Economics, B.A. (Behrend)

Program Code: ECNS_BA

Program Description

The Economics major is a program of study with a liberal arts orientation. The broad liberal arts background serves as a foundation for advanced study in the methods and techniques of economic analysis. Use of mainframe and microcomputers as analytical and problem-solving tools is emphasized in the program's upper-division courses. Students may choose upper-division courses in several areas of specialization, including business cycles and forecasting, economic theory, industrial organization, international economics, labor economics, managerial economics, and regional economics.

What is Economics?

Economics is the study of how individuals, firms, and governments allocate their scarce resources. This major is designed for those who seek a broad understanding of the operation of the economic system and training in the methods and uses of economic analysis. Graduates are equipped for employment in many areas of business operations, banking, risk assessment, and agencies of government at all levels; and to undertake the graduate work necessary to become professional economists.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You are interested in both business and the liberal arts.
  • You want to develop skills that are applicable in a variety of industries.
  • You are a detail-oriented person.
  • You’d like to work at the on-campus Economic Research Institute of Erie (ERIE).
  • You are interested in working in the government sector or pursuing a law degree .

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to the Economics major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point prior to entrance
  2. have third semester classification; and
  3. the degree candidate must have completed the following entrance-to-major requirements with a grade of C or better: ECON 102 and ECON 104

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, a minimum of 122 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 22
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 44

13 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 9 credits of GWS courses; 4 credits of GQ 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 must earn at least a grade of C in each 300- and 400-level course in the major field.

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
PSU 7First-Year Seminar Behrend1
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
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
ENGL 202AEffective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences Keystone/General Education Course3
SCM 200Introduction to Statistics for Business Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
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
Select 18 credits in BECON, ECNS, or ECON above the 300 level, in consultation with an adviser. (Where appropriate toward a specialized undergraduate field of study, the student may petition the director of the School of Business to take up to a maximum of 6 credits in closely related fields toward a major.)18

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.

B.A. Degree Requirements

World Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one world language in addition to English. This proficiency must be demonstrated by either examination or course work. See the Placement Policy for Penn State World Language Courses.

B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, World Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; world language credits in this category must be in a second world language in addition to English or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language). Credits must be selected from the list of approved courses.

World Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the University Cultural Diversity (US/IL) requirement.​

Program Learning Objectives

  • Macroeconomics: Students will apply the basic market and macroeconomic models to explain changes in price and quantity
  • Microeconomics: Students will apply concepts associated with free market operations.

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.

Economics, B.A. 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‡†3ECON 102*†3
General Education Course (GQ)‡†33General Education Course (GA/GH/GS/GN/Inter-Domain)‡†33
General Education Course (GN)33General Education Course (GN) (Standalone or Inter-Domain)33
General Education Course (GA)33General Education Course (GHW)31.5
World Language Level 14World Language Level 24
 PSU 71
 16 15.5
Second Year
CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C‡†3ENGL 202A‡†3
ECON 104*†3General Education Course (GA/GH/GS/GN/Inter-Domain)33
SCM 200 or STAT 200‡†4General Education Course (Inter-Domain)33
General Education Course (GHW)31.5General Education Course (Inter-Domain)33
World Language Level 34General Education Course (GS)33
 15.5 15
Third Year
ECON 302*3ECON 304*3
Additional ECON Course*3Approved Elective23
Additional ECON Course*3Approved Elective (W)23
BA Knowledge Domain13BA Knowledge Domain13
General Education Course (GH)33General Education Course33
 15 15
Fourth Year
Additional ECON Course*3Additional ECON Course*3
Additional ECON Course*3Additional ECON Course*3
Approved Elective23Approved Elective23
Approved Elective23Approved Elective23
World Cultures3BA Knowledge Domain13
 15 15
Total Credits 122

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.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in World Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as World Cultures courses.


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


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 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.


Employers of recent Behrend B.A. in Economics graduates include the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of Commerce, several Federal Reserve Banks, AIG, American Express Financial Advisers, Fleet Bank of New York, NBC Universal, NBNA Marketing Systems, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the SAS Institute.


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