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Mathematical Economics

Applicable for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Mathematical Economics Website

Advisers: Professor BROWN (Mathematics), ERICKSON (Mathematics), FENN (Economics); Associate Professor DE ARAUJO (Economics)

Students majoring in mathematical economics must successfully complete no fewer than 16 units of listed courses in mathematics (MA) and economics (EC), including a senior thesis. To solidify basic problem solving skills, all majors must initially take a common set of required courses in economic theory and mathematics. Majors then select electives in more advanced topics of mathematics and economics, before writing a senior thesis. The major provides strong training for students pursuing private sector careers in investment banking, forecasting, applied mathematics, or finance, as well as graduate work in economics, operations research, and financial engineering.

Major Requirements

The Major

Students desiring to major in mathematical economics are required to pass the following prerequisites prior to admission into the major.  If a student has not taken all three of these courses, that student may be admitted only if currently scheduled for a later section or by consent of the chair if mitigating circumstances exist.          

MA 125 or 126 – Calculus 1

1 unit

MA 129 – Calculus 2 

1 unit

EC 201 – Economic Theory  

1 unit

Notice that while International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level and Advanced Placement (AP) courses may count toward college credit as the equivalents of Economics 100, 101 and/or 102, they will not substitute for Economics 201, a course which uses calculus as a fundamental tool of the discipline.

To graduate as a mathematical economics major, students must pass the all-college requirements, while completing major components consisting of 10 units of required courses, four units of electives, and two units of senior thesis for a total of 16 units in the major.

A. Required Courses (10 units total)

            Math (6 Units)

 MA 125 or 126

Calculus 1 or equivalent as approved by Math Department

1 unit

 MA 129

Calculus 2 or equivalent as approved by Math Department

1 unit

 MA 204

Calculus 3 or equivalent

1 unit

 MA 217

Probability and Statistical Modeling

1 unit

 MA 220

Linear Algebra

1 unit

 MA 315

Ordinary Differential Equations

1 unit


6 units

 Please note that Calculus 2 (MA 129) is a prerequisite for Linear Algebra (MA 220); and Calculus 3 (MA 204) and Linear Algebra (MA 220) are prerequisites for Differential Equations (MA 315).


            Economics (4 Units)

 EC 201

Economic Theory 1

1 unit

 EC 301

Microeconomic Theory II

1 unit

 EC 302

Macroeconomic Theory II

1 unit

 EC 403

Econometric Theory

1 unit


4 units


B. Electives (4 units total)

1. Economics elective  

At least one elective from the following list, or other as approved in advance by the chair of the Department of Economics and Business. 

 EC 317


1 unit

 EC 343

Environmental Economics II

 EC 344

Industrial Organization

 EC 346

Economics of Labor

 EC 347

Economics of International Trade

 EC 371

Money, Banking, and Financial Markets

 EC 372

Economic Development

 EC 377

Economics of International Finance

      2. Mathematics elective   

At least one elective from the following list, or other as approved in advance by the chair of the Department of Mathematics.                  

 MA 313


1 unit


 MA 325

Graph Theory (2 units*)

 MA 340

Topics in Mathematics:  Mathematical Modeling

 MA 375

Real Analysis I (2 units*)

 MA 416

Partial Differential Equations

 MA 417

Mathematical Statistics

 MA 418

Numerical Analysis

      3. Mathematical Economics elective   

At least one elective from the following list, or other as approved in advance by the chair of the Department of Economics.

 EC 404

 Advanced Topics in Mathematical Economics

1 unit

 EC 405

Mathematical Economics of Addiction

 EC 406

Mathematical Economics of Game Theory

 EC 407

Mathematical Economics of Growth


        4. Additional Mathematical Economics or Mathematics elective       


 At least one additional elective from either:

 the mathematics electives (part B #2) or

 mathematical economics electives (part B #3) category.

1 unit





*Both Real Analysis I (MA 375) and Graph Theory (MA 325) count as 2 units towards the major-satisfying requirements #2 and #4       under part B.

C. EC 496 - Senior Thesis in Mathematical Economics (2 units total)

DISTINCTION IN MATHEMATICAL ECONOMICS is awarded by action of both departments (math and economics/business) to up to the top 20 percent of graduating majors based on their GPA within the major with the provision that they have also received an A in Senior Thesis.

Last updated: 01/15/2021