View Full Version : How does US economics (BSc) courses compare with UKs?

07-30-2007, 04:44 PM
I am just wondering how different/similar are the courses between the 2 countries? Well, let me just talk about my course first.

In the first year.
Compulsory courses usually includes
Macroeconomics - Mankiw's Macroeconomics or Blanchard Macroeconomics
Microeconomics - Varian's Intermediate Microeconomics or Katz and Rosen
Mathematics - Lecture notes, matrix algebra, partial differentiation and Taylor's series (sorry.. bad memory)
Statistics - Hypothesis testing and regression
and usually an option between politics, philosophy, economic history and finance

In the second year
Macroeconomics - I rely on lecture notes.. but used parts of David Romer Advanced Macroeconomics and Blanchard's Lecture on Macroeconomics
Microeconomics - Nicholson Microeconomic Theory, used parts of Gravelle and Rees
Econometrics - Wooldridge Econometrics
Mathematical Economics - Teaches Game Theory (game theory--fudenberg & tirole) and General Equilibrium (MWG)

I think Econometrics is more verbal than Microeconomics in my school.. And Macroeconomics requires a lot of maths as well..

Third year
Thesis + 3rd year courses which are specialised topics similar to UK's master degrees.. Much more rigorous Micro, Game Theory and Macro to choose from...

I have just completed my 2nd year but honestly I am not too happy with my performance. I have been heavily relying on my maths to get an OKAY grade but I don't think I have an adequate economic mindset as I have only really began economics 2 years ago. I think the courses are over quantitative..

What about the US?

07-30-2007, 10:30 PM
I'd say that the program you've outlined above includes more advanced mathematics than the average economics major sees here in the US. And, consistent with that, here the degree is often/usually(?) a BA, not a BS, for economics.

Economics students in the US--especially at a good school--can take a program like the one above, and if they figure out in time that they want a Ph.D., they do. (Just look at the profiles on the rest of this board to get an idea.) But we usually start with a first year of "principles of economics" courses that don't have anything more complicated than simple algebra. Maybe it helps to develop the intuition before we have worry about the math.

07-31-2007, 07:09 AM
I see. Undergrad courses in the UK requires applicant to hold an A-level Maths.

can't help wondering if there is any Ph.D. students from the UK studying in a US grad school who has not taken a Master degree at University? I know it is common practice in US BA(4yrs)->Ph.D.(5yrs) but UK is BA(3 yrs)->M(1 yr)->PhD(3yr). People keep telling me it is really hard to get into good programs in the US if i am holding BSc in UK.