Why Choose Economics?
Nearly every decision that a person, business, or government makes falls under the purview of economic analysis. In economics course work, students learn to think analytically and apply their knowledge to a broad range of topics and problems. These skills are highly valuable in our ever changing economy as well as in everyday life. For this reason, those with economics degrees are in high demand in a large number of occupations, whether in business or government. In addition, economics majors are especially sought after by law schools, M.B.A. programs and, of course, graduate programs in economics. Job prospects for those with economics degree at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are expected to remain strong over the next decade.
To learn more about a major in economics, career opportunities, and salary projections, check out these web sites:
American Economic Association
Careers in economics, courtesy of McGraw Hill
Economics as a major, courtesy of the College Board
“I graduated with an MA in Economics from UMSL. Upon graduation I had a body of research projects that had not only given me invaluable working experience but also a collection of writing samples to show to potential employers. The depth of the quantitative training that is available is like no other and provides extremely valuable and marketable skills that few recent graduates possess. It was this experience, as well as the intense theoretical discipline that I gained in the graduate theory classes that set me apart in my field where I currently work as a Model Validation Analyst for US Bank.
The economics MA program at UMSL is a shining example of a complete, quality education available for commuting professionals. I cannot say enough nice things about my experience at UMSL’s economics department.”
Model Validation Analyst
“The most important influence that the Masters program at UMSL had on my success was the cohort effect among the folks that worked in the student computer lab and helped with economics tutoring. This experience helped form my understanding of economics and inspired me to continue learning. The faculty all had an open door policy for the students and I took full advantage of their willingness to answer questions that stumped the students. I never found any hesitation among my peers or the faculty to engage in an interesting question or solve an empirical puzzle. This was great preparation for further graduate school and later in my teaching.”
Michael D. Thomas
Economics and Finance Faculty
Utah State University
MA, UMSL 2005
PhD, George Mason University 2009
“I loved the time I spent working on both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics. The teachers were always there to help if I didn’t understand something, or to debate on theories that are still evolving. The best part was that I never left a class without learning something useful that I could apply somewhere in my life.
The broad array of skills, analytical reasoning, and software knowledge that I gained while earning my degree allowed me to have a job I love with lots of opportunities for advancement. I was able to find a job within four months after graduation, doing the work I’ve always dreamed of.
My Economics degree taught me the skills I need at my current job, and will continue to pay off as I move throughout my career.”
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services –
Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology
At the undergraduate level, the Department of Economics offers a Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree. At the Master's level, we offer a Master of Arts degree. The Department of Economics also offers the opportunity for high-achieving undergraduates to earn a dual BS/MA degree, which allows students to count some MA courses towards their BS degree.
Our faculty and staff are committed to your success. Economics is demanding but it is also very rewarding. You will find small class sizes and faculty who are enthusiastic about the classes they are teaching and the related research they are doing. The department prides itself on the student mentoring environment it has established.
Although UMSL is largely a commuter campus, our Department provides an atmosphere that is akin to a student's experience on a residential campus. Students work together in our Economic Resource Center (ERC), which serves as a University Computer lab, study, and meeting space. At the ERC students will also find peer tutors (especially for principles of macro and micro). Working together enhances learning.
In addition, many students participate in the UMSL student chapter of NABE (National Association for Business Economics). This group provides a great opportunity to become more involved.
Our program offers diverse course offerings. Over the course of any two-year period, in addition to core courses in micro and macro theory, statistics, and money and banking, students can choose from a variety of electives: natural resource economics, the economics of professional sports, the economics of work, families and public policy, international economics, financial economics, real estate and urban economics, labor economics, public finance, history of economic thought, history of American economic development, and up to five courses in econometrics (including introductory, applied, time series, forecasting, and graduate level).
Our department offers a number of opportunities for our majors to work as research assistants on faculty research projects and to work as peer tutors in the Economic Resource Center. Because faculty members get to know their students so well, they are a great resource for helping students obtain employment or gain admission for advanced work in graduate programs.
The close relationships students develop on campus continue after graduation. Many alumni keep in touch, creating an informal career network that helps them learn about new opportunities. Current students benefit from close contact with alumni as well. Each year, Department alumni return and share their experiences with current students in an event called "Career Day." The alums offer tips on finding a job and provide information about what skills they have found most important on the job. In addition, alumni and current students regularly meet up at our Fall Picnic and Spring Alumni Party.
To learn more about the goings-on of the department and alumni over the last few years, take a look at our recent alumni newsletter.
What do UMSL Economics grads do with their degree?
Those who enter the job market with a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree in economics from our department frequently enjoy multiple offers. Recent employers of University of Missouri - St. Louis students include: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, MasterCard, Southwestern Bell, Wells Fargo, Edward Jones, and Caterpillar. For more on what our alumni are doing see our most recent alumni newsletter(s).
Our graduates have been admitted into the top graduate schools in the world. Current alumni are enrolled in Ph.D. programs in Economics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Georgetown, Penn State, and University of California-San Diego. (For those considering pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics, we strongly suggest additional coursework to increase your chances of admission and success rate.)
Others have completed Ph.Ds at Cornell University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Maryland, Washington University, George Mason, Georgia State University, and University of Florida, to name a few. Others have gone on to law school at institutions including SLU, University of Missouri, Boston University, Vanderbilt, and Stanford, and to MBA programs at UMSL, SLU, University of Illinois, Washington University, Duke, and Stanford.