Why study economics?

Economics offers the tools you need to understand our increasingly interconnected world.  With these tools, you can exploit "Big Data" to explore human behavior in numerous economic settings such as labor supply, consumption patterns, health care choices and energy use.  You can also examine the overall economy by assessing the links among aggregate output, interest rates, inflation, unemployment levels and international exchange rates.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the International Support Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

Economics Majors

The economics department offers 3 degrees.

  • The Bachelor of Science degree in economics is designed for the student interested in attending graduate school in economics or a closely related field. It requires the minimum amount of preparation in economics and mathematics required to be successful in graduate study. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in economics are encouraged to double major in economics and mathematics.
  • The B.A. or B.G.S. major in economics is designed for the majority of students who will attend professional graduate schools or enter the work force.

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Economics Prerequisite or Co-Requisite Knowledge

Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.

College Algebra or Pre-Calculus
Satisfied by:
MATH 101College Algebra3
or MATH 104 Precalculus Mathematics
Calculus I (4)
Satisfied by:
MATH 125Calculus I4
(Students may Complete MATH 115 and MATH 116 prior to completing MATH 126)
Calculus II (4)
Satisfied by:
MATH 126Calculus II4
(Open for only 2 hours credit to students with credit in MATH 116.)
Calculus III (4)
Satisfied by:
MATH 127Calculus III4
MATH 223Vector Calculus3
Elementary Linear Algebra
MATH 290Elementary Linear Algebra2
or MATH 291 Elementary Linear Algebra, Honors
Satisfied by:
MATH 526Applied Mathematical Statistics I3
or DSCI 202 Statistics

Economics General Education Requirements

In addition to degree and major requirements, all students must complete the KU Core.

Requirements for the B.S. Degree

Economics Core Knowledge and Skills
Majors must complete a course in each of the five following areas:
Principles of Microeconomics. Satisfied by:
ECON 142Principles of Microeconomics3
or ECON 143 Principles of Microeconomics, Honors
Principles of Macroeconomics. Satisfied by:
ECON 144Principles of Macroeconomics3
or ECON 145 Principles of Macroeconomics, Honors
Microeconomics. Satisfied by:
ECON 520Microeconomics3
or ECON 521 Microeconomics Honors
Macroeconomics. Satisfied by:
ECON 522Macroeconomics3
or ECON 523 Macroeconomics Honors
Survey of Microeconomics. Satisfied by:
ECON 700Survey of Microeconomics 13
Introduction to Econometrics. Satisfied by:
ECON 715Elementary Econometrics 13
Economics Required Electives
Majors must complete 6 courses (18 hours) in economics outside of the core courses at the 500-level or above. 18

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 36 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. (At least 3 of the required elective courses must be taken from the KU Department of Economics.)

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 24 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. (At least 9 hours of the required elective courses must be taken from the KU Department of Economics.)

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.


Below is a sample 4-year plan for students pursuing the BS in Economics. To view the list of courses approved to fulfill KU Core Goals, please visit the KU Core website.

ENGL 101 (Goal 2.1 Written Communication, First Course, 2 Crs Required, Economics General Ed. Req.)3ENGL 102 (Goal 2.1 Written Communication, Second Course, 2 Crs Required, Economics General Ed. Req.) 3
MATH 104 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Literacy, Major Pre-Requisite)5Goal 2.2 Communication3
Goal 3 Humanities (Economics General Education Requirement)13Social Science (SI or SC: Economics General Education Requirement)33
Goal 3 Natural Science (Economics General Education Requirement)23MATH 125 or 145 (Goal 1.2, Major Pre-Requisite)4
 ECON 142 or 143 (Goal 3 Social Science, Social Science SF, Major Requirement)33
 14 16
HUM 204 or 114 (Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking or Goal 4.2 Global Awareness, Economics General Ed. Req.)3Goal 4.1 US Diversity3
ENGL 203, 205, 209, 210, or 211 (Economics General Education Requirement)3HUM 205 or 115 (Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking or Goal 4.2 Global Awareness, Economics General Ed. Req.)3
Humanities (Economics General Education Requirement)13MATH 127 or 147 (Major Pre-requisite)4
MATH 126 or 146 (Major Pre-Requisite)4MATH 290 (Major Pre-requisite) 2
ECON 144 or 145 (Goal 3 Social Science, SF: Economics General Education Requirement, Major Requirement)33ECON 520 or 521 (Major Requirement)3
 16 15
Natural Science & Mathematics (Economics General Education Requirement)23Goal 5 Social Responsibility and Ethics3
MATH 526 or DSCI 202 (Major Pre-requisite) 3Natural Science & Mathematics (Economics General Education Requirement)23
ECON 522 or 523 (Major Requirement)3Humanities (Economics General Education Requirement)13
Elective #300+ (Total Hours)3ECON Elective 500+43
Elective (Total Hours)2ECON Elective 500+43
 14 15
ECON Elective 500+ (Major Requirement)43ECON 496 or 697 (or other Goal 6 Integration & Creativity)3
ECON Elective 500+ (Major Requirement)43Social Science 300+ (Economics General Ed. Req.)33
ECON 700 (Major Requirement)53ECON Elective 500+ (Major Reqiurement)43
ECON 715 (Major Requirement)53ECON Elective 500+ (Major Reqiurement)43
Elective 300+ (Total Hours)3Elective (#300+ if needed, Total Hours)3
 15 15
Total Hours 120

Please note:

All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are required to complete 120 total hours of which 45 hours must be at the Jr/Sr (300+) level.

The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one KU Core Goal. However, overlap of a KU Core course with a major or degree-specific requirement is allowed. Overlapping is recommended to allow more opportunities to explore other majors and/or minors.

Departmental Honors

Graduation with honors in economics is limited to undergraduate majors who have fulfilled these requirements:

  1. Completed all economics major requirements and achieved a grade-point average of 3.5 or above in all economics courses and an overall average of 3.25 or above at the time of graduation.
  2. Completed ECON 697 Senior Research Honors.
  3. Submitted and defended a research paper before at least 3 faculty members of the Department of Economics.

Honors candidates should consult the department honors coordinator before enrolling in the first semester of the senior year and file a declaration of intent form with the coordinator at that time.