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Baccalaureate Degrees in Economics

Climb higher with a degree in Economics. Economics majors at WKU benefit from small, personal classes as well as a modern curriculum that teaches students how to apply economics principles and data analytics skills to decision-making in the workforce. A degree in economics allows for flexibility in choosing a career—graduates of the WKU Economics Department find jobs in finance, banking, insurance, local and federal governments, research institutions, education, and international organizations.


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Economics, Bachelor of Arts

Economics is the study of how humans decide how to use the limited resources they have. Economic principles are at the core of decision-making by businesses, governments, non-profit organizations, individuals, and families. Economics is also a study of how individuals can create wealth though specialization and trade, as well as the role markets play in making this wealth creation possible. A Bachelor of Arts in Economics gives students an excellent foundation for employment in many areas of business and government service, as well as for advanced graduate studies.

This program leaves plenty of room in students' schedule to earn up to two minors or another major in four years in addition to their Economics bachelor's degree. The sample degree path shows how students can fit the courses for another major or a minor(s) and still graduate on time.
Students are encouraged to consider business minors or certificates as well as other disciplines such as applied statistics. 

Program Requirements

Finish in Four

Business Economics, Bachelor of Science

The Business Economics major combines courses in economics with those in accounting, finance, information systems, management, marketing, and quantitative business analysis. This unique array of courses leads to a  Bachelor of Science degree and provides students with skills highly desired by employers.

The major requires a minimum of 72 hours of coursework. This major does not require an additional minor or a major, but students are strongly encouraged to purse a minor or a certificate to enhance a particular skill set such as data analytics, entrepreneurship or sales. The program is designed for students to be able to add a minor and still graduate in four years, especially if that minor is in the College of Business. The B.S. in Business Economics requires students to take two business electives and leaves room for five general electives (see the Sample Degree Path). Students wishing to pursue a minor can take coursework for the minor instead of the general electives. If you are interested in adding a minor, ask your advisor to see which of the business minors or certificates will work best with your degree.

Program Requirements

Finish in Four

Mathematical Economics, Bachelor of Science

General Concentration

Economics is a social science that is heavily dependent on mathematical tools. A Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Economics (General Concentration) gives students an opportunity to learn economics while gaining a solid foundation in mathematics.  This major is ideal for students who are considering advanced graduate studies in economics as well as anyone who's interested in pursuing more technical, data-analytical jobs in economics.

While not required, this major is ideally combined with second major or minor to complement this degree.  The second major may not be economics, business economics, or mathematics. The minor may not be economics or mathematics.  

Admission to the Mathematical Economics major requires:

  1. Completion of MATH 136, ECON 202 and ECON 203, and ECON 206 or STAT 301 with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the courses listed.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 60 hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 12 hours at Western Kentucky University with a minimum WKU GPA of 2.0.

Program Requirements

Finish in Four


Actuarial Sciences Concentration

The Mathematical Economics degree with the Actuarial Science Concentration seeks to prepare students for careers as actuaries.  Actuaries use a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge, and an understanding of human behavior to manage risk. Actuaries typically work for health, life, and property insurance companies, but individuals with actuarial training may work in many other areas such as banking, investment, energy, government, employee benefits, predictive analytics, and many more.

To become an actuary, you must pass a series of exams to earn actuarial designation by either the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA). It takes many years to pass all of the exams. In this major, you will take courses that provide you the best chance of success on the first two actuarial exams. In addition, you can apply to receive Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit from either the CAS or SOA in the areas of Economics, Mathematical Statistics, and Accounting and Finance, obtained through approved course sequences. 

B.S. in Mathematical Economics qualifies for STEM OPT extension

The major requires a minimum of 64 hours in mathematics, economics, and finance courses and leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. The major of study does not require completion of a second major or a minor.

Our program is recognized by the Society of Actuaries as a UCAP-IC program. It offers courses that satisfy all three VEE credits and prepares students for the FM and P exams.

Program Requirements

Finish in Four

Economics, Minor

Economics is the study of how humans decide how to use the limited resources they have. The Minor in Economics requires only 21 hours of coursework. For students who completed College of Business Admissions Core which includes ECON 202, ECON 203, and ECON 206, Economics minor requires only 12 additional hours.

Program Requirements

What is JUMP? JUMP is Joint Undergraduate/Master's Program. JUMP allows students to start working toward their MA in Applied Economics while completing their Bachelor’s degree. 

How does JUMP work? Undergraduate students admitted into JUMP may take graduate courses that count toward BOTH undergraduate and graduate degrees. For example, if a student takes ECON 465G (3 credit hours), that course can count as 3 hours toward the undergraduate degree AND 3 hours toward the MA degree. Up to 12 credit hours can be double-counted.

What are the benefits of the JUMP program? Double-counting significantly lowers the cost of obtaining a Master's degree. If a student double-counts 12 hours, they will need only 18 additional graduate credit hours (instead of 30 in the regular MA program) to get the MA in Applied Economics. In addition to 12 hours that may be double-counted, undergraduate students in JUMP are allowed to take 6 more credit hours of graduate coursework that will apply only toward the graduate degree. Therefore, a JUMP student can complete half of their MA degree before even finishing the bachelors degree. 

Who can apply for JUMP in Applied Economics? To apply for JUMP, students have to meet the following requirements:

  • Be an economics major (economics, business economics and mathematical economics);
  • Have completed at least 60 hours total, with at least 24 hours at WKU;
  • 3.0 overall GPA
  • 15 hours of 200-level or higher economics courses with a minimum GPA of 3.25.

What's the typical timeline for JUMP? Students apply for JUMP after completing 60 undergraduate hours. After being admitted to JUMP, students take 4XXG- and 500-level courses, usually during their senior year. After completing their undergraduate degree, students apply to the MA program and take the remaining courses.  

Do students have to maintain certain grades while in JUMP? Yes. JUMP students must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA in economics coursework and a 3.0 overall GPA to remain  in good standing.

How to apply for JUMP? To apply or to find out more about the JUMP option, contact Dr. David Zimmer


Scholarships & Financial Aid

Student Advising

  • Dr. Alex Lebedinksy
    Chair and Professor
  • 270-745-2249
  • econ@wku.edu
  • Department of Economics
    Grise Hall 432
    1906 College Heights Blvd. #11059
    Bowling Green, KY 42101-1059


The Gordon Ford College of Business is a top business school with dual AACSB accreditation in both business and accounting programs

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 Last Modified 9/25/23