Welcome Economics Transfer Students!
We greatly value our transfer students’ contributions to our department. Our undergraduate advising program has a number of supports and structures in place to help you hit the ground running once you arrive here at UMass!
Our Economics major is flexible by design, and that makes it perfect for transfer students coming to UMass with a wide variety of previous experiences. We have learned that most of our transfer students put a high value on keeping to their original four-year time line, despite the challenges that changing schools entails. Our advisors will take the time to consider how your previous coursework fits into our major and create a plan that will meet your goals. We can find a path that works for you. This flexibility also means that you are able to incorporate valuable experiences such as internships and study abroad while sticking to your timeline. You will meet with an advisor at least twice during your first year at UMass.
We also want our transfer students to find connections with other Economics students at UMass. We offer a number of small upper-level economics courses that allow you to get to know your classmates. In addition, we have Peer Advisors who were also transfer students and are happy to help you navigate your new experiences. Our Peer Advisors have drop in hours throughout the semester and can answer questions about your academics or anything else, from dorms to clubs to the surrounding community. We also encourage our transfer students to participate in the Undergraduate Economics Club where you can meet fellow students as well as alumni.
We Encourage our Economics Majors to Get Real World Experience!
As a transfer student, you may feel like your college experiences is on fast-forward and there is no time for anything extra. The flexibility of the Economics major means that you might have more time than you think. Our internship advisor will help you explore your options. Our students pursue credited and non-credited internships depending on what works for them. These internships can take place during a semester or the summer or winter breaks. They can be independent or through one of the coordinated SBS programs (like SBS in DC).
If you are interested in studying abroad, we can make that work. Because most international programs teach economics, we can find classes that will keep you on track with your requirements. While abroad, you can take Economics classes, General Education classes, and fill your International/Intercultural requirement.
If you are interested in research, we have an Economics Undergraduate Research Assistant (EURA) program that you can participate in. You make connections with a faculty member to participate in their research projects. At the same time, you can use your EURA experience to fill a required economics class.
Our advisors can help you get the most out of your time at UMass, whether that is 3 semesters or 3 years.
What do Economics Majors at UMass Study?
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. Economics is often not well understood by those outside the field. It is a social science used to examine the behavior and choices of individuals and groups. Our faculty members publish and advise on topics such as marriage laws, minimum wage laws, health care, income inequality, and rural development, among many others. The field is wide and diverse, and we encourage our students to pursue broad interests, including minors and secondary majors. Our department is known for non-traditional (heterodox) approaches to economics. Our faculty think outside of the box, and our students learn to as well. You can find a list of our wide variety of courses here.
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. While economics is a social science, it is a mathematical rigorous and data driven social science. We encourage our students to pursue a diverse skill set, and over 50% of our majors complete a minor or second major. We have a large number of students combining economics with credentials in math, IT, political science, psychology, and business.
What Skills Will I Develop with an Economics Degree?
Often you will hear people in the field talk about the “Economic Way of Thinking.” What they mean is that economics students develop a unique way of looking at the world and communicating what they see in a way that makes sense. You will learn to handle data and information using mathematical techniques to be able to answer questions and solve problems. You will learn to create a logical argument from that information and communicate it in clear, concise language so it is understood by non-economists. You will develop a critical eye for the causal nature of the world, human behavior, and government policy (among many other things). This set of skills is highly valuable in a wide variety of career fields, such as consulting, policy development, data analytics, and law.
What Careers are Available to Me with an Economics Degree?
One of the most valuable features of the Economics major is the diversity and breadth of the discipline. Depending on your interests, you can choose a wide variety of career paths. While many of our students pursue traditional “business” careers in finance, banking, consulting, and data analysis, these are not the only options. Jobs in government, non-profits, law, and academics all benefit from the skills learned in the Economics major. The American Economics Association (our most prominent professional organization) has a brief video of the career opportunities open to economics majors. Economics is also an excellent starting point for graduate work in law, public policy, economics, and other disciplines. Whatever your interest, our economics advisors can help you choose classes and opportunities that will help you build the necessary skills and credentials to pursue a career you love.