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Undergraduate Catalog 2013

Economics

Faculty

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Chair

Michael Bradley

Professors

Robert Carpenter
Dennis Coates
Scott Farrow
Thomas Gindling
Douglas Lamdin
William Lord
Virginia McConnell
David Mitch
Wendy Takacs

Associate Professors

Kathleen Carroll

Assistant Professors

Matthias Cinyabuguma
Lisa Dickson
Bing Ma
Morgan Rose
Christelle Viauroux
Chunming Yuan

Affiliate Professor

Timothy Brennan

Emeritus Associate Professor

Charles Peake

Lecturer

Mark Thomas

Emeritus Professor

Marsha Goldfarb
David Greenberg
Alan L. Sorkin

Lecturer and Accounting Program Coordinator

Jeanne St. Martin

Emeritus Faculty

Hyman K. Cohen

Courses in this program are listed under ECON.

Economics is the study of the way decisions are made. Consumers, managers of firms, organizations and societies make the types of decisions that economists study. Financial economics is at the intersection of economics and financial institutions and markets.

Microeconomics  is concerned primarily with the decisions and choices of individuals in markets for goods and resources, the determination of prices of goods and services in a market economy, and the way decision-makers respond to these prices and various economic incentives.

Macroeconomics focuses on the economy as a whole and focuses on the determination of aggregate output and employment,  unemployment, inflation and interest rates.
The core theories of microeconomics and macroeconomics can be applied to specialized fields such as international trade, finance, regulation and tax and monetary policies.

Economics is a broad and challenging way of thinking. Theoretical reasoning and empirical testing of hypotheses are primary focuses of economics. Students of economics must understand abstract and logical thinking, as well as the necessary tools of mathematical and statistical analysis. The degree programs in economics and financial economics are designed to provide students with these skills.

Career and Academic Paths

A major in economics or financial economics is excellent preparation for graduate study in economics, public policy and finance; professional study in law, business and public administration; and employment in business or government.   Graduates of the UMBC economics programs have earned M.B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and J.D. degrees at distinguished universities.  They have pursued successful careers in business, law, finance, banking, government, and college teaching.

Academic Advising

Students who are interested in majors or minors offered by the economics department should contact the department for assistance in selecting an advisor. The advising process is designed to help students determine their field(s) of interest within economics and select courses relevant to their career path.

Major Programs

The Economics Department offers two degree programs, Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Financial Economics. Students may choose only one of these majors.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Economics consists of at least 40 credits distributed as follows:

A. General Core: 19-20 credits

  • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • MATH 151 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I or MATH 155 Elementary Calculus I
  • STAT 351 Applied Statistics for Business and Economics
    OR 
  • STAT 350 Statistics with Applications in the Biological Sciences
    OR 
  • STAT 355 Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers
    OR 
  • STAT 451 Introduction to Probability Theory
    OR 
  • CMPE 320 Probability, Statistics, and Random Processes
  • ECON 311 Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Note: Calculus is a prerequisite.
  • ECON 312 Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis Note: Calculus is a prerequisite.

B. 21 additional credits in economics, numbered ECON 314 or higher.

ECON 600 may not be used to fulfill major requirements.

No course in which a student has earned a grade below “C”; shall fulfill the major requirements.

Emphasis within the Economics Major

There are many emphases that an economics major may pursue, depending on educational and career objectives. The recommendations below are a general guide for students.

I. Students completing a liberal arts program or preparing for professional school should select courses according to their specific interests and should develop a program in consultation with their major advisor.

II. Students preparing for graduate study in economics, particularly at the doctoral level, should complete courses that provide the necessary mathematical background.

At a minimum, these would include:

  • ECON 421 Introduction to Econometrics
  • ECON 490 Analytic Methods in Economics
  • MATH 221 Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • MATH 225 Introduction to Differential Equations
  • MATH 251 Multivariable Calculus
  • MATH 301 Introduction to Math Analysis I
  • MATH 302 Introduction to Math Analysis II
  • STAT 453 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics

III. Students interested in pursuing a career in business should consider completing the requirements for one of the certificates described under administrative or information science in addition to completing the requirements for their chosen major.

Bachelor of Science in Financial Economics

The B.S. in Financial Economics consists of at least 61 credits distributed as follows:

I. General Core: 40-43 credits

  • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 121 Principles of Accounting I
  • ECON 122 Principles of Accounting II
  • ECON 311 Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis (Note: Calculus is aprerequisite.)
  • ECON 312 Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis (Note: Calculus is aprerequisite.)
  • ECON 374 Fundamentals of Financial Management
  • ECON 320 Elements of Quantitative Methods for Management
    OR 
  • ECON 421 Introduction to Econometric
    OR 
  • ECON 423 Economic Forecasting  
  • CMSC 100 Introduction to Computers and Programming
    OR 
  • CMSC 103 Scientific Computing
    OR 
  • CMSC 104 Problem-Solving and Computer Programming
    OR 
  • IS 101 Introduction to Computer-Based Systems
    OR 
  • IS 295 Introduction to Applications Programming
  • STAT 351 Applied Statistics for Business and Economics
    OR 
  • STAT 350 Statistics with Applications in the Biological Sciences
    OR 
  • STAT 355 Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers
    OR 
  • STAT 451 Introduction to Probability Theory or CMPE 320 Probability, Statistics, and Random Processes
  • MATH 151 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
    OR 
  • MATH 155 Elementary Calculus I
  • ECON 490 Analytic Methods in Economics
    OR 
  • MATH 152 Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
    OR 
  • MATH 221 Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • PHIL 248 Scientific Reasoning
    OR 
  • PHIL 346 Deductive Systems
    OR 
  • CMSC 203 Discrete Structures
    OR 
  • MGMT 385 Business Ethics
    OR 
  • PHIL 399B Business Ethics
    OR 
  • PHIL 350 Ethical Theory

II. Financial Economics Core: 12 credits

Students choose four of the following courses:

One of the four must be ECON 471 or ECON 475.

  • ECON 301 Intermediate Accounting I
  • ECON 410 Selected Topics in Financial Economics (only one 410 can count here)
  • ECON 453 Household Economics
  • ECON 463 Theory of Public Finance
  • ECON 471 Money and Capital Markets
  • ECON 472 Monetary Theory and Policy
  • ECON 474 Cases in Corporate Finance
  • ECON 475 Financial Investment Analysis
  • ECON 476 Portfolio Analysis and Management
  • ECON 477 Analysis of Derivative Securities
  • ECON 478 Real Estate Economics and Finance
  • ECON 479 Venture Capital
  • ECON 482 International Finance

III. Upper-Level Economics Electives: 9 credits

Students must complete nine additional credits in ECON 314 or higher. Students may use any upper-level ECON courses listed in the general core or the financial economics core as upper-level ECON electives, provided the courses are not used to meet the requirements of the respective core.

Any two of the following may be substituted for two upper-level economics electives:

  • ECON 302 Intermediate Accounting II
  • ECAC 329 Cost Accounting
  • ECAC 330 Principles of Taxation
  • POLI 353 Government Budgeting and Financial Administration
  • MATH 381 Linear Methods in Operations Research
  • STAT 454 Applied Statistics

No course in which the student has earned a grade lower than "C"; shall fulfill the major requirements.

The B.S. in Financial Economics requires many courses that have a series of prerequisites. Students who wish to complete the degree in four years of full-time study should plan their schedule accordingly. It is suggested that students complete ECON 101, 102, 121 and 122 in their first year. Students should complete the Calculus requirement by the end of their first year, if possible.

In the second year, students should include ECON 311, 312 and 374 in their schedules. Having taken these courses by the end of the second year will allow students to complete the degree and general university requirements in four years with minimal scheduling difficulties.

Students transferring from a two-year college to UMBC should complete the equivalent of ECON 101, 102, 121 and 122 before transferring. In addition, other required introductory courses, such as calculus and the computer course could be taken before transferring. Students should plan to have most, if not all, of the general university requirements met before transferring. Once they have transferred, students should include ECON 311, 312 and 374 in their schedules as soon as possible.

Emphasis within the Financial Economics Major

Students may choose to emphasize public-sector finance, international finance or private-sector finance within the financial economics major. The following are suggested course options for areas of emphasis:

Public-sector Finance Elective courses included in the general core or financial economics core (if not used in the core):

  • ECON 463 Theory of Public Finance
  • ECON 421 Introduction to Econometrics

Other suggested electives:

  • ECAC 330 Principles of Taxation
  • ECON 403 Economic Growth and Cycles
  • ECON 405 Benefit Cost Analysis
  • ECON 414 Public Policy Toward Business
  • ECON 415 Property Rights, Organizations and Management
  • ECON 416 The Economics of Law
  • ECON 464 State and Local Public Finance
  • ECON 472 Monetary Theory and Policy
  • POLI 353 Government Budgeting and Financial Administration

International Finance

Elective courses included in the general core or financial economics core (in the core):

  • ECON 482 International Finance
  • ECON 471 Money and Capital Markets
  • ECON 474 Cases in Corporate Finance
  • ECON 476 Portfolio Analysis and Management
  • ECON 477 Analysis of Derivative Securities
  • ECON 479 Venture Capital

Other suggested electives:

  • ECON 382 Asian Economic History
  • ECON 385 Economic Development
  • ECON 387 Economic Development of Latin America
  • ECON 442 European Economic History
  • ECON 481 International Trade Theory
  • ECON 486 Topics in Economic Development

Private-sector Finance Elective courses included in the general core or financial economics core (in the core):

  • ECON 301 Intermediate Accounting I
  • ECON 471 Money and Capital Markets
  • ECON 472 Monetary Theory and Policy
  • ECON 474 Cases in Corporate Finance
  • ECON 475 Financial Investment Analysis
  • ECON 476 Portfolio Analysis and Management
  • ECON 477 Analysis of Derivative Securities
  • ECON 479 Venture Capital
  • ECON 482 International Finance
  • ECON 423 Economic Forecasting

Other suggested electives:

  • ECON 302 Intermediate Accounting II
  • ECAC 329 Cost Accounting
  • ECAC 330 Principles of Taxation
  • ECON 408 Managerial Economics
  • ECON 413 Industrial Organization
  • ECON 453 Household Economics
  • ECON 478 Real Estate Economics and Finance

Minor Programs

The economics department offers two minors for students majoring inother disciplines. These minors are not available to Economics or Financial Economics majors.

Minor in Economics

A minor in economics will consist of 21 credits in economics as follows:

  • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 311* Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 312* Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis

Nine credits in economics courses numbered 314 or higher. A grade of “C” or better is required in courses that fulfill minor requirements.

All students should have a knowledge of introductory statistics, including regression analysis.

Minor in International Economics

A minor in international economics consists of 24 credits in economics as follows:

A. Required Courses (18 credits):

  • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 311* Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 312* Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 481 International Trade Theory
  • ECON 482 International Finance

B. Elective Courses (6 credits)

Students must complete any two of the following courses:

  • ECON 382 Asian Economic History
  • ECON 385 Economic Development
  • ECON 387 Economic Development of Latin America
  • ECON 442 European Economic History
  • ECON 455 Economic Systems
  • ECON 457 Economic History of Russia and the Soviet Union
  • ECON 486 Topics in Economic Development

C. Foreign-language Proficiency

Students must be proficient in any modern language at the intermediate (202) level. This requirement can be satisfied in conjunction with the student’s General Foundation Requirements (GFR), or General Education Program (GEP), or by evidence of five years of previous language study.

* Note that calculus (MATH 155 or 151 with a grade of C or better) is a prerequisite for ECON 311 and 312.

All students should have a knowledge of introductory statistics, including regression analysis.

A grade of “C” or better is required in courses that fulfill minor requirements.

Certificates in Pre-Professional Studies in Accounting and Finance and Information System Auditing

These certificates offer UMBC students the opportunity to prepare for careers in the public and private sectors. The program provides students with marketable analytical skills needed for such careers. Each certificate requires students to pursue a major in any field at UMBC while completing the courses for one of the certificates. The pre-professional studies in accounting certificate provides the students the specific coursework requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Maryland. FIEC majors may not also earn a certificate in finance. Any one of the certificates is roughly equivalent to a concentration or a second major.  For detailed information see accounting, finance and information systems auditing certificates.

Accelerated B.A./M.A. and B.S./M.A. Program

UMBC undergraduates are eligible to apply for a program combining a B.A. in Economics or B.S. in Financial Economics with an M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis (offered jointly by the departments of economics and public policy). Students in the combined B.A./M.A. or B.S./ M.A. program can obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in as few as five years. Students should apply for admission to the B.A./M.A. or B.S./M.A. program during their junior year. Students interested in pursuing the accelerated program should plan to complete ECON 490 and ECON 421 before the beginning of their senior year. Students admitted into the accelerated pathway receive undergraduate credit for graduate-level courses required in the M.A. program; these courses count toward both the M.A. and the 21 upper-level credits required for the B.A. in Economics or toward both the M.A. and the upper-level economics elective credits required for the B.S. in Financial Economics. The accelerated program is substantially less expensive than a traditional master’s program because students pay undergraduate tuition for graduate-level courses taken as undergraduates. For more information on the M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis, see the Graduate Catalog or visit our Web site at www.umbc.edu/economics. For more information about the combined program and for an application form, see the economics department graduate program director, e-mail econmasters@umbc.edu or visit our Web site.

Honors Program

The departmental honors program in economics provides opportunities for qualified students to enrich their undergraduate studies and to receive recognition for academic excellence in economics. Students are qualified to enroll in the departmental honors program if they have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours of academic work with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and have completed at least ECON 101, 102, 311 and 312 with a minimum GPA of 3.5. Completion of the departmental honors program requires that students maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in economics courses. Four of the upper-level ECON courses to complete the major must be designated as honors courses; students will complete supplemental research in these courses under the guidance of the instructor. Students must attain a minimum GPA of 3.75 in their upper-level honors courses. Interested students should contact their major advisor or the departmental honors advisor for complete information on departmental honors. Students in the Honors College may request an Honors section of a 400 level course with the permission of the instructor. Such courses typically require additional responsibilities on the part of the student.

Special Opportunities

The department awards several scholarships to qualified undergraduates. For more information about these opportunities, visit our Web site at www.umbc.edu/economics.

Student Organizations

The Economics Council of Majors brings economics majors together for job seminars, visits to local businesses, social events and an annual awards event. Omicron Delta Epsilon The campus also has a chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society for economics students. Accounting Club Students interested in accounting or who are pursuing the pre-professional certificate in Accounting gather for social events, seminars and an annual awards event.