Business Economics, B.S.

Program Code: BECON_BS

Program Description

Business Economics is a quantitatively-oriented program of study in applied economics. Leading to a B.S. degree, this major combines in-depth study of economics with a general business background, the latter including courses in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and quantitative business analysis. Students may choose upper-division economics courses in business and economic forecasting, econometrics, economic theory, money and banking, international economics, labor economics, managerial economics, and experimental and behavioral economics. Use of computers as analytical and problem-solving tools is emphasized in the program. The major also includes several non-business supporting areas of study from which students may choose courses.

What is Business Economics?

Economics is the science that explores the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Business economics is a quantitative (that is, math-focused) approach to the study of economics. Business economics combines economics with foundational courses in finance, accounting, marketing and management. This versatility is what gives economists their valued role on a leadership team.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You enjoy solving problems using logic and math.
  • You are a detail-oriented person.
  • You want to develop skills that are applicable in a variety of industries.
  • You like working with data.
  • You are interested in economic policy or the banking and financial sector.
  • You’d like to work at the on-campus Economic Research Institute of Erie (ERIE).

Entrance to Major

Entry to the Business Economics major requires the successful completion of 5 entry-to-major courses: ACCTG 211, ECON 102, ENGL 15 or ENGL 30H, MATH 110 or MATH 140, STAT 200 or SCM 200. Each course requires a C or better grade for successful completion.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 96

21 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 6 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GS courses; 9 credits of GWS courses.

Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned.

Requirements for the Major

Each student enrolled in this major must earn at least a grade of C in each 300- and 400-level course.

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
BA 241Legal Environment of Business2
BA 242Social and Ethical Environment of Business2
MIS 204Introduction to Management Information Systems Keystone/General Education Course3
PSU 7First-Year Seminar Behrend1
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ACCTG 211Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making4
CAS 100Effective Speech3
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 104Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 302Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 304Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 470International Trade and Finance3
ECON 485Econometric Techniques3
ENGL 202DEffective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
FIN 301Corporation Finance3
MGMT 301Basic Management Concepts3
MGMT 471WStrategic Management and Business Policy3
MKTG 301Principles of Marketing3
SCM 301Supply Chain Management3
Additional Courses 1
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 30H Honors Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
or MATH 140 Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
SCM 200Introduction to Statistics for Business Keystone/General Education Course4
or STAT 200 Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 12 credits from the following listing:12
Labor Economics Keystone/General Education Course
Money and Banking
Managerial Economics
Experimental and Behavioral Economics
Business Forecasting Techniques
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Select 9 credits of 300- or 400-level economics or other courses9
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 13 credits from any business major field or any non-business major course, except for all KINES (GHW) courses, any ENGL course below ENGL 15, and any MATH course below MATH 110. Exceptions may be petitioned through the applicable department chair.13

Some courses in this category have prerequisites that are not required in the program.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required and Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Breadth in the Knowledge Domains (Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits

Integrative Studies

  • Inter-Domain Courses (Inter-Domain): 6 credits


  • GN, may be completed with Inter-Domain courses: 3 credits
  • GA, GH, GN, GS, Inter-Domain courses. This may include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the 12th credit level or the requirements for the student’s degree program, whichever is higher: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Program Learning Objectives

  • CRITICAL AND INTEGRATIVE THINKING: Students will be able to think critically across business disciplines by considering different perspectives and using an integrated, holistic approach to perform relevant analyses, construct valid arguments, and make appropriate conclusions.
  • ORAL COMMUNICATION: Students will be able to execute the oral communication skills that they have learned in the interactive business courses to business situations where effective explanation, persuasion, exchanging information and ideas are essential.
  • WRITING COMPETENCE: Students will be able to demonstrate effective business writing skills.
  • TEAMWORK: Students will be positive contributors to an effective team functioning via application of their functional skills in addition to strong interpersonal skills.
  • ETHICS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Students will be able to recognize ethical issues and apply ethical theories in business situations at individual and/or organizational levels.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (ETS): Students will be able to apply foundational knowledge to analyze and solve problems and interpret written and visual material across various business domains.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (ACCOUNTING): Students will be able to demonstrate a broad general knowledge of the principles of accounting, both managerial and financial.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (ECONOMICS): Students will be able to demonstrate a broad general knowledge of the principles of economics, both microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (FINANCE): Students will be able to demonstrate a broad general knowledge of the principles of finance.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (MIS): Students will be able to describe the benefits and challenges of applying information technology in various organizations and functional areas.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS): Students will be able to apply basic multidisciplinary knowledge needed to conduct international business and analyze the impact of globalization.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (LEGAL ENVIRONMENT): Students will be able to identify key terms, concepts, and theories of the law, evaluate how law affects business, analyze legal issues, and apply the law to business situations.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (MANAGEMENT): Students will be able to demonstrate a broad knowledge of the business discipline of management.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (MARKETING): Students will be able to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge in the field of marketing.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (QUANTATIVE BUSINESS ANALYSIS): Students will be able to demonstrate a broad knowledge of quantitative business analysis.
  • FUNCTIONAL AREA KNOWLEDGE (SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT): Students will be able to demonstrate a broad knowledge of supply chain management.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.



Kerry Adzima, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Economics
276 Burke
Erie, PA 16563

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2024-25 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition.

Business Economics, B.S. at Erie Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
ENGL 15 or 30H*‡#†3CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C‡†3
MATH 110 or 140*‡#†4ECON 102*#†3
General Education Course (GH)33MIS 2043
General Education Course (GN)33General Education Course (GA)33
General Education Course (GHW)31.5General Education Course (GN) (Standalone or Inter-Domain)33
PSU 71 
 15.5 15
Second Year
ACCTG 211*# 4ENGL 202D‡†3
ECON 104*†3FIN 301*3
SCM 200*‡#†4MGMT 301*3
General Education Course (Inter-Domain)33MKTG 301*3
General Education Course (GHW)31.5SCM 301*3
 15.5 15
Third Year
BA 241
BA 242
4ECON 304 (Spring Only)*3
ECON 302 (Fall Only)*3Supporting Business Course*3
ECON 470 (IL)*3Approved Elective23
ECON 485 (Fall Only)*3Approved Elective23
 General Education Course (Inter-Domain)33
 13 15
Fourth Year
Additional ECON Course*3MGMT 471W*3
Additional ECON Course*3Additional ECON Course*3
Approved Elective23Approved Elective23
General Education Course (GA/GH/GS/GN/Inter-Domain)33Supporting Business Course*3
Additional ECON Course*3Supporting Business Course*3
 Approved Elective21
 15 16
Total Credits 120

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education


Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy Cultural Diversity Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ), Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS) and Integrative Studies (Inter-domain) requirements. N or Q (Honors) is the suffix at the end of a course number used to help identify an Inter-domain course, but the inter-domain attribute is used to fill audit requirements. Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of 'C' or better.


 Please see your academic adviser for approval before scheduling your courses.


In order for a course to be eligible for an Approved Elective, the course can not be a lower level ENGL (1-6) or MATH (2-41) OR a GHW designated course. Please see your academic adviser if you have a question on a specific course.

All students are required to fulfill 45 credits of General Education courses. More information about this requirement can be found on the Baccalaureate Degree General Education Requirements page in the Bulletin.

Career Paths

The decision-making skills that Business Economics majors learn are needed across all sectors and segments of our economy, so you’ll find employment opportunities in government, business, manufacturing, finance, banking, labor organizations, and academia. Penn State Behrend has a comprehensive support system to help you identify and achieve your goals for college and beyond. Meet with your academic adviser often and take advantage of the services offered by the Academic and Career Planning Center beginning in your first semester.


Graduates of Penn State Behrend’s B.S. in Business Economics program hold positions such as benefits consultant, investment analyst, consultant, attorney, loan officer, investment broker, regional economist, field economist, labor relations specialist, financial adviser, market analyst, risk analyst, senior trust accountant, and patent lawyer. To help you tailor your degree to your interests, you can choose to study in one of three tracts within the major: Economics of Banking and the Financial Sector; Economics of Data; or Economics of Globalization. Or, work with your academic adviser to create a custom track that meets your goals.


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Graduate study allows you to delve deeper into the subdisciplines of economics that interest you most. Examples of master’s- and doctoral-level study include history of economic thought, econometric and statistical modeling, game theory, bargaining theory, market structure and pricing, consumption, monetary policy, international economics, labor economics, environmental economics, transportation economics, and regional economics. Penn State Behrend also offers a hybrid MBA program that can be pursued in Erie and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Professional Resources


The Black School of Business is accredited by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. As the world’s largest business education alliance, AACSB connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to over 1,500 member organizations and more than 785 accredited business schools worldwide. AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education.




281 Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center
Erie, PA 16563