Economics – College of Arts and Sciences Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Economics – College of Arts and Sciences

Economics is everywhere.  You will find this on your first job (if you didn’t know it already).  The analytical tools of economics are valuable for strategic decision-making– in work or in life.

Economics studies scarcity (in particular, scarce resources versus many competing demands), and looks at the impact of this upon decision making.  Economics coursework develops analytical abilities and a framework for thinking.  Economists collect and analyze data, monitor trends, and develop forecasts, and conduct research. They research issues such as energy costs, inflation, interest rates, trade issues, employment or policy impacts.

Many economists specialize in a particular area of economics.  For example, specializations include microeconomics, industrial organization, public finance, international economics, macroeconomics, and monetary economics.  (See for more information.)  Most economists use their understanding of economic relationships to advise businesses and other organizations, including insurance companies, banks, securities firms, industry and trade associations, and government agencies. Some economists working for the private sector may forecast consumer demand and the sales for the firm.  Others may look at the impact of state or federal legislation, and project the impact on the firm.  Economists may use mathematical models to help predict answers to questions such as the impact of interest rates on key economic sectors, the nature the business cycles, or the effects of tax changes on unemployment levels.  Quantitative skills are valuable in all economics specialties.

Career Opportunities in Economics – College of Arts and Sciences

Opportunities for economists may be found in private industry, for example in research, testing, and consulting firms. The growing complexity of the global economy, competition, and increased reliance on quantitative methods for analyzing business trends and other management or policy issues make quantitative analytical skills important. During your study of economics, it is valuable to take coursework on econometrics.  There is an ongoing need for economists with government.  The government sector employs over 50 percent of economists, in a wide range of agencies at Federal or state and local levels.  Government sector economists administer many of the surveys and collect data summarizing state, national or foreign economic performance.  They also may assess projected policy impacts and provide policy input to legislators.

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 $33,000
Economic Research Assistant $33,000
Foreign Policy Research Asst. $34,000
Trades Campaign Coordinator $36,000
Fiscal Analyst $39,000
Legislative Assistant $29,500

Note: Updated information on 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) talk with family and friends about their career choices, 4) network with professionals in the field of interest, 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:   1)  Look at the online catalog for a description of courses and requirements. Talk with your advisor in the Economics department.  Your advisor can help you identify courses appropriate for your degree and your career goals.   2)  Monitor your progress (on University, College and Major requirements) via your DARS report.  3) Be diligent in your courses and make good grades.  4)  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.

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.  The Econometrics course (Econ 381) is strongly recommended to students, and is valuable across a variety of career paths.  Students planning on graduate work in Economics should take Mathematics 141–142.  Talk with your Economics Department advisor about other specific courses that are useful for specific career paths or for graduate school goals.

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 major in Economics, but still want some emphasis in economics, a minor may be a good solution.  You can minor in Economics by completing Economics 201 (or 207) and 12 additional economics upper division hours.  The coursework should include Econ 311 and 313, and at least one 400-level course.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

“Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to foster a culture of diversity, to best prepare students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Students are encouraged to participate in diverse cultural programs offered.  Visit the Center for International Education web site ( or Ready for the World web site ( for more information on activities.  Students also are encouraged to include study abroad in their academic program.  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

Following this four-year plan will help you stay on track to graduate in four years.  Milestone courses have been identified as the minimum courses that must be completed.

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Foreign Language 6
Natural Science Lab Sequence 8
Mathematics 125 or 141 3-4
Social Sciences 6
Milestone courses: English 101, Math 125 or 141 and a social science (3 hrs)
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Economics 201 4
Non-US History Sequence 6
Natural Science 3
Foreign Language or General Electives 6
Arts and Humanities 6
Statistics 201 3
General Electives 3
Milestone courses: English 102, elementary foreign language proficiency, natural science (3-4 hrs) and Economics 201
Junior Year Credit Hours
Economics 311 3
Economics 313 3
Economics (major) 6
Arts and 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 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.