Degrees Offered

The Economics Department offers two majors: Economics (ECON) and Mathematical Economic Analysis (MTEC). Students in both majors examine the fundamental questions of economics, including (1) the roles of both private markets and the public sector in allocating scarce resources, (2) the ways that consumers and businesses make a wide variety of economic decisions that affect supply and demand in those markets  (microeconomics), (3) how those decisions are aggregated to determine economic outcomes such economic growth, unemployment, business cycles, and income distribution at both the national and international levels (macroeconomics), and (4) the use of statistical and mathematical techniques to determine the relative magnitudes of the multitude of effects that determine these economic outcomes (econometrics). Students in both majors also have the opportunity to apply this knowledge by studying a wide variety of specialized topics within economics, ranging from health, energy, labor, education, development, environmental, and financial economics to game theory, industrial organization, international trade and finance, economic forecasting, public finance, public choice, and law and economics. Both majors require considerable mathematical and statistical skill – modern economics is a rigorous analytical discipline that focuses on constructing and testing mathematical models of economic behavior. 

Major in Economics

The ECON major is a 14-course program, comparable to the liberal arts majors offered in many universities, which requires several basic courses in mathematics and statistics, a set of core courses in economics, and offers a wide variety of electives. For details, see Degree Requirements for a Major in Economics. The ECON major provides excellent training in the fundamentals of economics and helps to prepare students to enter any profession.  Graduates from the ECON program pursue a wide variety of career paths. Some employ the skills and methods learned in our program in various 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. 

Major in Mathematical Economics Analysis


The MTEC major is a specialized 16-course program that includes most of the courses required for our regular (ECON) major, but also requires additional preparation in mathematics and statistics, several relatively technical economics electives, and a capstone course. For details, see Degree Requirements for a Major in Mathematical Economic Analysis. The MTEC major is a mathematically-intensive course of study recommended for students who intend to pursue graduate work in economics or plan to obtain a position in business or government that requires extensive analytical and quantitative skills. 

Please Note: (1) Students can graduate under the requirements for the year they matriculate or for the year they graduate.  The default setting in the student information system is the requirements for the year of matriculation. Students who would like to change to the requirements in the year of graduation should notify the Registrar’s Office, either in person or with an email to registrar@rice.edu. (2) Students can take courses subject to the prerequisites listed in the General Announcements in their year of matriculation.