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Undergraduate Degrees & Programs

BS Degree in Business Economics & Finance

Career paths:

The Bachelor of Science in Business Economics and Finance prepares students for a variety of career paths: for entry-level positions in financial analysis and services or in many areas of government service; for graduate study in economics, finance, or business; and for the study of business-related areas of law. Financial analysts work in commercial and investment banks, brokerage houses, mutual funds, life and health insurance companies, real estate investment trusts, pension funds, and corporate finance departments of non-financial firms. Students will also find that this degree prepares them well for many positions with government agencies, particularly those offices addressing budget, revenues, debt management, forecasting, or economic development. This curriculum also provides a solid foundation for students interested in attending law school, especially in tax, antitrust, corporate (mergers and acquisitions) or securities law specialties. Students interested in other areas of economics or law may wish to enroll in one of the economics degree programs offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission, retention, and graduation:

For admission to, and retention in, the major, students must meet all requirements of the School of Business. See the chairperson of the Economics and Finance department for additional information. Majors are advised by members of the Economics and Finance faculty. To graduate, in addition to satisfying the degree requirements of the School of Business, students must obtain a grade of C or higher in one of the research courses: ECON/FIN 415, ECON/FIN 417, or FIN 430. No credit is granted for correspondence or extension courses. Program requirements are summarized on the BUEF Program Sheet.

BA & BS Degrees in Economics


Economics is the study of how different economic systems determine what goods and services will be produced, the prices and quantities of those goods and services, and who will receive them. All societies, from the most primitive to the most complex, must have economic systems that determine how scarce resources (land, raw materials, labor, machinery, and physical structures) will be used to satisfy the demands of the people living in those societies. Knowledge of economics is essential to understanding problems ranging from the consumer's decision to purchase one brand of car over another, to businesses' decisions as to which goods and services to produce and how to price them. Economics also helps us to understand the causes of inflation and unemployment, as well as the effects of government budget deficits or international trade deficits. Lawyers, bankers, managers of large and small businesses, government planners and journalists find economics a useful tool in understanding and solving problems.

Students choosing economics as their major pursue a core program designed to provide a thorough grounding in economic theory followed by more specialized study in such areas as money and banking, labor and industrial relations, international economics, public finance, industrial organization, and antitrust policy. Students develop their programs in cooperation with an economics faculty adviser.

The Department of Economics offers two degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences: a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in economics and a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in economics. Candidates for either of these degrees must also declare and complete a minor. Suggested minors include math, business or another discipline within the arts and sciences. Those students planning to enter Ph.D. programs in economics are strongly encouraged to take their minor in mathematics. Students who plan to seek employment upon completion of their bachelor's degree or who plan to pursue graduate work in some other field are advised to elect a minor in a field related to their chosen career.

For students majoring in non-business fields such as political science, engineering, math, speech communication, or history, an Economics Minor is an excellent complement.

Students interested in additional information may consult the Economics Department, Alumni Hall, Room 3129. Students may also meet with a faculty adviser in the Department of Economics.

Career paths:

Economists are employed in all areas of private industry; in federal, state, and local government agencies; in international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank; in labor unions; and in colleges and universities. Duties performed by professional economists include market research, forecasting, corporate planning, policy evaluation, economic impact studies, and consulting.

During the past several years, graduates of the SIUE program in economics (including the graduate program) have obtained employment in a variety of institutions. These include commercial banks, brokerage firms, government agencies, public utilities, state legislatures, manufacturing and retailing firms, consulting firms, as well as community colleges and small liberal arts colleges. A number of students have continued their study of economics by entering highly competitive Ph.D. programs. Law school is another popular option.

Admission, retention, and graduation:

The admission/entrance requirements for a degree in economics are the same as for the University. High school deficiencies and Academic Development courses must be complete before applying for a major in economics. Students in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs are required to maintain a 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average in economics. Students must also obtain a grade of C or higher in specified core courses. Program requirements are summarized on the CAS BS Econ Program Sheet and CAS BA Econ Program Sheet.

Exit Requirements:

Students completing a degree in economics are required to maintain a 2.0 in economics courses and a cumulative 2.0 grade point average. Students must complete all economics courses in regularly scheduled classes (no credit is granted for correspondence or extension courses.)

Students who have earned credit for a course required for a degree in economics by taking a proficiency examination, by transferring credit for a course, or by taking the course, may not earn credit for graduation by taking a similar or lower division course in economics at SIUE or at other higher education institutions.

To graduate, in addition to satisfying the major requirements, students must obtain a grade of C or higher in one of the research courses (Economics 415 or 417). Students must also present to the faculty their research projects from either course as the Senior Assignment/Exit Requirement of the program.

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