Department of Economics

Economics is the study of how individuals, businesses, and government make decisions when allocating limited resources among alternative uses to meet their needs. For example, individuals must choose what goods or services to purchase with their limited incomes. Business firms must decide which goods to produce, how much to produce, and what production methods to use. Governments must choose which programs to implement and what taxes to levy to derive the maximum benefits to the society from scarce resources.

Economists develop theories to explain how components of an economy like households, firms, and government operate and interact with one another. They then gather statistical data and empirical evidence to estimate the relationships among the various aspects of the economy. Using these, economists predict how different economic entities will respond to changes in policies and external forces. These predictions, in turn, help guide private and public decision-makers to form appropriate policies.

Pursuing Economics at Ohio State High School economics course work is not a prerequisite for students interested in the economics major, but students should have a good high school background in basic mathematics. Economics helps students develop good analytical skills, so it is desired to have a foundation in courses such as statistics and logic which help develop analytical thinking. Computer experience also is helpful.

All Ohio State freshman applicants are considered within a competitive admission process for the Columbus campus. The primary criteria for admission are the completion of the applicant’s high school college preparatory program, performance in that program as indicated by class rank and/or grade-point average, and performance on either the ACT or SAT. Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in economics within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Economics Requirements The Department of Economics offers a major in economics leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA) or to the degree Bachelor of Science (BS). The BS program has a stronger quantitative component that prepares the student for graduate work in economics or for more analytical areas of government and business. The BA is less quantitative and is broader; both degrees provide an excellent base for graduate work in any of the social sciences or in professional programs such as law or Master of Business Administration.

Students completing either the BA or BS degree are required to take Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics, an economics writing course, and 15 credit hours of economics elective courses, including 6 credit hours at the 5000-level. In addition, students in both degree tracks take courses in Intermediate Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, although the BS courses are calculus-based. BA students also complete Elementary Economics, while BS students complete a 2-course econometric sequence.