The UMBC Department of Economics offers a wide array of programs, so that students have an opportunity to tailor a course of study to suit their needs.
- You may pursue a major in Economics or Financial Economics.
The B.A. in Economics and the B.S. in Financial Economics both provide a traditional foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. Students in these programs learn a way of thinking that facilitates problem solving, and enables them to explore issues related to economics, finance, politics, and life in general, in an organized and productive manner.
- You may combine your major in Economics or Financial Economics with a certificate in Administrative Sciences
The Administrative Sciences program offers certificates organized around skills-oriented courses. The liberal arts majors in economics and financial economics develop students’ ability to think creatively and independently. The certificate programs develop specific applied skills. Such a combination makes students attractive job candidates in today’s dynamic economy.
- You may apply to the accelerated program for the Master of Arts in Economic Policy Analysis and possibly complete a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in as few as five years.
Professionals in the public and private sectors face increasing amounts of information and data that must be reviewed and analyzed. In the Bachelor’s/Master’s program leading to the Master of Arts in Economic Policy Analysis, students hone their existing analytical skills, and learn empirical techniques necessary to use this information and data for the purposes of policy design and analysis.
- Whatever your major, you may pursue a minor in Economics or International Economics.
A minor may be a valuable supplement to a major in another discipline.
- Whatever your major, you may pursue a certificate in Administrative Sciences.
Many students in disciplines other than economics pursue a certificate in Administrative Sciences for the same reasons that the department’s majors do. Certificates are offered in Finance, Management Science, Personnel and Industrial Psychology, Public Administration and Policy, and MBA Preparatory Studies.
The BA in Economics Versus the BS in Financial Economics
The B.A. and B.S. degrees are similar in that they are both founded in a traditional liberal arts education. Each major program also requires a set of core courses in principles of economics, intermediate economics, calculus, and statistics. Differences between the two programs include:
- The total course requirements for the B.A. degree are less than those for the B.S. degree. As a result, students pursuing the B.A. degree have greater flexibility in choosing courses in the liberal arts, including minors outside economics or certificates in administrative sciences or other fields.
- The B.S. degree is more highly structured and requires a greater courseload.
- The B.S. degree is more quantitatively and analytically oriented. In addition to the common core, the B.S. has additional required courses in finance, accounting, quantitative economics, mathematics, critical thinking, and computer science.
- The B.S. degree is focused on preparing students for positions in corporate finance and the financial services sector of the economy, as evidenced by the required core of finance courses.
The B.A. and B.S. degrees and the Administrative Sciences certificates are designed to provide students with the opportunity to tailor a program to suit their specific needs. For students with the goal of a profession in the financial services sector of the economy, for example, the B.S. degree is appropriate. For students anticipating careers in law, for example, the B.A. degree combined with courses outside economics may be more fitting. Those who anticipate careers in business outside the financial sector may consider the B.A., perhaps with an Administrative Sciences certificate, or the B.S. Either of these combinations would provide preparation for a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program is well suited for those students with strong quantitative skills who are particularly interested in economic policy applications. Those students whose current goals are less specific, and who are simply looking for a general degree designed to develop their ability to think creatively and independently, should consider the B.A. in Economics.