EconomicsMajors & Minor

We offer contemporary economic theories and empirical methodologies that promote critical thinking. We prepare students with analytical skills relevant to real-world issues; we equip students with the fundamental skills of collaborative research from interdisciplinary perspectives; we enrich students’ learning experiences through multi-faceted and hands-on pedagogies. We expect our students to become world problem solvers based on their liberal arts education. 



Resourceful Links

What is Economics? What do Economists do? "Understanding the Discipline"

Career Options in Economics: "What Careers Follow After an Economics Degree" 

Majors that Pay You Back: "College Salary Report" 

More Resources



E/M-108 (Principles of Microeconomics) is a prerequisite for further work in the department unless the student receives approval of an alternate from the department chairperson.

Economics Majors

This section lists the requirements of the Economics majors. A grade of C- or higher is required for each course counted toward the major and a departmental GPA of 2.33 or higher is required for all departmental courses counted toward the majors. January Interim courses are not counted toward any major in the department. Note: A minor or second major in Mathematics is strongly encouraged for those anticipating graduate study in Economics. The specific requirements are as follows:

  1. Departmental Mathematics Requirement (required of all majors). A grade of C- or better is required in each of these courses. Additional courses in Mathematics and Computer Science are strongly recommended for students anticipating graduate study.
    1. MCS-121 Calculus I or MCS-118 & MCS-119 Calculus with Pre-calculus Review 1a & b
    2. Complete one of the following listed below.
      1. E/M-125 Statistics for Economics and Management
      2. MCS-142 Introduction to Statistical Methods
      3. MCS-341 Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics I
  2. Departmental Core (required of all majors):
    1. E/M-108 Principles of Microeconomics
    2. E/M-109 Principles of Macroeconomics
    3. E/M-110 Financial Accounting (Economic Analysis majors may substitute an Economics elective for E/M-110)
      1. In order to receive credit toward a major in the department, a grade point average of 2.33 is required for the three core courses, with a grade of C– being the minimum acceptable grade in any of the core courses. Economic Analysis majors who do not take E/M-110 will have their core grade point average calculated based on grades in E/M-108, E/M-108 and E/M-125 or an approved substitute. It is strongly recommended that the core courses as well as the mathematics requirement be completed by the end of the sophomore year.

        Students must complete the Departmental Core before enrolling in Level II 
or Level III courses in the Economics and Management Department. Students must complete the Departmental Mathematics requirement before enrolling
in Level III courses. Non-majors who wish to take Level II or III courses without having completed the above prerequisites may enroll with the permission of the instructor.

  3. Additional Course Requirements for Each Major as Follows: 
    1. Economic Analysis Major
      1. All three of the following are required.
        1. E/M-281 Intermediate Microeconomics
        2. E/M-282 Intermediate Macroeconomics
        3. E/M-388 Econometrics
      2. Six Economics electives (minimum three Level-III courses) from the following. *Students who complete E/M-110 need five courses, at least three Level-III.
        1. E/M-273 History of Economic Thought
        2. E/M-274 U.S. Economic History
        3. E/M-276 Economic Development and World Resources
        4. E/M-277 Health Economics
        5. E/M-285 Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources
        6. E/M-286 Economics of Sports
        7. E/M-366 Economics of Strategy
        8. E/M-382 Money and Banking
        9. E/M-384 International Trade and Finance
        10. E/M-385 Public Finance
        11. E/M-386 Government and Business
        12. E/M-387 Labor Economics
        13. Approved E/M-244/344 Special Topics courses may count.
    2. Financial Economics Major
      1. All six of the following are required.
        1. E/M-281 Intermediate Microeconomics or E/M-360 Managerial Economics
        2. E/M-282 Intermediate Macroeconomics
        3. E/M-270 Business Finance
        4. E/M-370 Managerial Finance
        5. E/M-371 Investments
        6. E/M-388 Econometrics
      2. Two Economics electives (one from Level-III) from the following.
        1. E/M-273 History of Economic Thought
        2. E/M-274 U.S. Economic History
        3. E/M-276 Economic Development of World Resources
        4. E/M-277 Health Economics
        5. E/M-285 Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources
        6. E/M-286 Economics of Sports
        7. E/M-366 Economics of Strategy
        8. E/M-382 Money and Banking
        9. E/M-384 International Trade and Finance
        10. E/M-385 Public Finance
        11. E/M-386 Government and Business
        12. E/M-387 Labor Economics
        13. Approved E/M-244/344 Special Topics courses may count.

Economics Minor

The Economics minor is available with prior approval by the student’s departmental advisor and the department chair to students not majoring in the department. A grade of C– or higher is required in each of the courses in the minor, along with an overall GPA of 2.333 for the minor. All Economics courses must be taken at Gustavus to apply toward this minor. The requirements are:

  1. All four of the following are required.
    1. E/M-125 and/or MCS-121 Calculus I
    2. E/M-108 Principles of Microeconomics
    3. E/M-109 Principles of Macroeconomics
    4. E/M-110 Financial Accounting
  2. Two additional Economics courses approved by the department chair

Mathematics Courses

118 Calculus with Pre-calculus Review 1a (1 course) This is a beginning calculus course that has an extensive review of pre-calculus. Calculus topics covered include limits, derivatives, and applications of the derivative. This course is continued in MCS-119; this two-course sequence provides the same coverage of calculus as MCS-121. Pre-calculus topics are taught in the context of solving calculus problems. These topics include polynomials and rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Fall semester.

119 Calculus with Pre-calculus Review 1b (1 course) This is the second course of the beginning calculus with pre-calculus review. Calculus topics covered include differential calculus (calculating derivatives, applications of the derivative, implicit differentiation, etc.) as well as the integral as an area, indefinite integrals, the fundamental theorem of calculus, and integration by substitution. As in MCS-118, pre-calculus topics are covered on an as-needed, just-in-time fashion. The combination of MCS-118 and MCS-119 covers the same calculus topics as MCS-121. Prerequisite: MCS-118. MATHL, Spring semester.

121 Calculus I (1 course) Introduction to the basic ideas of differential and integral calculus and formal development of differentiation and integration. Prerequisite: Two years of high school mathematics beyond plane geometry, including trigonometry. MATHL, Fall and Spring semesters.

142 Introduction to Statistical Methods (1 course) Gathering, organizing and describing data, probability, random variables, sampling distributions, estimation, hypothesis Students who have already taken a statistics course may not earn credit for MCS-142testing, linear regression, and analysis of variance. Treatment is more mathematical than MCS-140, but the emphasis is still on applications. Introduction to the use of computerized statistical packages. Students who have already taken a statistics course may not earn credit for MCS-142. Prerequisite: MCS-119 or MCS-121. MATHL, Fall and Spring semesters.

341 Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics I (1 course) The probability model, random variables, conditional probability and independence, probability functions, density functions, expectation, some important discrete and continuous distributions, the central limit theorem. Prerequisite: MCS-222; a previous or concurrent course in statistics is recommended. Fall semester, even years.

Relevant E/M Courses

108 Principles of Microeconomics (1 course) Microeconomics examines the actions of the smaller components that make up the macroeconomy: individuals, households, business, unions, and governmental units.  Most attention is given to the decisions facing a typical firm, and how those decisions will impact variables like price, output, and profit. Specific topics include demand theory, elasticity, production and cost, market structure, factor markets, international trade, and the role of government. SOSCI, Fall and Spring semesters. 

109 Principles of Macroeconomics (1 course) A continuation of E/M-108. Whereas microeconomics examines individual markets, households or business organizations, macroeconomics looks at the economy as a whole. A study of the performance of the American economy including an understanding of basic economic theories, economic institutions, and the history of the discipline of economics. Topics include introductory supply and demand analysis, national income determination, the money and banking system, monetary and fiscal policy, and the application of economic principles to the problems of achieving full employment, price stability, economic growth, and a favorable balance of payments. Some study of economic development and the impacts of globalization. Prerequisites: E/M-108, SOSCI, Fall and Spring semesters. 

110 Financial Accounting (1 course) This course introduces the measurement system used by entities to inform interested parties about their economic activity. The course provides a general overview of the quantitative and qualitative components of accounting information and also focuses on developing the basic reasoning skills needed to interpret an entity’s financial reports. This course, which is part of the departmental core, emphasizes a user perspective. Fall and Spring semesters.

125 Statistics for Economics and Management (1 course) The course emphasizes the application of statistical methods to economic, management, and accounting problems. In the course, students will develop their skills using current computer software and internet applications. The topics include presentation of data, measures of central tendency and dispersion, probability and probability distributions, sampling methods and distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation analysis, simple linear regression, time series analysis, and decision making under conditions of uncertainty. Credit cannot be earned for this course if another course in statistics has been completed. Prerequisite: higher algebra. Fall and Spring semesters.

244, 344 Special Topics (1 course, 1 course) Special topics in Economics/Management studies. Content will vary from semester to semester. Courses will explore a topic or problem in depth and students will read, discuss and write. More than one special topic may be taken. Offered occasionally.

270 Business Finance (1 course) This course introduces student to the fundamentals of finance. The course provides an overview of financial ratio analysis, time value of money, cash flow and financial planning, risk and return, interest rate and bond valuation, and stock features and valuation. The student is then introduced to the management of corporate working capital, including current assets and current liabilities management. Pre-requisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, and either E/M-125 or MCS-142. Fall and Spring semesters.

273 History of Economic Thought (1 course) Growth and development of theories and doctrines of major economists with emphasis on the classical and neo-classical schools. Austrian school, and theories of Karl Marx, concluding with Keynesian aggregative economics and post-Keynesian concepts. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, and E/M-110. Fall semester, even years.

274 U.S. Economic History (1 course) Economic history examines historical questions through the application of economic theory. This class will focus on the role of markets, social institutions, and government in the development of the American economy. Topics include colonialism, slavery, industrialization, the economic effects of wars, the Great Depression. Course work includes essay exams, a term paper, and other brief writing assignments. Prerequisite: E/M-108 E/M-109, and E/M-110. Spring semester.

276 Economic Development and World Resources (1 course) This course is a study of the factors influencing the economic modernization of less developed countries, including cultural, human, and natural factors involved in the appearance and disappearance of economic resources. Topics include economic growth and development, poverty and income distribution, food problems, population growth, environment and development, sustainable development, capital formation, investment allocation, structural transformation, planning, markets, the role of the state, privatization, Third World debt, development planning, macroeconomic stabilization policies, and the international economics of development. The effect of economic advancement on the rates of resource utilization and its implications for less-developed countries, more developed countries, and world resources will be examined. This course counts toward the Peace Studies minor. Prerequisite: E/M-108, E/M-109 and E/M-110. WRITD, Fall semester.

277 Health Economics (1 course) This course applies the economic way of thinking to the analysis of individual decision-making in regard to the consumption and provision of healthcare as well as to the organization and operation of the healthcare industry. Students learn to evaluate the performance of various healthcare systems by comparing the efficiency and effectiveness of the American healthcare system against other countries. Covered topics: the demand and supply of healthcare, the demand and supply of health insurance, incentives inherent in different organizational structures, the role of regulation, the history of health care provision. Prerequisite: E/M-108, E/M-109 and E/M-110. Spring semester.

281 Intermediate Microeconomics (1 course) An intermediate analytical approach to consumption, production, distribution, government regulation, and welfare economics. Students cannot receive credit for both E/M-360 and E/M-380. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, and MCS-121 or MCS-119. Spring semester.

282 Intermediate Macroeconomics (1 course) This course is an analytical and empirical approach to macroeconomics. Using current computer software and Web-based applications, students will explore the long-run determinants of economic growth, inflation, and unemployment for both developed and developing economies. The course also focuses on an analysis
of short-run fluctuations in income, employment, and how government policies affect the stability of the economy, as well as the interdependence of the domestic and global economies. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, and MCS-121 or MCS-119. Fall and Spring semesters.

285 Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources (1 course) This course explores the economics of environmental protection and natural resource management. The first portion of the course introduces theoretical and measurement issues related to environmental policy. Topics in this phase include the problem of externalities, theories of regulation, methods of regulation, and cost-benefit analysis. The remainder of the course uses the tools of economics to analyze specific environmental and conservation issues. These issues include conservation of exhaustible resources, management of renewable resources and sustainable development. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, and E/M-110. WRITD, Spring semester.

286 Economics of Sports (1 course) Sports economics utilizes the tools of economic theory to study sports markets, but also uses sports to shed light on economic concepts that are less easy to observe in other sectors of the economy. For example, player statistics provide easily obtainable data on worker productivity that can be applied to labor market theory. Also, sports leagues are one of the few legal operating cartels in the U.S., allowing us to observe the effects of monopoly power. Topics covered in this class will include: demand for sports, teams and profit, labor markets and unions, league structure and competitive balance, public subsidies for stadiums, and amateur sports. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109 and E/M-110. Spring semester.

360 Managerial Economics (1 course) Managerial economics offers an intermediate-level microeconomic analysis of the decisions facing managers in both traditional businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Topics include basic optimization, demand analysis, production and cost, linear programming, pricing and output decisions, factor markets, risk analysis, and strategic behavior. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119. Fall semester.

366 Economics of Strategy (1 course) This course uses economic analysis to provide a framework for strategic decisions within organizations. In particular, we will explore the concept of firm boundaries, how to analyze markets and competitors, how firms position themselves within markets and change those positions over time, and how firms organize themselves internally to carry out their strategies. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119. Spring semester.

268, 368 Career Exploration, Internship (Course value to be determined) Off-campus employment experience related to the student’s major. See description of the Internship Program. Fall and Spring semesters and Summer.

370 Managerial Finance (1 course) A study of the financial structure and problems of financing business enterprises, including financing of working capital, cash flow, capital budgeting, and monetary and capital markets. Students will develop a business plan and analyze its feasibility. Problem-solving is a major part of the class and students will work in small groups on assigned problems. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119 and E/M-270. Spring semester.

371 Investments (1 course) Examination of how financial instruments are valued and traded. Investment strategies, such as active versus passive investing and constructing efficient portfolios, are explored. Students will present investment recommendations to the class (generally individual stocks or mutual funds). Students are expected to use the Internet or other sources to conduct research. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119, and E/M-270. Fall semester.

382 Money and Banking (1 course) This is an intermediate level course focused on monetary theory, the money market, banking industry, and financial markets. Topics include the money market, monetary policy, nature and role of the central bank, the banking industry, inflation, interest rate, foreign exchange market, aggregate demand and supply, IS-LM model, financial market, theories on financial market, financial structure, financial crisis, financial regulation and international financial system. Pre-requisites: E/M-108, E/M-109 and E/M-110. Spring semester.

384 International Trade and Finance (1 course) A study of the fundamentals of international trade and finance. Topics include theory of international trade; trade policy and protectionism; regional trade agreements; international factory movements and multinational enterprises; foreign exchange markets; balance of payment; the international monetary system; international finance; banking, risk, and the world debt; the World Trade Organization; and macroeconomic policy in an open economy. Emphasis will be on understanding the impacts of globalization and policies in a global community. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, and E/M-110. WRITD, Spring semester.

385 Public Finance (1 course) Theory, character, and trends in public expenditures, revenues, and debt management of governments, local, state, and national. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119. WRITD, Fall semester, odd years.

386 Government and Business (1 course) This course examines the interaction of government and business in a market economy. Students will apply economic theory to an analysis
of the legal and institutional aspects of government regulation. Topics include: antitrust law (mergers, price-fixing, monopolization, etc.); economic regulation and deregulation in markets for energy, transportation, and telecommunications; and social regulation in the areas of environmental protection, occupational safety and health, and consumer protection. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, and MCS-121 or MCS-119. Fall semester.

387 Labor Economics (1 course) This course examines the many dimensions of labor markets, from both the demand and supply sides. The emphasis is primarily from a microeconomic perspective, with a focus on policy issues. Specific topics include: labor supply and demand, both in aggregate and at the firm or individual levels; education and training policies; poverty and welfare policies; discrimination; unions and collective bargaining; labor history and labor law; and contemporary policy issues. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119. WRITD, Spring semester, odd years.

388 Econometrics (1 course) This course studies the theory of economic model building. Special emphasis is given to problems of time series and cross sectional data, qualitative variables, and estimation of cost function and of simultaneous equation macro econometric models. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119. Fall and Spring semesters.

291, 391 Independent Study (Course value to be determined) This permits wide latitude for well-qualified students to do supervised, individual study and/or research in a field of special interest. Open only to students majoring in the department and with permission of the department. Fall and Spring semesters and Summer.