Economists study how scarce resources are allocated so that the well-being of individuals is maximized. Whether the resource that is being allocated is income, time, or a precious commodity, there is always some tradeoff associated with allocating the resource for one use and not another. Individuals, businesses, and government face these tradeoffs in countless ways every day. The most important thing students learn from studying economics is how to identify, measure, and understand the essential elements of this tradeoff. This provides a framework to assess societies most relevant issues facing business and public policy.
The B.S. in Economics provides a foundation to explain how people, business, and governments make decisions with limited resources. Similar to the B.A., the major provides students solid grounding in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, statistical and econometric methodology, as well as applied economic analysis. The major similarly emphasizes the role of incentives and institutions in shaping economic outcomes and how public policies influence economic performance and individual outcomes. The B.S. in Economics provides students with a more advanced theoretical foundation and comprehensive statistical training relative to the B.A. The B.S. requires greater development of research and data analysis. Students can specialize in quantitative analysis or public policy. The former provides students with a greater skillset and knowledge of quantitative analysis or public policy, an important skill in today's world with the increasing availability of big data. The latter emphasizes economics role in assessing the efficiency and optimality of public policy.
Because students with a degree in economics develop strong analytical and quantitative skills and the ability to solve complex problems effectively, studying economics is excellent preparation for many careers in business, law, management consulting, education, or public service. Businesses of all types and sizes, financial institutions, consulting firms, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, as well as graduate business and law schools actively seeks graduates with bachelor's degrees in economics. In addition, many of our students go on to do graduate study in economics, law, public policy, or business.
Plan your major at UC Merced:
Each major is designed for advanced courses to build on the foundation provided through lower division requirements. Create a plan of the courses you will take over your career at UC Merced to ensure you finish in time.