IUP Students in classroom during lecture

Choose a Career of Impact in Economics

You're curious about society’s big challenges. You seek to understand why people make the choices they make. That's how great economists think about the world around them—and how they help find solutions to complex problems. With a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from IUP, you’ll be prepared to make situations better through the lens of economics.

In this program, you'll learn why economics is often described as the science of choice. You'll learn the “hows and whys” of decisions that governments, financial firms, and international organizations make about the economy. By the time you graduate, what you've learned about making critical decisions will set you apart as an economist.

Why Major in Economics at IUP?

Economists who can solve complex problems are in high demand. As an economics major, you'll be in one of IUP's most versatile disciplines. Through your classes and coursework, you'll gain a wide range of tools for tackling big challenges.

You will be assigned a faculty member who will be your advisor and will guide you through the BA in Economics program. Because economics touches other fields like business and politics, you can learn across disciplines as well. You can take advantage of courses from the Eberly College of Business, the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, and the Department of Political Science.

Many economics students pursue a double major or minor. These additional areas of study can make you more marketable to employers or stand out as a strong candidate for graduate degree programs.

What You’ll Learn

Led by our highly skilled faculty, you will learn that behind budgets and forecasts, there is always a problem that needs to be solved.

Economics is more than just numbers. Each generation must take on big issues with leadership and guidance. When you graduate with an economics degree, you’ll have the skills to help solve those problems.

Imagine Your Future

The world needs highly skilled economists. Economists work to improve global living conditions and help people make good decisions. Good policy leads to a better living experience—better food, health care, and security.

A career in economics gives you opportunities for a job anywhere in the country. Economists are in high demand within the business, banking, nonprofit, and government sectors.

In addition, economist jobs pay very well. A salary report on Payscale.com showed that graduates with an economics degree can get a high-paying job. More than 10 percent of the top 100 highest paying jobs that required a bachelor’s degree were jobs that required a background in economics.

Many IUP graduates double major or earn a minor in economics because it boosts marketability to employers.

Related Careers

  • Actuary
  • Budget analyst
  • Credit analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial manager
  • Lawyer
  • Market research analyst
  • Operations research analyst
  • Political scientist
  • Public policy analyst
  • Statistician
  • Survey researcher

Economist

$108,350

Median salary, 2020

18,600

Jobs in 2020

10-year job outlook

13%

job growth (faster than average)

Financial Manager

$134,180

Median salary, 2020

681,700

Jobs in 2020

10-year Job Growth

17%

Much faster than average

Classes and Requirements

As an economics major at IUP, you’ll learn the principles of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. You will gain a firm grasp on economic theory and policy.

Once you complete the core curriculum, you will pick electives based on your interests and goals. Some of the topics you could study include:

  • Environmental economics
  • International finance
  • International trade
  • Labor economics
  • Managerial economics
  • Monetary economics
  • Public finance
  • Public health
  • Sports economics

You can choose to take the Economics Honors track, which offers the econometrics course series to help you master research and analytic skills. By graduating with honors, you’ll stand out from others in the job market.

Economics is a complex major, with resources and help available when you need it. Your professors are here to support you, and, with your fellow students, you will graduate with the tools to change society.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Research Opportunities for Students

As a student in the BA in Economics program, you can be a part of research efforts and projects in economics. You'll have the chance to collaborate with other students and with your professors, using what you’ve learned the econometrics courses.

Economics students have won recognition for their work and scholarship, in a variety of forums and competitions:

  • Over the past five years, economics students participated in the IUP Scholars Forum, the Pennsylvania Sports Business Annual Conference, and the Pennsylvania Economic Association (PEA) Annual Conference.
  • IUP economics students won first place in the 2019, 2021, and 2022 Best Undergraduate Paper contests at the PEA conference. Their econometric research papers also have been published in the Pennsylvania Economic Review.
  • Six economics majors won Dean's Award and Best Presentation recognition at the 2021 and 2022 IUP Scholars Forums.
  • Two economics majors were named co-recipients of the Pennsylvania Sports Business Conference Research Award in each of the 2021 and 2022 competitions.

Economics Minor

Economists and those with an economics background are in high demand in the workforce. By earning a minor in economics, you’ll add a marketable skill that industries like banking and government seek out in their employees.

If you want to pursue a graduate degree, economics training will be valuable in your education in public policy, the law, and business.

Full Academic Catalog Listing for Minor

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Economics Honors Program

As an economics major, you can build additional research and analytical skills through the Economics Honors Track. One way you can do this is through the econometrics course series. Your accomplishments in these courses will help you stand out in a competitive job market. You can also study economics as a student in the Robert E. Cook Honors College at IUP.

Full Academic Catalog Listing for Honors Program

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Student Organizations for Economics Majors

The Economics Club

When you join the Economics Club, you'll have opportunities to work on projects with your professors that benefit the campus, using your knowledge of economics. All students at IUP are eligible for membership.

Omicron Delta Epsilon

As an economics major, you may be able to join Omicron Delta Epsilon, an international honor society established in 1915 to recognize the scholastic achievements of undergraduates in economics. The Alpha-Gamma Chapter at IUP was organized in 1975 and admits a small number of students each semester. Membership is open to juniors and seniors who have completed 12 credits in economics with a 3.0 GPA.

Path to Graduate and Professional Degrees

As a graduate of IUP's BA in Economics program, you can pursue an advanced degree in many disciplines. The following are common degrees:

  • JD
  • MS in Applied Economics
  • MS in Economics
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)
  • MIA (Master in International Affairs)
  • MPA (Master of Public Administration)
  • MS in Business Analytics
  • PhD in Economics

Nicholas Karatjas Scholarship for Economics

Nicholas Karatjas is a former professor and chairperson of the Department of Economics. Professor Karatjas was a member of the Department of Economics from 1978 until his retirement in 2017.

 

Karl A. McDermott Scholarship

Dr. Karl A. McDermott has served as an Ameren Distinguished Professor of Business and Government at the University of Illinois at Springfield, a special consultant with NERA Economic Consulting, and as commissioner (1992-98) on the Illinois Commerce Commission.

 

Robert J. Stonebraker Scholarship

Dr. Robert J. Stonebraker is a former professor in the Department of Economics. His career as a professor at IUP spanned 30 years, from 1971 until his retirement from IUP in 2001. In encouraging future economists, Dr. Stonebraker took a personal interest in the students he taught and was willing to spend whatever time necessary to help them achieve their goals.

 

Donald A. Walker Economics Scholarship

Dr. Donald A. Walker served as chairperson of IUP's Department of Economics from 1969 to 1998. He was honored with IUP Distinguished Faculty awards for both scholarship and service, received the first Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Distinguished Academic Service Award, was elected IUP's first University Professor, served as the youngest-ever president of the History of Economics Society, and edited its international scholarly journal for a decade.

Get Hands-On Career Experience through Internships

Doing an internship related to economics can help you identify potential career paths and move your career forward.

Economic majors have taken a wide variety of internships with employers near IUP, or in locations like Pittsburgh or Washington, DC.

In addition to your job-related work, you’ll complete academic assignments related to your internship. You can earn up to 12 credits through your internship. To qualify for an economics internship, students must complete at least 12 credits in economics with a 2.5 GPA.

These resources can help you research internships that match your interests:

Websites of Interest

Statistical Abstract of the United States
A collection of statistics on social and economic conditions in the United States

Moody's Economy.com
Economics analysis and data for the world

EDIRC (Economics Departments, Institutes, and Research Centers in the World)
Over 2,000 institutions in 108 countries are listed

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Links to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve Regional Banks

US National Debt Clock
See the size of the national debt at this very moment.

Currency Converter
Convert one currency into another using the most current exchange rates.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Information about US labor market activity, working conditions, price changes, and productivity in the US economy to support public and private decision making

US Department of the Treasury
Information about US Treasury programs and activities

The Economist
The homepage of the Economist, an international weekly journal containing a limited selection of articles from the current issue

Resources for Economists on the Internet
A list of many interesting economic resources

US Department of Labor
Information about labor markets

US Census Bureau
A source for social, demographic, and economic information

US International Trade Commission
Information about international trade disputes; independent analysis and information on tariffs, trade, and competitiveness; and the US tariff schedule

FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data)
Online database consisting of hundreds of thousands of economic data time series from national, international, public, and private sources