How to Choose an Economics Major at NYU

We have economics offerings to suit every interest. But how do you choose the right one?

David Kerman
Economics students seated at a large table with their laptops in a classroom.
In admissions, we have the pleasure of speaking with students from all over the world. When students tell us about the majors they’re interested in, Economics tends to be one of the most popular. It makes sense! Careers in management, marketing, and research all mesh well with the skills that economics teaches. But what most students don’t realize is that NYU has several Economics majors. Which begs the question: Which program is right for you?
 
Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to know the lay of the land. In New York City, we offer Economics in both the College of Arts and Science (CAS) and our Stern School of Business. We also offer programs at our campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. When you apply to the University, you need to pick your top choice campus. If you choose New York City, youʼll also need to tell us which school is your top choice. The school or campus that you choose plays a large role in shaping your course of study. There are nuances to each program’s courses that provide them with a unique flair. Letʼs break down those nuances!
Washington Square Park fountain and arch.

A Focus on the Liberal Arts at CAS

At CAS, all students pursue the College Core curriculum. That Core provides you with a well-rounded education in world languages, critical thinking, and writing. By pursuing the Core, you will more easily make connections across content area

CAS’s Economics major offers two concentrations: policy and theory, on top of a “major core.” The Core varies slightly based on the focus area that you choose, but both offer a firm foundation in the field. The policy concentration is for those who want to study larger problems and policies. The theory focus is for students who want to dive into economic and analytical reasoning.

CAS also offers joint majors with Computer Science and Mathematics. Joint majors will give you a firm foundation in both fields. You’ll find the full list of courses that you need to complete a joint major on our website.

A Foundation in Business at Stern

All students across our schools and colleges complete a core curriculum. That’s true at NYU regardless of what you study. But the core will vary depending on your program and not all cores are the same!

At Stern you will still pursue a liberal arts core, but you’ll also pursue a business core. The business core will introduce you to accounting, finance, and global business. You’ll also pursue a social impact core, where you’ll learn how to conduct business for the greater good. There are two focus areas at Stern: business economics and econometrics and quantitative economics (EQE). Business economics will help you grasp how technology, consumers, and politics will impact your goals. EQE is more STEM-oriented. It will provide you with the analytical skills, including coding and statistics, that modern economists use.

In the past, EQE graduates have gone on to work at hedge funds, research groups, and consulting firms, among others. Business graduates have gone into these fields as well, along with companies like UrbanStems.
A student presenting at StartAD.

The World Is at Your Fingertips at NYU Abu Dhabi

At NYU Abu Dhabi, we emphasize the importance of global understanding. Our students come together from around the world to explore how alike and different they are from each other. They also strive to understand how to find common ground in a world of differences.
 
At the heart of our Economics major is our Foundations of Social Science sequence, which broadens your knowledge of the social sciences. The major is then divided into two concentrations: theory and finance. Your concentration, along with faculty mentorship, will prepare you for your final research project at the end of your degree. Throughout the program, students have access to global opportunities that will enhance their studies. They are encouraged to spend two semesters and one January Term abroad at another NYU location. While doing so, they can pursue classes, internships, and research to further their understanding of the field. After graduation, students have gone on to careers in law, business, and public service. Theyʼve also pursued graduate study at Oxford, Columbia, and the Paris School of Economics.
 
NYU Abu Dhabi also offers a dual degree with NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. This allows them to complete their BA and MPA in less time than it would take to pursue separate programs.

An Abundance of Insight from China at NYU Shanghai

China is one of the most influential countries in the world and our students learn in the heart of its largest city. Here, our students get a global perspective, but they also gain valuable insights from China’s growing economy. The Core Curriculum offers a well-rounded education with a focus on Chinese history, culture, and language. With half of our students being Chinese nationals and the remainder coming from more than 70 countries, every day is an opportunity for cross-cultural exploration.

Economics in Shanghai is rooted in three key areas. After completing the major’s core curriculum, students choose courses that develop their understanding. Unlike the other programs, Shanghai students donʼt choose a concentration, but they do apply their knowledge to developmental, behavioral, and public economics. More broadly, Shanghai is a global finance and business hub. While studying here, students can apply their knowledge to real-world challenges through incredible internship opportunities. By earning both a western and Chinese degree, they’re also prepared for successful careers at home or abroad.

Shanghaiʼs skyline.
• Century Avenue • City skyline 2018 Shanghai Photo Shoot

We know it can be hard to pick the program thatʼs right for you. When I first started college, I was trying to choose between five different majors. Five! What I didnʼt realize at first was that there are so many resources to help you make your decision. Attend an information session, chat with an admissions counselor, or reach out to some of our current students. Ask your high school guidance counselor for help, too—theyʼre an incredible resource! At the end of the day, remember that regardless of what you choose, we’ll be there to support you every step of the way.