Economics is the study of how people choose to use resources.

Economics includes the study of labor, land, and investments, of money, income, and production, and of taxes and government expenditures. Economists seek to measure well-being, to learn how well-being may increase over time, and to evaluate the well-being of the rich and the poor.

More about Economics

Economics is a social science that studies choices and decisions at the individual, business and national levels. It offers explanations and solutions to issues and concerns such as inflation, unemployment, crime, poverty and the environment. An economics degree provides versatility and critical thinking skills for practical problem solving, which is an excellent preparation for the workplace of  the future. Understanding models, applying quantitative analysis to real world data to examine and reveal relationships are integral parts of the economics program and build a skill set that is and will be in demand.

Economics at UM-Dearborn
Economics is good background for a wide variety of fields. … it gives our students great flexibility to go into a wide variety of fields, or to adapt to a changing market.
Dr. Patricia Smith

Degree Requirements & Honors

This page lists the requirements for students seeking an undergraduate concentration in economics. For more detailed listings of course requirements please go to the CASL Advising and Records website or talk to your Economics advisor.

See this PDF for Areas of Interest and Career Paths in Economics.

    • All students must complete the basic curriculum of ECON 201, 202, 301, 302, and 305.  Only one of the 300-level courses can be transferred to UM-Dearborn. 
    • You must take a specific math course before taking these courses (see CASL Advising and Records link above for specifics). 
    • You must also take five other courses in economics; at least one must be at the 4000 level. 
    • You must also take 6 credits in cognate courses (courses outside of Economics) that you select from a specified list of courses in subjects like accounting, computer & information science, computer & computational mathematics, political sciencehistory, or sociology.  Internships and independent study courses may not be used to satisfy the cognate requirement. (see CASL Advising and Records link above or speak to your Economics advisor for specific courses). 
    • A minor or area of focus consists of 12 credits in upper-division (300, 400, 4000-level) Economics courses. ECON 398 may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
    • You must have at least a 2.0 grade point average for the 12 hours of upper-division Economics courses. 
    • There are restrictions on how many transfer credits, internships, or “S/E” courses can be used to fulfill the 12 credit requirement.  (see CASL Advising and Records link above or speak to your Economics advisor for specifics)
    • Minors are NOT automatically granted.  You must petition for recognition of a minor upon completion of the required coursework.  Petition forms are available at the CASL Advising office.
    • You should take ECON 301 and 302 no later than your junior year. 
    • We strongly recommend that you take ACC 298 (Principles of Accounting) and ECON 4015 (Econometrics). 
    • If you’re considering graduate study in economics we advise you to take one year of calculus, MATH 217 (matrix algebra), ECON 4015, and ECON 4065.
  • There are restrictions regarding

    • The use of courses to satisfy both Distribution and Major/Cognate Requirements.
    • The number of economics credit hours or other discipline credit hours that can count towards the degree.
    • Grade point averages required to graduate.
    • The use of Directed Research for satisfying major requirements.
    •  Various other matters.

    Please see the CASL Advising and Records link above or speak to your Economics advisor for specifics.

  • The Honors Designation in Economics will be awarded to students who: 1) successfully complete all the requirements for the Economics Major; 2) pass at least two 4000 level courses (not including Econ 498 nor 499) with grades of B+ or higher in each class; 3) complete a research paper as a component of a three credit hour Directed Research (Econ 499); 4) graduate with an overall GPA of 3.25 at UM-D, and a 3.5 GPA in upper division Economics classes. The transcripts of students who receive this designation will indicate “Economics Honors.”

Internships & Co-Ops

Economics, through the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters (CASL), offers both cooperative education and internship opportunities for students to gain practical knowledge in their areas of study and improve their employment prospects upon graduation.

  • CASL offers non-paying, off-campus educational opportunities for academic credit in a number of disciplines. The Economics Internship, which appears in the course schedule as ECON 398, offers students field experiences with businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies. The placement allows students to get hands-on experience applying the tools of economic analysis to specific job and project assignments. Student interns spend either 8 or 16 hours per week in unpaid work at their placement site, for which they earn either 3 or 6 academic credits. Only three credit hours may be used to satisfy the concentration requirements in economics. All interns are assigned to an economics faculty advisor.

    Economics Internship Application 

    Economics Internship structure

    Sponsored by the Department of Social Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and initiated by the Economics Faculty in 1978.

    Enrollment: limited to Economics Majors, Seniors and Juniors, by application and selection. Students must have completed two of Econ 301, Econ 302, and Econ 305; Econ 305 (statistics) is especially recommended. Applications are made through the Economics Internship Coordinator at (313-593-5096).

    Time commitment and academic credit: Economics 398 involves 8-16 hours of unpaid work per week for the academic term, and regular reporting sessions with Economics faculty on campus, for 3-6 hours of S/E academic credit.

    Intern placements occur on a trimester academic calendar:

    Fall: September-December

    Winter: January-April

    Spring/Summer: May-August

    Program Goals for the Student-Interns:

    . . . to participate in, and contribute to, an ongoing enterprise in order to relate economic theory to practice.
    . . . to observe, analyze, and report-on-the-job experiences so as to gain insights into working cooperatively to accomplish institutional objectives.
    . . . to improve abilities to formulate meaningful questions and to pose possible solutions in order to improve problem-solving techniques.
    . . . to define career opportunities and goals.

    Sample List of Recent Placement Sites: Economics Internship Program

    • General Motors Corporation - Department of Worldwide Economic and Market Analysis
    • Little Caesar's Enterprises, Inc.
    • Corporate Communications Department
    • Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc.
    • Federal Reserve Bank (Detroit)
    • Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
    • Detroit Edison - Department of Strategic Planning
    • Merrill Lynch
    • Prudential-Bache
    • Oakland County Economic Development Division
    • U.S. Department of Commerce - International Trade Administration
    • AAA Michigan - Marketing and Research Department

     For further information,

    Call Dr. Nancy Kursman, the Economics Internship Faculty Coordinator at (313)-593-5164, or contact the Social Science Department Office at (313)-593-5096.

  • Cooperative Education is a nationally-recognized educational program that combines paid employment with on-campus studies, focusing around the co-op seminar. The work experience is related to the student's academic concentration or career goals. Please reference the College's Web page for the CASL Co-op.

    Both part-time and full-time positions are available. Co-op students have the added benefit of earning money to help meet college expenses. The average wage of CASL co-op students in 1994 was $8.21/hour. Other benefits of co-op to the student are: gaining practical, on-the-job experience; developing confidence, responsibility, and maturity; learning work-life and human relations skills; gaining career focus and professional contacts; testing applications of academic theory.

    Co-op students earn 1-3 credits toward graduation per semester on a co-op assignment, and work at least two semesters. Up to 10 credit hours (including the co-op seminar) may be applied toward graduation credit. Information regarding the CASL Co-op Program may be obtained by contacting Patricia Martin at (313) 593-5188.

Student Clubs & Organizations

Economics students may also be interested in other clubs and organizations in Social Sciences, throughout CASL, and across campus.

  • Membership in ODE confers official recognition of overall scholastic achievement and of outstanding achievement in the field of economics. Members of ODE receive a membership card, certificate of membership, and a one-year subscription to The American Economist, the official journal of the ODE, and have opportunities to attend conferences. Eligibility requirements are the following:

    1) Complete at least 12 credit hours of upper-division economics courses at UM-Dearborn. One of these courses must be a core course (ECON301, ECON302, or ECON305). Each of the courses must be taken for a letter grade (A-E).
    2) Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in all completed courses
    at UM-Dearborn.
    3) Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.2 in completed economics courses at UM-Dearborn.
    4) There is NO requirement that a student be an economics major to be eligible for membership.

    If interested in applying for membership, contact the discipline and submit a copy of your transcript (may be unofficial) anytime. Processing takes a few weeks before membership becomes official. Your transcript will verify that your academic record satisfies the eligibility requirements. A $35 membership fee (lifetime membership) and a completed application form must be submitted, which will be sent to the national ODE organization. Plaques and ODE pins and keys are also available at additional cost and can be requested on the application form.

  • The Economics Club is a student led organization open to all UM-Dearborn students interested in economics. The Club organizes activities such as faculty research presentations, panel discussion on current economics events and career planning, and social gatherings. It's a good way to meet and network with others interested in economics. If you're interested in connecting with the Economics Club e-mail Professor Anderson at randersc@umich.edu.