Declaring the Economics Major or Minor
Incoming students who are new to UMass are eligible to declare Economics as their primary major when entering UMass. (See below for UMass admissions information.) Current UMass Amherst students who want to major or minor in Economics must follow the procedures outlined below to gain admittance to the program.
Before you declare the major, it is important that you understand what the Economics major is, and what it is not. Economics at UMass Amherst is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) major that focuses on the study of macro- and microeconomic theory, market structures, economic development, and public policy with an eye toward the development of critical thinking, data analysis, and civic engagement. Although many Economics majors go on to careers in business, the Economics major at UMass Amherst is not a business major and does not offer applied business courses such as accounting, finance, management, or marketing. If you are interested in pursuing a business-related degree, click here for a business-related degree options information sheet.
Students interested in the Economics major or minor are required to attend an Economics information session and complete an online Declaration of Intent to Major/Minor. The process includes the following steps (click here for printable version of these instructions):
1. Consider if Economics is right for you. This is a rigorous, math-intensive program, which may not appeal to all students. Students who pursue the Economics major should be prepared to complete two levels of calculus, two intermediate theory courses, and at least one statistics course by the end of their sophomore year. All students who declare Economics as their primary major are also required to complete the 15-credit College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Global Education Requirement.
NOTE: Current UMass students planning to declare Economics should complete at least one calculus course (MATH 127 or 131) and one Economics intro course (ECON 103, ECON 104, or RES-ECON 102) with grades of C- or higher before declaring the major.
2. Submit the declaration of intent for Primary Major or Secondary Major or Minor. You must submit this form prior to attending an information session, even if you are not yet ready to declare. Once you have completed the online form AND attended an Information Session, an advisor will add the major in SPIRE and will inform you when the change is complete. If you have not completed two predictor courses or are still undecided, no changes will be made in SPIRE.
3. Attend an information session. Current UMass students must attend an information session and complete the online major declaration in order to begin the change of major process. These steps ensure that important questions are answered and help students determine if Economics is a good fit before any changes are made.
Fall 2017 Info Sessions (held in Crotty Hall 209):
Final session Thursday, November 2 - 1:30 PM
Spring 2018 Info Sessions (held in Crotty Hall 209):
(1) Wednesday, January 31 - 2:30 PM
(2) Friday, February 2 - 2:30 PM
(3) Thursday, February 15 - 1:30 PM
(4) Monday, March 5 - 12:30 PM
(5) Wednesday, March 28 - 2:30 PM
4a. If you intend to make Economics your primary major, review the Economics major requirements and the SBS Global Education requirements. You will be required to complete a Global Ed declaration form at the information session you attend, even if you are not ready to declare the major. If you have completed the predictor courses and decide you definitely want to declare the major, this will be done at the info session. NOTE: Economics primary majors should schedule an appointment with their assigned advisor before enrolling in classes for the next semester.
4b. If you intend to add Economics as a secondary major and complete a typical Bachelor’s degree program (120 credits, one diploma with multiple credentials) you must complete the major requirements, but are not required to complete an Economics Integrative Experience (IE), Economics Junior Year Writing (JYW), or the SBS Global Ed requirement. If you have completed the predictor courses, the secondary major will be added at the info session.
4c. If you plan to pursue the Economics minor, you should review the minor requirements but it is not necessary to add the secondary major. Adding the secondary major with NOT help you get into classes sooner, but it will help the department assess the demand for upper-level seats and will allow you to complete the secondary major or the minor.
4d. If you plan to complete a dual degree (150 credits, two Bachelor degrees, two diplomas), and you are keeping your current primary major in place, then you will be adding Economics as a secondary major until your final semester and you must complete the SBS Global Education Requirement, but you are not required to complete Economics IE or JYW courses. If you have completed the predictor courses, the secondary major will be added at the info session.
5. If declaring Economics as your primary major or as a secondary major for a dual degree, go to the SBS Advising Resource Center (SBSARC) in 128 Thompson for advising on your Global Ed Requirement Option. All questions about Global Ed should be directed to the SBSARC.
Admission Information for Prospective Freshmen, International and Transfer Students
Prospective UMass Amherst students must meet criteria set by the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The UMass Amherst application process is managed completely by Undergraduate Admissions. Prospective first-year, international, and transfer students should contact Undergraduate Admissions for all admissions matters, including information regarding course/credit transfer and admissions requirements.
Undergraduate Admissions: umass.edu/admissions
Admissions requirements: umass.edu/admissions/apply/admissions-requirements