Bachelor of the Arts in Economics

Economics is the study of how societies organize themselves to produce goods and services and to distribute those products among the members of society. In the modern world, a combination of market forces, public policies, and social customs perform these basic economic tasks.

Economists use concepts, models, and data to analyze efficiency of resource use, fairness of economic outcomes, and development of global and national economies.

The Peter T. Paul College's economics program is designed to introduce students to the tools of economic analysis and to show students how they can use those tools to analyze and better understand real-world situations.

Outstanding Career Preparation

Undergraduate training in economics is an excellent background for a variety of careers; these include banking and financial services, journalism, international business, public service, the diplomatic corps, entrepreneurial ventures, and government administration. An undergraduate major in economics is also excellent preparation for those interested in graduate work in law, business administration, and international relations.

A recent survey published by the National Association of Colleges & Employers shows that salaries for Accounting, Economics, and Finance majors rank in the top ten. They also experienced the biggest growth, outpacing engineering and computer science.

Graduate work in economics can lead to careers in college teaching, research in public and private agencies, and business consulting. Those interested in studying economics at the graduate level should ask their economics professors what undergraduate coursework is appropriate and which graduate schools would be suitable.

Coursework and Majors

Courses in economics are open to nonmajors on a space-available basis. Students majoring in other programs have found that certain economics courses are useful supplements to their own majors and a help in gaining employment. For example, political science majors can profit from studying public finance, economic development, and international economics. Mathematics and engineering students might elect to study econometrics and intermediate microeconomics. Environmental conservation majors could choose to study ecological  economics and public finance.  Numerous economics courses can fulfill requirements for the international affairs dual major.

For more information on economics electives, please consult the Paul College Undergraduate Programs Office (Paul College Suite 101) or the chairperson of the economics department.

Economics majors must complete eight courses in economics plus ADMN 420 and ADMN 403 with a grade of at least C- in each course and an average grade of C or better. These courses must include ECON 605 and 611. In addition, majors must complete either MATH 420 or 424A.

Major credit toward ECON 605 and/or 611 will be awarded to transfer students only if equivalent courses have been taken at the junior level or above. Transfer students must take at least five of their economics courses at UNH.

Students may petition to substitute one business administration course for an economics elective if the course is at the 600 level or above and if a grade of C- or better is earned. Students may earn no more than 16 credits in internships, independent studies, field experience, and supervised student teaching experience.

The economics department offers three specialized options within the BA degree:

Global Trade and Finance Option


The Global Trade and Finance Option studies the global trade and financial systems and their importance for understanding macroeconomic and business activity, foreign direct investment and other international capital flows, globalization, economic growth and development, international financial markets, and currency fluctuations and risk. Students will learn about the role of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions undergirding the global economy. You will develop institutional knowledge and analytical skills to study some of the most hotly debated issues of our day, including free trade policies such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and WTO, global financial crises, Basel III and other financial reforms, European monetary union, and international policy coordination. By training your mind to identify and think through problems, the economics Bachelor of Arts degree provides a powerful platform for launching careers in almost all walks of life. However, the option is designed for students wanting careers at international organizations such as the IMF, WTO, World Bank, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This option also prepares you for careers in the financial services sector – including commercial and investment banking, financial trading, security analysis, portfolio management, and financial advising – and in the government sector, especially at the Federal Reserve System, U.S. Trade Administration, U.S. State Department. The option is also recommended for students considering graduate education in economics, business, and law.

Required courses

  • ECON 645: International Economics
  • ECON 745: International Trade OR ECON 746 International Finance

Complete one of the following courses

  • ECON 625: Economic History of the United States
  • ECON 635: Money and Banking
  • ECON 655: Innovation in the Global Economy
  • ECON 698: Micro Finance
  • ECON 707: Economic Growth and Environment Quality
  • ECON 726: Introduction to Econometrics
  • ECON 736: Seminar in Monetary Theory and Policy
  • ECON 745: International Trade
  • ECON 746: International Finance
  • ECON 747: Multinational Enterprises
  • ECON 768: Seminar in Economic Development
  • *POLT 546: Wealth and Politics in Asia
  • *POLT 553: Politics in the Developing World
  • *POLT 561: Introduction to International Political Economy
  • *POLT 780: International Environmental Politics, Policy and Law
  • *GEOG 582: Economic Geography

*Satisfies the requirement of the option, but does not count toward the four‐elective requirement of the Bachelor of Arts in Economics major.

Students must refer to the UNH Undergraduate Catalog course descriptions for required prerequisite information for each course. Prerequisites must be met or student may be dropped from the course at any time.

Money and Financial Markets Option


The Money and Financial Markets Option explores the complex and interdependent nature of money and financial markets. You will develop institutional knowledge and analytical skills to understand the role of the financial system in society, fluctuations and risk in asset markets, including those for bonds, stocks, and currency, and how financial derivatives, such as futures, options, and swaps contracts, can be used to hedge risk. You will also study the conduct and implications of monetary policy, exploring the merits of quantitative easing, macro-prudential policy aimed at reducing systemic risk, and other key issues involving the role of the state in the financial system. By training your mind to identify and think through problems, the economics Bachelor of Arts degree provides a powerful platform for launching careers in almost all walks of life. However, the option is designed for students wanting careers in the financial services sector – including commercial and investment banking, financial trading, security analysis, portfolio management, and financial advising – and in the government sector, especially at the Federal Reserve System, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and U.S. departments of Treasury, Commerce, and State. The option is also recommended for students considering graduate education in finance, economics, and law.

Required courses

  • ECON 635: Money and Banking
  • ECON 746: International Economics

Complete one of the following courses

  • ECON 625: Economic History of the United States
  • ECON 645: International Economics
  • ECON 698: Micro Finance
  • ECON 726: Introduction to Econometrics
  • ECON 736: Seminar in Monetary Theory and Policy
  • ECON 736: Seminar in Monetary Theory and Policy
  • *ACFI 702: Investments Analysis (ADMN 570 Pre-requisite, by permission only)
  • *ACFI 703: International Financial Management (ADMN 570 Pre-requisite, by permission only)
  • *ACFI 705: Financial Institutions (ADMN 570 Pre-requisite, by permission only)

*Satisfies the requirement of the option, but does not count toward the four-elective requirement of the Bachelor of Arts in Economics major.

Students must refer to the UNH Undergraduate Catalog course descriptions for required prerequisite information for each course. Prerequisites must be met or student may be dropped from the course at any time.

Public Policy and Sustainability Option


The Public Policy and Sustainability Option examines the factors that influence economic, social, and environmental outcomes, such as unemployment, poverty, economic inequality, health disparities, technological innovation, and pollution. You will develop the institutional knowledge and theoretical perspective to understand the impact that the decisions of individuals, firms, communities and governments have on such outcomes. You will analyze the impact of specific government policies and potential reforms—theoretically and empirically. By training your mind to identify and think through problems, the economics Bachelor of Arts degree provides a powerful platform for launching careers in almost all walks of life.  However, this option is designed for students seeking careers in policy analysis and research positions at government agencies, think tanks (such as RAND Corporation, Urban Institute, Mathematica Policy Research), consulting firms (such as Abt Associates), and non-governmental organizations. The option is recommended for students considering graduate education in policy analysis and management.

Required Courses

  • ECON 641: Public Economics or ECON 656: Labor Economics
  • *EREC 572: Intro. Natural Resource Economics or *EREC 708: Environmental Economics

Complete one of the following courses

  • ECON 625: Economic History of the United States
  • ECON 641: Public Finance or Econ 656: Labor Economics
  • ECON 642: Health Economics
  • ECON 698: Micro-Finance
  • ECON 706: Economics of Climate Change
  • ECON 707: Economic Growth and Environment Quality
  • ECON 726: Intro. to Econometrics
  • *EREC 572: Intro to Natural Resource Economics
  • *EREC 606: Land Economics Perspectives: Uses, Policies, and Taxes
  • *EREC 627: Community Economics
  • *EREC 680: Agricultural and Food Policy
  • *EREC 708: Environmental Economics
  • *EREC 756: Rural and Regional Economic Development
  • *GEOG 582: Economic Geography
  • *HMP 746: Health Policy
  • *HMP 748: Health Policy Analysis
  • *POLT 553: Politics in the Developing World
  • *POLT 780: International Environmental Politics, Policy and Law

*Satisfies the requirement of the option, but does not count toward the four-elective requirement of the Bachelor of Arts in Economics major.

Students must refer to the UNH Undergraduate Catalog course descriptions for required prerequisite information for each course. Prerequisites must be met or student may be dropped from the course at any time.