Carnegie Mellon University

Majors and Minors

The economics program offers four majors, two additional majors and two minors.

The degree programs are designed to provide students with a solid understanding of the central theories of economics while maintaining flexibility to meet the needs of diverse interests and career paths. The major and minor degree programs are founded on mathematical rigor, quantitative sophistication and mastery of communication skills.

Students graduating with major degrees from our program also are required to fulfill university and Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences general education requirements. Students graduating with additional and minor degrees from our program are responsible for fulfilling university and their home college general education requirements.

The BS in Economics provides a strong foundation in economic theory and advanced quantitative analysis. The curriculum focuses on using "real-world" data to forecast behavior and to investigate the relationships between observed phenomena and economic models. Combining these sophisticated economic modeling and data analytic skills with our wide range of upper-level economic electives provides students with a rigorous analytical foundation that will allow them to pursue any career that interests that them. Students pursuing this degree will be well-equipped to pursue graduate work (professional and academic) or enter directly into the business world or public service.  

View BS IN ECONOMICS Requirements

The BA in Economics provides a strong foundation in economic analysis and quantitative methods. The curriculum’s breadth incorporates the study of political, historical and social institutions so that students may use the economic toolkit to address the current challenges humanity faces. Students pursuing this degree will be well-equipped to pursue graduate work (professional and academic) or enter directly into the business world or public service.  

Student pursuing the BA in Economics are required to take special elective courses in addition to upper level economics electives. We have designed our curriculum so that students take these special electives in other Carnegie Mellon departments; the intent is that our students will gain an understanding of how other disciplines define and approach solutions to current social, business, government and technological policy problems. Below is a list of representative course that qualify as special electives.

  • American Consumer Culture
  • Analysis of Uncertain Social Systems
  • Applied Demography
  • Bananas, Baseball and Borders: Latin America and the United States
  • Behavior Economics in the "Wild"
  • Between Revolutions: The Development of Modern Latin America
  • Drug Use and Drug Policy
  • Economy, the State and Education 1714-2014
  • Energy and Climate: History, Science, Technology and Policy in the United States
  • Energy Policy
  • Entrepreneurship, Regulation and Technological Change
  • Globalization
  • History of American Public Policy
  • History of American Urban Life
  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Labor Economic Policy
  • Law and Economics
  • Migration Policy
  • Modeling Complex Social Systems
  • Negotiation
  • Philosophy Politics and Economics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Population and Policy
  • Rational Choice
  • Real Estate Development
  • Russian History: From Communism to Capitalism
  • Social Norms and Economics
  • Technology and Economic Growth
  • Telecommunications, Technology Policy and Management
  • The Rise of the Asian Economies
  • Urban and Regional Economic Growth
  • Urban Development
  • Urban Policy
  • Urban Revitalization
  • Welfare Policy
  • Women in American History
 View BA IN ECONOMICS Requirements

The BS in Economics and Mathematical Sciences is a collaborative effort between the Department of Mathematics and the undergraduate economics program. Combining advanced mathematics with 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.

Academically strong students who are interested in an in-depth study program of economic, statistical and mathematical theories are encouraged to apply during their sophomore year to these selective and demanding programs: BS in Economics and Mathematical Sciences/BS in Mathematical Sciences and Economics major degree programs. The curriculum for these two majors are identical; what differs between the two of them is the general education requirements tied to the home colleges, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Mellon College of Science. There are a limited number of student slots in this program, and acceptance into it is based on academic performance and initiative while at Carnegie Mellon.

View BS IN ECONOMICS AND MATHEMATICAL SCIENCE Requirements

The BS in Economics and Statistics 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 pursuing this degree will be well-equipped to pursue professional graduate degrees and/or graduate work in economics, decision sciences and public policy. Additionally, students pursuing this curriculum are prepared for Ph.D. programs in economics and research positions in industry.

View BS IN ECONOMICS AND STATISTICS Requirements

The additional major in economics curriculum is identical to our BS in Economics curriculum. The one difference is that students pursuing the additional major in economics will complete the general education requirements of their home college.

View ADDITIONAL MAJOR IN ECONOMICS Curriculum

The additional major in economics and statistics curriculum is identical to our BS in Economics and Statistics curriculum. The one difference is that students pursuing the additional major in economics will complete the general education requirements of their home college. 

View ADDITIONAL MAJOR IN IN ECONOMICS AND STATISTICS Curriculum

The Minor in Economics complements any undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon. It is particularly useful for those whose careers will require them to understand how people make choices, how markets work, the role of incentives, government policies, whether public goods (e.g., roads, schools, hospitals, the internet, museums, etc.) should be funded by the public and more. The curriculum has been designed so that students have sufficient time to fulfill the requirements over five semesters. 

The minor in economics is offered to students not majoring in any of our primary economics degrees.

View ADDITIONAL MINOR IN ECONOMICS Requirements

Course Spotlight

Technology, Jobs, and the Future of Work

This course is an elective for Undergraduate Economics students. The instructor is Shu Lin Wee, Assistant Professor of Economics. The aim of this course to provide students with an in-depth analysis of the U.S. labor market and what role technology has in shaping labor market outcomes.