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Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2016

Economics (ECON)

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
3114 Tydings Hall, 301-405-3266
Chair: M. Cropper (Distinquished University Professor)
Director: C. Clement (Director of Undergraduate Studies)
Professors: K. Abraham, L. Ausubel, J. Chao, P. Cramton, A. Drazen, S. Galiani, J. Haltiwanger (Distinguished University Professor), J. Hellerstein, C. Hulten, Z. Jin, S. Kalemli-Ozcan, M. Kearney, G. Kuersteiner, P. Murrell, I. Prucha (Distinguished University Professor), R. Schwab, D. Vincent, J. Wallis
Associate Professors: S. Aruoba, P. Coughlin, E. Filiz Ozbay, N. Limao, E. Ozbay, J. Shea (Assoc. Chair & Director of Graduate Studies), A. Sweeting, S. Urzua
Assistant Professors: J. Goldberg, R. Guiteras, E. Kaplan, S. Lee, F. Saffie, L. Stevens, L. Turner
Lecturers: H. Abbasi Alikamar, M. Copelman, D. Meade, N. Montgomery, E. Moody, J. Neri (Senior Lecturer), J. Sabelhaus, N. Sarna, S. Scandizzo, J. Straub, T. Van Bastelaer, S. Ver Ploeg, S. Verma, J. Werling
Professors Emeriti: C. Almon, R. Bennett, B. Bergmann, R. Betancourt, F. Brechling, C. Clague, J. Cumberland, R. Dardis, C. Harris, H. Kelejian, M. McGuire, P. Meyer, W. Oates (Distinguished University Professor), M. Polakoff, T. Schelling (Distinquished University Professor), M. Straszheim, P. Wonnacott

The Major

Economists study a wide range of phenomena using analytical methods which describe how people and collections of people behave and interact.  Many economists define their profession as the analysis of decisions made in the context of scarcity.  Economics can also be described as the study of the production, pricing, and distribution of goods and services within societies.  Economists study such issues as inflation, unemployment, poverty, environmental quality, financial markets, and international trade.  Economists also apply their methods of analysis to such diverse areas as crime, health care, discrimination, and the problems of developing countries.


Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronym: ECON.  As a large, diverse department, courses are offered in all of the major fields of economic study.  Many courses analyze the role of the government and public policies impacting economic outcomes, while others focus on developing advanced applications of economic theories and methodologies.


The program is designed to serve both majors and non-majors. The department offers a variety of 300-level courses on particular economic issues which can be taken after two semesters of principles. The program for majors is designed to serve those who will seek employment immediately after college as well as those who will pursue graduate study.  Economics majors have a wide variety of career options, including positions in state and local government, federal and international agencies, business, finance and banking, journalism, teaching, politics and law.  Many economics majors pursue graduate work in economics or another social science, law, business or public policy.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to fully utilize the opportunities presented for learning and research.  Having completed the degree program, students should have acquired the following knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding of the key terminology used within the discipline.
  • Ability to use the fundamental methods and tools of the discipline to model economic behavior and to describe and analyze relationships between economic variables.
  • Ability to interpret and apply descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Ability to analyze the effect of government policies on the economy using both conceptual and quantitative tools.

Requirements for the Major

In addition to the university's general education requirements, students must earn a minimum of 38 credits via a combination of foundation and elective courses in Economics and Math as listed below.  Economics majors must also complete a minimum of 15 credits in supporting courses.  All courses must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better to count towards the foundation, elective, and supporting requirements.  Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy major degree requirements.  A course used to fulfill one requirement for the major may not count towards any other economics major requirement.  Students should see a departmental advisor for guidance on choosing between various options, especially if future plans include graduate training in economics. 

Foundation Courses  Credits
ECON200Principles of Micro-Economics 4
ECON201Principles of Macro-Economics 4
MATH220Elementary Calculus I or 3
  MATH140Calculus I 4
ECON300*Methods & Tools for Economic Analysis 3
ECON321Economic Statistics or 3
  STAT400Applied Probability and Statistics 3
ECON326Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis 3
ECON325Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis 3

Economics Electives Courses

One from**

European Economic History
ECON311American Economic History Before the Civil War  
ECON312American Economics After the Civil War  
ECON314Economic History, Development and Policy  
ECON315Economic Development of Underdeveloped Areas  
ECON317Global Economic Policies  
ECON412Economic History and Modern Development  
ECON416Theory of Economic Development  
One from**

Macroeconomic Models and Forecasting
ECON414Game Theory  
ECON422Econometrics I  
ECON424Computer Methods in Economics  
ECON425Mathematical Economics  
Three from   
ECON4xxAny 400 level Economics courses 9

*With permission from the department a major may substitute a math course (MATH240 or MATH241) for ECON300.

** The Economics curriculum may be updated over time, given college and campus approval.  Students will be notified as other appropriate courses are approved that fulfill the requirements for the major.

Supporting Courses:

Support - UL                Upper level courses - see NOTES below                      15


  • Excludes Professional Writing class, internships, experiential learning other than ECON386, and 'non-traditional' courses.
  • Additional mathematics courses beyond the required mathematics course (MATH 220 or 140) except MATH274 (History of Mathematics) may be counted as fulfilling the support course requirement.
  • Additional economics courses may be included among the 15 hours of supporting courses.
  • All supporting courses must be approved by an Economics Department Advisor.
  • All courses meeting the supporting course requirement must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better and may not be taken pass-fail, except ECON386 which can only be taken pass-fail.

Other Requirements for the Major

Study Sequences and Plans of Study

Economics is an analytical discipline, building on a core of principles, modeling methodologies, and statistical techniques. Students must begin with a foundation in mathematics and economic principles (ECON200 and ECON201). A more advanced, analytic treatment is presented in intermediate theory courses (ECON325 and ECON326), which provide necessary background for in-depth study of any specific issues, such as those covered in the upper level courses.  Empirical research and the use of computers are becoming increasingly important in economics. All students are well advised to include as many statistics, econometrics, and quantitative methods courses in their curriculum as possible.

Students interested in economics as preparation for a career in business, law, or policy-making and analysis, should visit the department's website for suggestions on specific upper-level courses to satisfy the elective requirements for the major.

Those students planning to pursue graduate study in economics must begin to prepare themselves analytically for graduate work by focusing on theory, statistics, and mathematics in their undergraduate curriculum. These students should consider the full econometrics sequence of ECON422 and 423. Mastery of advanced calculus and linear algebra is essential for entrance into graduate schools, and therefore students must take MATH140, MATH141, MATH240, MATH241 and MATH246. Students should also plan on taking MATH410 and 411.

Benchmarks:  Students declaring Economics as their major must meet satisfactory progress benchmarks for the major. Economics majors must complete ECON200, ECON201, MATH220 or 140, and ECON300 with a grade of "C-" or higher within 2 semesters of entering the major. The College also requires the completion of four general education Distributive Studies courses (which can include ECON200, ECON201, and Calculus), as well as the English Fundamental Studies requirement.

In addition to the benchmark courses included above, students must complete ECON326 and ECON321 with a grade of "C-" or higher within three semesters of entering the major.

These benchmark deadlines may not be appropriate for all incoming freshmen (depending upon credit earned prior to college entrance and math placement).  Freshmen wishing to declare an Economics major should see an advisor as soon as possible in order to set appropriate benchmarks and establish a coherent graduation plan.


Departmental academic advisors work with current and prospective majors on a walk-in basis, Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Majors are encouraged to see an advisor at least once an academic year to verify progress in their program requirements.  Further information on courses, internships, the department honors program, careers, and graduate schools may be obtained from the advisors. 

Location: 3108 Tydings Hall
Phone:  301-405-8367

Honors Program

The Economics Honors Program provides economics majors with the opportunity for advanced study in a seminar format, with faculty supervision of an honors thesis. The Honors Program is designed for students planning to attend graduate school or those seeking an in-depth study of economic theory and its application to economic problems.

The Honors Program is a 12 credit sequence, culminating in the completion of a honors thesis. Students must pass ECON422 prior to their senior year. Students must also complete ECON396 (Honors Workshop - fall term) and ECON397 (Honors Thesis - spring term) in their senior year.  As the fourth component of the program, any one of the following four courses can be taken concurrently or prior to the honors workshop and thesis: ECON407, 414, 423, 425.

To be eligible for admission, a student must have completed at least 18 credits of economics with a GPA of 3.25. Interested students should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the earliest possible date to review their curriculum plans and to apply for admission to the program.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The Economics Association of Maryland is an undergraduate club that meets regularly to discuss graduate study in economics and other fields, employment opportunities, and recent economic trends. Please see the Undergraduate Economics Advisors in 3108 Tydings for more information.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu

Awards and Recognition

The Dudley and Louisa Dillard Award is given to an outstanding economics honors student with one of the best honors thesis.

The Sujon Guha Memorial Award for Academic Excellence and Outstanding Leadership is awarded to an economics honors student with one of the best honors thesis.

The Martin Moskowitz Award is presented to a graduating senior based on academic excellence and a demonstrated commitment to and philosophy of public service.

The Moskowitz Family Scholarship is awarded to an academically successful economics major with demonstrated financial need.

The Mark C. Sullivan Economics Scholarship is awarded to an economics major who came from the eastern part of the state and has high academic performance.

The Honorable Idamae Garrott Memorial Scholarship supports academically talented majors who demonstrate financial need.

The Mark D. Turner and Tracye C. Turner Scholarship in Economics is awarded to an economics major who shows committment to using their degree to assist minority communities.

The Melanie E. (Lee) Easley Memorial Scholarship supports an economics major with demonstrated financial need and a solid academic standing.

The John Cumberland Award in Environmental Economics is given to support the research and scholarship of an academically talented economics major in the fields of environmental economics.

The Peggy Rae and John Sapienza Scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior economics major and is intended to facilitate the education of a hardworking student and encourage him/her toward graduation. 

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