BS in Economics



The B.S. program in Economics at Rensselaer provides students with exposure to a wide range of topics in Economics, as well as several interdisciplinary areas. Students can Major in Economics, as well as select from an array of specialized Minors. Many of our Majors are dual Majors, where the students’ primary Majors are in disciplines such as engineering, sciences, mathematics, and business.

A unique feature of the program is that aside from the required coursework for the degree completion, students are free to choose from a wide range of electives and courses of their interest offered by other departments in areas such as computer science, mathematics, industrial engineering, management, finance, among others.  

The B.S. program in Economics equips students with powerful analytical skills and tools in areas such as:

  • Mathematical modeling of economic decision-making
  • Quantitative methods and econometric analysis
  • Economics of innovation and new technologies
  • Health economics and policy
  • Behavioral economics
  • Applied game theory
  • International economics and globalization
  • Banking and financial markets
  • Economics of regulations and policy
  • Industry and market dynamics
  • Law and economics


To obtain a Major in Economics, students need to complete 34 credits of coursework, which includes mandatory courses in Introductory Economics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Econometrics, and a Seminar in Economics course. In addition to the core curriculum, students can choose from a wide range of electives that provide deeper insights. Courses include: Economics of Innovation and Technological Change; Economics of Government Regulations; Behavioral Economics; Health Economics and Policy; Applied Game Theory; Financial Institutions and Markets; Economics of Biotechnology and Medical Innovations; Econometrics of Big Data; Money and Banking; among others. Students in the Major also have ample opportunity to take courses in other departments at Rensselaer such as in Mathematics, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, and Management, to tailor a course of study best suited to their own personal interests and career goals.

Additional information about the BS program can be found here:


The Department of Economics also offers attractive Minors which students can take to specialize in their areas of interest. These include:

  • Minor in Economics of Quantitative Modeling
  • Minor in Economics of Biotech and Medical Innovation
  • Minor in Economics of Policy and Regulations
  • Minor in Economics of Technology and Innovation
  • Minor in Economics of Banking and Finance
  • Minor in Economics (this is the general Minor).

To obtain a Minor, the student needs to complete 16 credit hours. The typical path is to take courses in: Introductory Economics, Intermediate Microeconomics, and two elective courses at the 4000 level in the specific area of the Minor. The specialized Minors allow students to gain expertise in specific areas of economics to enhance their career prospects.

Specialized Minor in Economics

Core Courses

Any Two from This List

Economics of Quantitative Modeling

1. Introductory Economics

2. Intermediate Microeconomics

1. Econometrics

2. Econometric Methods-Big Data

3. Applied Game Theory

4. Behavioral Economics

Economics of Biotech and Medical Innovations


1. Introductory Economics

2. Intermediate Microeconomics

1. Health Economics and Policy

2. Economics of Biotech and Medical Innovation

3. Behavioral Economics

Economics of Technology and Innovation


1. Introductory Economics

2. Intermediate Microeconomics

1. Economics of Innovation and Technology

2. Economics of Biotech and Medical Innovation

3. Structure of Industry

Economics of Policy and Regulations

1. Introductory Economics

2. Intermediate Microeconomics

1. Law & Economics

2. Regulations and Firm Strategy

3. Health Economics and Policy

Economics of Banking and Finance

1. Introductory Economics

2. Intermediate Microeconomics or Intermediate Macroeconomics

1. Money & Banking

2. Economics of Financial Institutions & Markets

Economics (the current general Minor)

1. Introductory Economics

2. Intermediate Microeconomics

Any two courses from:

1. Intermediate Macroeconomics

2. Any one 4000-level elective

* For advising related to Minors, please see HASS advisor on Sage 4th floor.


Throughout the Economics Major or Minor, students learn key concepts involving economic decision-making, choice and policy with scarce resources, functioning of markets, behavior of individuals and firms, and regulations and policy.

Modeling, analytical, and econometric tools are developed, and students gain practice to apply these to settings such as:

  • Decision making by individuals and businesses
  • Public policy and regulations
  • Issues related to innovation and technological change
  • Healthcare markets
  • Resource scarcity and the environment
  • Dynamics of firms and industries related to pricing, investments, entry and exit, and R&D and patents 
  • International trade and industry
  • Finance
  • Monetary and banking systems


Students with a B.S. degree in Economics are highly sought by employers in industry and consulting because they possess advanced quantitative and modeling skills, and learn to engage in active learning through independent research and think critically about solving real-world problems. 

A degree in economics at Rensselaer prepares students for:

  • Careers at leading financial institutions, businesses, consulting firms, non-governmental social organizations, think tanks, and federal and state governments
  • Graduate studies in economics
  • Graduate studies in finance, business, management, law, public policy
  • Professional training in management, business, accounting, finance, law, public policy


Incoming economics students are expected to have:

  • Strong analytical and mathematical skills
  • Strong writing and communications skills

The American Economic Association provides helpful information on Economics and Economics-related careers: .


Undergraduate students may elect to combine their Bachelor of Science study with an additional year of coursework to obtain a Master’s degree in Economics. The co-terminal Master’s involves enhanced analytic rigor in microeconomic theory and data analytics, and provides further experience in chosen areas of economics. The Master’s also signals strong preparation to prospective employers. Students in the Master’s program may choose to focus some of their coursework in cognate disciplines, such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, or Management, to serve individuals students’ development needs. Students from other majors can also pursue the co-terminal Master’s degree, allowing a combination of skills in Economics with skills in other disciplines. Sufficient mathematical and analytical skills, and a minimum 3.2 grade point average, are currently required to enter the co-terminal program. Co-terminal students generally can carry Rensselaer scholarships or tuition plans into the co-terminal year.

Additional information about the MS program can be found here:


Through Rensselaer's Undergraduate Research Program, qualified students receive valuable training in applied economic research and quantitative and qualitative research methods. Under the guidance of faculty, students are able to participate in, as well as contribute to, the department's research programs.  Students can apply their economics knowledge and techniques to a variety of questions related to the Rensselaer faculty’s research expertise, including the economics of innovation and technological change, economic growth, law and economics, economic regulation, international competitiveness, and macroeconomic policy.  Economics majors are required to take the two-credit course Seminar in Economics that provides the formal venue for students to conduct research with a faculty member or to pursue their own area of research.  These opportunities conducting applied research give students an advantage in their job search since empirical and analytical skills are vital in today's work environments. 


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