Undergraduate Programs

Economics lecture in Kane Hall
Economics lecture in Kane Hall

Studying Economics

Economics studies the institutions and arrangements that are used to create, protect, and allocate scarce resources that have alternative uses. It advances our understanding of the behavior of individuals, firms, governments and other organizations. Economics’ deep intellectual roots, rigorous analytic methods, and powerful ability to explain and evaluate social phenomena make it an exceptionally rewarding field of study.

The Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Economics is for students who are intrigued by economic problems and questions and are attracted to economists’ challenging and analytical approach to explaining social phenomena. The BA provides an excellent preparation for employment in the private and public sectors, and for graduate study in a variety of fields, such as law and business.

The Bachelor of Science with a Major in Economics requires a more intensive background in math and statistics, reflecting the distinctive quantitative character of modern economics. It is especially suitable for students intending to go on to graduate study in economics and related fields such as finance.

Special programs for undergraduates include a departmental honors program; study abroad programs in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, and Thailand; a mentorship program; and certificate programs in four areas of specialization: international economics, economic theory and quantitative methods, quantitative managerial economics, and environmental and natural resource economics.

For more information, see our department learning goals and attend a Prospective Student Information Session.



Given the evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the University's decision to move spring quarter to online learning, have made some adjustments to our spring admissions cycle.  Rest assured that spring admissions is moving forward as planned with the April 10, 2020 (5pm) deadline.

First, our application has been moved to an online form. You will still need to include the same basic information that was on our paper application, and you will need to upload PDFs of your personal statement, transcripts, and if applicable, your academic plan created via MyPlan.  The application form can be downloaded here.  

Second, the RTW will now be held online via Canvas. It is scheduled to be held on Friday, April 10, 2020, from 4-4:50pm.  We will only have one session this quarter, however, room capacity is no longer an issue so anyone applying this spring is able to take the exam on April 10. Students who register will receive an email with additional information 1-2 days prior to the exam date (April 9 or 10). You can sign up to take the RTW here

Our goal is to notify applicants of admission decisions via email by the start of Autumn 2020 registration, which begins on May 8. 

Stay home and stay healthy, and best wishes for a successful quarter. 


In accordance with the UW advisory to suspend all in-person activities and gatherings, the Department of Economics’ academic advisers are shifting all in-person operations to virtual spaces (email and Zoom, mainly) until further notice. Please do not visit the UW, Savery Hall, or the Department of Economics in-person at this time.

For the latest information regarding the UW’s news response to COVID-19/coronavirus, please see uw.edu/coronavirus.

Thank you for your cooperation.


For the 2020 Spring Quarter, virtual drop-in & quick-question advising will be available via Zoom:

Week 1: 10:00am-12:00pm (PDT), Monday-Friday
Week 2 and beyond: 10:00am-12:00pm (PDT), Monday-Thursday

Students may access a waiting room at one of the following two links:

https://washington.zoom.us/j/124339782       https://washington.zoom.us/j/622432813          

As we serve many students, we request that you keep your concerns for drop-in & quick question advising to about 5 minutes or so.


Email advising is also available, and is especially helpful for non-urgent and general planning concerns & questions. Start by emailing econadv@uw.edu, and we can help determine next steps, and schedule appointments as necessary.


For students with more-extensive questions & concerns, a 30-minute appointment may be scheduled. Please send an email to econadv@uw.edu with your name, student number, your general concerns, and a few suggested days/times you can meet via Zoom.

Appointments will not be scheduled during drop-in & quick question advising hours, and are typically scheduled at least one week in advance. Students who are more than 10 minutes late for their appointments will be asked to reschedule.