Undergraduate Program

Economics at WashU

The economics department is home to about 120 graduating students per academic year, with about 80% of those graduating with a Major in Economics. The remainder choose between two minors: the Minor in General Economics and the Minor in Applied Microeconomics.

Economics students can enroll in an engaging set of electives, ranging from economic history to econometrics. Each semester, majors and minors can choose from electives at the general level - having only the introductory economics classes as prerequisites - to those at the advanced level representing interesting applications of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. Many of our majors pursue second majors or minors, such as in math, finance, political science and computer science, to name but a few. It is possible to complete an Economics major in conjunction with the pre-medicine requirements.

Undergraduate Director: John Nachbar
Coordinator: Dorothy Petersen

Degrees and Certificates

Economics Major & Minors

Undergraduates in the Department of Economics can choose to major in economics or choose between two minors: the Minor in General Economics and the Minor in Applied Microeconomics. The Economics major has STEM classification with CIP code 45.0603.

major and minor requirements

Major in Economics & Computer Science

The College of Arts & Sciences and McKelvey School of Engineering offer a major that allows students interested in both economics and computer science to combine these two complementary disciplines efficiently, without having to pursue them as two separate majors.

details and major requirements

Major in Mathematics & Economics

The joint major in Mathematics & Economics allows students interested in both disciplines to efficiently combine them without pursuing them as two separate majors.

Details and major requirements

Certificate in Financial Economics

The economics department has extensive course breadth and faculty expertise in the area of Financial Economics. By completing a specialized set of electives, majors can earn the "Certificate in Financial Economics." This will be a permanent notation on your academic record.

Certificate requirements

5-year Accelerated AM

Washington University allows qualified undergraduates to complete a Master of Arts (AM) degree in a one-year accelerated program after completing the AB degree.

accelerated MA details and requirements

Department Opportunities

Honors and Prizes

The department recognizes undergraduate excellence with multiple awards and prizes. Learn what it takes to earn a prize or graduate with honors.

honors and prizes

Study Abroad

The Department of Economics views study abroad as highly desirable and strongly encourages economics majors (and minors) to consider it.

study abroad requirements

Become an Undergraduate TA

Your specific duties will be explained by your supervising faculty member. At a minimum, TAs should plan on attending class (unless told otherwise), holding office hours, and perhaps grading homework and/or exams.

apply to be a TA

Become an Undergraduate Tutor

If you would like to apply to serve as a tutor for one or more of our undergraduate classes, follow the link to complete the form.

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Find a Tutor

If you are looking for a tutor, follow the link below.

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Browse Jobs & Internships

Looking for an internship or a first step in your career? Find recent listings from alumni and more.

undergraduate opportunities

Why study economics?

Many, if not most, of the nation's and the world's most significant social problems have an economic dimension. Microeconomics provides the tools to analyze the trade-offs that individuals, firms, and governments confront because of limited resources. It considers the choices that are made, the social context in which they take place, and the implications for human welfare. Economists apply these tools to study a wide range of controversial public policy questions, including environmental regulation, government restrictions on domestic and international markets, the structure of the legal system, and the design of tax policy. Macroeconomics explores the sources of economic growth and the causes of recessions and inflation. Macroeconomic analysis assesses monetary policy, explains the performance of financial markets, and considers international trade and financial links.

The study of economics is an excellent way to acquire problem-solving skills and develop a logical, ordered way of looking at problems. It leads naturally to careers in business, law, and in economics research and consulting.

Economics is a standard pre-business major because it provides insight into the operation of individual markets for goods and services, financial markets, and the global economic system, and because it provides the quantitative and analytical skills that enable students to succeed in a wide variety of business activities. Many law schools view economics as one of the best undergraduate majors because of its disciplined approach to the analysis of social issues. Some of our economics courses also relate specifically to legal issues. Careers in economics research or consulting require graduate work leading to either an MA or (more usually) a Ph.D.

Undergraduate Economics Association

The Washington University Undergraduate Economics Association aims to serve as an academic and social forum for students interested in the field of Economics, as well as a liaison between the economics department and the undergraduate student body.

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