Academic Programs

Economics Major

Economics Minor

Focus Your Studies & Graduate School Preparation

Economics is the social science that underlies all of the business disciplines. Students learn how to approach problems and how to evaluate the consequences implicit in business and public policy decisions.

NOTE: Course descriptions and pre-requisites are in the CSUN Catalog.

If you are interested in:Then select electives from among these courses:

Macroeconomics/Financial Markets
Advice: Professor Hur

ECON 311, 320, 405, 409
Public Policy
Advice: Professor Lowenberg
ECON 320, 350, 355, 360, 365, 405, 411, 433
Advice: Professor Lee
ECON 308 and ECON 311, and then select from ECON 320, 355, 410, 411, 405, 408
International Economics
Advice: Professor Nadenichek
ECON 370, 348, 405
Law School
Advice: Professor Whitman
ECON 365, 320, 410, 411, 360, 405
Graduate School in Economics
Advice: Professor Halcoussis
MATH 140, 150A, 150B, 250, 262, 320, 350, 340, ECON 408, 409, 412

 Advice from alumni on class selection:

Donna Tikosky ('05): One of my first projects here [Donna works as a Research Assistant for the Teacher Advancement Program Foundation] was to read about value-added. [My boss] took for granted that I had taken an econometrics class [ECON 409] and luckily I did because of Professor Halcoussis. I truly believe that every econ major should have some background in econometrics so that they will be prepared for any ball that is thrown their way (it just might be expected of them).

Mario Zamora ('05): I really feel I have a leg up on a lot of people [Mario is at the University of the Pacific School of Law] because of the lessons I learned in the Econ Dept. and notably from Prof. Whitman's class on the Law and Economics [ECON 365]. We have covered many of the same topics as I did in his class and because of that class I already understand the broad topics before anyone else.

Blair Jenkins (Outstanding Economics Student Award Winner, '08): ECON 348 History of Economics Institutions (Prof. Virts), "ECON 348 is the first class I think of when I think about my degree. How did we [the U.S.] get to this place [prosperity] and other countries did not?"

For information on graduate school, see Graduate School in Economics

Updated March 3, 2014

Economics: A Good Choice of Major for Future CEOs

Economics: A Good Choice of Major for Future CEOs

Patricia M. Flynn
Bentley University - Department of Economics

Michael A. Quinn
Bentley University - Department of Economics

November 28, 2006


It is often suggested that Economics is a good major for individuals interested in becoming business leaders. Despite this widespread assertion, little research has ben conducted on this topic. Using the Standard and Poor (S&P) 500 companies, this paper examines the validity of such a claim. We find evidence that Economics is a good choice of major for those aspiring to become a CEO. Economics ranked third with 9% of CEOs of the S&P 500 companies in 2004 being undergraduate majors, behind Business Administration and Engineering majors, each of which is accounted for 20% of the CEOs. When adjusting for size of the pool of graduates, those with undergraduate degrees in Economics are shown to have had a greater likelihood of becoming an S&P 500 CEO than any other major. That is, the share of graduates who were Economics majors who were CEOs in 2004 was greater than that for any other major, including Business Administration and Engineering. The findings also show that a higher percentage of CEOs who were Economics majors subsequntly completed a graduate degree- often an MBA- than did their counterparts with Business Administration and Engineering degrees. The paper demonstrates that while women now comprise over half of all bachelors and masters degrees awarded, they remain a minority in terms of undergraduate degrees awarded in Economics and in MBA degrees conferred. Economics programs may try to appeal to more women students as a stepping stone to becoming a CEO, especially as women continue to account for less than 2 percent of the S&P 500 CEOs.

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University Catalog 2014-15