Majoring in Economics
Welcome! Why Economics? Check out what the American Economic Association has to say about what economics is and what your future career can be.
If you are interested in the Economics Major at UT-Austin, please read the information below and review the other links in the column to the left, especially the "Studying Economics" link. If you still have questions please contact our advising office.
If you would like to minor in Economics you should talk to your major advisor about declaring. Once you are officially declared, you can contact our office for help registering for restricted ECO classes.
First Semester Freshmen wanting to declare the Economics major should be* calculus ready.
* Starting in spring 2017 proof of calculus readiness will be a requirement for admission into the Economics major for freshmen. Admits to UT for the Spring 2016 and Fall 2016 semesters will not be required to meet the criteria above, however it is highly encouraged!
There is no separate application for admission to the Economics major. Prospective freshmen will submit the ApplyTexas application and any corresponding documentation to UT Admissions for processing. The Economics department is not involved in the application or selection process. Contact UT Admissions for questions related to the admissions application and acceptance.
You will find more information for prospective freshmen on the Be-A-Longhorn website.
Are you still in high school and considering Economics as a major? Here are some things you can do to prepare:
- Make sure you are proficient in math by taking as much as you can while in high school. Economics majors are required to take a two course sequence in calculus, and it is best to complete these courses in freshman year at college for making progress in the major. To take the calculus classes at UT, a placement exam is required. Some students fulfill the calculus requirement by "testing out" via Advanced Placement, or by taking the college level credits as dual credit.*
- If your school offers economics courses it would be good to take them so that you are already somewhat familiar with the concepts you will study more in-depth at the college level. Some students use Advanced Placement credit-by-exam for, or take dual credit in, the freshman level economics courses required in the major, ECO 304K Intro to Microeconomics and ECO 304L Intro to Macroeconomics.
- If you can take a statistics course in high school this will also help prepare you for subsequent coursework at the college level. Economics majors are required to take ECO 329 Economics Statistics. Unfortunatly, the credit garnered from Advanced Placement does not count for the statistics requirement in the economics major; however it can count as elective credit! See an advisor before claiming your credit!
* If you do not have the opportunity to take coursework in calculus, economics, or statistics in high school, don't worry. You will not be behind as long as you are prepared to get started right away when you get to UT.
External Transfer Students should* complete the following courses with a grade of at least C minus in each* to be eligible for the major:
- ECO 304K Intro to Microeconomics & ECO 304L Intro to Macroeconomics
- Calculus I & Calculus 2 (M 408K & M 408L, or M 408C and M 408D, or M 408N and M 408S)**
* Starting in spring 2017 transfers will be required to meet the prerequisite requirements above to be considered for the major. Admits to UT for the Spring 2016 and Fall 2016 semester will not be required to meet the criteria above, however it is highly encouraged!
** Business Calculus (M403K and M403L and their equivalents) does not satisfy the calculus requirement for the economics major.
There is no separate application for admission to the Economics major. Prospective transfers will submit the ApplyTexas application and any corresponding documentation to UT Admissions for processing. The Economics Department is not involved in the application or selection process. Contact UT Admissions for questions related to the admissions application and acceptance.
You will find more information for prospective transfers on the Be-A-Longhorn website.
Additional Information for Prospective Transfers:
The following courses/credit hours must be taken in residence (at UT-Austin):
- At least 60 credit hours of (any) coursework
- A minimum of 18 credit hours of economics coursework counting towards the major
- All of the following courses: ECO 420K Microeconomic Theory, ECO 320L Macroeconomic Theory, ECO 329 Economic Statistics, and ECO 341K Econometrics
Transfer Resources on the UT Admissions website lets you:
- Find the UT equivalents of courses at Texas universities and community colleges by using the Automated Transfer Equivalency (ATE) database
- See how courses taken at other Texas institutions apply to a degree at UT-Austin by creating an Interactive Degree Audit (IDA)
- Find out about transfer policies, procedures, and common problems
- Prospective students from out-of-state should contact UT Admissions regarding transfer credit evaluation. International students with course equivalency/ admissions process questions should contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC).
Starting in spring 2016, current UT students will need to submit an application to the Economics Department by stated deadlines and meet eligibility requirements in order to declare an Economics major.
Fall internal transfer applications will be available from March 1, 2017 through May 1, 2017. Complete the fall internal transfer application here.
Completion of the following courses with a grade of at least C minus in each:
- ECO 304K & ECO 304L
- M 408K & M 408L (or M408C and M408D, or M408N and M408S)
- Fall admission: May 1
- Spring admission: December 1
Optional Information Session Dates:
Thursday, February 9 from 5:30-6:30pm in CLA 1.302E
Tuesday, March 7 from 10:00-11:00am in CLA 1.302B
Wednesday, March 22 from 5:30pm-6:30pm in CLA 1.302B
Wednesday, April 19 from 5:30-6:30pm in CLA 1.302B
Monday, May 8 from 3:00-4:00pm in CLA 1.302B
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR INTERNAL TRANSFER
Is admission to the Economics major competitive? Is there a GPA cut-off? No, currently there is no GPA requirement and approval is not on a competitive basis. Our goal is to accept all students who want Economics as their major as long as they have demonstrated basic competencies in economics and math by successfully completing the prerequisite coursework with a grade of at least C minus in each course. All applicants are also subject to the College of Liberal Arts internal transfer policies.
Do I need to take the required classes in-residence? No, transfer credit and credit-by-exam credit are accepted. All required courses must be posted with final grades (or “CR” in the case of credit-by-exam) by the end of the semester in which you apply in order for your application to be considered.
If I am currently taking the required courses can I submit an application? Yes, we will accept your application but will wait until after grades are posted to process it. If you are taking prerequiste courses over the summer, you must apply in the Fall semester.
Do I need to meet a minimum number of credit hours completed in-residence to apply? No, you may apply during your first semester. The major declaration will become official the following semester.
Is there a maximum number of hours taken or semesters completed to be eligible to apply? No. However, if it is not possible for you to graduate with the Economics major by your 9th semester in college, approval to declare may be subject to appeal.
I have business calculus (M403K & M403L). Will that meet the calculus requirement to apply? No, business calculus does not meet the calculus requirement for the major. You must have one of the stated standard calculus sequences (or equivalent) in order to apply.
I have met the course requirements and have submitted my application. When will I be declared? Applications for students who have met course requirements will be processed after grades are posted that semester. You will be notified via Secure Academic Note when your application has been processed.
I need to declare the major now in order to graduate on time! We definitely want to support your efforts to graduate on time! Non-majors may register for restricted upper division Economics courses starting on the first class day of the semester provided stated prerequisites are met and if seats are available. Visit our office for registration assistance. However, you will need to follow the stated internal transfer process and deadlines to officially declare the major.
I still have questions. Can I talk to an advisor? If you still have questions about the major or the application process, we recommend you come to one of our information sessions starting in September. Information sessions are optional for declaring the major but you must attend one if you would like to schedule an appointment with an advisor before declaring. For any other questions please contact: ApplyEcon@austin.utexas.edu
Many economics majors are interested in studying business subjects as well. Students interested in majoring in Business must apply for admission to the Red McComb's School of Business and admission is very competitive. Please read the admission criteria very carefully! If you want to "internal transfer" into business there are a few important items you should factor into your plan:
- Internal transfers are admitted only once a year
- Students must complete at least 26 credit hours at UT-Austin to be eligible for internal transfer
- Most business courses at UT are restricted to current business majors only
- Students with 90+ hours at application time are encouraged to consider other options
Note: The Economics advisors cannot advise you on admission to the Business School-- for that you should contact the Red McComb's School of Business. We are happy to help you create a course plan that will work for both Economics and Business, however without access to business courses your semester class options may be very limited.
Here are other some ways to integrate business coursework into your degree at UT: