If you are considering the economics major at UT, please read the information below and review the other links in the column to the left. If you still have questions please contact our advising office.We are happy to talk with you about our program either by phone, email, or in-person by appointment.
If you would like to minor in economics please see the "Degree Requirements" link in the column to the left.
Admission and Declaring the Major
Prospective Applicants to UT with admission questions should contact UT Admissions. There is no separate admissions process for the economics major and no required prerequisites for declaring the economics major. You can select economics as your preferred major on your admissions application or declare economics as your major once you are admitted to UT. Please see additional information below for prospective freshmen, transfer students, and business transfers.
New Admits to UT (freshman or transfer) are strongly encouraged to attend Orientation. At Orientation you can meet with an economics advisor, receive additional important information about UT, as well as register for classes. If you are unable to attend orientation and would like to meet with an advisor, you can contact the advising office to schedule an appointment. Be aware that you will register during the new student registration access period. If you were admitted under a different major and would like to add or switch to economics, you may do so at Orientation or at the beginning of your first semester at UT (depending on the policy in your current College). Please see additional information below for prospective transfer students and business transfers.
Current UT Students wanting to declare the economics major may do so in the Department of Economics Undergraduate Advising Office (BRB 1.114). See instructions for declaring a major here. You must have at least a 2.0 UT GPA to declare. If you would like to meet with an advisor to discuss the economics major, feel free to contact the advising office. If you plan to apply to the Business School, please see the information for business transfers below.
Are you a high school student thinking about majoring in economics and wondering what you can be doing now to prepare? In terms of academics, here are a few things to consider:
- Make sure you are proficient in math by taking as much as you can while in high school. Economics majors are required to take a two course sequence in calculus, and it is best to complete these courses in freshman year at college for making progress in the major. To take the calculus classes at UT, a placement exam (ALEKS) is required. Some students fulfill the calculus sequence requirement while still in high school by "testing out" via Advanced Placement, or by taking the college level credits as dual credit. *
- If your school offers economics courses it would be good to take them so that you are already somewhat familiar with the concepts you will study more in-depth at the college level. Some students use Advanced Placement credit-by-exam for, or take dual credit in, the freshman level economics courses required in the major, ECO 304K Intro to Microeconomics and ECO 304L Intro to Macroeconomics. *
- If you can take a statistics course in high school this will also help prepare you for subsequent coursework at the college level. Economics majors are required to take ECO 329 Economic Statistics, usually in sophomore year. Unfortunately the credit garnered from Advanced Placement does not count for the statistics requirement in the economics major; however it can count as elective credit. See an advisor before claiming your credit.
- Lastly, the most successful economics majors are intellectually curious. They want to know about the world around them, why things happen the way they do, and how to solve problems. Get in the habit of reading about current events in newspapers, magazines, and other media (see our Resources page). Start asking questions and thinking about solutions.
* If you don't have the opportunity to take coursework (or AP or dual credit) in calculus, economics, or statistics in high school, don't worry. You will not be behind as long as you are prepared to get started right away when you get to UT. If you are not calculus-ready you will need to take preparatory math coursework in your freshman year. No previous knowledge of economics is required for ECO 304K. ECO 304L requires ECO 304K credit as a prerequisite at UT.
You will find more information for prospective freshmen on the Be-A-Longhorn website.
If you are considering transferring to UT, to major in economics, here are a few things you should know:
- Of the 120 credit hours required for the degree, at least 60 must be taken in-residence (at UT-Austin).
- A minimum of 18 hours of economics classes counting toward the major must be taken in-residence.
- Economics majors must take the following courses in-residence: ECO 420K Microeconomic Theory, ECO 320L Macroeconomic Theory, and ECO 329 Economic Statistics (and ECO 341K Econometrics for students in the 10-12 catalog).
Note: It is acceptable to transfer ECO 304K Intro to Microeconomics, ECO 304L Intro to Macroeconomics, or upper division economics topic courses. Only 9 hours of transferred economics coursework can be applied toward major requirements (only 6 hours for those in the 08-10 or previous catalogs).
- Economics majors must take one of the following calculus sequences: M408C and M408D or M408K and M408L (and M408M for students in the 08-10 or prior catalogs). Equivalent transfer credit is acceptable.
- Business Calculus (M403K and M403L and their equivalents) does not satisfy the calculus requirement for the economics major.
Transfer Resources is a page on the UT Admissions website that lets you:
- Find the UT equivalents of courses at Texas universities and community colleges by using the Automated Transfer Equivalency (ATE) database
- See how courses taken at other institutions apply to a degree at UT Austin by creating an Interactive Degree Audit (IDA)
- Find out about transfer policies, procedures, and common problems
Note: International students with course equivalency/admissions process questions should contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC).
You will find more information for prospective transfers on the Be-A-Longhorn website.
Many economics majors are interested in studying business as well. Be aware that most business courses at UT are restricted to business majors (see our Special Programs section for some exceptions). Students interested in majoring in business must apply for admission to the Red McComb's School of Business. If you are planning to do so, please read the admission criteria very carefully! If you plan to do "internal transfer" into business there are a few important items to note:
- Internal transfers are admitted only once a year (in Fall)
- Students must complete at least 24 credit hours at UT-Austin to be eligible for internal transfer
- Students with 90+ hours at application time are encouraged to consider other options
- Most business courses at UT are restricted to current business majors only
Note: The economics advisors are happy to help you create a course plan that will work for both economics and business but we cannot advise you on admission to the Business School. For that you should contact the Red McComb's School of Business.