Applied Economics Major


The Applied Economics major prepares students to pursue careers that address real-world problems using data and economic principles. These problems come from a wide range of areas, such as world food problems, trade, environment and sustainability, inequality and poverty, and public health and public policy. Students are trained to critically weigh competing pieces of evidence, make sound decisions, and communicate their findings to a range of audiences.

Because of the flexibility our major offers, students in APEC are encouraged to pursue minors in related fields in CFANS, CLA, CEHD, and other colleges at the University of Minnesota. For example, if you are interested in environmental and resource economics, you may be interested in a minor in Environmental Science, Policy and Management or Sustainability Studies (or both!). If you are interested in agricultural economics, you may want to pursue a minor in Agronomy or Animal Science. Interested in development? Try the minor in International Agriculture. These and other minors will give you a deep understanding of areas where economics can be fruitfully applied to identify, analyze, and solve pressing problems.

You may want to use your free electives to pursue additional skills in economic analysis, and this is possible within the Department of Applied Economics. With careful choices in your first few years, you will be able to take graduate-level courses in your senior year.

More information on the Applied Economics major is available on this information sheet


Students majoring in Applied Economics develop strong critical thinking skills, data analysis proficiency, and the ability to communicate their ideas in writing. Our students have pursued careers in government and in the private sector using their B.S. degrees. Others have pursued professional or graduate training in economics, law, management, or public policy.

Students interested in environmental and resource economics may look to careers in environmental consulting, project management, resources policy advocacy, or resource management. Students interested in agricultural economics may consider commodity price analysis, financial asset valuation, or strategic planning. Students focusing on international development economics may be interested in helping governments decide how to provide effective development assistance.

With a solid foundation in economic thinking, good quantitative skills, and demonstrated ability to think critically and communicate effectively, students graduating with an Applied Economics major are attractive to both employers and to graduate and professional schools.


Find requirements for the APEC major in the University Catalog. To see a Sample Plan of what a four-year degree could look like, review the "view sample plan(s)" link on the right side of the page. 

Transfer Requirements

Applicants must have either microeconomics or macroeconomics completed with a B- or better before enrolling at the University of Minnesota.

For deadlines, contacts, orientation, and other information, visit the CFANS Transfer Students page.

More Information