Bachelor of Arts in Economics
Economics — the most popular major at Brandeis — provides a lens through which we can better understand and improve our world.
Economics is the study of human choice and economic behavior. It helps explain the connections between individuals, institutions, and social outcomes. Whether you major or minor in economics, you will learn the general principles of economics, microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, statistics and econometrics, with an emphasis on analytic and quantitative approaches. Your economics degree will enable you to bring this knowledge to bear on a range of questions and challenges, such as economic development, income inequality, unemployment, inflation, and international trade.
While many people go on to pursue an advanced degree in economics, business, law or public policy, the BA degree in economics also prepares you for a career in business, technology, education, government — and beyond.
At Brandeis, economics majors can capitalize on the presence of the Brandeis International Business School by taking graduate-level courses in economics and finance. They can also take advantage of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management by taking courses on health economics and public policy. Interdisciplinary courses that combine economics with other disciplines in the arts and sciences are also available.
Given the relentless globalization of the economy, study abroad is an ideal way for you to expose yourself to international and cross-cultural approaches to business, finance and politics. You may also opt to write an honors thesis.
Academics and Research
Specific economics electives include courses in labor, development, education, the environment, race and gender, and trade policy, as well as area specializations such as the economies of China and the Middle East. Other topics include finance and corporate finance, money and banking, industrial organization, public finance, innovation and game theory.
Our close association with the Brandeis International Business School broadens student opportunities. Economics majors may enroll in a variety of IBS courses at both the master’s and PhD levels and earn credit for the major. View the course schedule.
The BA/MA Program at the Brandeis International Business School is an innovative five-year degree program that allows undergraduates to earn their Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Master of Arts in international economics and finance. Starting in your senior year, you will be engaged and challenged by graduate-level faculty who are thought leaders in their field. You will be encouraged to pursue one of five tracks: applied economic analysis, data analytics, financial economics, marketing and real estate finance.
Student and Faculty Excellence
Brandeis International Business School has quickly developed a worldwide reputation for preparing its graduates to become principled leaders of global companies and public institutions. Since its founding, the school has grown to more than 500 students from more than 70 countries, attracted esteemed faculty, expanded its curriculum and launched an undergraduate business program.
Our faculty members are linked with a range of research and policy institutions around the world. Betsy Brainerd is the president of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies and a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany. Kathryn Graddy is a research fellow of the Center for Policy Research, and Linda Bui serves on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board for Economy Wide Modeling. Gary Jefferson is an honorary professor at Wuhan University.
Clubs, Internships and Study Abroad
Students can apply their economics skills by participating in organizations such as the Brandeis Economics and Finance Review, the Investment Club, the Fair Trade Brigade and Omicron Delta Epsilon, an academic honors society in economics.
Economics majors have interned at organizations such as the Grameen Foundation, which was founded to extend the impact of microfinance on the world’s poorest people. Internship responsibilities included raising funds for microfinance institutions across the world, helping to alleviate global poverty.
Brandeis offers an intensive summer program in Copenhagen, Denmark. This program offers students the opportunity to study core economic theory and application in the classroom, listen to speakers on European policy issues and visit places of economic interest, such as businesses, markets and government institutions. Integration between the two courses and the field trips provides a holistic understanding of economic issues in Scandinavian Europe, as well as a solid grounding in core economic theory.
Careers and Alumni
Economics graduates enter into a wide variety of fields, ranging from consulting and finance, to public service and nonprofits, to technology and research. Alumni regularly find work at organizations such as Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Deloitte, Google, Amazon, Teach for America, and the Federal Reserve banks and Federal Reserve Board. Our international graduates benefit from the STEM designation of the Economics major, which enables students to apply for a 24-month STEM extension of F1 Optional Practical Training (OPT). A number of our graduates pursue advanced degrees. Some choose to study economics at the graduate level, and many others enroll in professional schools of business, law and public policy.
Brandeis’ economics graduates include Mitch Caplan ’79, adviser at Aquiline and the former president and chief executive officer of E-Trade; Michael Kaiser ’75, president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; and Nikolai Vassiliev, MA’97, deputy prime minister of Bulgaria.