Economics is about more than money and profits. It is a way of looking at the world through the lens of incentives, choices, and markets to help uncover new solutions to the persistent problems in our society. This economic perspective sheds light on important issues in the areas of production, education, crime, the environment, international trade, immigration, health care, economic growth, poverty, and more. The BA is designed for students with a strong interest in the liberal arts. It is appropriate for those who prefer a less quantitative degree program than the BS and may be especially appropriate for students planning to attend law school or graduate programs in business or public administration. 

Policies

Students pursuing this degree must complete a minimum of 48 credits of required coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.00. Students in the concentration in philosophy, politics, and economics complete a minimum of 70 credits. Students must also complete ECON 103 Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core) and ECON 104 Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core) with at least a 2.00 (C) in each.

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Banner Code: LA-BA-ECON

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Economics majors can fulfill the Mason Core synthesis requirement with ECON 309 Economic Problems and Public Policies (Mason Core). Some economics courses may fulfill the Mason Core requirement in global understanding or the college requirement in non-Western culture. Check with the departmental advising office for more information. 

Core Courses without Concentration

Required Courses

ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 104Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 306Intermediate Microeconomics3
ECON 311Intermediate Macroeconomics3
Select one from the following:3
Introductory Calculus with Business Applications (Mason Core)
A Liberal Arts Approach to Calculus (Mason Core)
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)
Select one from the following:3-4
Introduction to Computing (Mason Core)
Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)
Technology in the Contemporary World (Topic Varies) (Mason Core)
and Spreadsheet Applications for Business
Total Credits18-19

Statistics

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Business Analytics I
and Business Analytics II
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
and Introductory Statistics II
Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II
Total Credits6

Electives without Concentration

Select 24 credits of electives from courses in economics at the 300 and 400 level 124
Total Credits24
1

ECON 385 International Economic Policy may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Core Courses with Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

The 70-73 credit concentration in philosophy, politics, and economics offers students a program that explores the interdisciplinary connections between philosophy, political science, and economics.

Economics

ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 104Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 306Intermediate Microeconomics3
ECON 311Intermediate Macroeconomics3
ECON 412Game Theory and Economics of Institutions3
Select one from the following:3
Introductory Calculus with Business Applications (Mason Core)
A Liberal Arts Approach to Calculus (Mason Core)
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)
Select one from the following:3-4
Introduction to Computing (Mason Core)
Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)
Technology in the Contemporary World (Topic Varies) (Mason Core)
and Spreadsheet Applications for Business
Total Credits21-22

Statistics

Select one from the following:4-6
Business Analytics I
and Business Analytics II
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
and Introductory Statistics II
Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II
Total Credits4-6

Electives with Concentration

Select 18 credits of electives in economics at the 300 and 400 level 118
Total Credits18
1

ECON 385 International Economic Policy may not be used to fulfill this requirement. If ECON 340 Introduction to Mathematical Economics is chosen as an elective, students need not take the 4-credit course MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II; however, MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II is strongly recommended for students considering a graduate school in economics since it is required for admission to most graduate programs. An additional calculus course beyond MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II is also advisable for students considering graduate study in economics.

Philosophy

PHIL/GOVT 324Modern Western Political Theory3
or PHIL/GOVT 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory
PHIL 357Philosophy of the Social Sciences3
or PHIL 371 Philosophy of Natural Sciences
PHIL 358Ethics and Economics3
PHIL 411Theories of Decision3
Total Credits12

Public and International Affairs

GOVT 103Introduction to American Government (Mason Core)3
GOVT/PHIL 323Classical Western Political Theory3
GOVT 422Constitutional Interpretation3
GOVT 467Current Issues in Economic Policy3
Total Credits12

Capstone Experience Course

GOVT 469Philosophy, Politics, and Economics3
or PHIL/ECON 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Total Credits3

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated as "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in economics fulfill this requirement by successfully completing one of the following courses:

Introduction to Econometrics
The Political Economy of Nonprofit Institutions
Topics in Economic History
Economics of Energy
Economics of Regulation

Upper Level Requirements

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following:3
1

Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 393 Humanities College to Career 
  • PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


Additionally, PHIL 253 Philosophy and Literature (Mason Core) and RELI 235 Religion and Literature (Mason Core) cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 13
ANTH
CRIM
ECON
GOVT
HIST 2
LING
PSYC
SOCI
Or choose from the following GGS courses:
Major World Regions (Mason Core)
Human Geography (Mason Core)
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies
Political Geography
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
Population Geography (Mason Core)
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Geography of the United States
Geography of Latin America
Geography of Europe
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
Geography of the Soviet Succession States
Structures in Urban Governance and Planning
Geography of Virginia
1

The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 

2

HIST 100 History of Western Civilization (Mason Core) and HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core) may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
American Sign Language (ASL) I
American Sign Language (ASL) II
American Sign Language (ASL) III
1

Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1
ANTH 114Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ANTH 300Civilizations3
ANTH 301Native North Americans3
ANTH 302Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ANTH 303Peoples and Cultures of the Andes3
ANTH 306Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core)3
ANTH 307Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core)3
ANTH 308Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core)3
ANTH 309Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core)3
ANTH 313Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core)3
ANTH 314Zombies3
ANTH 316Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core)3
ANTH 323Digging and Dealing in the Dead: Ethics in Archaeology3
ANTH 330Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western3
ANTH 332Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)3
ANTH 381Medical Anthropology3
ANTH 383Cities of the Global South3
ANTH 396Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core)3
ARAB 360Topics in Arabic Cultural Production3
ARAB 420Survey of Arabic Literature3
ARAB 440Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core)3
ARTH 203Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 204Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 206Survey of African Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 318Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
ARTH 319Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core)3
ARTH 320Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core)3
ARTH 382Arts of India (Mason Core)3
ARTH 383Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core)3
ARTH 384Arts of China (Mason Core)3
ARTH 385Arts of Japan (Mason Core)3
ARTH 386The Silk Road (Mason Core)3
ARTH 482RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art3
CHIN 318Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core)3
CHIN 320Contemporary Chinese Film3
CHIN 325Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core)3
DANC 118World Dance (Mason Core)3
ECON 361Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ECON 362African Economic Development (Mason Core)3
FREN 451Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture3
FREN 454Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture3
GGS 101Major World Regions (Mason Core)3
GGS 316Geography of Latin America3
GGS 325Geography of North Africa and the Middle East3
GGS 330Geography of the Soviet Succession States3
GGS 399Select Topics in GGS3
GOVT 328Non-Western Political Theory3
GOVT 332Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa3
GOVT 333Government and Politics of Asia3
GOVT 340Central Asian Politics3
GOVT 341Chinese Foreign Policy3
GOVT 345Islam and Politics3
GOVT 432Political Change and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa3
GOVT 433Political Economy of East Asia3
HIST 251Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 252Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 261Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 262Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 271Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 272Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 281Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 282Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 326Stalinism3
HIST 327The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II3
HIST 328Rise of Russia (Mason Core)3
HIST 329Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core)3
HIST 353History of Traditional China3
HIST 354Modern China3
HIST 356Modern Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 357Postwar Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 358Post-1949 China (Mason Core)3
HIST 360History of South Africa (Mason Core)3
HIST 364Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 365Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 366Comparative Slavery3
HIST 367History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America3
HIST 387Topics in Global History (Mason Core)3-6
HIST 426The Russian Revolution3
HIST 460Modern Iran (Mason Core)3
HIST 461Arab-Israeli Conflict3
HIST 462Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core)3
HIST 465The Middle East in the 20th Century3
JAPA 310Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core)3
JAPA 340Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core)3
KORE 320Korean Popular Culture in a Global World3
MUSI 103Musics of the World (Mason Core)3
RELI 211Religions of the West (Mason Core)3
RELI 212Religions of Asia (Mason Core)3
RELI 240Death and the Afterlife in World Religions3
RELI 272Islam3
RELI 313Hinduism (Mason Core)3
RELI 314Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions3
RELI 315Buddhism (Mason Core)3
RELI 337Mysticism: East and West3
RELI 365Muhammad: Life and Legacy3
RELI 374Islamic Thought (Mason Core)3
RELI 375Qur'an and Hadith3
RELI 379Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics3
RELI 387Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights3
RELI 490Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core)3
RUSS 353Russian Civilization (Mason Core)3
RUSS 354Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core)3
1

A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Mason Core

Note: Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication6
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology3-7
Core Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Synthesis/Capstone Requirement 1
Synthesis/Capstone3
Total Credits40
1

minimum 3 credits

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with electives to bring the degree total to 120.

Honors in the Major

Students pursuing departmental honors must complete 6 hours of ECON 495 RS: Honors Thesis in Economics culminating with an original work of research and an oral presentation. Requirements for departmental honors are in addition to the coursework required for the major. Students must complete ECON 495 RS: Honors Thesis in Economics with a grade of B or higher to receive departmental honors.

Economics majors who have completed 90 credits with an overall GPA of 3.50 and a GPA of 3.50 within the major are eligible to apply. Not all applicants who meet the minimum requirements are guaranteed acceptance.

Applications will be available starting May 1st of each year. Applications are due by August 1st.

To be accepted into the program and enroll in ECON 495 RS: Honors Thesis in Economics students must submit a research proposal. Research proposals can be developed independently or by completing ECON 494 Honors Thesis Writing Seminar with a grade of B or higher. Completion of ECON 494 Honors Thesis Writing Seminar is not required for departmental honors.

The accelerated master's program listed below specifies the BA in economics as a feeder degree for its program. It is important to note, however, that many accelerated master's programs are available for any bachelor's degree at Mason, including this one. See the full list of master's degrees with accelerated programs at George Mason.

Economics, BA or BS/Economics, Accelerated MA

Overview

Highly-qualified Mason economics majors may apply to the accelerated master's degree program. If accepted, students will be able to earn both a BA or BS and a MA in economics after satisfactory completion of 144 credits. Graduates are exceptionally well-prepared for professional school or a PhD program in economics or a related discipline.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MA in economics, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students will be required to complete two master's courses to be applied to the undergraduate degree as upper level credit. These two courses must be selected from the following five courses:

Select two from the following:6
Survey of Applied Econometrics
Microeconomic Theory
Microeconomic Theory II
Macroeconomic Theory
Mathematical Economics I
Total Credits6

Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all course work and earn a grade of B or better (3.00 or higher) in course work applied to their major. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students may take an additional two master's courses as reserve graduate credit. These two additional master's courses must be selected from the following five courses:

Select two from the following:6
Survey of Applied Econometrics
Microeconomic Theory
Microeconomic Theory II
Macroeconomic Theory
Mathematical Economics I
Total Credits6

These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.