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Sonoma State University


Department Office
Stevenson Hall 2042
(707) 664-2366

Department Chair
Stephen Lewis

Administrative Coordinator
Sheila Mackintosh-Sims

Academic Advisor
Susan Miller

Carlos Benito, Steven Cuellar, Robert Eyler, *Victor Garlin, Sue Hayes, Jennifer Olmsted
*Faculty Early Retirement Program

Course Plan/ Sample 4-year Program for Bachelor of Arts in Economics / Economics Minor or Teaching Credential Preparation / Individual Course Descriptions

Programs offered
Bachelor of Arts in Economics
Minor in Economics
Secondary Teaching Credential Preparation

Economics is a social science that focuses on the organization of economic systems for the production of goods and services and the distribution of wealth and income. The SSU Economics Department is committed to excellence, training students to meet the challenges of the future in a wide variety of careers.

The B.A. degree program has three basic objectives: to provide a sound grasp of the tools of economic analysis and measurement; to provide an understanding of institutional development and the interrelation of economic and social factors; and to develop the student's ability to apply systematic analysis and understanding to decision making in the private and the public sector.

Basic techniques of analysis and measurement are covered in courses in micro- and macroeconomics, economic statistics, computer analysis, and mathematical applications. Many courses deal with the structure and performance of a particular institution or policy area within the economy. Students can follow their career and intellectual interests by taking a field concentration or advisory study plan in such areas as business economics, city and regional planning, computer applications, finance, international economics and marketing.

Department faculty work closely with students in small classes and seminars. All faculty have served as practicing economists with public agencies or private firms, and thus bring to their teaching a rich background of practical experience analyzing policy issues and problems.

The curriculum and teaching program of the department are designed for students who seek employment in the public or private sector upon graduation, and those wishing to pursue graduate studies in economics, business, public administration, law, and other fields.

Many of the department's graduates have started their careers with major financial institutions, corporate business, government, and nonprofit organizations. They find definite employer preferences for well-trained economics majors as budget analysts, management trainees, marketing specialists, program planners, teachers, and a wide variety of entry-level jobs in which employers expect a person to be able to apply systematic thinking and analysis.

Learning Objectives

Objectives Specific to Economics

Students are required to demonstrate:

  1. Understanding of economic terms, concepts, and theories.
  2. Ability to compare and contrast competing views within economics.
  3. Ability to research economic issues.
  4. Ability to apply economic theories and concepts to contemporary social issues.

General Skills

In the course of meeting the objectives specific to economics, students are expected to acquire and demonstrate:

  1. Critical thinking abilities.
  2. Communication skills.
  3. Quantitative and information based skills.

Relating Knowledge to Values

Students are expected to acquire and demonstrate:

  1. An awareness of global, historical and, institutional economic issues.
  2. Understanding of choices and values behind economic policy formation.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Degree Requirements Units
General education 51
Major requirements 42-44
General electives 25-27
Total units needed for graduation 120


Majors must complete a math/statistics requirement (MATH 165 or equivalent) as a prerequisite for the upper-division core courses in the major.

Major Core Requirements

ECON 201A Introduction to Macroeconomics 4
ECON 201B Introduction to Microeconomics 4
ECON 304 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory 4
ECON 305 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 4
ECON 317 Introduction to Econometrics 4
Two 400-level economics seminars not used in a field concentration or advisory study plan 8
Total units in the major core 28
Field concentration or advisory study plan 14-16
Total units in the major 42-44

B.A. Field Concentrations

An economics major may select one of the following concentrations. A concentration is designated on a student's transcript and diploma. Please see an advisor for details of each of the following concentrations:

Business Economics
Computer Applications in Economics
International Economics

B.A. Advisory Study Plans

Instead of a field concentration, economics majors may focus their course work beyond the required core courses into an advisory study plan. These plans are not designated on diplomas, but completion can be certified by a letter from the department chair. Please see an advisor for details or to develop a specialized plan. The following plans are available:

Accounting Natural Resources
City and Regional Planning Philosophy
Economic History Pre-Law
Environmental Studies Public Administration
Finance Quantitative Methods
Information Technology Small Business
Marketing Wine Business Economics

Sample Four-Year Program for Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Freshman Year: 28 Units

Fall Semester Spring Semester
ENGL 101 (A2) (3) PHIL 101/102 (A3) (3)
MATH 165 (B4) (4) or BUS 211 (4) BIOL 110 (B2/lab) (4)
ECON 201A (D5) (4) ECON 201B (4)
UNIV 102 (3) U.S. History course (D3) (3)

Sophomore Year: 33 Units

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Written/Oral Analysis (A1) (3) Physical Science course(B1) (3)
Literature (C2)* (3) POLS 200 (D4) (3)
ECON 305 (4) Fine Arts course (C1)* (3)
ECON 317 (4) Natural Science (B3) (3)
Social Sciences (D1*/D2) (4) Elective (3)

Junior Year: 28 Units

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Humanities (C3/C4)* (3) Humanities UD(C4/C3)* (3)
Field concentration or Advisory study plan (8) Field concentration or Advisory study plan (8)
Social Sciences UD (D2/D1) (3) Integrated Person UD(E)* (3)

Senior Year: 31 Units

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Economics Seminar (4) Electives (4)
Electives (12) Electives (11)

In order to total the 120 units necessary for graduation within four years, a student must average 15 units per semester.

(*One of these must be ethnic studies.)

Minor in Economics

Students may qualify for a minor in economics by completing the 20-unit program listed below. The minor will be recorded upon request in the student's official records.

ECON 201A Introduction to Macroeconomics 4
ECON 201B Introduction to Microeconomics 4
ECON 304 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory 4
ECON 305 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 4
Electives in economics 4
Total units in the minor 20

Double Majors

Students with majors in disciplines such as environmental studies and political science will find that adding an economics major provides them with a breadth of background that is viewed favorably by graduate professional programs and employers.

Students interested in a double major should consult with their Economics Department advisor.

Graduate Work in Economics and Related Fields

Economics majors planning graduate work in economics, business, and public administration should take one or more semesters of calculus and linear algebra and ECON 408.

Teaching Credential Preparation

For the secondary teaching credential, majors must pass the Subject Assessment Examination in the social sciences or complete an approved subject matter preparation program in social science. Economics is a required course for all California high school students. Economics majors wishing to qualify for such teaching positions should consult with the department chair and review the basic teaching credential programs offered by the Education Department.

Economics Courses (ECON)

Classes are offered in the semesters indicated. Please see the online Schedule of Classes for most current information and faculty assignments. Unlabeled courses are offered every other year and on request.

201A Introduction to Macroeconomics (4) Fall, Spring

An examination of the basic characteristics of the US economy and the principles that determine its performance. Emphasis is given to those factors that determine the total level of production, employment, prices, interest rates, inflation, and recession. Satisfies GE, category D5 (Contemporary International Perspectives). CAN ECON 2.

201B Introduction to Microeconomics (4) Fall, Spring

An examination of the basic principles that determine the behavior of individual consumers and firms as they respond to changing economic conditions. Topics include demand, supply, pricing, production, cost, competition, and industrial structure. This course may be taken before ECON 201A. CAN ECON 4.

295 Community Involvement Program (1-4)

A community service course allowing students the opportunity to earn credit for volunteer activities pertaining to their academic program. Requires 30 hours of service per unit and approval by an Economics Department advisor. Cr/NC only.

303 International Economics (4) Spring

A study of issues, theories, and policies regarding international trade and finances; international movements of capital and labor, trade and development, and external debt and foreign aid. Prerequisite: ECON 201A or 201B or consent of instructor.

304 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (4) Fall, Spring

A study of economic theories that explain the level and fluctuation in production, employment, income, money, and prices in an economic system, with an emphasis on the macroeconomic institutional framework of the US economy. Topics include: national income accounting, models of short-run equilibrium and long-run growth, macroeconomic aspects of international economics, labor markets, monetary policy, and fiscal policy. Prerequisites: ECON 201A and MATH 165 or equivalent.

305 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (4) Fall, Spring

A study of theories that explain consumer behavior and managerial decision making in organizations and firms in the economy. Deals with theories of demand, pricing, production, cost analysis, and competition. Prerequisites: ECON 201B and MATH 165 or equivalent.

311 The Public Economy (4) Spring

A basic introduction to the economics of the public sector designed to give the student a broad overview of the economic roles of government in our society. Emphasis will be on understanding current public policy issues and the effects of government policies on resource allocation (efficiency) and income distribution (equity). Prerequisites: ECON 201B, or consent of instructor.

317 Introduction to Econometrics (4) Fall, Spring

Statistical techniques, based on linear regression, most frequently employed in economics. Topics include: multiple regression; Gauss-Markov Theorem and its violations; cross-sectional techniques; time series analysis; simultaneous modeling; and forecasting. Applying widely-used computer programs to economic phenomena emphasized. Prerequisites: ECON 201A or 201B, and MATH 165 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

318 Managerial Economics (4) Fall

Economic analysis applied to the management decisions of public or private firms. The course is oriented to case studies that illuminate the content and applicability of such basic economic concepts as marginality, opportunity costs, and market structure. Topics include: demand analysis, resource allocation, production economics and cost analysis; profitability analysis; price and non-price competition; capital budgeting; and long-range strategy formulation. Prerequisite: ECON 201B.

319 Introduction to Applied Quantitative Economics and Forecasting (4) Fall

An introduction to the use of computers as a quantitative tool for economic and financial analysis using high-level computer languages and applications packages. Topics include: modeling, simulation, forecasting, regression, and optimization. Prerequisite: ECON 201A or 201B or consent of instructor.

322 Urban Economics (4) Fall

The issues and problems facing communities and regions in their attempts to manage and control growth and enhance the quality of life. Introduction to economic theory and techniques useful for dealing with issues such as economic growth, land use, environmental preservation, transportation, and housing. Prerequisite: ECON 201A or 201B.

375 Money and Banking (3) Fall, Spring

An examination of U. S. financial institutions, including the Federal Reserve System, US Treasury, and the rapidly changing domestic and international banking system. Topics will include alternative theories of monetary and fiscal policy, the determination of interest rates and the price level, and the influence of financial institutions on inflation, recession, and growth. Prerequisite: ECON 201A or consent of instructor.

375C Colloquium: Money and Banking (1) Fall, Spring

Economics majors must take this concurrently with ECON 375.

381 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics (4)

A study of strategies for public and private utilization of depletable and renewable natural resources, and of environmental policy issues. Topics include: agricultural sustainability; optimal resource allocation; land use; environmental externalities and pollution control; and international environmental policy development. Prerequisites: ECON 201A and 201B, or consent of instructor.

388 Economics and Law of Business Regulation (4)

An analysis of the regulatory environment of American business. Studies the way the legal system resolves economic conflicts among business, consumers, labor, and government. Topics include: constitutional law; administrative law; regulation of monopoly and competition; labor law; and international law. Prerequisite: ECON 201A or 201B.

Note: All 400-level seminars emphasize training in both written and oral expression. Students are required to present papers and make oral presentations.

403 Seminar in International Economic Development (4) Fall

Review of current issues and study of conceptual frameworks for thinking about economic development with a global world perspective. Focuses on sources of economic growth, poverty alleviation, resource sustainability, and reform of economic institutions in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and ex-socialist economies. Prerequisite: ECON 303 or 304 or consent of instructor.

404 Seminar in Macroeconomic Theory (4)

A study of theories dealing with inflation, unemployment, macroeconomic policies, equilibrium, and disequilibrium. Topics may include: investment; growth theory; monetary theory; international trade; aggregate demand and supply; comparative statics; post-Keynesian economics; and recent theoretical developments and policy issues. Prerequisites: ECON 304 and MATH 165 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

405 Seminar in Microeconomic Theory (4)

This course is devoted to explorations of economic theory and policy issues, and is designed to deepen the student's understanding of economic theory learned in ECON 305. Prerequisites: ECON 305 and MATH 165 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

408 Seminar in Mathematical Applications in Economics (4)

Applications of mathematical techniques in economics. Construction of micro- and macroeconomic models using calculus and linear algebra. Topics include: optimization; competition; supply and demand; national income; growth theory; general equilibrium; disequilibrium; and dynamics. Recommended for students considering graduate study in economics or business. Prerequisites: ECON 201A, 201B, 304, or 305, and MATH 161 or consent of instructor.

411 Seminar in Public Finance (4)

Applications of economic theory to public project analysis for students seeking careers in the public sector. Topics include: resource allocation, modeling and simulation, decision theory, fiscal impact analysis, benefit/cost analysis, government investment criteria, and project evaluation. Prerequisite: ECON 304 or 305 or consent of instructor.

417 Seminar in Econometrics and Forecasting (4)

This course is devoted to exploration of statistical applications and theory used to analyze economic phenomena and is designed to deepen the student's understanding of econometric and forecasting techniques learned at a basic level in Econ 317. Prerequisites: ECON 317 and 304 or 305, or consent of instructor.

418 Seminar in Managerial Economics (4)

An exploration of the problems facing American firms in competing in a global economy. Topics include: product markets, production efficiency, technology, competitive markets, generic industry environments, and competitive strategies. Students will write and present case studies of firms and industries. Prerequisite: ECON 305 or 318.

421 Seminar in Labor Economics (4)

An analysis of the theory of labor supply and demand. Topics include: wage determination and the theory of human capital; labor force participation; anti-poverty programs; the causes and consequences of wage inequality; theories of race and gender discrimination; the role and effects of labor unions and the effects of the minimum wage on employment and income. Prerequisites: ECON 201B and 305, or consent of instructor.

426 Seminar in the History of Economic Thought (4) Fall, Spring

The interaction of economic thought, economic policy, and political ideology from mercantilism to the present day. The works of Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Marx, Marshall, Keynes, and the post-Keynesians are discussed in the context of the economic problems of their times. Satisfies GE, category D5 (Contemporary International Perspectives). Prerequisite: ECON 201A or 201B or consent of instructor.

432 Seminar in United States Economic History (4) Fall

Economic development of the United States since the American Revolution. Topics to be covered include: capital formation and the growth of business concentration; the distribution of national income; problems of agriculture; growth of the labor movement; patterns of inflation and depression; and the impact of international relationships on US economic development. Prerequisite: ECON 201A or 201B or consent of instructor.

447 Seminar in Gender Economics (4)

The course explores feminist and neoclassical economic contributions to gender analysis. The main focus will be on work, development, and globalization. Topics explored in depth will include the environment, the family, and methodological issues. The diversity of women's experience, due to their differing racial, class, geographical, and cultural positions will also be emphasized. Prerequisite: ECON 201A or 201B, or consent of instructor.

488 Seminar in Economics and Law of Business Regulation (4)

Advanced topics in economic and legal aspects of business regulation. Prerequisites: ECON 201A and 201B.

494 Special Topics in Economics (1-4)

Course of lectures on a single topic or set of related topics not ordinarily covered in the economics curriculum. May be repeated for credit with a different topic. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor.

495 Special Studies (1-4)

Open to economics majors only. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor.

496 Tutoring Economics (2) Fall, Spring

Intended for advanced students working as tutors in economics courses. Cr/NC only. Prerequisite for first semester of tutorial work: concurrent enrollment in ECON 497.

497 Seminar in Teaching Economics (2) Fall, Spring

A faculty-directed seminar in teaching methods and concepts for students tutoring in economics. Cr/NC only.

499 Internship (1-4)

501 Economics of Markets and Industries (3)

Price theory and resource allocation as applied to the analysis of market demand behavior and firm/industry production decisions. For the purpose of market demand estimations and forecasts, the course covers basic macroeconomic concepts (GDP and price indexes, etc.). For the purpose of understanding industry performance, the course covers the basics of regulations. Students are required to work on a research project/term paper. Prerequisite: a B.A. or B.S. degree, BUS or other approved math course.

595 Special Studies (1-4)

Independent study designed in consultation with instructor. Subject matter variable. Students must complete the standard SSU form. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.