About the Economics Program
The field of Economics analyzes how society governs the production and distribution of goods and services, decisionmaking by members of the economy, and relevant contemporary economic issues. Through a process of informed and critical investigation of contemporary society, our faculty utilize both conventional and alternative perspectives in the field to explain how markets function, address the many unresolved problems of economic policy, and evaluate potential shortcomings of the traditional explanations of economic events.
The study of Economics provides students with the knowledge required to be actively engaged participants in economic affairs. It also provides students with an analytical and critical thinking skill set necessary to address persistent social problems such as economic inequality, climate change, racial injustice, pandemics, and poverty.
The study of Economics also prepares students for a variety of interesting career paths in business, finance, banking, and government, as well as politics, international relations, education, law, and health and human services. Governments at all levels, as well as international organizations, are significant employers of Economics majors. Economic consulting is also a rapidly growing area of employment for majors, as are both commercial and investment banking.
A Career in Economics
Information from the American Economic Association (AEA):
“A career in Economics…it’s much more than you think. These four individuals offer their insights on how a background in Economics can be a tool for solving very human problems.”
- 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."
Many colleges and universities offer baccalaureate degrees in this field. Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university need to know which courses completed at Santa Monica College will be accepted at the specific college/university. Please consult a Counselor. SMC has transfer articulation agreements with the many UC and CSU campuses, as well as many private and out-of-state institutions.
Degrees and Certificates
Associate in Arts for Transfer - Economics
18 units + General Education Requirements
Microeconomics and Macroeconomics involve the study of how society can best use scarce resources such as land, raw materials, capital, and labor. The course of study analyzes the relationships between the supply of goods and services and the demand for them, as well as how these goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed. Some economists work on public issues such as the control of inflation, business cycles, unemployment, wage, tax, and tariff policies.
Program Level Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, students will:
- Exhibit strong academic behaviors, evidenced by their timeliness, regular attendance, participation in class activities, adherence to the College Honor Code, and awareness of their opportunities and obligations as students.
- Demonstrate through oral and/or written work knowledge of how society can best use scarce resources such as land, raw materials, capital, and labor.
Demonstrate the ability to evaluate evidence and make compelling arguments about the relationships between the supply of goods and services and the demand for them, as well as how these goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed.
Special Departmental Programs