Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Economics BA

(HEGIS: 22.04 ECONOMICS, CIP: 45.0601 Economics, General)


415 Fronczak Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1520
Isaac Erlich
Zhiqiang Liu
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Why study Economics BA at UB?

The Department of Economics offers a comprehensive curriculum integrating economic theory with applied topics, including education and health economics, econometrics and statistical analysis, international trade and finance, urban and regional economics, information and Internet economics, and industrial organization and regulation. Among the topics discussed are the interaction of consumers and producers, behavioral economics, market equilibrium, investment and savings, employment and unemployment, monetary policy and the role of the FED, economic development and emerging markets, and government taxation and spending.

Economics is the study of scarcity and its implications for the optimal use of resources, production of goods and services, advances in technology and welfare over time and a myriad of other issues of vital concern to individuals and society. The central challenge of economics is to determine the most effective use of resources to improve individual and social welfare.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:

  • How to demonstrate a good working knowledge of the basic principles and terminology of microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • How to demonstrate the ability to read, evaluate and interpret general economic information
  • How to demonstrate the ability to understand and use basic statistics
  • How to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the subject areas covered by the elective courses
  • Math proficiency through calculus I and II
  • Ability to communicate effectively both in written and oral form

The Learning Environment

The Department of Economics is dedicated to create and maintain a positive, interactive and personal learning environment that is optimal to deliver student learning outcomes. Instructional methods include lecture, presentations, debates, discussions, research term papers and exams to promote course learning outcomes such as critical thinking, analyzing disciplinary contents, identify contexts, learning fresh perspectives and multiple modes of inquiry. We offer lecture and seminar courses with various class sizes. All our courses offer interactive learning experience between faculty and students. Our upper-level courses are designed to be small to facilitate individual faculty mentoring that will help students achieve their goals beyond UB. We offer recitations for introductory level as well as quantitative reasoning courses to enhance students’ understanding.

About Our Facilities

The Department of Economics is housed in Fronczak Hall and has one dedicated classroom/reading room, and one conference room. The department holds most of the classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate our teaching needs. The Fronczak computer lab is located next to the department main office.

About Our Faculty

The department's faculty is distinguished for its research and teaching accomplishments. All members of the faculty hold the PhD degree and are engaged in ongoing research projects that are reflected directly or indirectly in their teaching. The department is home to the Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development (HEAD). The Center was chosen as one of the pillars of the Civic Engagement and Public Policy area of strength in the UB 2020 Strategic Plan. The Center is funded by a major faculty development award from the New York Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR). The Center has had notable achievements, including an inaugurating conference attended by Nobel laureates. The Center houses the editorial office of the new Journal of Human Capital, which is published by the University of Chicago Press and is fast becoming nationally and internationally recognized as a leading economics journal.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Career Choices

  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Auditor
  • Bank officer
  • City manager
  • Consultant
  • Controller
  • Educator
  • Environmental economist
  • Foreign exchange trader
  • Forensic economist
  • Insurance agent
  • Investment advisor
  • Personnel manager
  • Policy economist
  • Political scientist
  • Securities analyst
  • Statistician
  • Stockbroker
  • Systems analyst
  • Trust officer
  • Underwriter
  • Urban planner

Career Hints

The most popular careers in economics are in financial services, including: brokerage firms, investment banks, retail banks and insurance companies. However, economics is applicable in so many fields that our graduates are now working in such varied areas as consulting, retail management, consumer goods industries, advertising, publishing, the health sector, not-for-profit research organizations, U.S. government agencies and various organizations.

Salary Information

Based on the fall 2015 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey, the average starting salary for economics majors was $54,415.

Academic Advising

Students are encouraged to contact their academic advisor or department to discuss how their coursework will apply to their degree.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Undergraduate Advisor
Radhika Krishnan
435 Fronczak, North Campus
Phone: 716-645-8682
Email: ecoug@buffalo.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Zhiqiang Liu
445 Fronczak, North Campus
Phone: 716-645-8688
Email: zqliu@buffalo.edu

Scholarships and Financial Support

The Department of Economics is grateful to all of our contributors and is fortunate to be able to offer our Economics students these very special scholarship opportunities:

  • The Kogut Brothers of New York Mills Economic Development Award (formerly the Joseph W. Kogut Economic Development Award), est. 2007 – Frederick J. Kogut and Nina F. Kogut-Akkum, donors
  • The Matthew Scarpati Endowed Scholarship, est. 2010 – James and Lynn Scarpati, donors
  • The William A. Strauss Economics Scholarship Award, est. 2012 – William A. Strauss, donor

Students in this program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of sources, including:

Academic Opportunities

ECO 498 Undergraduate Research provides an opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience in research under the supervision of a faculty member. The first step is to find a professor with whom the student can work on a research project. The Director of Undergraduate Studies must then approve the project.

To be considered for undergraduate research, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have completed ECO 405 Microeconomic Theory, ECO 407 Macroeconomic Theory, and ECO 480 Econometrics I.

ECO 499 Independent Study is intended to assist a student in pursuing a specific knowledge area in economics when no course in that area is currently offered, or when depth in that area beyond the course offerings is desired. To apply, a student must have at least a B average in his or her economics courses. There must be a well-formulated project and/or an outline of a course of study, and a prior agreement with a particular faculty member who will supervise the work.

Experiential Learning

ECO 495 Undergraduate Supervised Teaching is a way for students to serve as undergraduate teaching assistants. Application forms are available outside the Department Office (415 Fronczak Hall). Teaching assistants have responsibility for recitation sections in ECO 181 and ECO 182, preparing and grading quizzes, maintaining student records and participating in the preparation of final grades.

ECO 496 allows students to obtain credit for paid or unpaid work in a company or government agency. The internship must be in a field related to economics, and your duties cannot be solely administrative or only involve data entry. You must obtain prior approval from the director of undergraduate studies. The internship supervisor must send the director a detailed description of your duties and expectations. You must maintain a weekly diary of activities and compile a report at the conclusion of the internship outlining your experiences and how they relate to economics.

Extracurricular Activities

Honors and Awards

Students that have satisfied the following requirements are eligible for membership in Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honors society in economics: economics and overall GPAs of at least 3.0; and at least 12 credits in economics courses.

Departmental Honors

The Economics Department will nominate for Honors in Economics majors who have taken ECO 406 Topics in Microeconomics and whose GPA in Economics is at least 3.25 (Honors), 3.50 (High Honors) or 3.75 (Highest Honors).

Becoming a(n) Economics BA Student

Becoming a University at Buffalo Student

Admission to UB is highly competitive. For the 2016 incoming freshman class, UB reported an average ACT score of 24-30 and an average SAT (CR+M) score of 1100-1300. 90 percent of admitted students are in the top 50 percent of their class.

Admission to UB is based on a holistic review. We consider high school average, class rank, SAT (critical reading and math) or ACT scores, and strength of the high school academic record. A personal essay, recommendations, documented creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service and special circumstances are also considered.

The following is not required for admission, but is suggested as adequate preparation for university-level coursework:

  • Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
  • Four years of social studies
  • Three years of college-preparatory science
  • Three years of a second language
  • Three years of college-preparatory mathematics

Visit Undergraduate Admissions to learn more.

Current UB Students Applying to the Program

Completion of a minimum of 30 university credit hours.
Completion of MTH 121 or MTH 131 or MTH 141.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 in two or more economics courses.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.

Suggested Introductory Courses

ECO 181 Introduction to Macroeconomics
ECO 182 Introduction to Microeconomics
MTH 121 Survey of Calculus and Its Applications I

ECO 181 and ECO 182 can be taken in any order.

Completing the Economics BA Program

Academic Requirements

  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 in two or more economics courses.
  • Completion of the prerequisite courses.
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 university credit hours.

Academic Advice

10 credit hours of required courses and 23 credit hours of electives are required. Electives are selected from other economics courses and must include twelve upper-level (300/400-level) credit hours. ECO 406 Topics in Microeconomics must be included in these by students who wish to be considered for Honors in the Economics major. A maximum of 3 credit hours may be from ECO 498 Undergraduate Research or from ECO 499 Independent Study. ECO 495 Undergraduate Supervised Teaching and ECO 496 Internship in Economics cannot be used to satisfy the upper-level economics course requirement, but a maximum of 3 credits from either ECO 495 or ECO 496 can be used toward the remaining 11 elective credits.

MTH 121 or MTH 131 or MTH 141 and MTH 122 or MTH 142 are prerequisites for 300/400-level economics courses.

Students interested in a joint major program or combined degree program should consult the director of undergraduate studies in economics as early as possible in their academic career.

Transfer Credit Policy

Economics majors must take at least four upper-level (300-level or higher) economics electives at the University at Buffalo, excluding ECO 495 or ECO 496. Transfer credit may be given towards the required courses or for ECO 181 or ECO 182, or for other economics electives. Students who seek transfer credit should consult the director of undergraduate studies in economics and provide documentation, such as course descriptions and syllabi, for each course for which credit is sought. Forms are available at 415 Fronczak Hall.

SUNY Seamless Transfer is a SUNY-wide program intended to make transferring to UB and other SUNY Schools simple and efficient for SUNY students. SUNY has defined courses that SUNY students can take before transferring which will apply to the major at UB and ensure timely graduation.

Information about the Transfer Path for this major can be found on the SUNY website.

Prerequisite Courses

MTH 121 Survey of Calculus and Its Applications I or MTH 131 Math Analysis for Management or MTH 141 College Calculus I.
Any two economics courses (ECO 181 and ECO 182 are highly recommended)

Required Courses

ECO 405 Microeconomic Theory
ECO 407 Macroeconomic Theory
ECO 480 Econometrics I (may substitute MTH 411-STA 302 or GEO 211-GEO 411 or EAS 305)
11 credits of economics electives at any level
Four 300/400-level economics electives, excluding ECO 495 and ECO 496
One of the following: MTH 122 Survey of Calculus and Its Applications II, MTH 142 College Calculus II

Total Credit Hours Required

Credits Required for Major41
Additional Credits Required for UB Curriculum39
Additional Credits Required for Electives40
Total Credits Required for Degree 120

Students should consult with an academic advisor to determine how any transfer or exam credit might be utilized in meeting general education, prerequisite or major requirements.

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements.

Curricular Plan / Degree Map

View the curricular plan for the Economics BA (PDF) which is a recommended sequence of courses to help achieve this degree in four years.

Published: May 22, 2017 11:16:18 AM