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. Both the BA and BS in Economics are designated as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors. 

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.

Academic Advising Updates


Applications are due by 5pm on Friday, April 9, 2021, Pacific Standard Time. You will need to upload PDFs of your personal statement, transcripts, and if applicable, your academic plan created via MyPlan.  Applications can be found on our website

Second, the RTW will be held online via Canvas. It is scheduled to be held on Friday, April 2, 2021, 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 2. Students who register will receive an email with additional information 1-2 days prior to the exam date (around April 1). You can sign up to take the RTW here.    *Note: April 2 is the first Friday of the quarter (the RTW has historically been held on the 2nd Friday).  You can take the RTW on April 2 and still submit your application by the April 12 deadline. 

RTW registration closes at 5pm on Wednesday, March 31.  Late registration will *not* be accepted. 

Our goal is to notify applicants of admission decisions via email by the start of Autumn 2021 registration, which begins on May 7. 

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 have shifted 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.

Click here for academic advising availability.

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

Thank you for your cooperation.