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 BS in Economics provides a stronger emphasis on quantitative analysis. Students prepare for a career as an analyst in government, consulting, trade associations, or other private sector positions, and for graduate school in economics or more quantitative business administration programs.

Policies

Students pursuing this degree must complete a minimum of 59 credits of required coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.00. Students completing a concentration will complete additional credits.

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

Banner Code: LA-BS-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.

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

Core Courses without Concentration

Required Courses 

ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core) (with a grade of C or above)3
ECON 104Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core) (with a grade of C or above)3
ECON 306Intermediate Microeconomics3
ECON 311Intermediate Macroeconomics3
ECON 345Introduction to Econometrics3
MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
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 Credits26-27

Statistics

Select one from the following: 16
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
1

With departmental permission, BUS 210 Business Analytics I and BUS 310 Business Analytics II may also be substituted for the two required courses in statistics; however, a two-course sequence of STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core) and STAT 350 Introductory Statistics II OR STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I and STAT 354 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II is highly recommended for students who wish to pursue graduate study in economics.

Additional Course 

ACCT 203Survey of Accounting3
or STAT 362 Introduction to Computer Statistical Packages
Total Credits3

Electives without Concentration

Electives
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.

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 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.

Optional Concentrations

Students interested in a degree in economics with a concentration will complete the coursework for one of the concentrations below.

Concentration in Managerial Economics (MECN)

Students who wish to focus their BS in economics for application in the business world may choose to pursue a concentration in managerial economics. They complete 62 credits, 10 of which may be used also to fulfill Mason Core requirements.

Required Courses
ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 104Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 306Intermediate Microeconomics3
ECON 308Managerial Economics and Strategy3
ECON 310Money and Banking3
ECON 311Intermediate Macroeconomics3
ECON 345Introduction to Econometrics3
Total Credits21
Statistics
Select one from the following: 16
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
1

With departmental permission, BUS 210 Business Analytics I and ​BUS 310 Business Analytics II may also be substituted for the two required courses in statistics; however, a two-course sequence of STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core) and STAT 350 Introductory Statistics II OR STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I and STAT 354 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II is highly recommended for students who wish to pursue graduate study in economics.

Required Courses in Math, Accounting, and Information Technology 
ACCT 203Survey of Accounting3
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
MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II 14
Total Credits14-15
1

ECON 340 Introduction to Mathematical Economics may not be substituted for MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II for the concentration

Two Required Courses in Business Writing
BUS 103Develop Professional Skills I: Foundational Elements3
BUS 303Develop Professional Skills II: Advanced Elements3
Total Credits6
Electives in Economics 
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Economics of Labor
Economics of Industrial Organization
International Economics (Mason Core)
Game Theory and Economics of Institutions
Law and Economics
International Money and Finance
Financial Economics
Special Topics in Economics
Total Credits9
Additional Electives in Economics 
Select 6 credits of electives in economics from courses at the 300 and 400 level 16
Total Credits6
1

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

Elective not in Economics 
Select one elective from the following:3
Legal Environment of Business
Financial Management
Principles of Management
Principles of Marketing
Introduction to Business Information Systems (Mason Core)
Operations Management
Total Credits3

Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

This is a high credit concentration for students interested in a program that explores the interdisciplinary connections between philosophy, political science, and economics.

Required Courses in Economics
ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 104Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 306Intermediate Microeconomics3
ECON 311Intermediate Macroeconomics3
ECON 345Introduction to Econometrics3
ECON 412Game Theory and Economics of Institutions3
Total Credits18
Statistics 
Select one from the following: 16
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
1

With departmental permission, BUS 210 Business Analytics I and BUS 310 Business Analytics II may also be substituted for the two required courses in statistics; however, a two-course sequence of STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core) and STAT 350 Introductory Statistics II OR STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I and STAT 354 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II is highly recommended for students who wish to pursue graduate study in economics.

Required Courses in Math and Information Technology 
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
MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
Total Credits11-12
Electives 
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 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:

Select one from the following:3
Introduction to Econometrics
The Political Economy of Nonprofit Institutions
Topics in Economic History
Economics of Energy
Economics of Regulation
Total Credits3

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.

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 programs listed below specify the BS in economics as a feeder degree for their programs. 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.

BS (selected)/Statistical Science, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in selected BS programs (see below) have the option of obtaining an accelerated Statistical Science, MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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.

Admission Requirements

Students enrolled in a BS degree in any one of the Volgenau School major areas, in the Mathematics, BS program from the College of Science, or in the Economics, BS program from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of 3.00. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Statistical Science, MS program, which include successful completion of the following Mason courses each with a grade of C or better:

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
or MATH 321 Abstract Algebra
STAT 250Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)3
or STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
STAT 346Probability for Engineers3
or MATH 351 Probability

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlapping with grades of B or better in two 500-level STAT courses selected from STAT 544 Applied Probability, STAT 554 Applied Statistics I, and STAT 574 Survey Sampling I.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and Graduate Recruitment and Enrollment Services. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.