The UCLA Department of Economics, in an effort to provide a more focused learning experience for our students, is in the preliminary stage of launching a set of “Concentrations.” These Concentrations are completely optional and will not show up on students’ transcripts or other official documents. What they will do is help students identify a set of courses focused on a particular area study or career goal and provide co-curricular activities tied to that specialization.
Building on our successful Sharpe and Simon Fellows programs, we are piloting our first two concentrations in the area of Finance—one concentration focused on “Value Investing in a Market Economy” and one on “Risk and Portfolio/Wealth Management”. For each of these two areas we have identified a set of approximately nine relevant courses and suggest that students wishing to concentrate in one of these two areas select a subset of four of these courses as part of the required upper division electives in their major. Coupled with these courses will be two Bruin Development Academies offered over the coming year. One of these academies is aimed at sophomores and will explore careers in finance. The second academy is aimed at juniors and seniors and will explore applications of valuation techniques in various contexts.
If this pilot is successful, we hope to expand our available concentrations to include: Corporate Strategy and Competition, Public Finance and Economic Policy, and eventually, Global Economics, and Data Analytics. The rate of expansion will depend on student interest, our ability to hire and retain faculty and graduate students in these areas, and on our success in obtaining funding for the associated co-curricular activities.
Again, concentrations are optional and will NOT be noted on a student’s transcript or other official documents. Students are encouraged to take a course of study that interests them and meets their career goals. For some students this will involve taking courses within a specific concentration while for others an array of courses across multiple fields is more appropriate.
Academic Requirements for Concentrations:
A concentration in the Economics and/or Business Economics major is a collection of Upper Division Elective Courses and a Capstone Experience is intended to support a student’s in-depth study of a particular area of Economics. Several concentrations also include pre-requisite courses offered by other departments that provide needed background for students in this area.
To complete a concentration within the Economics and/or the Business Economics major, a student should complete the Lower Division requirements for either major and complete Economics 101, 102, and 103/103L. In addition, students must complete additional pre-requisite courses for those concentrations that have such requirements. A student should then take four Upper Division electives from the collection of such electives approved for the concentration and should complete a Capstone Project within the concentration. Capstone projects can be completed within specifically designated capstone project course or through completing an Economics 199 Directed Research course.