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.


Update! Both sessions of the Autumn 2017 are now closed.  If you did not register to take it this quarter, you will need to wait to take it and apply to the major in Winter 2018.

The Autumn 2017 RTW is now open for registration.  There is more space available on the first date, so please consider that when registering.  Both dates will be listed until the date posted below, or until they are full - which ever comes first.  You may only register for one testing date. Please bring a UW ID card with you when you check in.  Note: if you do not check in, you may not take the exam.  

RTW 1: Friday, September 29, 2017.  ARC 147.  4:00-4:50pm.  Registration for this section will close at 11:59pm on Wednesday, Sept. 27 unless the section fills at an earlier date.  

RTW 2: Friday, October 6, 2017. PCAR 192. 9:00-9:50am. Registration will close at 11:59pm on Tuesday, October 3 unless the section fills at an earlier date.   As of 9/26, there are now very limited spaces for this section and it will fill before Oct. 3.