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Economics - College of Arts and Sciences Major Guide for 2009-2010

What is Economics - College of Arts and Sciences

Economists study how society distributes scarce resources such as land, labor, raw materials, and machinery to produce goods and services. They conduct research, collect and analyze data, monitor economic trends, and develop forecasts. They research issues such as energy costs, inflation, interest rates, imports, or employment levels.

Most economists are concerned with practical applications of economic policy. They use their understanding of economic relationships to advise businesses and other organizations, including insurance companies, banks, securities firms, industry and trade associations, labor unions, and government agencies. Economists use mathematical models to help predict answers to questions such as the nature and length of business cycles, the effects of a specific rate of inflation on the economy, or the effects of tax legislation on unemployment levels.
Economists devise methods and procedures for obtaining the data they need. For example, sampling techniques may be used to conduct a survey, and various mathematical modeling techniques may be used to develop forecasts. Preparing reports, including tables and charts, on research results is an important part of an economist’s job. Presenting economic and statistical concepts in a clear and meaningful way is particularly important for economists whose research is directed toward making policies for an organization. For more information, see

Career Opportunities in Economics - College of Arts and Sciences

Employment of economists is expected to grow between 10 and 20 percent between 2000 and 2010. Opportunities for economists should be best in private industry, especially in research, testing, and consulting firms, as more companies contract out for economic research services. The growing complexity of the global economy, competition, and increased reliance on quantitative methods for analyzing the current value of future funds, business trends, sales, and purchasing should spur demand for economists. The growing need of economic analyses in virtually every industry should result in additional jobs for economists.

Salary Trends in Economics - College of Arts and Sciences

Annual salary rates for Economists vary according to occupation, level of experience, training, location, whether the position is a local, state, or federal government position or legislative, think tank or non-profit positions.

Entry Level Economists $30,166
Foreign Policy Research Asst. $31,500
Economic Research Assistant $30,750
Trades Campaign Coordinator $33,500
Housing Policy Analyst $31,500
Fiscal Analyst $36,544
Legislative Assistant $28,750
Remittance Coordinator $29,780

Note: Salaries compiled by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Nationally compiled low, median and high-end salaries can be obtained from the Occupational Outlook Handbook at

High School Preparation

Because it is important for students to be well informed when they begin their college careers, academic advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences encourage all high school students to 1) enroll in math and foreign language courses throughout their high school career, 2) explore business courses, 3) consult with family and friends about their career choices, 4) network with professionals in the field in which they are interested, and 5) volunteer and be involved in their communities.

How to Major in Economics - College of Arts and Sciences

Here is a checklist to get you started on the right track:
Advisors in the department will help you register for the appropriate classes.
Visit Career Services soon after you start classes. Ask about the variety of career paths within the economics profession. Ask about the job market for Economics majors. Take the recommended career inventories to help you target majors that best fit your individual profile. Be diligent in your studies and make good grades.

Requirements for Economics - College of Arts and Sciences

Economics 201 and Statistics 201 or their equivalent honors courses (Econ 207 and Stats 207) are the prerequisites to the Economics major in the College of Arts and Science. The major consists 27 upper division hours in economics and must include 311 and 313.  At least nine hours must be at the 400 level.  Students planning on graduate work in Economics should elect to take Mathematics 141–142.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

To be competitive in today’s market, students are encouraged to volunteer, intern, or work a part-time job in a field associated with their interests. Internships are competitive; however, students can negotiate internships with local employers, non-profit agencies, the local Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations. Listed below are sample internship websites to explore:,,,, and

Highlights of Economics - College of Arts and Sciences

If you do not elect to major in Economics, you may minor in the department by completing Economics 201 (or 207) and 12 additional economics upper division hours. Minors are encouraged to include Economics 311 and 313.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

"Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education web site ( or the Ready for the World web site ( for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities. 
Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office web site ( for information on study abroad opportunities.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Foreign Language 6
Natural Science Lab Sequence 8
Mathematics 125 or 141 3-4
Social Sciences 6

Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Economics 201 4
Non-US History Sequence 6
Natural Science 3
Foreign Language or General Electives 6
Humanities 6
Statistics 201 3
General Electives 3

Junior Year Credit Hours
Economics 311 3
Economics 313 3
Economics (major) 6
Humanities 3
Upper-Level Distribution 6
Upper Division Electives 6
Communicating Through Writing 3

Senior Year Credit Hours
Economics (major) 6
Economics (major 400 level) 9
Upper Division elective 3
Communicating Orally 3
Social Science 3
General Electives 5-6

GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 120

For More Information

Department of Economics
505A  Stokely Management Center
Knoxville, Tn. 37996
Phone: (865) 974-3303



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.