what are the trade offs between Econ BA vs BS?

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# Any Econ Undergrads Here? - Page 3

post #32 of 47

12/12/12 at 11:08pm

post #33 of 47

12/13/12 at 7:59am

Read your own course handbook?

Most schools only offer one or the other (based on whether they think it is more of an art or a science). For the schools that offer both, you're going to have to see what the required classes are. Usually one of the degrees requires more...usually it is the BS.

Most people won't know or care about the difference unless they are intimately familiar with your school's course structure. Even if they know about the difference, most schools still have the same overall graduation requirements so you end up taking the same number of credits--you just get more electives with the BA and if you use them for interesting/productive classes, you are no worse off than the BS.

post #34 of 47

12/17/12 at 4:27pm

I found a BS was a much more direct route to studying Econ in grad school. I planned to do my MA right out of undergrad, and they recommend you be well primed on your math/stats to go into Econ grad school .. So it just mad sense.

I traded a bunch of bull-**** arts requirements, like if I did a BA I would have had to take a Fine-Art class (most people take film) and 2 classes in a language other then English (being Canadian, most people take French). Instead, I took a couple more Math/Stats classes, I likely would have taken anyways.

post #35 of 47

12/19/12 at 11:23am

post #36 of 47

12/21/12 at 9:40pm

post #37 of 47

12/22/12 at 9:18am

Quote:

Economics is more interested in Derivatives then Integrals. Outside Applied Micro, I don't even recall solving a integral. Macro is all differential equations, Micro is all Math Proofs (Real Analysis, space theory), and Econometrics is all Linear Algebra and Probability Theory. I don't think I saw an Integral in grad school, other then maybe in my Resource or Environmental Econ classes (both where applied micro classes) .. But even then, I don't recall what we would have used them for.A few examples, of the difference between my BS and a BA. I had to take 2 calculus courses .. Where a BA you could just take a dumbed down "Calculus for Management" from the business faculty. I also had to take 3 intermediate Math/Stat classes that the BA students could have just taken random Arts Classes (Anthropology, ect) Finally, my BS I had to take all the Math Econ and Econometrics classes, where BAs just had open Econ electives.

My core classes, in Micro/Macro where no different in the BS then they would have been in a BA. And yes .. You can do a whole BA with knowledge acquired in a single class .. But it's all class choice. You can take one Intro Micro class, then 10 applied micro classes, all just looking at the problem a different way. IMO, that's a waste of time. Undergrad "Econ Field" classes are a waste. If you want to go into Econ Analysis, you're better off taking just your core Econ, a few higher level fields, and take most of your open electives in Computer Science or Math/Engineering. Econ Electives are very repetitive, especially at the undergrad level. If you want to go into Policy, in that case take whatever classes you want and start praying for a job.

post #38 of 47

12/22/12 at 9:24am

Quote:

Game theory is what all the cool kids were taking...I never took it. Econometrics is essential and I am always astounded that there are degree-granting institutions that don't mandate a course in econometrics to graduate with a degree in economics.

Quote:

You must have gone to a shitty school. That or you had an absurd high school...most kids who did AP econ couldn't even pass out of the lowest level introductory quarter of econmics (which wasn't even math based).

post #39 of 47

12/23/12 at 7:01am

Quote:

agreed. at Columbia, Econ was the major with the highest number of students on academic probation due to the sheer intensity of the courseload.

post #40 of 47

12/23/12 at 3:04pm

post #41 of 47

12/23/12 at 5:06pm

E.g. I didnt connect the dots that MR=MC because the derivative of the profit equation is set equal to zero and rearranged to find a maximum point until my second econ class. Thats probably on me, but I think most intro istructors gloss over that kind of thing.

Its a similar situation to where calculus is introduced with no emphasis on analysis... kids are learning to plug and chug problem sets rather than any real math.

post #42 of 47

12/23/12 at 5:33pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by

Bit of an aside-- I think the way into Micro is taught is a bit backwards. Most texts go so far out of their way to avoid math that the econ material becomes

E.g. I didnt connect the dots that MR=MC because the derivative of the profit equation is set equal to zero and rearranged to find a maximum point until my second econ class. Thats probably on me, but I think most intro istructors gloss over that kind of thing.

Its a similar situation to where calculus is introduced with no emphasis on analysis... kids are learning to plug and chug problem sets rather than any real math.

**Pennglock**Bit of an aside-- I think the way into Micro is taught is a bit backwards. Most texts go so far out of their way to avoid math that the econ material becomes

**a hodgepodge of graphs and rules**... few students internalize the material and retain it after the final because they dont understand the fundamentals.E.g. I didnt connect the dots that MR=MC because the derivative of the profit equation is set equal to zero and rearranged to find a maximum point until my second econ class. Thats probably on me, but I think most intro istructors gloss over that kind of thing.

Its a similar situation to where calculus is introduced with no emphasis on analysis... kids are learning to plug and chug problem sets rather than any real math.

I know that feel. Just finished my micro econ course. Learned no math, occasionally they'd show us a formula or something, but there would be no emphasis on it. I know shit loads of graphs though. I think there might have been some maths in game theory actually. No idea what the profit equation is, but I know MR=MC to maximise profit. Course was basically just teaching us some basics like indifference curves, surplus, taxes and price elasticity then explaining the competitive market, monopoly, monopolistic competition, ogolopys and some game theory. Under stand it really well and got a first in all the problem sets though so it's all good.

post #43 of 47

12/23/12 at 5:42pm

post #44 of 47

12/23/12 at 6:30pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by

Bit of an aside-- I think the way into Micro is taught is a bit backwards. Most texts go so far out of their way to avoid math that the econ material becomes a hodgepodge of graphs and rules... few students internalize the material and retain it after the final because they dont understand the fundamentals.

E.g. I didnt connect the dots that MR=MC because the derivative of the profit equation is set equal to zero and rearranged to find a maximum point until my second econ class. Thats probably on me, but I think most intro istructors gloss over that kind of thing.

Its a similar situation to where calculus is introduced with no emphasis on analysis... kids are learning to plug and chug problem sets rather than any real math.

**Pennglock**Bit of an aside-- I think the way into Micro is taught is a bit backwards. Most texts go so far out of their way to avoid math that the econ material becomes a hodgepodge of graphs and rules... few students internalize the material and retain it after the final because they dont understand the fundamentals.

E.g. I didnt connect the dots that MR=MC because the derivative of the profit equation is set equal to zero and rearranged to find a maximum point until my second econ class. Thats probably on me, but I think most intro istructors gloss over that kind of thing.

Its a similar situation to where calculus is introduced with no emphasis on analysis... kids are learning to plug and chug problem sets rather than any real math.

I think physics suffers from the same problem. So many concepts they try to teach before introducing math are so much simpler when you start to realize they are all derivatives/integrals of the same funcitons.

An interesting note on the math-less intro econ courses:

The U of C only recently started requiring them for undergrad econ majors.

When I went there, they had both micro and macro courses that were purely conceptual with no real math. Used the Parkin econ text and I think they now use Mankiw. Big lecture hall classes (only ones in the department) with no homework and your grade decided by something like 3-5 exams. They were not required at the time and did not count towards the major in any way. Now they require them as a prerequisite for the major although they don't count as credits toward the major (they can be tested out of but someone who took AP econ is not likely to pass).

My observation of the people who did not take the intro sequence and just dove into the calc-based classes, was that they always seemed to be missing something. There were big picture implications that don't necessarily show up in the math that these kids were having trouble grasping when they arose after the math had been introduced.

So maybe there is some benefit to ignoring the math for a few weeks and just trying to get some basic economic intuition down before trying to codify everything with exact rules.

post #45 of 47

12/24/12 at 10:37am

Quote:

Profit = Total Revenue - Total CostOriginally Posted by

I know that feel. Just finished my micro econ course. Learned no math, occasionally they'd show us a formula or something, but there would be no emphasis on it. I know shit loads of graphs though. I think there might have been some maths in game theory actually.

**fuji**I know that feel. Just finished my micro econ course. Learned no math, occasionally they'd show us a formula or something, but there would be no emphasis on it. I know shit loads of graphs though. I think there might have been some maths in game theory actually.

**No idea what the profit equation is, but I know MR=MC to maximise profit.**Course was basically just teaching us some basics like indifference curves, surplus, taxes and price elasticity then explaining the competitive market, monopoly, monopolistic competition, ogolopys and some game theory. Under stand it really well and got a first in all the problem sets though so it's all good.Set derivative equal to zero ..

0 = MR - MC or MR = MC.

Using calculus .. It's is a 2 second explanation. Without, it takes an hour.

I just wish calculus was a requirement to go into any intro university class. This "all math" or "no math" attitude .. Really makes teaching intro classes more complicated then it needs to be.

High School is a joke .. No reason you shouldn't be able to learn Derivatives, and Anti-Derivatives in high school. Even just enough so that the average Econ student doesn't go into a psychological shock the second they see an calculus equation on the blackboard.

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