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The major is a part of the Department of Economics, an academic unit within the College of Business.

As part of the nationally recognized JMU College of Business, the economics major fosters an understanding and appreciation of economic forms of explanation and their relationships to other social sciences. The major will provide students with an intellectual foundation for the appreciation and understanding of economic theory and policy that stresses the importance of imaginative thinking, free inquiry and the pursuit of life-long learning. In this way, the program prepares students with the economic literacy necessary to cope with the challenges inherent in a world of accelerating change.

Economics majors are generally educated students, who go on to develop their analytical, investigative and research skills. With this major, students will use their understanding of economics relationships and markets to work for manufacturing firms, financial services firms, consulting firms, the health care industries, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Economists with strong statistical backgrounds conduct research, analyze data and develop forecasts. Students with a good background in this field are competitive in the job market.

Degrees Offered





Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Financial Economics

International Economics

Political Economy

Quantitative Economics




Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the economics major when they register for orientation. If they plan to pursue the B.A. or B.S. degree program, they should also set up an interview with the economics department head during their first semester at JMU.

If students plan to pursue the economics B.B.A. degree program, they should scroll down and read the section "Progressing in the Major" to learn about full admission to the College of Business.

Currently Enrolled Major Changers 

All students must have at least one major with a degree (i.e. Biology - B.S.).  To add a 2nd major, select the major listed with no degree (i.e. Biology).

  1. Log into MyMadison, select Student Center.
  2. Select Major/Minor Change from the "Other Academic..." dropdown menu.
    1. To add a program of study select Add Major/Minor

      To narrow your search, select the plan type, change the criteria of plan description to "contains," and enter the beginning letters of the plan.
    2. To drop a program of study, select Drop Major/Minor.
    3. To update a concentration for an existing program of study, select Add/Change Concentration.
  3. After all requests are entered, select Submit Request.

Please note that any student admitted to JMU can declare one of the eight majors offered in the College of Business. However, any student enrolled in one of the B.B.A. programs must meet certain progression standards in order to continue as a business major beyond the first year of study.

B.B.A. Degree Program
Declaring a College of Business major does not guarantee full admission to the major. Students will not be fully admitted to the major until requirements are met as listed below in the section "Admission to the Major."

B.A./B.S. Degree Program
Students should set up an interview with the economics department head, Dr. Ehsan Ahmed, (540)568-3215, The economics departmental office is located in room 433 of Zane Showker Hall.

Admission to the Major

In order to be admitted to the major, students must satisfy admission requirements for the College of Business and the Department of Economics.

Full Admission to the College of Business
Declaring a business major does not guarantee full admission to the College of Business. Students must formally apply for full admission to the College of Business by submitting an application for admission during the semester in which students are completing the lower-level B.B.A. core courses.Students are formally admitted into the College of Business as a B.B.A. degree seeking major and permitted to register for COB 300. Integrative Business when the following requirements are met:

  1. A completed application for admission into the College of Business is submitted to the College of Business Academic Services Center located in 205 Zane Showker Hall, according to the following schedule:
    • November 1 for upcoming spring semester
    • April 1 for the upcoming summer session and fall semesters
  2. All 8 lower-level Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) core courses are successfully completed as follows:
    • First Year (It is recommended that students complete the following five B.B.A. core courses by the end of the freshman year):
      • COB 191. Business Analytics or Math 220. Elementary Statistics
      • COB 204. Computer Information Systems
      • ECON 200. General Education Macroeconomics
      • ECON 201. Microeconomics
      • MATH 205. Introductory Calculus or MATH 235. Calculus I
    • Second Year (It is recommended that students complete the following five B.B.A. core courses by the end of their sophomore year):
      • COB 202. Interpersonal Skills
      • COB 241. Financial Accounting
      • COB 242. Managerial Accounting1 
      • COB 291. Business Analytics II

1 COB 241 must be taken before COB 242COB 242 is a prerequisite or corequisite for COB 300 and is not used in calculating the B.B.A. core GPA. COB 242 is a prerequisite for COB 300 for students taking COB 300 in Antwerp.

  1. No core course my be attempted more than two times, and students may repeat a maximum of three courses in which a final grade was earned.  Attempted courses include courses in which a final letter grade, "W," "WP" or "WF" is recorded on the student’s official JMU transcript.
  2. Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.7 in the B.B.A. lower-level core courses (excluding MATH 205 or MATH 235)The B.B.A. core GPA is calculated using grades earned in the B.B.A. lower-level core courses excluding calculus (MATH 205 or MATH 235). Only grades earned at JMU will be used. The university policy for calculating repeat-credit and repeat-forgiveness will be followed.Students with a 2.7 B.B.A. core GPA are assured admission into the College of Business and COB 300. Students who meet all of the requirements above but fail to achieve a 2.7 B.B.A. core GPA will be admitted to the College of Business and COB 300 based on B.B.A. core GPA ranking, and pending resources and space availability.
  3. Admission is granted within one calendar year of the applicant's first application. Two applications, in consecutive semesters of enrollment, are permitted.

Progressing in the Major

Students must maintain good academic standing with at least a GPA of 2.0.

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