Economics program

Undergrad major Undergrad minor Teacher license

Learn to think like an economist. Your career possibilities and growth potential will expand.

An economics degree provides students with the ability to think clearly and analyze problems. This prepares them for diverse careers — in and outside of the business world — such as law, politics, government, education, consulting, advising, and international relations.

Economics and these related occupations are expected to experience above average employment and wage growth over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economics is an attractive major for those who are ambitious and willing to work hard as courses are rigorous and require significant writing and analytical reasoning skills. The payoff for that work can be huge. UW-La Crosse economics graduates have a reputation for being bright, clear-thinking, creative, hardworking and independent people who make significant contributions in their careers. 


Jobs for economics majors

Economics majors find a variety of career paths in diverse sectors of economy such as banking and finance, international business, law, non-profit organizations and government. By mid-career (45-54 years old), around 7.1% are lawyers, judges, magistrates, and judicial workers; almost 6.6% are in a management role; 4.5% are chief executives and legislators; 4.4% are financial managers; 4.3% are supervisors of sales workers; and 4.0% are accountants and auditors.

The median economics major starts out earning about $50,000 per year. Median earnings rise sharply from the start of one’s career until about 15 years since entering the workforce. Earnings stabilize from that point, with the median workers earning about $105,000 per year, according to information from The Hamilton Project.  

What distinguishes UWL's economics program?

International education opportunities

The Economics Department is actively involved in international education. The faculty regularly teach courses for UWL students abroad, and economics majors are encouraged to participate in one of the many international study opportunities available.

Classroom activities are varied, engaging

Instructors include multi media presentations and small cooperative learning groups to develop students’ writing, oral communication, leadership, and critical thinking skills. Many courses feature computer tutorials and simulation games to enhance learning. Computers are used as a search tool and applied to common business and economic problems in most classes.

Faculty are committed to student learning

Faculty members are dedicated teachers, who are concerned about and committed to improving student learning. The faculty regularly develop tools to measure student learning and then create plans to improve learning and continually assess it.

Join faculty in research

The Economics Department has a history of involving undergraduate students in research. And faculty are actively involved in pursuing new research. Over the last five years, the economics department faculty have collectively published more than 60 papers in peer-review academic journals.

Become a paid tutor

Upper level economics students with an exemplary academic record are invited to become department tutors for freshman economics courses.The position provides prestige, additional income and valuable experience that is attractive in the job market.

Earn an economics student scholarship

Three annual merit scholarships are offered exclusively for economics students: the David M. Cole Scholarship, the Barry Clark Award ,and the Maurice O. Graff Scholarship. Scholarships are available in amounts up to $2,500.

Choose your focus

Electives allow students to pursue an area of specific interest. In response to the increases in globalization of production and trade, many electives contain significant international content. Other electives focus on the application of economic analysis to business decisions, sports management, the health industry, the entertainment industry, public policy, environmental problems, and the labor market. For students interested in consulting, statistical analysis is emphasized in several courses.

Join a field with excellent job growth and demand

An economics degree provides excellent training for a career in fields such as law, politics ,government, education, consulting, advising, and international relations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics publication, Occupational Projections and Training Data 2019-2020, economics and the related occupations described here are expected to experience above average employment and wage growth over the next ten years. In 2020, the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) rated the economists as having a bright outlook, signaling an expectation of rapid growth and demand.

Major, minor available in multiple colleges

Students can major or minor in economics through three different UWL colleges: the College of Business Administration, College of Liberal Studies, and College of Science and Health. Regardless of the college of origin, economics majors are required to take five courses: Microeconomics and Public Policy, Global Macroeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis, Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis, and Introduction to Econometrics. The economics minor only requires two courses: Microeconomic and Public Policy and Global Macroeconomics. The remaining credits to earn the minor can be selected from the department’s upper-division offerings.

Sample courses

ECO 305 Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis This course is an introduction to the theoretical analysis of the aggregate economy. Topics include the essential mathematics of macro analysis; national income accounting; general equilibrium of the product, money and labor markets; Keynesian, Classical, and Monetarist theories; stabilization policies; and economic growth. Prerequisite: ECO 110, ECO 120; MTH 160, MTH 175 or MTH 207. Offered Fall, Spring.

ECO 308 Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis This course covers behavior of consumers, producers and markets. Topics include theories of demand, production and cost, firm decisions, market structures, distribution, general equilibrium, welfare, and externalities. Prerequisite: ECO 110, ECO 120; MTH 160, MTH 175 or MTH 207. Offered Fall, Spring.

ECO 307 Introduction to Econometrics This course is an introduction to regression analysis and its application to economic and business research. Topics include using secondary data sources, simple and multiple regression, and interpretation and communication of results. The course develops various empirical techniques and culminates with a final research paper. Prerequisite: STAT 145 or STAT 245; ENG 110 or ENG 112. Offered Fall, Spring.

ECO 301 Money and Banking An introduction to money, monetary policy, and banking, and their roles in the modern market economy. Attention is devoted to the current institutional structure in the U.S. and differing views on the relationship between money and the level of economic activity. Prerequisite: ECO 110, ECO 120. Offered Spring.

ECO 320 Economics of Sports Economic theory is used to analyze the sports industry. Topics include industry make-up, labor conditions, marketing, economic impact, and discrimination. Prerequisite: ECO 110. Offered Fall, Spring.

ECO 340 Introduction to International Economics Overview and introduction to international economics and the theory of international trade and the effects of trade and trade policy on the economy. Foreign exchange markets, the balance of payments and basic policy adjustments are also introduced. Prerequisite: ECO 110. Offered Fall, Spring.

ECO 375 Economic Development Analysis of the broad problems and constraints limiting economic development in the "Third World" Alternative approaches to development will be considered. Different cultural, material, and human resources present in individual countries will be assessed. Prerequisite: ECO 110, ECO 120. Offered Occasionally.

ECO 330 Labor Economics Theories of wage determination; economic effects of wage determination upon the structure of wages, the distribution of national income, employment, and the price level. Prerequisite: ECO 110, ECO 120. Offered Occasionally.

ECO 346 Environmental and Ecological Economics Aspects of the scarcity of renewable and non-renewable natural resources and the management problems associated with their allocation and use are presented from neoclassical and ecological economics perspective. The theoretical foundations for those tools of economic analysis applicable to the analysis of natural resource problems are developed with historical, real-world examples discussed. Attention is concentrated on the policy implications of alternative resource development strategies. Prerequisite: ECO 110. Offered Spring.

ECO 336 Women in the U.S. Economy An introduction to the status of women in the U.S. economy. Topics include alternative perspectives on women, work and the labor force, the value of paid versus unpaid labor, pay equity, the social support network, and the prospects for change. Prerequisite: ECO 110 or ECO 120. Offered Fall, Spring.