VCU Bulletins

Economics, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) [College of Humanities and Sciences]

Special requirements

The curriculum for a Bachelor of Science in Economics requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 33 of those credits in the major.

Students must complete MATH 151 Precalculus Mathematics or MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry and three credits in STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics or a higher level statistics class. Juniors, seniors and graduate students who have completed baccalaureate degrees are eligible for enrollment in most upper-level (300- to 400-level) economics and business courses.

Economics is the science of human choice, the study of how scarce resources are allocated among competing uses to satisfy human wants. Since many choices analyzed are made by or affect business decision-makers, economics is a unique blend of liberal arts and business. Therefore, the Department of Economics offers a Bachelor of Science in Economics conferred by the College of Humanities and Sciences with a core of liberal arts courses. The department also offers a Bachelor of Science in Economics conferred by the School of Business with a core of business courses.

Economics teaches students how to analyze data and information and how to think strategically about business decision-making. Because of their broad analytical, quantitative and decision-making skills, students who major in economics are sought for a wide array of positions in management and sales. For example, firms hire economics majors as bank examiners, consultants, financial advisers, managers and sales personnel. Economics is excellent preparation for almost any job with the word “analyst” in its title — such as business, credit, economic, financial, market research or risk analyst. A degree in economics also is excellent preparation for entrepreneurship or for graduate studies in business, law or medicine.

Economics majors are strongly encouraged to take additional courses in statistics and mathematics, especially if they intend to pursue either careers as practicing economists or graduate study in economics or business. Recommended mathematics courses include one or more of the following courses: MATH 200 Calculus with Analytical Geometry or MGMT 212 Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business. Recommended statistics courses include one or more of the following courses: ECON 501 Introduction to Econometrics, MGMT 302 Business Statistics II or STAT 314 Applications of Statistics. Students should consult with their advisers to determine which of these courses fit their particular interests and backgrounds.

In selecting approved electives to meet the general requirements of the College of Humanities and Sciences, students should select courses related to the economics major — specifically, courses in accounting, mathematics and statistics, philosophy, history, political science, sociology, anthropology and finance. Students should focus their electives on one or two of these subjects.

Degree requirements for Economics, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


The mission of the B.S. in Economics is to provide undergraduate students with economic knowledge and skills which will enable them to compete successfully in changing regional, national and global economic environments.

Learning goals

The goal of the economics curriculum is to impart critical-thinking skills, communication skills and quantitative proficiency to its students.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will solve key microeconomic problems.
  • Students will solve key macroeconomic problems.
  • Students will be able to interpret and analyze data and express economic relationships using graphs, equations and words.
  • Students will demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Students will be able to employ economic models and data to analyze questions of economic significance.
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (3 credits)  
MATH 151 Precalculus Mathematics or MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry (fulfills quantitative literacy)  
STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics (or a higher level statistics course) 3
Major requirements (33 credits)  
ECON 210 Principles of Microeconomics 3
ECON 211 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
ECON 300 Contemporary Economic Issues 3
ECON 301 Microeconomic Theory 3
ECON 302 Macroeconomic Theory 3
ECON 431 Labor Economics or ECON 489 Senior Seminar in Economics or ECON 441 Experimental Economics (capstone) 3
ECON electives (300- or 400-level) 15
Open electives (38-52 credits)  
Open electives 38-52
Total minimum requirement 120

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]



Comments/feedback about this site   |   Bulletin (catalog) archives/printer-friendly bulletins   |   About these bulletins

Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
Contact us:

Last update: 4/30/2014

Created by VCU University Relations