Undergraduate Program

Welcome to the home page of the Rice University Economics Department Undergraduate Program. The department is currently 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 creation of the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics (RISE), led by new department chair and 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 six new internationally acclaimed scholars in the department, all 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 just completed 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 includes restructuring the requirements for both majors and introducing several 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 are also taking additional steps, including adding some new research-based courses, to encourage undergraduate participation in economic research. For complete details on the new programs, see New Undergraduate Curriculum.  Also, please note that although we encourage current students to consider graduating under the new requirements, all current students may elect to graduate under the rules (including pre-requisites) that applied in their year of matriculation; that is, we do not intend for our new curriculum to disadvantage any of our current students.  

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. Our Undergraduate Program Coordinator 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