department of economics

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As an Economics major at URI, you can choose either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program.

The B.A. in Economics

The Bachelor of Arts degree provides you with a deep knowledge of the world’s economy in the best traditions of the liberal arts. In this program you are required to complete seven core and three additional courses within economics.  Other requirements are consistent with all B.A. programs at the University.

The B.A. degree program requires a minimum of 30 credits (maximum 48) in Economics, including:

  • ECN 201, 202, 305, 306, 324 or 327, 323 or 328, 445, and at least three additional ECN courses numbered 300 or above.

You may substitute up to six credits from related courses taught by other departments for the final requirement above. Three of these credits may be a statistics course (BUS 210, 212; STA 308, 409, or 412) and do not require departmental approval. You may also substitute any other course at the University with permission of the economics department chair. Normally, the chair will approve only courses that are at the 300 level or above and have a strong economics component. If you are planning to do graduate work in economics, you are encouraged to take ECN 375, 376 and at least one semester of statistics.

A total of 120 credits is required for graduation. At least 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above.  In addition, you must have a G.P.A. of at least 2.0 overall and 2.0 in their major to graduate.

Download the B.A. Curriculum Sheet (PDF)

The B.S. in Economics

For the B.S. degree, you may choose one of two options:

  • Applied Economics: Designed for students who intend to seek employment as economists immediately after graduation, or who are interested in graduate work in areas such as law and business.
  • Economic Theory and Methods: Recommended for students preparing for graduate study in economics.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economics is designed for students who are interested in a somewhat more quantitative approach to the field with, perhaps, the goal of gaining a position that requires a working knowledge of economic analysis.  In addition to many of the same core courses as the B.A., the B.S. in Applied Economics also requires that students complete courses in statistics, econometrics, and quantitative methods.  A basic knowledge of calculus is required for the B.S. in Applied Economics.

This option requires a minimum of 31 credits in Economics including:

  • ECN 201, 202, 305, 327, 328, 375, 376, 445, and at least two additional ECN courses numbered 300 or above.

In addition, students must complete:

  • BUS 212 or MTH 451 or STA 308
  • MTH 131 or MTH 141 before taking ECN 375

Download the B.S. Applied Curriculum Sheet (PDF)

The B.S. in Economic Theory and Methods includes in-depth coursework in the Department of Mathematics.  In addition to 31 credits in Economics, students must complete six prescribed courses in Mathematics.  Although anyone desiring a program with intensive quantitative rigor may choose this major, it is particularly recommended for students planning graduate work in economics.

This option requires a minimum of 31 credits in Economics including:

  • ECN 201, 202, 305, 327, 328, 376, 445 and at least three additional ECN courses numbered 300 or above.

In addition students must complete:

  • MTH 141, 142, 215, 243, 307, 244 or 442 or 435

A total of 120 credits is required for graduation. In addition, students must have a G.P.A. of at least 2.0 overall and 2.0 in their major to graduate.

Download the B.S. Theory/Methods Curriculum Sheet (PDF)


Approximately one-quarter of economics students have a second major. While a variety of disciplines are represented—from business to languages–Political Science is the single most popular.  In addition, nearly two dozen economics majors are minoring in business administration.

Minoring in Economics

Students may earn a minor in economics by completing 18 credits of coursework.  Economics minors should plan on completing ECN 201 Principles of Economics:  Microeconomics and ECN 202 Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics plus four additional courses of the student’s choosing.  Students must declare the minor by the end of the first week of their final term, and must meet with department chair or University College advisor to complete the proper paperwork.

Learning Outcomes

See the list of specific learning outcomes for Economics majors.

Alumni Profile

Nick Ucci with Lijiang in background

Nick Ucci '00

Nick Ucci began his career at URI in the Political Science department, but he soon realized "a true understanding of that field would be incomplete without recognizing the intrinsic economic forces driving many key policy issues." As a result, Nick joined the Economics program and embarked on a double-major in Economics and Political Science. Along the way Nick helped many students learn some of the finer points of these disciplines while working as an undergraduate teaching assistant in Economics as well as serving as a research and writing assistant within both major fields. His internships with US Senator Jack Reed represented a perfect opportunity for Nick to combine his interests in economics and political science, while his summer internship with UBS Warburg in Stamford, CT gave him an opportunity to learn more about the world of finance.

Once it was time to leave, Nick decided to take a job in a Boston financial firm, but Nick believed his "true calling is that of a public servant." And when the opportunity arose to follow this calling, Nick accepted a job with the State of Rhode Island's Department of Labor and Training where he is in the Labor Market Information unit. Nick was also accepted into URI's Master's degree in Political Science where he will be concentrating on public policy and labor relations.

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