Undergraduate Program

Welcome to the home page of the Rice University Economics Department Undergraduate Program. Over the last few years, the department has been both growing and improving at an unprecedented pace – changing in ways that will significantly enhance the educational experience of our undergraduate (and graduate) students. A key element of these developments is the creation of the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics (RISE), led by current dean of the social sciences (and former economics department chair), world-renowned economics scholar Antonio Merlo. RISE is a multi-year, university-level plan focused on dramatically enhancing research and teaching in economics at Rice. The program has already resulted in the hiring of ten new internationally acclaimed scholars in the department, most of whom will be teaching in the undergraduate program. Moreover, an essential component of RISE is a renewed commitment, accompanied by the necessary resources, to provide our undergraduates with an exceptional learning experience that will prepare them for successful careers while providing them with a deep understanding of the economic forces that shape our ever-changing globalized environment. As part of that effort, we have implemented a sweeping reform of both of our majors – Economics (ECON) and Mathematical Economic Analysis (MTEC) – to better meet the needs of our students. This reform included restructuring the requirements for both majors and introducing numerous new courses as well as improving existing offerings to provide coherent and comprehensive programs of study for a wide variety of career and learning paths; we also took some additional steps, including adding some new research-based courses, to encourage undergraduate participation in economic research. Also, please note that although we encourage all students to graduate under the new requirements, current students who matriculated prior to 2015 may elect to graduate under the rules (including pre-requisites) that applied in their year of matriculation.  

Graduates from our department pursue a wide variety of career paths. While some attend graduate school in economics, many others employ the skills and methods learned in our two programs in other professional schools, especially law, medical, and business schools. Others choose careers in finance, banking, the energy sector, other private industries, the government, and the non-profit sector.

If you are considering one of our majors, please consult with any of the professors on the department’s Undergraduate Committee. The Economics Department Administrator can also provide you with a wealth of information about studying economics at Rice.

Wishing you the best of luck in your studies and beyond the hedges, 

George Zodrow
Director of Undergraduate Studies