Economics Major: Public Policy and Sustainability Option (B.A.)

Economics Major: Public Policy and Sustainability Option (B.A.)
Student in Economics Public Policy Class

Embrace a major that will take you anywhere through an understanding of how a society uses its limited resources, and how its people deal with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Economics is one of the most in demand majors in today’s job market. In this major you will take the core courses in our B.A. Economics program with a focus on factors that influence economic, social and environmental outcomes, such as unemployment, poverty, economic inequality, health disparities, technological innovation and pollution.


What is the public policy and sustainability option in the B.A. economics major?

This option examines the factors that influence economic, social and environmental outcomes, such as unemployment, poverty, economic inequality, health disparities, technological innovation and pollution.

Why study public policy and sustainability at UNH?

In this option in the B.A. economics major you’ll develop the institutional knowledge and theoretical perspective to understand the impact that decisions of individuals, firms, communities and governments have on economic, social and environmental outcomes. You’ll analyze the impact of specific government policies and potential reforms, theoretically and realistically. Required courses cover law and economics, labor economics, economics of climate change, and natural resource economics.

Potential careers

Policy analysis and research positions with:

  • Consulting firms
  • Government agencies
  • Nongovernmental organizations
  • Think tanks (e.g., RAND Corporation, Urban Institute, Mathematica Policy Research)


 

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  • Daisy Burns '24 is an economics major with an option in public policy and sustainability and a sustainability dual major.
    Daisy Burns' study abroad experience takes her to multiple countries
    Daisy Burns '24 spent her study abroad experience immersed in the wilds of Tanzania and the rainforests of Costa Rica, where her economics education helped her understand the global context for many of the conservation and climate change issues those countries are facing.
    Learn More
  • Clara Richards sits among the gardens outside Paul College.
    Sustainability Fellow at Scrapp Recyling
    Clara Richards '23 Economics: Public Policy + Sustainability "The last few years I've mostly had internships I couldn't picture myself taking on as a career. But they helped me towards an important realization: I want to make a difference with my career and truly help people. That's why my current position at
    Learn More

Curriculum & Requirements

The Option in Public Policy and Sustainability (B.A. degree) examines the factors that influence economic, social, and environmental outcomes, such as unemployment, poverty, economic inequality, health disparities, technological innovation, and pollution. Students will develop the institutional knowledge and theoretical perspective to understand the impact that decisions of individuals, firms, communities, and governments have on such outcomes. Students will analyze the impact of specific government policies and potential reforms, theoretically and empirically.

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, and Mathematica Policy Research; consulting firms such as Abt Associates; and non-governmental organizations.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

B.A. economics majors must complete nine courses in economics plus ADMN 510 Business Statistics with a grade of at least C- (1.67) in each Paul College major course and an average grade of 2.0 or better in major courses.

Freshman Year
ECON 401Principles of Economics (Macro)4
ECON 402Principles of Economics (Micro)4
ECON 501Business and Economic History4
ADMN 403Computing Essentials for Business1
MATH 422Mathematics for Business Applications4
or MATH 424A Calculus for Social Sciences
PAUL 405Freshman Academic Experience I1
PAUL 406Freshman Academic Experience II1
PHIL 431Business Ethics4
Sophomore Year
ADMN 510Business Statistics4
ECON 605Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis4
or ECON 606 Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus
ECON 611Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis4
Junior and Senior Years
ECON 774Senior Economics Seminar 14
Select four (4) additional ECON electives 216
Total Credits55
1

ECON 774 Senior Economics Seminar is the capstone course for the B.A. major and satisfies the capstone requirement of the University Discovery Program.

2

Specific electives for the BA Options must be chosen from an approved list of courses.

Coursework in accounting is recommended but not required. B.A. economics majors may choose to focus their major electives to satisfy the requirements of one of the three options defined by the Department of Economics.

Public Policy and Sustainability Option Requirements

Students must complete at least two required courses and at least three courses total. At least two courses must be ECON courses. (Note: Some courses may have prerequisites that are not part of the option.)

Required courses:
ECON 653Law and Economics4
or ECON 656 Labor Economics
ECON 706Economics of Climate Change4
or EREC 572 Introduction to Natural Resource Economics
Select one of the following:4
ECON 625
Economic History of the United States
ECON 633
Microfinance
ECON 653
Law and Economics 2
ECON 654
Industrial Economics and Business Innovation
ECON 656
Labor Economics 2
ECON #668
Economic Development
ECON 706
Economics of Climate Change 2
EREC 572
Introduction to Natural Resource Economics 1, 2
EREC 606
Land Economics Perspectives: Uses, Policies, and Taxes 1
EREC 627
Community Economics 1
EREC 680
Agricultural and Food Policy 1
EREC 708
Environmental Economics 1
EREC #760
Ecological-Economic Modeling for Decision Making 1
GEOG 582
Global Trade and Local Development 1
HMP 746
Health Policy 1
SUST 501
Sustainability in Action 1
Other 600-level or 700-level course, with approval from ECON Dept.
Total Credits12
1

Satisfies the requirement of the option, but does not count toward the four-elective requirement of the economics B.A. degree.  Some courses may have pre-requisites; students are responsible for checking and meeting pre-requisite requirements.  

2

 Course may not be used toward the option requirements more than once.

  • Students have core proficiency in  microeconomics. They understand key concepts including opportunity cost, marginal analysis, voluntary exchange, diminishing marginal returns, equilibrium and market structure.
  • Students have core proficiency in macroeconomics. They understand key concepts including GDP, inflation, interest rates, business cycles, exchange rates, financial institutions and fiscal and monetary policy.
  • Students have strong oral communication skills. This includes fundamental skills in preparing and delivering presentations, as well as being able to explain technical material clearly and concisely.
  • Students are able to use economic models to understand real-world issues relevant to business, public policy and society.
  • Students are able to communicate economic concepts clearly in writing. This involves having strong fundamental writing skills as well as being able to explain technical material clearly and concisely.

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