The mathematical economics major offers students a degree program that combines mathematics, statistics, and economics. In today’s increasingly complicated international business world, a strong preparation in the fundamentals of both economics and mathematics is crucial to success. This degree program is designed to prepare a student to go directly into the business world with skills that are in high demand, or to go on to graduate study in economics or finance. A degree in mathematical economics would, for example, prepare a student for the beginning of a career in operations research or actuarial science.
In many ways, the mathematical economics program parallels the engineering philosophy. It combines the quantitative methods of mathematics with an applied science in order to solve real problems. As an example, operations research is used to optimize costs for extremely complicated systems such as airline scheduling. A major problem in business and economics is decision making under uncertainty. Efficient inventory control for large national retail chains can mean the difference between success and failure. A business will improve its bottom line if it can effectively control cost of inventory under the uncertainty of consumer demand. The solution of control problems of this type requires knowledge of relatively sophisticated mathematics and statistics as well as knowledge of basic economic principles.
There is currently a serious shortage of individuals who have sufficient training in mathematics and statistics as well as an understanding of business and economics. Companies that employ operations research analysts or actuaries cannot fill their positions. Mathematical economics and related areas have often been referred to as engineering for the service sector or “financial engineering.” With the ever increasing importance of the service sector in our economy, the math-econ degree will prove to be a valuable asset. The program will give the student an opportunity to study a fascinating collection of ideas and it will also provide the student with very marketable skills.
120 hours (minimum)
Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the Major Requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree.