Umass Economics Home

The Undergraduate Program: Overview

What is Economics?

Economics is the study of human energy - how we organize our efforts to get what we want. Market exchange plays a central role in this process, but processes of conflict and coordination that take place outside of markets are also important. Economics contains two broad subdisciplines.  Microeconomics analyzes the individual behavior of households, business firms, and governmental entities.  Macroeconomics focuses upon aggregate economic performance of nations and their interdependencies in the global economy.

Should I study Economics?

Whether or not Economics is a wise choice of major for you depends upon your aspirations, preferences, and abilities. Choice of a major is very personal, and only you are in a position to assess whether or not a major in Economics is appropriate for you.

Before declaring a major in Economics, we encourage you to contrast the costs and benefits of the alternatives available to you. Your personal interest in economics, the ease with which the demands of the major mesh with your skills, and your long-term career goals, all affect the extent to which this major suits you.

Requirements for the Major

Majoring in Economics allows exploration of disparate views on, and approaches to economic questions and policies and allows a student to achieve substantial intellectual breadth while simultaneously pursuing courses in the major.

A student who selects the collateral-field option must take 51 credits to complete the major. Of these 15 are in the collateral field, 9 are in Mathematics and Statistics, and only 27 of which are in Economics. Of these, the student is free to choose 12 elective credits from the Department's courses numbered over 300.

For more details please see Requirements, FAQ and General Information.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of a major in Economics, most of our students embark upon administrative or managerial careers in private business, government, or non-profit organizations.

Our Economics Department Alumni Board is a major resource for students making the transition from graduation to full-time employment. Members are available to meet with students in person twice a year, and are eager to serve as mentors and advisors.

General assistance with career planning is available through the Campus Career Services or contact Tommie Joyner, Assistant Director for Career Planning, Career Services, E-27G Machmer Hall, 413-577-0417,

American Economic Association

The American Economic Association has developed a web site for prospective college students and current undergraduates describing the field of Economics.  The url is:


J. Kevin Crocker
J. Kevin Crocker
Chief Academic Advisor
Undergraduate Program Director

1034 Thompson Hall

Elizabeth Kazinskas
Elizabeth Kazinskas
Academic Advisor

1038 Thompson Hall

This page is maintained by the Department of Economics.

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