Economics FAQs

Economics FAQs

No, Economics is not all about mathematics and statistics.

What is the difference between the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Economics and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Economics? [back to top]
It depends on your interests and abilities.  The B.S. requires a year of calculus and a year of upper division quantitative analysis (Economics 141 and 142). These requirements provide you with excellent preparation for graduate study or careers in economics or business administration. The B.A. is a social science oriented program that does not require calculus or quantitative methods.  It is ideal for students interested in graduate study or careers in law, teaching, or the public and non-profit sectors.

Do I need to take micro-economics (Economics 3) before I take macro-economics (Economics 4)? [back to top]
No.  Each course covers an introduction to their respective fields.  However, Saint Mary’s currently offers more micro-economics classes in the fall and more macro-economics classes in the spring. Therefore, the majority of students take micro-economics first.

What are some special considerations to take into account when developing a 4-year academic plan? [back to top]
If you are considering the B.S. in Economics, you should complete calculus during your first two years.  If your are considering the Sustainability Concentration, you should complete General Biology/Lab and Environmental and Earth Science/Lab in your first two years.

What courses are only offered every other year? [back to top]
Many of the upper division courses are offered every other year. Students should check with their advisor (or the economics department Chair) to make sure the courses they are interested in are offered. For example, if you are interested in a B.S. in Economics, quantitative methods (Economics 141 and 142) will be offered either your junior or senior year.  Likewise if you are interested in a B.A. in Economics, the research seminar (economics 120) will only be offered the spring semester of your junior or senior year.That said, we prefer that you take development of economic thought (economics 102) during the spring semester of you senior year.

Additional questions? [back to top]
Please contact William Lee, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Economics at or (925) 631-4589.


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