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  1. I. INTRODUCTION • The primary purpose of this handbook is to provide majors, minors, and prospective students in the Department of Economics with information in planning their program of study. To this end, an outline of required courses is given for each of several alternative programs. Since it is not possible to foresee all individual needs, students are encouraged to discuss their plans and goals with the undergraduate advisor in Economics. The current advisor is Dr. Elizabeth Erickson. Please contact her by phone at (330) 972-7973, fax (330) 972-5356, or e-mail at if you have questions or wish to set up an appointment.

  2. A. What is Economics? • Economics is the study of how people and society end up choosing, with or without the use of money, to employ scarce productive resources that could have alternative uses, to produce various commodities and distribute them for consumption, now or in the future, among various persons and groups in society. It analyzes the costs and benefits of improving patterns of resources allocation. • Paul A. Samuelson, Economics, 10th edition.

  3. Economics confronts some of the most compelling of contemporary issues, such as the energy crisis, food shortages, developing and developed countries, the wealth and poverty of individuals and of nations.... But the fascination--and usefulness--of economics lies also in its logic. It seeks to develop principles, concepts, and problems: not only the great issues already mentioned but such everyday problems as how much a city should charge for parking space on city streets, how hospitals should charge for medical services, or whatcauses consumers or business people to behave the way they do. • Leonard Silk, Contemporary Economics: Principles & Issues.

  4. B. Career Opportunities • Increasingly, members of industry, business, non-profit institutions, and government are recognizing the problem-solving abilities of economic analysis. Thus, a variety of career opportunities are available to well-trained economists:

  5. Academic Careers • Students interested in teaching and research may choose to continue on to graduate school and pursue an academic career. Post-graduate education is helpful in all careers, especially for promotion to advanced and responsible positions. A master's degree is sufficient for some teaching positions at two-year institutions; however, a Ph.D. is an absolute requirement for an academic career in four-year colleges and universities.

  6. Business • Economists are involved in decision making in such areas as corporate planning, government regulation of business, government aid and grants, marketing, inventory analysis, and firm location. Therefore, economics is also an excellent background for management trainee programs.

  7. Consulting • Economists who have established a certain reputation may add consulting as a sideline to another career, say the academic career (as many renowned economists do), or else choose consulting as a major career either in an established consulting firm or by organizing their own consulting firm. Successful consultants usually have graduate training and substantial experience.

  8. Government • Government jobs in economics encompass the entire spectrum of local, state, regional, and national government activity. An economist usually is involved in the evaluation of programs and their efficiency, in the drafting of economic legislation, and in the analysis of data and preparation of studies on the state of the economy. Economists can also serve as heads of agencies, advisors to agency heads, or hold other managerial positions within the administration and can influence government policy. These latter careers usually require experience and/or graduate training.

  9. Journalism • There always exists a demand for persons well-trained in economics who are capable of writing clearly and precisely. An individual who has this combination of skills can work as a business writer or editor for newspapers, magazines, or trade journals. He/she can also freelance for these publications. As the economy becomes more complex, those who are able to effectively communicate economic concepts will play an expanding role in these areas.

  10. Pre-Law • Most law schools consider economics an excellent background for legal training due to the mental discipline which economics imparts. Economic reasoning is increasingly being applied to a variety of legal issues and problems. Numerous common law questions involving property rights, contracts, and torts relate to resource allocation questions. Issues of air, water, and noise pollution, energy, resource management, medical insurance, pension rights, job security, consumer protection, product safety, commercial fraud, injury or negligence, anti-trust, and regulation all require the combined use of economic legal reasoning.

  11. C. Areas of Study Offered by the Economics Department • Economics offers a rich and diverse assortment of sub-specialties to meld with the unique interests and career plans of the student. The following chart displays, in broad form, a description of the numerous specialty areas within economics. The Department of Economics provides course work in each of these areas.

  12. The department offers two undergraduate degrees, minors in two areas of study, and a master's degree in Economics. These choices allow students with diverse interests to tailor their education to their personal goals. As indicated in subsection B, graduate training is required for many higher level opportunities in government, business, and especially academe.

  13. Bachelor of Arts in Economics • The Bachelor of Arts in Economics includes curricula in the area of economic theory and specialty course work in fields such as industrial organization, public finance, international trade, urban policy, economic development, banking and monetary policy, regulation, and energy. This curriculum is designed for the student who intends to pursue a career in private business, government, law, economic consulting, or academe.

  14. Bachelor of Science in Labor Economics • The Bachelor of Science in Labor Economics is a more specialized degree for students who intend to pursue a career in the area of employer-employee relationships or human resource policy. This curriculum encompasses the study of relationships between employees and employers, including the role of unions and the collective bargaining process, and the relationships between labor and government, including analysis of the law and programs affecting worker welfare. Graduates of this program are employed as part of the negotiating team for either labor or management, work as consultants, prepare and administer governmental programs, or pursue further education in such fields as economics, law, sociology, and business.

  15. II. REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJORS • A. General Education Requirements - Minimum of 42 credits. • Refer to the “University College” section of The University of Akron Undergraduate Bulletin for more information.

  16. B. Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences Requirements - Minimum of 47 credits. • 1. 47 credits at 300/400 level. • 2. Demonstration of ability to use English and another language. • 3. Completion of all studies for the major with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. • 4. An overall total of 128 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

  17. C. Economics Requirements - Minimum of 30 credits. • 1. Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics • At least 30 credits in the department including: Principles of Micro and Macroeconomics (6 credits), Intermediate Micro and Macroeconomics (6 credits), Mathematics (concepts of calculus, 4 credits) and Statistical Methods or Applied Statistics (4 credits).

  18. C. Economics Requirements - Minimum of 30 credits. • 2. Bachelor of Science in Labor Economics • At least 30 credits in the department including: Principles of Micro and Macroeconomics (6 credits), Labor Problems (3 credits), Intermediate Microeconomics (3 credits), Any two of the following three-credit courses (Labor Econ., Labor Market Policy, Labor and Government, Collective Bargaining), Mathematics (concepts of calculus, 4 credits), Statistical Methods or Applied Statistics (4 credits), and at least 8 credits of 300-level or higher courses in Sociology, History, Psychology, Geography, or Political Science.

  19. III. MINORS IN ECONOMICS • Students with many different majors find minoring in economics beneficial to their academic and career goals. For example, the economics minor can satisfy concentration and specialty requirements in the Colleges of Education and Business Administration; students pursuing professional programs, such as engineering or nursing, who plan to advance in their careers by moving into the ranks of management will find an economics minor valuable; and, students with majors within the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences may find that their education is enhanced by the minor.

  20. The two minors offered by the department of economics are designed to be flexible. Students should consult with the undergraduate advisor to design a course of study suitable to their unique interests, career plans, and major. Both minors require 18 credits of departmental courses, with a minimum of 9 credits to be selected by the student.

  21. Students whose primary interest in economics is in the area of employee-employer relationships or human resource policy should consider the minor in Labor Economics. Students whose interests in economics lay elsewhere are advised to select the minor in Economics. • See the manual text file or consult with the department chairman for more information.


  23. It has been our experience that both students and faculty benefit when there is an opportunity to get to know one another outside the classroom. Fortunately, the department has organized a campus club known formally as the Economics Club that is open to anyone interested in economics. Our goals include providing various social and academic activities as well as providing information on employment opportunities. On-campus activities include guest speakers in such areas as economic forecasting, city planning, banking, public utilities regulation, labor problems, and health economics. Off-campus activities include occasional parties and field trips. All students will receive notice of upcoming activities and everyone is encouraged to attend. Don't make the mistake of going through four years of college without becoming involved!

  24. B. Economics Honor Society-Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE)

  25. The Economics Department at The University of Akron received a charter in 1966 as the IOTA Chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE). The objectives of this international organization are to recognize scholastic achievement and to promote closer ties between students and faculty in the same school and with economists at other schools. Currently, ODE has over 120 chapters with more than 28,000 members. To become a member of this organization undergraduate candidates must have:

  26. 1. an overall scholastic average of B or 3.0, and; • 2. completed at least 12 credits in economics with an average of B or better. • Undergraduate candidates need not be economics majors, but they must have a genuine interest in economics. The department holds an annual spring banquet where students who meet the requirements are inducted into ODE and receive recognition for their outstanding achievements.

  27. C.Emile Grunberg Lecture Series • The Department of Economics and Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences inaugurated the Emile Grunberg Lecture Series in the Spring of 1988. The series honors the late Emile Grunberg, professor emeritus and eminent scholar in the fields of economic methodology and the philosophy of science. Professor Grunberg had a long and distinguished career with a publication record spanning over 50 years--from 1932 to 1986. He was on our faculty for approximately 20 years and served as department chair for 13 of those years.

  28. To date, we have been privileged to have had eleven distinguished economists participate in the series: Nobel Laureates Herbert A. Simon (Carnegie-Mellon); Franco Modigliani (MIT); James Tobin (Yale); Robert Solow (MIT); Kenneth Arrow (Stanford); Lawrence Klein (University of Pennsylvania); Harry Markowitz (Baruch College); Douglass North (Washington University); and James Mirrlees (University of Cambridge, England). Also participating have been Richard Cyert (President Emeritus of Carnegie-Mellon University), William W. Cooper (University of Texas at Austin), and Robert Fogel (University of Chicago) . Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon tentatively scheduled to deliver the 13th lecture. We anticipate the lecture series will continue to present renowned economists for many years to come.


  30. All students entering the economics program are advised by the department's undergraduate advisor. You should consult with the advisor at the beginning of your program to construct a plan of study, discuss class sequencing, graduation requirements, and proper university procedures. The department requires all majors to consult with the advisor at least once a year and encourages students to meet with him/her more frequently. Currently, the undergraduate advisor is Dr. Elizabeth Erickson, phone (330) 972-7973, fax (330) 972-5356, or e-mail

  31. B. Cooperative Education • Cooperative education (co-op) is a formal educational program that combines classroom study with on-the-job experience in a paid, academically related employment position. Participation in co-op gives you the schooling you need to get a degree, the money you need to pay for college, and the work experience you need to get a job. Co-op can help you screen career choices, earn while you learn, provide necessary experience, help you develop human relations skills, and establish contacts which may result in a job offer after graduation.

  32. In today's world, companies are searching for well-qualified employees who have relevant job experience. Traditional, on-campus recruitment methods have not met their needs so many companies are reducing their on-campus recruiting efforts. Cooperative education experiences provide employers with an inexpensive and effective alternative recruitment tool. Management can evaluate students in cooperative education extensively as well as gather information on skills, attitudes, and dedication. Students with successful cooperative education experiences have a distinct advantage in today's competitive environment.

  33. To prepare for participating in cooperative education, students should meet early with the undergraduate advisor to forge a plan that allows for one or more cooperative educational experiences. You can participate in co-op if you have at least a 2.0 GPA and have completed half of your academic studies (two years toward a bachelor's degree). Those participating must register and pay a minimal fee for each co-op work assignment. Over 200 businesses and organizations, including 25 Fortune 500 firms, are now active in The University of Akron's co-op program. For additional information, contact the Cooperative Education Office in Simmons Hall, Room 185, phone (330) 972-7747.

  34. C. Financial Aid • Students at The University of Akron who need financial aid may be eligible for one or more programs of assistance. The kinds of assistance available include federal programs such as loans, grants, and college work study; state programs such as scholarships and the Ohio Instructional Grant (OIG); and University programs such as scholarships, the installment payment plan, and student employment. Completing the following steps will allow students to be considered for most major forms of aid:

  35. 1. Apply for admission to The University of Akron. • 2. Apply for financial aid at the University by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applications are available in January for the following school year and may be obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Office of Student Financial Aid. • For more specific information and application forms, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid in Spicer Hall, Room 119, phone (330) 972-6338, or the Installment Payment Plan Office in Spicer 105, phone (330) 972-5100.

  36. D. Graduate Education Opportunities • The Economics Department offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Economics. The program is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of students, providing opportunities for: • rigorous preparation for a Ph.D. program • advanced training for professional positions in government and industry • teaching and research experience while pursuing the master's degree • part-time or full-time study

  37. Admission requirements are Intermediate Microeconomics (3250:410), Intermediate Macroeconomics (3250:400); knowledge of calculus equivalent to 3450:215; and, statistics equivalent to 3470:460. A grade point average of 2.75 or better is required for graduate admission. Our graduate classes are open to seniors interested in further study with the permission of the instructor.

  38. Tests for Graduate School • Most graduate schools require that entering students take some form of an admission or screening test. These vary depending on the type of graduate work anticipated. Information on testing and deadlines are available from the Counseling, Testing, and Career Center located in Simmons Hall, Room 161, phone (330) 972-7084.

  39. E. Graduation Degree Clearance Forms • During the final year of study, the student must plan for graduation. This is not automatically done for you. You must apply for graduation in the Graduation Office in Spicer Hall 113 where you can obtain the forms necessary to begin the processing that will clear you for graduation. After completing these forms and returning them to the Graduation Office, the forms will be circulated within the University for clearance. There are three commencements per year. You must file an application for graduation by the appropriate deadline.

  40. F. Independent Study • The Department of Economics offers students the opportunity to do advanced reading and independent study in a chosen economics field. You may sign up for one to three credits per semester, and up to a maximum of six credits. You should contact the instructor with whom you would like to work prior to registration in order to arrange the conditions of the study project. You should be aware that registration for the course before you obtain permission from an instructor may result in your withdrawal without credit. The faculty is not obliged to direct an independent study; however, you will find our instructors are quite interested in helping you with independent study if all of the arrangements are made prior to registration.

  41. G. Tests for Government Jobs • Competition for federal government jobs is very intense and most government agencies screen applicants through a testing procedure. Most government jobs at the entry level require that you take the Professional Administrative Career Examination (PACE). This test covers general aptitudes for work in certain areas. Since it is not really difficult, it is extremely important that you score high on the test (90 percentile or above). This test will qualify you to be put on a list of applicants for positions covered by the civil service. Test scores are valid for one year and during that time you may be considered for a position depending upon your score, areas of job interest, openings, and location preferences. Veterans receive an additional five points added to their score thus giving them a slight advantage in the selection process.

  42. H. Transfer and Transient (Guest) Students

  43. Transfer Students • Transfer students will usually find that the University will accept most of their course credit from another school. However, experimental and developmental courses designed as bridge-up work between high school and freshman studies usually will not be accepted. Both the University College and the Buchtel College of Arts will evaluate the transcript of the student's former studies and Sciences to determine which courses fulfill our requirements. All remaining requirements for graduation will be stated in a letter sent to the student after completion of this evaluation. You should carefully review this letter to ensure that no course has been overlooked which might meet one of our requirements due to its obscure title or numbering system. If you feel the evaluation is questionable, please contact the undergraduate advisor in the Department of Economics for clarification.

  44. The transfer student should also note that while course credits transfer, grades do not. Your grade point average will be determined solely on the work completed at The University of Akron. While transfer grades will not be counted in your overall GPA, all courses in economics taken at UA or elsewhere will be counted in computing the 2.0 requirement for the major.

  45. Transferring should be avoided if you are near completion of your requirements at one school. Too often a late transfer will force you to remain in school longer than would have been necessary at the original school. This situation may arise because UA requires that the last 32 semester credits be completed here if we are going to be the degree granting institution. This ensures that no student can receive a degree from The University of Akron by merely completing his/her last two or three courses here.

  46. Within the Department of Economics we will try to evaluate your previous economics courses in order for you to receive maximum credit. But the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences requires that you complete at least 14 credit hours in the department. Generally, core upper division courses in micro and macro theory will not transfer; however, see the undergraduate advisor for exceptions. Again this is to ensure that if we are going to grant you a degree certifying proficiency in economics, you should have completed a substantial amount of course work here.

  47. Transient (Guest) Students • If a University of Akron student wishes to take a course at another institution and apply the credit toward graduation, permission must first be given by the department and a Transient Permission Form obtained and completed from the Dean’s Office of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences. Approval must be given prior to enrolling for the course. Permission to take departmentally required courses is usually not given. The student should note that while course credits transfer, grades do not.

  48. The University requires that the last 32 credits be completed here. However, if you must move due to job or family relocation and are near completion of your requirements, you should apply to the Dean of Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences to have the rule waived. Please see the undergraduate advisor for help. If the waiver is granted, you must complete a Transient Permission Form listing all courses to be transferred prior to enrolling for courses at the new location. You may then take the last few courses at another school as a transient student and have The University of Akron be the degree-granting institution. All such matters should be arranged before relocating.

  49. I. Placement Services • Placement Services offers assistance to senior students in their job search. Students can obtain information on preparing resumes, interviewing techniques, employers, and various other services and employment opportunities. Placement Services also arranges for outside companies to hold interviews on campus and will assist you in formulating your post-graduation plans. Do not expect them to find you a job. They collect information on job openings in certain areas and post them for all students to see. You must take the initiative to go and check with them.

  50. Campus interviewing is a good learning experience for anyone interested in finding a job. Not every interview will turn out the way you like, but the experience will add to your self-confidence and better enable you to more easily present yourself to others. The job market today is very competitive and, therefore, requires diligence on your part in order to gain the opportunity for an interview. A monthly listing of interviewing dates can be picked up at Placement Services, but it is only available to those who have registered with them so visit them early in your senior year and register.