Undergraduate Program Introduction

The study of economics explains how people make choices and helps us understand societal and global issues. Economic decisions have an enormous influence on society and the character of our lives. Problems such as health-care reform, the debate on public vs. private schooling, foreign aid, the national debt, and a host of other current issues can be illuminated by an understanding of economics.

Students are encouraged to take a wide range of economics courses, study abroad, participate in research, and take advantage of the many opportunities Santa Barbara has to offer.

A degree in Economics can lead to a wide range of careers.  Please watch the video "A career in Economics . . . it's much more than you think" presented by the American Economic Association.

The video features four individuals offering insights on how economics can be a tool for solving very human problems and they provide some interesting perspectives on how they chose economics as a career path.

  • Marcella Alsan, a physician of infectious disease, discusses why she needed to pursue a degree in economics to improve the lives of her patients.
  • Randall Lewis, a research scientist at Google, uses economics and "big data" as tools to improve the functioning of markets.
  • Britni Wilcher, a PhD student of economics, offers insight on some misconceptions about economists and factors influencing her career path decision.
  • Peter Henry, dean at the NYU Stern School of Business, points to the true nature of economics and the importance of diverse voices informing the field.

 If you are unsure if Economics is for you, please consult with one of our advisors about the major.  The Economics Undergraduate Office is located in 2121 North Hall and advisors are there to assist with schedule planning, declaring the major, referrals to UCSB resources, academic difficulty, the honors program and much more!