What is Economics?
Economics can be defined in a few different ways. It’s the study of scarcity, the study of how people use resources and respond to incentives, or the study of decision-making. It often involves topics like wealth and finance, but it’s not all about money. Economics is a broad discipline that helps us understand historical trends, interpret today’s headlines, and make predictions about the coming years. (From the American Economics Association)
The increasing importance of international trade and the globalization of economic activity makes studying abroad critical for economics students. You will learn about the field of economics from an international perspective, develop a deeper understanding of the implications of globalization, and gain a greater awareness of how differences in political institutions play a role in economic outcomes. At the same time, you can sharpen your cross-cultural communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, making you more attractive to future employers.
ECON 490: Directed Research: Supervised individual research
ECON 495: Honor’s Thesis: Individual research supervised by a faculty advisor. Successful completion required for departmental honors degree.
Additional Research Resources:
Dornsife Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF)
Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR)
American Economics Association (AEA) Research Highlights
AEA Undergrad Research Opportunities
AEA Journal Access for Students
A rigorous training in economics prepares a student for many career paths. We expect that our students will be competitive for jobs in:
Federal Reserve Banks
Big Data Analytic Firms
Wall Street & Finance
Real Estate Development
For those students interested in applying for a PhD in economics, we strongly suggest that you contact Professor Paulina Oliva (email@example.com) during your junior year. Graduate School in Economics is highly rewarding and rigorous. We believe that our students can excel at the very best PhD programs.
In order to properly prepare for these programs, students need to both excel in undergraduate econ classes but also take courses at USC’s Math Department. Real Analysis and probability theory are highly recommended as courses that help a young economist to prepare for the rigor of graduate school. Strong letters of recommendation are crucial for being admitted to excellent PhD programs.
Economics training is also a pathway for going to medical school, law school and business school and public policy schools. Professor Paulina Oliva will lead a group meeting to discuss these career paths.
Undergraduate Department of Economics
3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 357
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0253
Undergraduate Office: (213) 821-4316