Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics and Mathematics
Program Director: Nancy White
Coordinating Committee: Carmen O. Acuña (mathematics), KB Boomer (mathematics), Jodi Black (mathematics), Thomas Kinnaman (economics), Nancy White (economics), Amy Wolaver (economics)
Mathematics has traditionally served as the language of the natural sciences, and more recently it has become a useful tool in the social sciences, particularly in economics. Developed jointly by the department of mathematics and the department of economics, the Bachelor of Science major in Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics and Mathematics at Bucknell offers students a degree program that incorporates economics, mathematics, and statistics. This major is designed for students who are interested in combining the quantitative methods or the theoretical foundations of mathematics with the study of economics to solve economic problems. This course of study will provide strong foundations in both mathematics and economics and will offer the student both the intellectual and the quantitative skills to grapple with questions at the interface of these two disciplines.
The B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics and Mathematics provides a coordinated curriculum useful to students interested in pursuing master's or Ph.D. programs in economics, finance, business administration, or public policy. The major also prepares students for careers in finance, business, operations research or actuarial science. Modeling financial and economic phenomena mathematically has become increasingly important to securing the most prestigious positions in the financial markets.
Students interested in economics and mathematics could also consider combining a B.A. in mathematics with a B.A. in economics (double majoring), or combining a B.A. in one of these disciplines with an academic minor in the other. Students undecided among these options are encouraged to contact a member of the coordinating committee.
The B.S. major in Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics and Mathematics requires a total of 18 credits, 8 from economics and 10 from mathematics.
Required Economics Courses:
- ECON 103 Economics Principles and Problems
- ECON 259* Intermediate Mathematical Microeconomics
- ECON 257 Intermediate Macroeconomics
- ECON 258 Intermediate Political Economy
- Senior Seminar 400-level Economics Course
*ECON 256 Intermediate Microeconomics may substitute for ECON 259 with approval of the program director or for students who have taken ECON 256 before declaring the ECMA major.
Each student must also select three additional economics courses in consultation with the student's academic adviser. At least two of these credits must be at the 300-level. The senior seminar in economics will serve as the Culminating Experience for the ECMA major, and will also address the speaking goal of the College Core Curriculum (CCC). ECON 256 and ECON 257 address the information literacy goals of the CCC and ECON 258 addresses the writing goals of the CCC.
Students preparing for graduate studies in economics are strongly encouraged to complete a one-credit senior thesis in economics.
Required Mathematics Courses:
- MATH 201 Calculus I
- MATH 202 Calculus II
- MATH 211 Calculus III
- MATH 216 Statistics I
- MATH 245 Linear Algebra
- MATH 303 Probability
- MATH 305 Statistical Modeling
Each student must also select a 3-course track from the following three options in consultation with their academic adviser:
Theoretical track: MATH 280 Logic, Sets, and Proofs; MATH 308 Introduction to Real Analysis; MATH 345 Linear Algebra
Computational track: CSCI 203 Introduction to Computer Science, MATH 343 Numerical Analysis, MATH 358 Topics in Operations Research
Statistical track: MATH 304 Mathematical Statistics, MATH 307 Statistical Design of Scientific Studies, MATH 358 Topics in Operations Research
The recommended sequence of courses for students is as follows:
First Semester: ECON 103, MATH 201
Second Semester: ECON 259, MATH 202, MATH 216
First Semester: ECON 257, MATH 211
Second Semester: MATH 213, MATH 303
Either Semester: ECON 258, MATH 305, first economics elective, second economics elective, and mathematics track course #1
Either Semester: third economics elective, mathematics track course #2, mathematics track course #3, and economics senior seminar