Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024

Economics, Bachelor of Arts (638)

Department website: http://www.wku.edu/economics

Program Coordinator

David M. Zimmer, david.zimmer@wku.edu

Economics is the study of how humans decide how to use the limited resources they have. Economic principles are at the core of decision-making by businesses, governments, non-profit organizations, individuals, and families, because the limited resources are not just money and raw materials – they are also time, attention, computing resources, food, water, hospital beds, or seats on a crowded subway. Economics is also a study of how individuals can create wealth though specialization and trade, as well as the role markets play in making this wealth creation possible.

Data analysis is one of the core skills in economics, and the students in this major will have an opportunity to develop strong data skills that are highly valued by employers. This combination of the economic way of thinking and data-analytic skills prepares students for many different employment opportunities. Our graduates pursue careers in finance, banking, insurance, local and federal governments, public utilities, research institutions, education, and international organizations. They hold a wide variety of jobs such as economist, loan officer, forecast analyst, financial analyst, business consultant, data analyst, energy analyst, bank examiner, research analyst, broker, market research analyst, policy analyst, professor, lawyer and many more. This multitude of possible career paths is what is great about choosing an economics major. Economics gives students an excellent foundation for employment in many areas of business and government service, as well as for advanced graduate studies.

The Bachelor of Arts (AB) in Economics requires a minimum of 35 hours and a minor or a second major. Students interested in combining the Economics major with another field of study should pursue this degree path. Students may choose any other major or minor at WKU. If students choose their second major or minor(s) from another department in the Gordon Ford College of Business, some courses may apply to both degrees. The AB in Economics offers students the most flexibility to customize their education and graduate with a potent combination of highly marketable skills.

Economics majors may also pursue the Joint Undergraduate/Master's Program, an accelerated graduate program that allows students to start working toward their Master of Arts in Applied Economics while completing their Bachelor's degree. Undergraduate students admitted into JUMP may take graduate courses that will count toward BOTH undergraduate and graduate degrees which will significantly lower the cost of obtaining a Master's degree.  For more information, visit the department website https://www.wku.edu/economics/ 

Program Requirements (35 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

The major in Economics requires 120 credit hours of coursework with 35 hours in Economics and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. The program requires completion of a second major or a minor.

Required Economics Courses
ECON 202Principles of Economics (Micro)3
ECON 203Principles of Economics (Macro)3
ECON 206Statistics3
ECON 302Microeconomic Theory3
ECON 303Macroeconomic Theory3
ECON 306Statistical Analysis3
or ECON 307 Financial Data Modeling
ECON 399Career Readiness in Economics1
ECON 465Regression and Econometric Analysis3
ECON 499Senior Assessment1
Additional Courses
Select 12 hours from the following, excluding ECON 306, 307, and 497: 1, 212
Total Hours35

Some upper-level ECON electives may satisfy Colonnade Connections requirements: ECON 375 is in the Social and Cultural category, and ECON 385 and ECON 430 are in the Local to Global category. Note, only one of these courses can be used to satisfy the Connections requirement - the rest must be taken from other disciplines.


ECON 307 is an alternative for ECON 306 in the required courses, so it cannot be taken as an elective. ECON 306 may not be applied to electives. ECON 497 is reserved for Mathematical Economics majors.

Finish in Four Plan

First Year
ECON 202 (Colonnade Explorations - Social and Behavioral Sciences)3ECON 2033
COMM 1453HIST 101 or HIST 1023
ENG 1003Colonnade - Arts & Humanities3
MATH 123, MATH 136, or MATH 1373Colonnade - Natural & Physical Sciences w/ lab3
General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
 15 15
Second Year
ECON 2063Colonnade - Connections Social & Cultural or Local to Global or Systems3
ENG 200 (or another approved Colonnade Foundations - Literary Studies course)3Colonnade - Connections Social & Cultural or Local to Global or Systems3
General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
Colonnade - Natural & Physical Sciences w/o lab3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
 15 15
Third Year
ECON 3023ECON 3033
ECON 306 or ECON 3073ECON Elective3
Colonnade - Connections Social & Cultural or Local to Global or Systems3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
 ECON 3991
 15 16
Fourth Year
ECON 46513ECON 4991
ECON Elective3ECON Elective3
ECON Elective3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
ENG 3003General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course3
 General Elective/Second Major/Minor Course1
 15 14
Total Hours 120

It is recommended that ECON 465 should be taken during the second to last semester as it will help student prepare for the Senior Seminar. ECON 465 should not be taken concurrently with ECON 499.