University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Department of Economics is home to over 1500 undergraduate students. Economics majors can enroll in a broad array of economics courses, ranging from economic history to advanced macroeconomics. Students are encouraged to study abroad, participate in research, and take advantage of the many opportunities Berkeley has to offer.

Declaring the Major

As a popular major, declaration of the Economics major is admission-based and students must meet specific criteria in order to be admitted. Students who want to apply to the economics major must have completed or be currently enrolled in all the major prerequisites. Students admitted to Berkeley as freshmen must apply by their fifth semester of post-high school coursework unless they have fewer than 80 total units. This total includes coursework in-progress but excludes high school enrichment units, e.g., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other college units earned prior to high school graduation. Transfer students required to enroll in remaining prerequisites and apply to the major during their first semester at Berkeley. The 80 unit cap does not apply to transfer students.

For more information, please visit the department's prospective student website.

Honors Program

Students interested in graduating with honors in economics should consult with a faculty adviser no later than the second semester of their junior year. The department recommends a student for graduation with honors based on evidence of superior performance provided by a thesis written in the senior year and the student's course grade record overall and in the major. The minimum major grade point average (GPA) requirement is 3.5 in upper division economics courses and 3.3 GPA overall. The senior thesis may be an extension of a seminar paper prepared under the continued guidance of a faculty member through enrollment in ECON H195A/ECON H195B.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in economics.

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. No more than two upper division courses may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and an additional major program. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.


For a comprehensive overview of the Economics admission process, please visit

Select one calculus sequence from the following: 1
and Calculus
Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus (or equivalent)
Select one statistics course from the following: 1, 3
Introduction to Probability and Statistics [4]
Introductory Probability and Statistics for Business [4]
Introductory Probability and Statistics for Business [4]
STAT C88SProbability and Mathematical Statistics in Data Science3
DATA C88SProbability and Mathematical Statistics in Data Science3
Statistical Methods for Data Science [4]
Concepts of Statistics [4]
Probability for Data Science [4]
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Economics [4]
Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format [4] (or equivalent)
Select two of the following:
Microeconomics [4]
Macroeconomics [4]
Microeconomics (Math Intensive) [4]
Macroeconomics (Math Intensive) [4] 2
Econometrics [4]
Econometrics (Math Intensive) [4]

 At least one semester of the calculus/statistics requirement must be completed at UC Berkeley.


Students may take UGBA 101B to fulfill the Intermediate Macroeconomic requirement.


Students who took STAT C8STAT 134, or IND ENG 172 Fall 2019 and prior should consult Economics website for details.

Upper Division Requirements

Select one course from the following, to complete the sequence begun as prerequisites:
Microeconomics [4]
Macroeconomics [4]
Microeconomics (Math Intensive) [4]
Macroeconomics (Math Intensive) [4] 2
Econometrics [4]
Econometrics (Math Intensive) [4]
Select five additional upper division economics courses. 4

Approved list of Economics electives available at

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For a detailed lists of L&S requirements, please see Overview tab to the right in this guide or visit the L&S Degree Requirements webpage. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley and must be taken for a letter grade. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and American Institutions requirements are based on the principle that all U.S. residents who have graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this campus requirement course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses are plentiful and offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer/data science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course taken for a letter grade.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work taken for a letter grade.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College of Letters and Science requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses in sequential order by the end of their fourth semester for a letter grade.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes at Cal for four years, or two years for transfer students. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you graduate early, go abroad for a semester or year, or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an L&S College adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your B.A. degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Plan of Study

For more detailed information regarding the courses listed below (e.g., elective information, GPA requirements, etc.), see the College Requirements and Major Requirements tabs.

MATH 1A4MATH 1B4MATH 53 (optional)54
Reading and Composition A4Reading and Composition B4 
L&S Breadth4ECON 1 (SBS Breadth)4 
Lower Division Elective4
 Lower Division Elective4 
 16 16 4
ECON 100A4ECON 100B4Internship 
  Study Abroad 
STAT 2064UD Econ Elective4 
 L&S Breadth3 
 American Cultures Reqt4 
L&S Breadth4  
UD non-Econ Elective3  
 15 15 0
ECON 1404Upper Division Economics Elective4Internship 
 Upper Division Economics Elective4
 Lower or Upper Division Elective4Study Abroad 
L&S Breadth4L&S Breadth3 
L&S Breadth4  
Upper Division Non-Economics Elective3  
 15 15 0
Upper Division Economics Elective74Upper Division Economics Elective4 
Lower or Upper Division Elective4Upper Division Economics Elective4 
Lower or Upper Division Elective4
Lower or Upper Division Elective3  
 Lower or Upper Division Elective4 
 Lower or Upper Division Elective4 
 15 16
Total Units: 127

This is a sample program plan. This plan assumes that the student has completed the Entry Level Writing, American History and Institutions, Quantitative Reasoning, and Foreign Language requirements prior to admission, and does not require MATH 32.


To declare the Economics major, students admitted as freshmen must complete all prerequisite courses and apply to the major no later than their fifth semester at Berkeley. A minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 is also required.


The economics major is impacted and cannot guarantee enrollment in specific courses.


Students are strongly advised to work with an academic advisor to determine a personal program plan. Your program plan will differ depending on previous credit received, your course schedule, and available offerings.


MATH 53 is a prerequisite to enroll in ECON 101A. ECON 101AECON 101B, and ECON 141 (the math intensive versions of ECON 100A, ECON 100B, and ECON 140) are recommended for students interested in research or pursuing a PhD in Economics, and require the MATH 1A-MATH 1B series as prerequisites. ECON 100A/ECON 101A and ECON 100B/ECON 101B can be taken out of order. ECON 140/ECON 141 should be taken the semester following completion of ECON 100A/ECON 101A and ECON 100B/ECON 101B.


Other options for the statistics prerequisite are: STAT 20STAT 21STAT W21STAT C88SSTAT C131A, STAT 135, STAT C140. Students who took STAT C8STAT 134, or IND ENG 172 Fall 2019 and prior should consult Economics website for details.


For students intending to complete the Economics Honors Program, one approved research course can be used to fulfill both the "Research Requirement" for the Honors Program and an upper division elective. Discuss your plans for this program with an Economics advisor. The Economics Honors Program is optional.


ECON H195B is the Honors Thesis Course for students intending to complete the Economics Honors Program.

Accelerated Program Plans

For students considering graduating in less than four years, it is important to acknowledge the reasons to undertake such a plan of study. While there are advantages to pursuing a three-year degree plan such as reducing financial burdens, they are not for everyone and do involve sacrifices; especially with respect to participating in co-curricular activities, depth of study, and summer internships, which typically lead to jobs upon graduation. All things considered, please see the tables for three and three and a half year degree options.

3.5 Year Plan

3 Year Plan

Student Learning Goals


Economics is the study of how people make choices under conditions of scarcity and the results of those choices for society. Limited resources make tradeoffs necessary for consumers, businesses, and nations. Microeconomics studies how consumers make choices in using their time and spending their income and how businesses make choices in producing and selling goods and services. Macroeconomics studies the determination of national income and how it deviates from its potential (full employment) over the business cycle. The important outcomes for the national economy are income and how it is distributed, unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and how well financial markets and international trade are functioning. Economics is important in studying the impact of government policies, ranging from regulatory activities in individual markets to general measures for stabilizing and steering the economy at large. The effect of alternative economic policies on the welfare of the population is a core concern in economics. Undergraduates should have the following knowledge and skills when they graduate with an economics major from UC Berkeley. The Department of Economics wants their majors to have knowledge of economics principles with the skills to apply this knowledge in the following ways.

Learning Goals of the Major

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Apply economic analysis to evaluate everyday problems.
  • Apply economic analysis to evaluate specific policy proposals.
  • Compare two or more arguments that have different conclusions to a specific issue or problem.
  • Understand the role of assumptions in arguments.

Quantitative Reasoning Skills

  • Understand how to use empirical evidence to evaluate an economic argument.
  • Interpret statistical results.
  • Conduct appropriate statistical analysis of data and explain the statistical problems involved.
  • Obtain and/or collect relevant data using specific qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.

Problem-Solving Skills

  • Solve problems that have clear solutions.
  • Propose solutions for problems that do not have clear answers and indicate under what conditions they may be viable solutions.

Specialized Knowledge and Application of Skills

  • In specific content areas (fields) of economics, develop deeper critical and quantitative thinking skills, and apply problem-solving skills to complex problems.

Communication Skills

  • Communicate effectively in written, spoken, and graphical form about specific economic issues.
  • Formulate a well-organized written argument that states assumptions and hypotheses, which are supported by evidence.
  • Present an economic argument orally.

Lifelong Learning Skills

  • Possess a working knowledge of information databases (e.g., Econ Lit, Nexis-Lexis).
  • Know how to locate and use primary data sources (e.g., BLS Household Survey, UN Human Development Index).
  • Understand and evaluate current economic events and new economic ideas.

Career & Internship Information

Career Services Overview

Our Vision

Cultivate a university-wide culture of career readiness, where every student engages in meaningful experiences, has a supportive professional community, and is empowered to achieve lifelong career success.

Our Mission

We are dedicated to advancing equity and access to career resources for every student and recent alumni of UC Berkeley.

We engage with students on their journey to reflect, discover, and design a personally meaningful career (Career Clarity).

We connect students with alumni, employers, and their larger professional community to forge meaningful relationships that will guide them into their early career (Career Connections).        

We empower students to develop the professional confidence and experience necessary to secure the career opportunities they seek (Career Competitiveness).

Berkeley Career Engagement utilizes Handshake, a powerful recruiting platform that uses cutting-edge technology to help students more easily connect with employers, jobs, internships, events, and resources, as well as access to career coaching appointments.

Career and Internship Resources

Berkeley Career Engagement offers a wide variety of programs and resources to support students of all majors and class levels.

  • Job & Internship Search Tools: Resume and cover letter writing, job search strategies, networking tools, interviewing skills, and more, can be found in their Career Readiness Workbook.

  • 24/7 Online Resources: Their Resources on Demand are here to help you engage and grow in your career development.

  • Career Coaching: They offer a wide variety of scheduled and drop-in appointment options based on major and topic.

  • Internships: Internship listings, search strategies, FAQs, and more.

  • Career Exploration: Discover their resources to help you explore career options, identify career goals, and develop effective career plans.

  • Events and Workshops: They deliver over 100 events each semester including workshops, alumni networking events, career panels, conferences, and Alumni Career Chats.

  • Career Fairs and Employer Information Sessions: They offer a variety of career fairs each year across different career fields and partner with numerous employers for on-campus information sessions.

Common Career Paths for Economics Majors

Career Destinations Survey

Every year the Career Center surveys graduating seniors about their post-graduation plans to better understand the career outcomes of our alumni including: career fields, job titles, specific employers, entry-level salaries, and graduate/professional school destinations. The data profiles by major provide an impressive overview of the diverse interests and achievements of recent graduates from UC Berkeley, including specific data for the Economics Department. Each survey year includes the August, December, and May graduating cohorts for that survey year. This data is designed to provide students, alumni, and employers with critical information about where Cal students go after graduation. As expected, college major does not restrict the employment or graduate school options that Cal students pursue. With careful planning, you can develop career-related skills and experiences that can prepare you for almost any job or graduate school field.

Sample Career Pathways

Economics majors go on to pursue a wide variety of career options including, but not limited to:

  • Economics: Data collection, research analysis, forecasting, planning, consulting and policy advising roles in many industries including private sector consulting and research firms, retail, insurance, transportation, healthcare, federal, state and local government agencies, public utilities, or labor unions.
  • Banking and finance: Financial analysis, commercial banking, mortgage and lending services, credit analysis, branch management, securities sales and research.
  • Management: Business and industry including banks, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, healthcare, manufacturing, government and nonprofit organizations.
  • Insurance: Claims, underwriting, risk management, sales, loss control, and actuarial science.
  • Sales: Industrial sales, consumer product sales, financial services sales, advertising sales, ecommerce, high tech forms, and media.
  • Education: Teaching, research and administrative roles in colleges, universities, and secondary schools.

Visit our Connecting Majors to Careers resource to explore additional career paths most commonly associated with over 80 majors, including Economics.


Student Services

The economics student services mission is to advise our students holistically by providing a high standard of service in a supportive and collaborative environment. Professional and peer advisers work as a team to provide accurate information in a timely manner. We partner with faculty to assist students in engaging with the campus and the global economic community. We value fairness, diversity, and the important roles our students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Economics play at the University of California, Berkeley.

Please visit our website for more information about our advising services:



Contact Information

Department of Economics | Main Office

530 Evans Hall

Phone: 510-642-0822

Fax: 510-642-6615

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Andres Rodriguez-Clare

609 Evans Hall

Undergraduate Chair

Demian Pouzo

663 Evans Hall

Phone: 510-642-6709

Director of Student Services

Michelle Fong

551 Evans Hall

Assistant Director, Undergraduate Student Services

Carlos Garcia

533 Evans Hall

Undergraduate Advisor

Mildred Flores

539 Evans Hall

Undergraduate Advisor

Ashley Vera

539 Evans Hall

Undergraduate Advisor

Trinh Nguyen

535 Evans Hall

Undergraduate Advisor

Dinko Lakic

539 Evans Hall

Assistant Director, Course Management

Isabel Burle

545 Evans Hall

Curriculum and Enrollment Coordinator

Blair Van Tassel

543 Evans

Assistant Director, Graduate Student Services

Janene Carol Vernard

541 Evans

Phone: (510) 642-6172

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