Undergraduate Study

About the Program

Here at UChicago, we aim to convey the ideas and methods of academic economics. Broadly defined, economics is the study of how society allocates scarce resources. From principles to advanced topics classes, from preparatory courses in mathematics and statistics to research opportunities, the program strives to convey how economists reason and how they analyze models and compare model implications to observations.

In addition to the standard economics major, the undergraduate program offers two tracks: the specialization in Business Economics and the specialization in Data Science. These tracks launched during the 2018-2019 academic year and are open to all students.

The specialization in Business Economics is offered in partnership with the Booth School of Business and also draws from courses taught across the University.

The specialization in Data Science provides training in computation and data analysis beyond the basic methods discussed in the empirical methods sequence.

Students may sample both these and the standard tracks and choose the one that is best suited to their interest and professional goals. As part of the partnership with Booth, students in the current standard Economics track may be able to complete pre-approved Booth courses to meet some elective requirements of the major.

Chicago students use their B.A. in economics for a wide range of career paths that include further professional degrees in law, business, and medicine, graduate level work in applied economics and economic policy, as well as Ph.D. training for economic research careers.

Course Offerings

The B.A. program in economics is intended to equip students with the basic tools to understand the operation of a modern economy.

We want to acquaint our students with economic models of individuals as consumers and producers; of price determination through their interaction in markets; models of income and employment determination; as well as develop our students’ basic skills to test these models’ predictions against knowledge of the real world. Such real-world information may be constructed from available cross-section or time-series information, from experiments, and from their own observations.

Such a scientific approach to economics must rely on mathematics and statistics in the design of our major. These courses are offered at different levels, as we understand that our majors have a range of academic, private, and public sector paths in mind.

The course offerings for students of economics may be grouped into five categories:

  • Fundamentals – provides students with the basic skills required to be successful in the major.
  • Core Curriculum – consists of three courses designed to introduce students to the "economic approach."
  • Empirical Methods Sequence – provides students with the fundamental techniques of data analysis.
  • Economic Policy Course – applies the tools developed in the core curriculum to issues of fiscal policy, monetary policy, and other policy discussions relevant to the current state of the economy.
  • Electives - allows students to tailor the economics major to their interests and to take up to two preapproved courses from Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, and the Booth School of Business

Students who are finishing work in all five categories during their third year may want to consider an independent research project (including participating in a workshop their senior year as they write an honors B.A. thesis).


Application for admission to The College of the University of Chicago can be completed through the office of College Admissions. The Department of Economics does not participate in the admissions process of college students.


Key Personnel

Victor Lima and Kotaro Yoshida

Julie Wong
Undergraduate Student Affairs Administrator
Saieh Hall for Economics 106
Tel: 773-834-6672