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UM Launches New Bachelor of Economics Degree

Thomas Garrett, associate professor of economics, is the director of the new Bachelor of Science in Economics program at the University of Mississippi. Staff photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications.
Two years in the making, a new Bachelor of Science in Economics degree program is being offered at the University of Mississippi.
The only one of its kind in Mississippi, the program was approved recently by the Board of Trustees of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. Expected to enroll a minimum of 90 students over a six-year period, the program uses existing economics and mathematics courses, with the former being designated as requirements for the B.S. rather than as electives for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Thomas Garrett, associate professor of economics and program coordinator, said he was “quite pleased” when he received news of the IHL approval.
“Only four other universities in the SEC offer the B.S. in economics,” Garrett said. “Now, the University of Mississippi will be in a position to compete for the best students looking to pursue a technical degree in economics.
“The program will enhance the reputation of the Department of Economics and the College of Liberal Arts.”
The approval process involved establishing a curriculum that will provide students with a technically comprehensive background that will both increase their probability of acceptance into graduate school as well as successfully completing a graduate degree in economics. Completion of the program will require 120 credit hours and involve all faculty teaching existing courses.
No additional cost is associated with the program and funding will come from enrollment revenue.
The new degree program is a welcome addition to the department, said John Moen, chair and professor of economics.
“The new degree will give technically advanced students the chance to display their skills,” Moen said. “It will help those students who want to go to graduate school in economics or seek employment in high-tech industries.”
The new degree program is definitely an asset to the College of Liberal Arts, Dean Lee Cohen said.
“We are pleased to be able to offer our students interested in the field of economics a new degree option,” Cohen said. “As the only B.S. degree housed in a social science department at the University of Mississippi and the only B.S. degree in economics in Mississippi, this program will help to prepare future professionals and leaders who possess a strong foundation in the sciences and mathematics.
“Given the greater quantitative emphasis of the B.S. degree, I believe this path will better prepare our students who wish to pursue graduate training in the field.”

By Edwin B. Smith
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