University of Tennessee

Economics Curriculum Overview

How do I major in economics?

One can major in economics through either the Haslam College of Business or the College of Arts and Sciences, and the main economics course requirements for each are very similar. For both majors you will take introductory microeconomics, ECON 211 or 217 (ECON 201 can also satisfy this requirement) and introductory macroeconomics, ECON 213 or 218. Once these introductory courses are complete, you have the prerequisites to take most 300-level economics courses, including the required intermediate courses in microeconomics (ECON 311) and macroeconomics (ECON 313). Once you receive credit for these intermediate courses, you are able to take 400-level economics courses. 

A major in economics fits many career paths that may begin with work in industry or government, or first pursuing a graduate degree. Below are a few examples of coursework aligned to different aspirations:

A Career in Industry Many students plan to find a job in industry upon graduation. These students would greatly benefit from some combination of Economics of Strategy (ECON 335), Industrial Organization (ECON 435) and International Economics (ECON 421). Additionally, we strongly encourage all students to develop foundational data analysis skills through Introduction to Econometrics (ECON 381). Those wanting to focus on data skills should also consider Elements of Forecasting (ECON 481) and Applied Economic Analysis (ECON 474).
A Career in Government There are a number of courses closely connected to public policy that are important for those who aspire to work for local, state and federal government agencies. These students are encouraged to take Government and Business (ECON 331), Monetary Economics (ECON 351), Public Finance: Expenditure Analysis (ECON 471) and Public Finance: Taxation and Fiscal Federalism (ECON 472).
Law School Economics majors who plan on going to law school should plan to take Law and Economics (ECON 333), Government and Business (ECON 331) and Industrial Organization (ECON 435). Additionally, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy (ECON 362) is an excellent fit for those interested in environmental law, and Labor Economics (ECON 441) is similarly suitable for those interested in labor law.

The above are simply suggestions to fit those students who have a clear career aspiration. There is great value in taking a variety of courses to find your passion. We strongly encourage all students to discuss their plans with their advisors and faculty mentors. They are there to help you make the most of your time at UT and achieve your goals.

Major Requirements