Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Declaring the Major and Undergraduate Advising

Students can declare economics as a major by submitting an online request. The department requires that all majors meet with an Economics advisor each fall. Advisors counsel students on the selection of Economics courses. It is recommended that students also meet an undergraduate advisor in the Student Success center to review their GE and other university requirements. Students who do not see an advisor will not be able to register for the spring semester.

  • Majors must take the core courses for a letter grade and earn a minimum grade of C- in each. (CR/NC grading is not allowed for core courses.)
  • ECON 690GW is the capstone course and must be taken in the senior year. 

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. ​In the program, students will acquire knowledge of current economic theory and thought needed to examine a particular economic issue or event. They will also develop an understanding of the role played by economic institutions, as well as how public policy can affect economic and social outcomes. 
  2. In the program, students will master the ability to collect, process, interpret, analyze, and draw conclusions from economic information and economic data using appropriate quantitative methods. 
  3. In the program, students will develop and expand on skills necessary to effectively communicate economic ideas both orally and in writing to a wide audience.​​

Economics (B.A.) — 43 Units

Core Courses (25 Units)

ECON 101Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis3
ECON 102Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis (formerly ECON 100)3
ECON 301Intermediate Microeconomic Theory3
ECON 302Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory3
Select One:3
Statistical Methods and Interpretation
Business Statistics I
Elementary Statistics
ECON 312Introduction to Econometrics3
ECON 690GWSenior Seminar: Economic Inquiry and Analysis - GWAR3
MATH 226Calculus I4

Upper-Division Electives (18 Units)

Economics majors are required to take six upper-division elective courses in economics. There are over 20 elective courses, including some cross-listed courses with other programs, offered each year on such subjects as money and banking, international economics, labor economics, industrial organization, experimental economics and game theory, health economics, public finance, law and economics, economic history, urban economics, environmental economics, and economic development.

Upon prior advisement, a maximum of two courses may be taken from another department in a related discipline.

ECON 400Economic and Social History of the United States3
ECON 450Health Economics3
ECON/HIST/LABR 474History of Labor in the United States3
ECON 500Money and Banking3
ECON 501Money and Capital Markets3
ECON 505Public Economics3
ECON/LABR 510Labor Economics3
ECON/LABR 511Collective Bargaining3
ECON 512Economics of Poverty and Discrimination3
ECON 515Economics of Crime and Justice3
ECON 516Law and Economics3
ECON 520Industrial Organization3
ECON/USP 535Urban Economics3
ECON 540Economics of Gender3
ECON 541Economics of LGBTQ Issues3
ECON 550Environmental Economics3
ECON 560Economics of Growth3
ECON 601Applied Microeconomics3
ECON 605Seminar: History of Economic Thought3
ECON 611International Trade Theory and Policy3
ECON 612International Finance and Macroeconomics3
ECON 616Experimental Economics and Game Theory3
ECON 618Economic Inference: Methods and Applications3
ECON 620Economic Development3
ECON/I R 635Economics of Globalization3
ECON 640Health Economics Analysis and Research3
ECON/ENVS/FIN 651Student Managed Fund in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investments3
ECON 675Natural Resource Economics3
ECON 680Applied Economics and Data Analysis with R3
ECON 699Independent Study3

Complementary Studies

Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least 12 units of Complementary Studies outside of the primary prefix for the major. (Note: Students may not use an alternate prefix that is cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major.)

Students who complete two majors or a major and a minor automatically complete the Complementary Studies requirement. Alternatively, students in the Economics major can meet with a major advisor to determine which courses will satisfy the Complementary Studies requirement. Consult with your major advisor for assistance.

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

  1. In order to choose your English Composition A2 course and your QR/Math B4 course, please complete the online advising activities at writingadvising.sfsu.edu and mathadvising.sfsu.edu. Questions? Contact Gator Smart Start.
  2. Select the row that matches your English course choice for A2.*
  3. Select the column that matches your QR/Math course choice for B4.
  4. Click the Roadmap that lines up with your row and column.

For example, if you select ENG 104/ENG 105 and a multi-semester QR/math sequence for your first year, then choose Roadmap D.

Course Choice One-Semester Course Two-Semester Sequence or Support Course
ENG 114 Roadmap A Roadmap C
ENG 104/ENG 105 Roadmap B Roadmap D

* Composition for Multilingual Students: If taking ENG 209 as your first English course, choose the ENG 114 row. If taking ENG 201 or ENG 212 for your first English course, choose the ENG 104/ENG 105 row.

SF State Scholars

The San Francisco State Scholars program provides undergraduate students with an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree. Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree.

This roadmap opens in a new tab.

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For Students with an AA-T in Economics. This roadmap opens in a new tab.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Economics

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). 

Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit http://www.assist.org. Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit bulletin.sfsu.edu/undergraduate-education/general-education/lower-division/#AAEL.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.