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An undergraduate education in economics was originally offered at SMU in 1915 through a joint economics/history department. The department contained two economics faculty members and offered eight courses. Today, undergraduates can choose from over 30 courses designed to lead to one of four degrees: the B.A., B.S., B.S. with Finance Applications, and B.S. with Management Information Systems. Currently, economics is the most popular undergraduate major in Dedman College, and indeed one of the most popular in the entire University.
The goal of undergraduate programs is to provide students with a basic understanding of economic theory, an appreciation for the methodology and purpose of economic research, and a firm grasp of economic institutions in an international context. The department contributes to achieving this goal in several ways: by providing a selection of degree plans and courses that allow to students to explore wide-ranging interests in economics; through its participation in interdisciplinary programs; and by providing a large service course component for first-year students.
The Department of Economics offers four separate undergraduate degree plans: B.A., B.S., B.S. with Management Information Applications, and B.S. with Financial Applications. While all four degrees share a common core curriculum – Principles of Microeconomics (ECO 1311), Principles of Macroeconomics (ECO 1312), Intermediate Microeconomics (ECO 3301), Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECO 3302) , introductory calculus (MATH 1309 or 1337), and basic statistics (STAT 2301, 2331, or 4340) – each of these degree programs contains a distinct bundling of economics and supplementary (accounting, computer science, etc) courses and places a different emphasis on topics covered and skills developed. In addition to the several choices of degree plans, the department offers a wide variety of upper level economics classes (4000-level and above). The department also offers a minor in Economics.