Business and Economics Requirements

  • The Department of Business and Economics offers a variety of programs to prepare students for careers in the public and private sectors, graduate or professional school: an Applied Economics major and minors in Economics, Finance & Accounting and Management Studies. A major in Applied Economics provides students with a strong foundation in economic theory and analytical tools and emphasizes development of skills that are immediately useful in employment. Students concentrate in either Economics or Finance & Accounting; a concentration in Economics develops in-depth skills in application of economic theory to real-world problems, and the concentration in Finance & Accounting prepares students for entry-level positions in accounting, banking, financial services, non-profit organizations and management. Graduates in Applied Economics are prepared to work independently and effectively in a dynamic global environment where resources are scarce, information is over-abundant or uncertain and decisions are often morally complex. Students gain experience and skills in teamwork and are challenged to recognize the moral elements of situations, the impacts of their decisions and actions on others, and to choose courses of action that are ethically defensible. Minors offered by the Department of Business and Economics appeal to students majoring in any discipline.

    Requirements for Majors

    All students in the Department of Business and Economics major in Applied Economics and must complete a minimum of 44-46 semester hours in the department as outlined below. In addition, majors must take STAT-141Q.

    Required Courses

    ECON-101, 102, 150*, 200W, 201, 202, 300Q and a Capstone.

    *Students may receive a waiver from ECON-150 by passing the department placement test or with sufficient coursework in calculus.

    Elective Requirements

    All Applied Economics majors must concentrate in either Economics or Finance & Accounting as outlined below. The following courses do not count as elective credit for the major in Applied Economics: ECON-120; BE-381, 382, 391, 392, 394, 491 and 492W; ECON-403W; FIN 001–004, 010, 011, 100, 272, 301, 302, 401, 402, 403W.

    Economics Concentration

    Four courses from the following list: ECON-210, 213, 223, 231, 263, 311, 312, 314, 330, 361, 362; FIN-374.

    Finance & Accounting Concentration

    ACCT-140; FIN-270 and two courses from the following list: ACCT-240, 241, 242; ECON-362; FIN-370, 372, 374.


    All students who major in Applied Economics can fulfill the capstone, writing and oral presentation requirements in the major by taking one of the 400-level seminar courses offered. Students pursuing the Economics concentration must take ECON-403W. Students pursuing the Finance & Accounting concentration must take FIN-403W. Qualified students may substitute BE-491 and 492W for the capstone requirement.

    Requirements for Minor in Economics

    A minor in economics consists of 20 credits: ECON-101, 102; ECON-150*; either ECON-201 or 202; and two electives in Economics at the 200-level or higher. Note: Applied Economics majors may not minor in Economics. An Applied Economics major who minors in Finance & Accounting must fulfill the concentration requirements in Economics.

    *Students may receive a waiver from ECON-150 by passing the department placement test or with sufficient coursework in calculus.

    Requirements for Minor in Finance & Accounting

    A minor in Finance & Accounting consists of 20 credits: ECON-102; ACCT-140; FIN-270 and two courses chosen from the following list: ACCT-240, 241, 242;ECON-362; FIN-370, 372, 374. Note: Majors in Applied Economics may minor in Finance & Accounting; however ECON-102 is the only course that may be counted towards both the Applied Economics major AND the Finance & Accounting minor. Elective courses in Finance & Accounting taken to fulfill the minor requirements may not be used to fulfill major requirements in Applied Economics.

    Requirements for Minor in Financial Communications

    A minor in financial communications consists of 20 credits: ACCT-140; ECON-102; FIN-010, 011, 270; MCS-207 or 208; two credits from MCS-001–008, or BE-382 (BE-382 must be in the area of financial writing or journalism.)

    Note: Majors in Applied Economics and minors in Finance & Accounting are not permitted to minor in Financial Communications.

    Management Studies Minor

    A minor in Management Studies requires that students take 24 semester hours in courses across several disciplines. All Management Studies minors are required to take ACCT-140 and MGT-200. In addition students are required to select one course focused on ethics from PHIL-140, 240, 246, 247 or PHIL/ENV-248 and three elective courses chosen from the following list and representing three different departments: Business and Economics (ACCT-240 or 241; or ECON-210 or MKT-250; or MGT-300); English (ENG-212); Environmental Studies (ENV-338, 350 with BE department chair approval); Health and Exercise Physiology (HEP-226, 245, or 446); History (HIST-212); Interdivisional Studies (IDS-050 or 110 depending on topic); Media and Communications Studies (MCS-307, 315, 331 or 350); Psychology (PSYC-250 or 350); Politics (POL-399 Business Law only); Sociology (SOC-255 or 260 depending on topic).

    Note: Majors in Applied Economics are permitted to minor in Management Studies. See the appropriate departmental listings for course descriptions.

    Secondary School Teaching Certification

    This program satisfies the Pennsylvania State requirements for secondary certification in social studies. Substantial further coursework outside of economics and education is required in order to prepare the student for subjects taught in the secondary curriculum. Students who wish to obtain teaching certification should consult their departmental adviser and the chair of the department of education as early as possible, preferably at the end of the freshman year.

    Accounting Track

    Applied Economics majors in the Finance & Accounting concentration can improve their preparation for a career in accounting by taking all three electives in accounting (ACCT-240, 241, and 242), though they are not required for completion of the concentration. Many Ursinus graduates work in the field of accounting after graduation, but State Boards of Accountancy mandate 150 credit hours of coursework before candidates may sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Students must therefore take additional courses after graduation to become a CPA.

    Finance Track

    Applied Economics majors in the Finance & Accounting concentration can improve their preparation for a career in finance, particularly in investments, by enrolling in several courses that are not required to complete the concentration. These courses include FIN-001–004, 272, 301, 302, 401, and 402. Students who graduate from Ursinus having completed these courses will enter the job market not only with a liberal arts background that has trained them to think critically and view difficult problems from multiple perspectives but also hands-on experience selecting investments, familiarity with standard methods for modeling corporate financial performance, and preparation for the first round of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. Students must apply to enter the Finance Scholars program, which is described in more detail below.

    Finance Scholars Program

    This program is offered to selected students with a strong career interest in finance and investments with the potential goal of earning the Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”) designation. The program involves a range of relevant co-curricular activities (FIN-301, 302, 401, and 402) that prepare students to take the CFA examination. Eligible students must either concentrate in Finance & Accounting in the Applied Economics major or minor in Finance & Accounting. Students must apply to the Department Chair for acceptance to the program at the end of their sophomore year.