Economists study how societies allocate limited resources to achieve competing ends. They employ empirical and deductive methods to analyze incentives, constraints, organizational forms, and market forces.

Economists also draw on the disciplines of mathematics, law, statistics, philosophy, psychology, and history in their efforts to solve problems and address issues such as unemployment, inflation, interest rates, health care, education, and crime.

Why Study at Iowa

An economics degree from Iowa will open the door to many career possibilities and will help you understand what’s going on in the world, make better business and personal decisions, and take an informed role in social debates.

Students majoring in economics earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from the Tippie College of Business.

Each degree program provides options to tailor the major to your interests by choosing one of three tracks of study:

  • The Business Economics track will prepare you for work in the private sector and/or to earn a Master of Business Administration degree after you gain the necessary experience.
  • The Policy Economics track will prepare you to earn a law or graduate degree in a moderately quantitative area or to find a decision-making position in the public or private sector.
  • The Analytical Economics track will prepare you to earn a graduate degree in a strongly quantitative area or to find a technical and/or analytical position in the public or private sector.

Course Work

No matter which degree program (BA, BS, or BBA) and track you choose, you’ll complete foundation courses on economic theory, supporting mathematics and statistics courses, and a set of applied field courses in your track. You’ll work closely with your adviser to construct a plan of study and to be sure that you’re taking courses in the right order.

BBA program

The BBA program in the Tippie College of Business emphasizes economics as a foundation for other business areas, such as accounting, finance, marketing, business law, and management. In addition to courses that every business major must take (common BBA requirements), you will complete the college's General Education Requirements and take these courses:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Four applied field courses in one of the three tracks (business, policy, or analytical)

Economics is one of six majors that lead to the BBA degree through the Tippie College of Business, in addition to business analytics & information systems, marketing, accounting, management, and finance.

Review the information for all BBA Programs at Iowa to learn more about the admission requirements, student opportunities, and scholarships for students in a BBA program.

Tippie RISE

All Tippie College of Business students must successfully complete at least one of the following Tippie RISE experiences to graduate: research, internship, study abroad, or an experiential course. 

By completing at least one Tippie RISE experience as part of the undergraduate degree, students will bridge the classroom with the real world and gain a competitive edge in the job market and in admission to graduate school.

Visit for more information.

BA Program

The economics BA program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is considered “all-purpose” for economics students because of how it balances economic theory, mathematical tools, and field applications. You'll take these courses:

  • Statistics for Business
  • Introduction to Econometrics
  • Calculus and Matrix Algebra for Business
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Five applied field courses in one of the three tracks (business, policy, or analytical)

See Economics in the UI General Catalog to learn more about this major, including graduating with honors.

BS Program

The economics BS program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has a more analytical emphasis than the BA program, requiring more mathematics and statistics course work. You'll take these courses:

  • Calculus I-II
  • One or two courses in statistics
  • Econometric Analysis
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Four applied field courses in one of the three tracks (business, policy, or analytical)

See Economics in the UI General Catalog to learn more about this major, including graduating with honors.

Minor in Economics

Visit Economics in the UI General Catalog for more information.

Admission Requirements

Students may be admitted to the Tippie College of Business either through Direct Admission or Standard Admission.

Direct Admission is for first-year students with a 3.60 high school grade-point average and an ACT composite score of 26 or higher. Applicants who meet the high school course requirements and either the GPA or test score requirement will be carefully considered for Direct Admission. Standard Admission is for current UI prebusiness students who meet the established admission criteria, typically after their first year.

For more information on admission, please visit

For details on Transfer admission, visit

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

There are dozens of business-related student organizations at Iowa, including the Business Student Ambassadors, Economics Forum, Financial Management Association, Leadership Council, HawkTrade, and Women in Business.

Faculty, Facilities, and Resources

You will study with faculty who are involved in research and professional organizations. For example, one professor is director of the Midwest International Economics Group, founded in 1981 to foster and encourage research in international trade. 

Faculty members in the Tippie College of Business have published more than 200 articles in major journals, and many serve on editorial boards for publications such as the Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Forecasting, and Review of Economic Dynamics. They also are highly successful at winning research funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


Over 90 percent of students reported that they found permanent employment, were accepted to graduate school, or were not seeking employment within six months of graduation.

The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

For more information about careers, visit What Can I Do with a Major in Economics.


Over 300 scholarships are available to students in the Tippie College of Business; some designed specifically for first-year students.

Review the websites of the Office of Admissions, College of Business, and Office of Student Financial Aid for more scholarship opportunities.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs


Economics (BBA)
Economics (BA)
Economics (BS)
Business Administration
Business Economics
Policy Economics
Analytical Economics
Teaching Licensure
in Social Science (BA, BS students)
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
Selective Admission
for the BBA