Undergraduate Studies

Studying Economics at UTM

Economics is a social science that encompasses a particular range of human behaviour and has a strong influence on the structure, well-being and development of a society. Much of human activity is directed towards the satisfaction of material wants. In many areas of the world, the greater part of human effort must be directed towards meeting the most elemental demands for food, clothing and shelter. Even in technologically advanced societies, where these basic requirements can be met with comparative ease, the desire for more goods and services never appears to be fully satisfied. In consequence, every society – regardless of whether it is capitalist, socialist, or communist in political orientation – is both competitive and cooperative. It is competitive because its members contend with one another to satisfy their individual wants from a limited supply of productive resources. It is cooperative because the greatest supply of goods is available when the activity of producing them is coordinated and organized. Economics deals with any issue arising out of the conflict between the demand for goods and services and a limited supply of resources.

Undergraduate training in economics is intended to familiarize students with the discipline of economic thinking, and to equip them for intelligent appraisal of contemporary economic problems. It is also intended to make students aware of the nature of economic science, and of the directions in which economic theory is moving. Economic theory now makes considerable use of mathematics in some of its enquiries. A student who chooses to specialize in economics should take at least one basic course in mathematics. More such courses may be taken, and several economics courses draw on mathematical analysis.

Owing to advances in economic theory, an undergraduate degree is not sufficient to become a professional economist. For this or other reasons, graduate work may be necessary. Students who wish to do graduate work should seek advice from the Department concerning their choice of courses. In second year, students should enrol in ECO 206Y, ECO 208Y, and ECO 227Y. Also, the following three advanced courses are essential for students planning on pursuing graduate studies: ECO 325H, ECO 326H, and ECO 327Y.