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Economics is defined as the study of how people choose to use their scarce resources in an attempt to satisfy their unlimited wants. In other words, we have unlimited possibilities in life to do whatever we want, but we are limited by the resources we have to do these things. Economics is first and foremost a social science It is a broad major in the social sciences and covers many areas of study that have applications in virtually every industry and institution. Read more about the field of economics and possible career opportunities.

Declare This Major

During the fall and spring semesters, students currently enrolled at UT-Austin who wish to declare an economics major must first attend a mandatory internal transfer information session. During summer sessions, students must first meet with an economics advisor in lieu of an information session.

There is no formal application process to declare the economics major. However, there are specific requirements for the Business Economics Option Program, the ECON-MPA, and the ECON-MSF.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

Introduction to Microeconomics (ECO 304K) and Introduction to Macroeconomics (ECO 304L) are the two introductory level courses offered. In addition to ECO 304K and ECO 304L, students must take two semesters of standard calculus to meet the prerequisites for most upper division economics courses. At UT Austin, Economics is a very quantitative major, and calculus serves as an essential foundation for the upper division course sequence. It is important to complete these prerequisites as soon as possible to progress within the major in a timely manner.

View the degree plan and sample four year plan for economics.


The Business Economics Option Program (BEOP) is designed for economics majors who are interested in business, particularly accounting and finance. The BEOP provides access to a set of restricted accounting and finance courses in the Red McCombs School of Business, for completion of a minor in Business Administration, Accounting, or Finance.

Students in the ECON-MPA Path earn a B.A. degree in Economics and a Master in Professional Accounting (MPA) degree from The University of Texas at Austin. This program enables outstanding undergraduates to complete twelve hours of graduate accounting courses in their senior year toward obtaining a master's degree. View information on the application website for the ECON-MPA Path and CPA Exam Requirements.

The ECON-MSF is designed for high achieving students interested in economics and finance to earn a B.A. degree in Economics and Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree simultaneously from UT Austin. Students must apply by the end of their sophomore year, and have some upper division economics coursework and a competitive GPA to be considered. Those accepted to the program are encouraged to complete one of the BEOP tracks as an undergraduate to prepare for graduate work in finance. View information on the application and curriculum.


Students interested in working directly in the field of economics tend to specialize, and therefore their personality may vary by their particular interests. It is important to note that economists often work alone, writing reports, preparing statistical charts, and using computers, but they also may be an integral part of a research team. Students must be comfortable under pressure of deadlines and tight schedules. They must be flexible, critical thinkers, willing to work around special requests for data.


  • Analytical skills
  • Ability to function independently and collaboratively
  • Quantitative skills
  • Proficient in mathematics
  • Interpersonal communication skills (presenting findings to colleagues)
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ability to examine issue(s) from various perspectives
  • Ability to work effectively under deadlines

A small sample of directly related careers

Department of Economics Blog: Career Information

Market Research Analyst
Stock Broker
Insurance Underwriter
Financial Analyst

Remember: Your major does not (necessarily) equal your career. View a list of career ideas for any major.