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difficulty of economics and mathematics double major?

tom0lambert7tom0lambert7 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
edited December 2009 in College Search & Selection
I am attending the University of Michigan in the near future and will probably add math as a double major to my economics major. I enjoy learning, maybe not necessarily "love" math but i love learning and embarking on things that will benefit me and i have an interest in math and am willing to work hard.

1. will double majoring in math pose a high risk for my gpa to fall?
2. Is double majoring in Econ/Math or just minoring in math the best option?
3. Will mathematics and Econ combined result in a lot more classes thus more years of school, or will there usually be overlap classes?
4. what SPECIFIC benefits does adding a mathematics major have?
5. If not math what other majors would accompany economics well?
6. What kind of jobs are most frequently aquired from an Econ/Math degree?
any other feedback is welcomed of course:)
Post edited by tom0lambert7 on

Replies to: difficulty of economics and mathematics double major?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,625 Senior Member
    Don't some schools offer an Econ Math major? Does UMich?

    I think I've heard that some schools offer that major thru their B-schools, some offer it thru their Econ dep't, and some offer it from both.

    But...as to your question....A double major might be difficult, since the 2 majors are from different colleges. So, I'm thinking that it would work better to major in Econ and minor in Math (so as to avoid some unnecessary very high level math classes ).
  • tom0lambert7tom0lambert7 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    I do not believe UMich offers the Econ Math major....I wish they did
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    You can major in both econ and math at Umich. Both majors are in the LSA school.

    There is an overlap of some classes, but you will have to take a few more classes.

    The math major is difficult and your gpa may fall. Some grad courses are required for some math specialties (maybe all?).

    The benefits of a math -econ major are you will have a leg up compared to just econ majors because econ can be very math oriented. You will probably understand econ better.

    The jobs you may get.... business including investment jobs, actuarial jobs...government jobs....academic jobs... jobs in other fields like medicine... law....

    You can start out trying for a math-econ major and see where you end up. The double major is not necessary..so if you decide to stop going for it ..that's fine too. Study what your interests are.

    My daughter went to Mich and wanted a math-econ double major but ended up short 2 econ classes. This doesn't mean it's not doable. It is. She decided she liked math better...
    You never know until you try.

    One of the advantages of a math major is many of your fellow math majors have poor social skills. Also, many are international students and don't communicate as well in English. So, if you have abilities in these areas... that's good.


    "Furthermore, the concentrator in the Mathematical Sciences Program may choose to specialize in one of eight subprograms called Program Options. Although each of these programs has its own requirements and conditions, there are many common features. Each program has as a prerequisite completion of one of the calculus sequences and requires courses selected from certain sub-areas of mathematics. Each also allows for substantial choice among the more specialized and cognate courses to accommodate a variety of student interests. Students are urged to discuss their ultimate career goals with an advisor at an early stage to ensure that an appropriate program is planned. This is particularly important for the student who envisions the possibility of doing graduate work in mathematics or another mathematical discipline. The Pure and Honors programs are the best preparation for graduate study in mathematics, but with appropriate course selection, others will also serve this purpose. In any case, such a program should include Math 412 and 451, and ideally 452, 512 and 513."

    Do you like proofs?

    Math 451 is a *****.


    "Students with a serious interest in the study of economics are strongly encouraged to continue the study of calculus beyond MATH 115. MATH 116, 215, and 217, or their Honors equivalents, are recommended for students with an interest in quantitative economics. Students with a serious interest in advanced research should elect ECON 405 (or STATS 426) and ECON 406."
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,625 Senior Member
    Are you super strong in math? Not just in calculus, but do you think you'd excell at 300 400 level classes. Minoring gives you more freedom. Minors usually let you pick what you like and you may only need 2 upper div classes.
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    You may prefer applied-math, I'd look into that as well. That being said, a lot of your questions are actually UMich specific.

    Adding any kind of math to econ is hugely beneficial for job and graduate school prospects. Many of the jobs econ majors would be interested in can be snatched away by a talented math student who is also well-rounded but doesn't specifically have an econ or business background.
  • tom0lambert7tom0lambert7 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    No I am not super strong in math but I work hard and am pretty good with numbers...i do like the complexities of math and I love to challenge myself. I will probably at least start off as a math-Econ double major than possibly just minor in math if my gpa slips too much.

    what are the type of jobs directly out of school that econ-math majors usually get?
    are there companies or fields who gravitate towards someone like that?
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    What kind of job do you want?


    "In the portion of the book subtitled "Career Path", there are four extensive chapters:

    The math job you know best: teaching (at secondary or collegiate levels);
    Math as a primary skill: actuary, mathematician, statistician and operations analyst;
    Marketing, research or financial analyst (including the value of related graduate degrees);
    Math in the marketplace: buyer, sales representative and purchasing agent.
    In the portion of the book subtitled "The Job Search", there are well-thought-out chapters on self-assessment, researching careers, networking, interviewing, job offer considerations (hallelujah!) and the graduate school choice (including reasons for going or not).

    Some of the authors' advice is music to a math teacher's ears, reflecting some of our long-cherished beliefs about why mathematical training is important: applications, problem solving and reasoning are unifying themes in mathematically oriented career paths. They also advise students that computer and communication skills are very important, as is the ability to work with a team. The book also makes it clear that most jobs for math majors are not titled "Mathematician". In fact, a recent ad for a "high end job" is quoted:

    XYZ Analysis, Inc. is a management consulting company that applies sophisticated analytical techniques to real-world problems in the public and private sectors. XYZ's strength is high-quality work in areas such as strategic planning, decision analysis, operations management, analysis of public policy, forecasting markets for new products, R & D planning and basic research.... seek applicants with bachelor's degrees for positions in our analytical staff .... Candidates should have: a degree in mathematics, operations research, decision analysis, computer science, engineering or other technical field; a GPA of 3.3 or higher; an interest in solving important, complex problems; skills in a broad range of mathematical techniques; communication skills to present analytical results in a clear, concise manner; a high level of enthusiasm for challenging work in an informal atmosphere. Analysts work on teams ... are involved in tasks such as data analysis, formulating and programming mathematical models. working with clients, preparing, presenting and assisting with report and proposal writing."
  • tom0lambert7tom0lambert7 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    thanks for the help dstark and everyone else :)

    and I am very interested in investing type of jobs....i have interests in mutual funds, stocks, etc... I have thought about investment banking. many of the jobs i have favored lie in the investment job field... I do like everything about economics so pretty much any job where those skills are needed i would enjoy too
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Econ or math will help you for investment fields. Maybe join an investment club.

    You might be interested in fin 300 and fin 310.


  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Ooops I post Illinois' finance class. Sorry.


    Econ probably has a course equivalent to the fin course 300.
  • tom0lambert7tom0lambert7 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    yea i will definitely be joining an investment club, as well as others most likely. thanks for all of the help! I apprediate it :) happy new year
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