Economics majors

The Department of Economics at Western Michigan University offers several options when choosing an undergraduate major in economics: Bachelor of Arts in economics (B.A.),  Bachelor of Science in economics (B.S.), and a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics (B.B.A.)

Our undergraduate degrees have the following CIP Codes:

  • BA in Economics: 45.0601
  • BS in Economics: 45.0603
  • BBA in Economics: 45.0601

Our degree programs

The B.A. in economics – This program provides excellent economics training and prepares students to begin working immediately after graduation in a wide variety of jobs. It also serves as a well-respected field of study for those entering law school and other less-mathematically rigorous graduate and professional programs. Our B.A. provides more flexibility with respect to taking elective courses than our B.S. degree. Since this degree is through the WMU College of Arts and Sciences, it pairs quite well with a minor or even second major in another CAS department.

The B.B.A. in economics – Similar to the B.A., this degree is housed in the Haworth College of Business. Students in the B.B.A. program have a bit more flexibility in course selection than the B.A., as several business courses can be substituted for required economics courses. This degree pairs well with a minor or major in the Haworth College of Business.

The B.S. in economics – Our B.S. degree is designed to provide economics majors additional mathematical training required for graduate work in economics. The B.S. degree couples strong economics training with a significant quantitative foundation that would best prepare students for admittance to a master’s or doctoral degree program without requiring numerous prerequisite classes. This degree also prepares students for more technical careers in applied economics or data analytics with an economic focus.

Students in any of these degree programs are eligible for the department’s new Accelerated M.A. in applied economics. This program allows WMU undergraduate economics majors to accumulate credits toward the completion of a master’s degree while completing their bachelor’s degree. Interested in determining which degree is right for you? Here is a brief comparisons of the B.A./B.B.A. and B.S. degrees in economics. Dr. Michael Ryan, the economics undergraduate advisor, has a lot of useful information on these degrees.

Degree requirements

All economics majors are required to take a minimum of 30 hours of credit in the Department of Economics. All economics majors take the following courses:

  • Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 2010)
  • Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 2020)
  • Exploring Economic Data (ECON 3390)
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECON 4060)
  • Econometrics (ECON 4090)

In addition, students take courses in the following subjects, with the course requirements varying based on the major:

  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Statistics
  • Baccalaureate Writing Requirement

A quantitative requirement exists for a degree in economics:

  • B.A. and B.B.A.: MATH 1160 (Finite Math w/ Applications) or MATH (1180) Pre-calculus Math
  • B.S.: MATH 1220 (Calculus I) plus a three-course cognate in math, statistics or computer science

Compare/contrast each major’s course requirements.


Interested in the courses we teach? Course announcements for new and popular courses can help you determine which electives best meet your career goals. The WMU Registrar provides a list of courses that can be used to meet the degree requirements for our economics majors. For information on possible B.S.-quantitative cognate courses, see here: Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics.


Contact College of Arts and Sciences advising for more information.