Perhaps the best way to understand the world you live in is to understand the economics that drive it. The world is constantly and increasingly confronted with public policy issues that are essentially economic in character. Economic analysis provides a coherent and logical ordered framework for examining these issues and understanding the tradeoffs involved in attempting to solve social and business problems.

        The study of economics will enhance your fundamental analytic and quantitative skills. The curriculum strives to not simply just provide a very good undergraduate education for people interested in studying economics but also provides skills to pursue a wide variety of careers in both the public and private sector. It leads naturally to careers in business, law, and in economics research and consulting, as well as provides a solid foundation for students who will pursue an MBA degree. Students who wish to attend graduate school in economics should take courses in mathematics beyond the requirements of the economics program.

        The economics faculty at NYU Shanghai offers a rare combination of excellence in research and teaching. Many of the economics courses offer the advantage of a liberal arts college setting, including small class sizes and significant interaction between faculty and students. The economics curriculum at NYU Shanghai is designed to introduce students to these fundamental dynamics of human life and, in doing so, is grounded in three basic pedagogical principles:


  • Undergraduate students must be exposed to the “big ideas” and pressing social issues of our world and given economic frameworks for thinking about them.

  • Meaningful study of economics requires being able to think about problems from local, regional, and global perspectives.

  • Understanding how individuals’ make decisions also requires incorporating insights from neuroscience and psychology.


        Effective economic analysis increasingly involves both conducting and effectively communicating the results from quantitative analyses of data using econometric methods. The economics major requires the completion of 12 courses. Given the sequential nature of the major, students are strongly advised to begin as early as possible. Ideally, six full semesters are required to complete the economics major, as it is impossible for students to complete it in fewer than five semesters. Students must pay close attention to the prerequisites for each course, as they are strictly enforced.

        Required for the major are six courses that ensure student proficiency in each of these three core areas: microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Thus, all majors are provided a solid foundation of knowledge in understanding the economic way of thinking to analyze both individual and aggregate economic activity. In addition, these courses demonstrate how statistical analysis of economic data is conducted and provides an overview of how to carry out and interpret empirical research. Following the completion of these six core classes, students are free to choose among a host of courses that either further develop their theoretical foundation or demonstrate the application of this knowledge to specific fields of study within economics such as development economics, behavioral economics or public economics. All intermediate and advanced level courses at the 300 and 400 level are taught in small sections and include a great deal of interaction with the professor.

        Many of the faculty members are associated with distinguished research institutions. Occasionally there is an opportunity to participate in a faculty research program or to work as a research assistant for an individual faculty member. By being able to study with faculty who are actively engaged in research, students learn not only about the fundamentals of economic theory but also about how such theory is utilized. Students typically find these opportunities via discussion with the professors of their elective classes. Students interested in doing individual research under the supervision of a faculty member can -- with a senior standing and that faculty member's permission -- sign up for a 400 level special topics in economics research course for up to 4 credits.