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Section 2: Curriculum and Degree Requirements


2.1 MAJOR DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Note: The current degree requirements are currently linked to the 2012-13AY CMU Undergraduate Course Catalog. When the 2013-14 AY Catalog is release, the links will be updated.

The Undergraduate Economics Program at Carnegie Mellon offers four different undergraduate major degree programs: B.A. in Economics, B.S. in Economics, B.S. in Economics and Mathematical Sciences, and B.S. in Economics and Statistics. The four degrees differ in the level of mathematical sophistication and in the focus of the statistical analysis. All four major degree programs are intended for students who are interested in using economic theory and analysis to solve complex problems.  The four degrees share a solid grounding in economics theory, quantitative analysis (economic, mathematical, statistical), and communication skills. These four degrees are all grounded in providing students with a robust set of analytical skills that will allow them to analyze economic problems in our ever-changing world and to communicate solutions.  All four degrees prepare students for graduate school (academic and professional), the business world, and public service.

The B.A. in Economics Curriculum and the B.S. in Economics Curriculum are designed to provide students with a solid understanding of economic theory and quantitative economic analysis. The introductory core disciplinary sequences in economic theory and quantitative analysis are identical: both rely on the same knowledge base of calculus and statistics. Where these two degree programs differ is in their emphases of study in the advanced levels.

To graduate with a primary degree in economics from Carnegie Mellon, students must fulfill the requirements of the Undergraduate Economics Program, the general education requirements of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and all University requirements.  Students are responsible for meeting the requirements listed in the Carnegie Mellon University Undergraduate Course Catalog of their entering year. In addition to meeting university and college graduation requirements, the Undergraduate Economics Program has the additional requirement:  Economics courses counting towards any economics degree must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.

The B.A. in Economics Curriculum is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of economic theory, quantitative economic analysis, and how economics can be used to solve current social problems. It is a goal of the degree program to have students develop an ability to observe and identify contemporary problems, and then provide solutions. Built into the degree is the opportunity to study political, historical, cultural, and social institutions from other CMU departments; these courses are referred to as "Special Electives". The advanced data analysis component of the B.A. in Economics Curriculum pays additional attention to ordinal data and the study of surveys.The capstone of the curriculum is the Senior Project course where students use their qualitative and quantitative skills to contribute to the body of knowledge in empirical, experimental, and/or theoretical studies.

The B.S. in Economics Curriculum is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of economic theory and quantitative economic analysis. It is a goal of the degree program to have students develop an ability to observe and identify contemporary problems, and then provide solutions. In the advanced levels of the economic theory component degree, the foundations of modern economics are examined, using mathematically sophisticated models. The advanced data analysis component of the curriculum focuses on estimating economic relationships. The capstone of the curriculum is the Senior Project course where students use their qualitative and quantitative skills to contribute to the body of knowledge in empirical, experimental, and/or theoretical studies.

The B.S. in Economics and Mathematical Sciences Curriculum is a collaborative effort between the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Undergraduate Economics Program. Combining advanced mathematics with advanced economic theory is the hallmark of this curriculum. The curriculum provides students with courses that complement and develop depth of understanding of economic theory, applied economics, and applied mathematics. This degree offers an integrated curriculum, guiding students through a program of coursework that exploits and builds upon the synergies between mathematics and economics. This degree program equips students with the mathematical tools that are essential for success in Ph.D. programs in economics; mathematics; and key functional areas of business including finance, accounting, marketing, and information systems. Students pursuing this degree will be well prepared for the beginning of their research careers in academia, government, and industry. There are a limited number of student slots in this program; interested students may apply as early as their sophomore year.

The B.S. in Economics and Statistics Curriculum is a collaborative effort between the Department of Statistics and the Undergraduate Economics Program. It provides an interdisciplinary course of study aimed at students with a strong interest in the empirical analysis of economic data. The major’s curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in the theories and methods of both fields. Students in this major are trained to advance the understanding of economics issues through the analysis, synthesis, and reporting of data using the advanced empirical research methods of statistics and econometrics. Students in this major are trained advance the understanding of economic issues through the analysis, synthesis and reporting of data using the advanced empirical research methods of statistics and econometrics.

Choosing the right degree should be undertaken as a collaborative process with the Undergraduate Economics Program Advisors.  Advising is more than choosing classes and involves helping students match their strengths and interests to the particular contents of a program of study and then continuing to design a balanced and rich undergraduate academic experience that will prepare a student to pursue intellectual and professional goals.

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2.2 ADDITIONAL MAJOR DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The Undergraduate Economics Program offers an Additional Major in Economics degree and an Additional Major in Economics and Statistics degree to students whose primary major is in a different field or college. The requirements for these two degrees are identical to those of the primary major with the notable exception that students pursuing these additional majors need not fulfill the Dietrich College General Education Program Requirements.

In order to avoid “double counting” issues, students are encouraged to meet with an economics advisor.

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2.3 MINOR DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The Minor in Economics Curriculum. In an increasingly complex world, decision makers find themselves using economic tools and models to identify and provide insight into wide ranges of current social, technical, and policy-oriented solution. The Minor in Economics offers students with a solid understanding of economic theory and data analysis.

All university students are eligible to pursue the Minor in Economics in conjunction with a major in any other department in the university. In order to avoid “double counting” issues, students are encouraged to meet with an economics advisor.

The Minor in Innovation, Economics, and Entrepreneurship Curriculum.  Innovation (both technological and social) and entrepreneurship are the catalytic forces behind modern economic growth.  Today, both developing and developed countries are looking for ways to promote and sustain growth. This minor builds on study of the behavior of individuals and firms to foster an understanding of how organizations manage innovation and learning, how firms and the market respond to technological change, and how entrepreneurs are able to turn ideas into goods and services and new markets.

The curriculum consists of six courses (54-57 units) of which five core courses are required and the sixth course (an elective) may be chosen from a list of options from across the University. The IEE Minor website lists a comprehensive list of possible course electives that are not all listed in the CMU Undergraduate Course Catalog.

All university students are eligible to pursue the Minor in Innovation, Economics and Entrepreneurship in conjunction with any major in the university. In order to avoid “double counting” issues, students are encouraged to meet with an economics advisor.

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2.4 DUAL DEGREES IN ECONOMICS

A dual degree involves more than one degree granted by the university (whether simultaneous or sequential); with one diploma for each degree. When awarded simultaneously, two degrees are referred to as a dual degrees.

To complete a dual degree in economics, the requirements for the economics degree are the same as for the stand-alone degree for either the B.A. in Economics, the B.S. in Economics, the B.S. in Economics and Mathematical Sciences, and the B.S. in Economics and Statistics.  Students should refer to Section 2.1 for the degree requirement.

To receive multiple bachelor's degrees, the students must:

  • Satisfy all major requirements for each degree;
  • Complete the number of units based on the following rule: the aggregate number of units must exceed by at least 90 the required number of units for at least one of the degrees;
  • Comply, for each degree, with the statute of limitations regarding the time at which units are earned;
  • While working towards more than one degree simultaneously, designate one of the departments (and if necessary college) as the home college/department, and fulfill the general education requirements for that department; and
  • Fulfill all university requirements.

In order to avoid “double counting” issues, students are encouraged to meet with an economics advisor.

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2.5 GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Student pursuing the B.A. in Economics, B.S. in Economics, B.S. in Economics and Mathematical Sciences, and the B.S. in Economics and Statistics follow the Dietrich College General Education Program requirements. The exception to this are the students in CMU's Science and Humanities Scholars Program; these students follow the SHS General Education Program requirements.

Student pursuing Additional Majors, Minors, and Dual Degrees follow the general education requirements of their home college or program.

(Updated: 10 July 2013)

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