of career opportunities, especially in the financial services sector.

ECU Advantage

The ECU economics department is dedicated to providing a program of study that avoids one-size-fits-all uniformity. Our three degree tracks and wide range of economics electives allow students to fine tune their program to meet their specific career goals, from immediate employment through continuing professional (law or business) or academic (master's or doctoral) study. This gives students more flexibility and options for completing a degree than other programs.

The economics faculty brings their course work to life by integrating current events and cutting-edge research into their classes. In addition to being highly active researchers, our faculty have received numerous university teaching awards for their enthusiastic and innovative teaching methods. In addition, we have a very high advisor to advisee ratio: every faculty advisor for about 10 advisees, which means that our majors receive full attention from faculty.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Nicholas Rupp (437-A Brewster; 252-328-6821; ruppn@ecu.edu)

Economics majors are required to earn a minimum grade of C (2.0) in each of the following courses: ECON 2113, ECON 2133, ECON 3144, ECON 3244.

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows.

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • MATH 1065 - College Algebra or
  • MATH 1066 - Applied Mathematics for Decision Making
2. Common core - 24 s.h.
  • ECON 2113 - Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 2133 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 3144 - Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON 3244 - Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 4443 - Econometrics
  • ENGL 3880 - Writing for Business and Industry
  • MATH 2283 - Statistics for Business
  • MIS 2223 - Introduction to Computers
3. Concentration area - 36-42 s.h.

(Choose one.)

    Applied economics (36 s.h.)
    • ACCT 2401 - Financial Accounting
    • ACCT 2521 - Managerial Accounting

    • COMM 2410 - Public Speaking or
    • ECON elective above 2999

    • FINA 2244 - Legal Environment of Business
    • FINA 3724 - Financial Management
    • MATH 2119 - Elements of Calculus
    • An additional 18 s.h. of ECON above 2999, including at least 6 s.h. above 3999
    Economic data analytics (36 s.h.)
    • COMM 2410 - Public Speaking or
    • ECON elective above 2999

    • ECON 4101 - SAS Programming for Research I
    • ECON 4102 - SAS Programming for Research II
    • ECON 4103 - Python Programming
    • MATH 2119 - Elements of Calculus
    • MATH 3229 - Elementary Statistical Methods II
    • An additional 18 s.h. of ECON above 2999
    Policy analysis (36 s.h.)
    • COMM 2410 - Public Speaking or
    • ECON elective above 2999

    • GEOG 4360 - Geographies of Global Climate and Environmental Change or
    • HLTH 3520 - Introduction to Global Health or
    • PHIL 1176 - Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy or
    • POLS 3144 - American Foreign Policy or
    • POLS 3155 - National Security Policy
    • Choose one of the following disciple-specific course sequences - 6 s.h.

      (Additional 6 s.h. course sequences may be available upon request. They must be approved by the department.)

        • HLTH 2000 - Principles of Public Health
        • HLTH 3050 - Public Health Systems and Policy
        • PLAN 1900 - Sustainable Cities
        • PLAN 3030 - Urban and Regional Planning
        Political Science
        • POLS 1010 - National Government
        • POLS 3255 - Domestic Public Policy
        • PSYC 1000 - Introductory Psychology
        • PSYC 3221 - Social Psychology
        • SOCI 2110 - Introduction to Sociology
        • SOCI 2111 - Modern Social Problems
      Choose an additional 24 s.h. of ECON courses above 2999, including at least 6 s.h. above 3999
      Quantitative (42 s.h.)
      • MATH 1083 - Introduction to Functions
      • MATH 2171 - Calculus I
      • MATH 2172 - Calculus II
      • MATH 2173 - Calculus III
      • MATH 3256 - Linear Algebra
      • MATH 3307 - Mathematical Statistics I
      • Choose an additional 21 s.h.

        Choose an additional 21 s.h. of ECON above 2999, including at least 6 s.h. above 3999.

      4. Electives, or optional minor and electives, to complete requirements for graduation.

      (Grades in required cognate courses will be used in computing the GPA in the major even in those cases in which the same courses are a part of the minor.)

        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • Economics, General
        • Economics, General
        • Market Research Analysts
        • Survey Researchers
        • Economics Teacher, Postsecondary
        • Scientific and Technical Services
        • Education and Training

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.