Undergraduate Study

FAQ

Whether you are already committed to concentrating or minoring in economics, are gathering information preparatory to that decision, or are just considering selecting one or more economics courses as part of your undergraduate education, this website is for you.

Economic problems center around the utilization of limited resources to provide goods and services for society. As a social science, economics is concerned with people in their roles as economic decision makers. Economists study how business and personal decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty and incomplete information, and they provide insight into problems involving both short- and long-term planning, such as investment and savings decisions. A strong grounding in both theoretical and applied aspects of economics allows students to use their knowledge to understand economic behavior and provides a basis for evaluating economic policy.

The Department of Economics at the University of Michigan celebrated its centennial in April of 1980. Through its long and distinguished history, it has counted among its faculty and alumni many eminent scholars and public servants. Students who would like to read more about the history of the Department can read Economics and the World Around It, edited by Saul Hymans and published by University of Michigan Press.

Economists are employed by banks and other financial institutions, industrial corporations, consulting firms, international organizations, and government agencies at all governmental levels, as well as by colleges and universities. Graduate study is necessary to prepare for a career as a professional economist. The Ph.D. is usually required for academic careers in four year institutions and for higher level positions in economic agencies of the federal government.

Economics has served as the foundation for a variety of career opportunities. Michigan graduates have gone on to successful careers in business, government, law, and education. In pursuing an economics concentration, students develop analytical skills, a strong quantitative background, and clarity and precision of thought and expression. Students also gain knowledge of economic institutions and an understanding of how a complex economic system works. These abilities may be applied to job responsibilities in a variety of sectors and occupational groups.

Many economics students continue their education in graduate or professional schools. They choose economics as a field of study because it is a good preparation for graduate or professional studies in fields such as law, business administration, urban planning, social work, consumer advocacy, and natural resource management.

If you have questions that are not answered here, the first place to turn is the Undergraduate Economics Office, 238 Lorch Hall, (734) 763-9242, or send a message via e-mail to econ-ug@umich.edu. This office is the focal point for all matters relevant to the undergraduate concentration. Ask here for information about course scheduling, information networking with graduated Economics majors, job/career information, internships, information on continuing education (MBA, Law School, Study Abroad Programs), and various other opportunities for economics students. For further information, schedule an appointment with an economics concentration advisor.