Majors and Minors

The Economics Department offers four different majors and two minors. Details about them are described in the corresponding sections below.

BS Economics and Data Science

The Bachelor of Science in Economics and Data Science combines core coursework in economics—including a new capstone course, Economic Applications of Machine Learning—with training in mathematics, computer science, and data science.  It is a rigorous major that will equip students to compete and thrive in the modern “big data” environment.  Students will be poised for careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors as well as prepared to pursue graduate study in a variety of fields. 


BA Behavioral Economics and Psychology

Decision-making—by consumers, business leaders, policymakers—is central to economic analysis. But all too often, observed behavior seems to violate traditional economic descriptions of rationality. The Behavioral Economics and Psychology major investigates how and why people make decisions and trains students to design interventions in a variety of areas—e.g., personal finance, health, aging, education—plagued by poor decision-making. The curriculum balances course work in economics and psychology and prepares students for a variety of careers in the public and private sectors.  


BA Economics

From healthcare to the environment to law, economic theories help make sense of complex issues. In USC Dornsife’s Economics department, economic theory is intertwined with practical models to address concepts across many disciplinary boundaries. In this original approach to research, scholars are developing analytical models to explain broad concepts, such as human behavior. Theories like the economics of happiness and the economics of uncertainty were honed within USC Dornsife walls. Emphasis is placed on practical economic research, such as how economics can be used to better understand business contracts and competition within industries. 


BS Economics Mathematics

The major combines courses from the Mathematics and Economics departments to give students an intense grounding in economic theory, mathematical methods, probability, and statistics. Emphasis is placed on practical economics research, such as how economics can be used to better understand business contracts and competitions within industries. This major particularly benefits students interested in pursuing Economics at a PhD level. 

Find the pre Fall 2019 curriculum here

Updated checklist can be found here

BA Political Economy

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy (PECN) explores the intersection of economics with politics in domestic and international contexts.  It prepares students for engagement with global and regional questions that require analysis of economic and political causes and consequences and provides a useful background for a wide variety of entry positions in the public and private sectors. 


Philosophy, Politics, and Economic BA

The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major acquaints students with the historical, conceptual, moral, and political foundations of the chief institutions and practices of our shared political and economic lives. These include private business, free markets, the rule of law, constitutions, institutions of democratic government, administrative agencies, educational institutions, and more. The major fosters the development of logical, quantitative, and analytic skills needed for clear thinking and effective communication. Using the fundamentals of economic, political, and philosophical analysis, students address political, economic, legal, and moral dimensions of social problems within a broad context of humanistic concerns. As a result, successful graduates should leave the program with a wide range of options involving the either more specialized study of philosophy, politics, or economics, or careers in, business, economics, law, or public service. The major requires 11 courses including an introductory lower-division course, a final capstone seminar, and a range of further courses in the three disciplines. Advisement for this major is done by the Philosophy Department.


BA Social Science emphasis in Economics

For students who have thematic interests that span several traditional social science disciplines, the Economics department offers a Social Science major with an emphasis in Economics. Students majoring in Social Sciences take the majority of their coursework in their area of emphasis, and a number of other upper-division social science courses selected from among the disciplines of Anthropology, Geography, History, International Relations, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology.


Economics Minor

The Economics minor is offered in three tracks: Law and Political Economy, Finance and Money, and International Economics. Each track is designed to help students explore a coherent area of economic thought and methodology. Law and Political Economy introduces students to the economic theory that underlies the economic choices made by individuals and the ways in which law and policy combine to regulate such behavior. Finance and Money guides students through the economic thought and theory that underlie the importance of money, covering topics that shed light on the ways in which institutions, individual preferences, and financial markets affect the allocation and investment of money. International Economics concentrates on the foundations, complexities, and importance of the global economy as well as the role of economics and political economy in societies outside the United States.


Behavioral Economics Minor

Behavioral studies of economic decision-making are attracting a lot of attention in Economics. Understanding how people make decisions is relevant for a large variety of applications including market design, policy, health or education. This minor offers a comprehensive set of classes that review the recent advances in the study of decision-making. Theoretical classes will review traditional theories of decision-making based on the economic rational paradigm as well as new behavioral theories designed to better capture actual decision-making. Experimental classes will cover standard and novel experimental methods used to study economics decision-making and game theoretical paradigms.

Details (Spring 2022 and Earlier)

Details (Fall 2022 and Later)

  • University of Southern California | Department of Economics | Department Chair: Romain Ranciere
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 8335