Economics (BA)

Program Description

Economics is the study of human decision-making, considered in relation to the economic tasks of life. It looks at how individuals within larger social groups, including communities, organizations, markets, and economies, make decisions about how much to work and play, spend and save. Economic analysis also considers how the economic decisions made by one group of people affect the decisions made by others and how the aggregated effects of these decisions impact production, distribution, trade, and the consumption of goods and services across local regions, countries, and the world.

The Economics curriculum at NYU Abu Dhabi is designed to introduce students to these fundamental dynamics of human life and, in doing so, is grounded in three basic pedagogical principles:

Undergraduate students must be exposed to the “big ideas” and pressing social issues of our world and given the economic frameworks for thinking about them. Meaningful study of economics requires being able to think about problems from local, regional, and global perspectives. Effective economic reasoning increasingly involves a multidisciplinary approach combining the best economic thinking with the best thinking in psychology, history, statistics and politics.

Building on these principles, the Economics major is designed to foster rigorous analytical abilities, critical writing and communication skills, and the capacity to interpret and use statistical data—all in the service of developing sound economic reasoning and problem-solving skills. These transferable strengths are of value in a broad array of academic and professional paths, from economics, business, or law, to public service or graduate studies.

Electives are categorized into tracks and culminate in a track-specific Capstone Seminar.

Students are required to take two courses to develop their mathematical skills. Students are offered two choices in order to complete this requirement: they can take either a sequence of courses that is offered by the Mathematics group (MATH-UH 1013 and MATH-UH 1021 Multivariable Calculus with Applications to Economics), or one that is offered as part of the social science courses (SOCSC-UH 1101 Mathematics for Social Scientists I and SOCSC-UH 1201 Mathematics for Social Scientists II).

To facilitate advanced work in the field, students are required to take Statistics for the Social Sciences, Econometrics, and two semesters of Calculus, ideally MATH-UH 1013Q Calculus with Applications to Economics and MATH-UH 1021 Multivariable Calculus with Applications to Economics.

Students who place directly into Calculus at the Math placement test are strongly encouraged to follow the MATH-UH 1013 and MATH-UH 1021 Multivariable Calculus with Applications to Economics sequence.

Students who intend to pursue graduate studies in Economics (such as a PhD) are advised to follow the MATH-UH sequence as it opens the door to higher level mathematics courses offered on campus. It should be noted that students who choose the mathematics social science courses will typically not have access to higher level mathematics courses in the MATH-UH catalog since these would require, at a minimum, to have completed MATH-UH 1021 Multivariable Calculus with Applications to Economics.

Students who intend to pursue graduate studies in Economics are strongly advised to take some courses from the Theory track. In particular, students are advised to take ECON-UH 3910 Advanced Microeconomics and ECON-UH 3940 Advanced Macroeconomics, two courses that are paramount for graduate studies in economics.

The study away pathway for the Economics major can be found on the NYUAD Student Portal at Students with questions should contact the Office of Global Education.

Global Studies Track: Economics

In addition to providing its students with a rigorous theoretical foundation and methodological training in the study of human decision-making, considered in relation to the economic tasks of life, the NYUAD Economics program believes in the importance of pre-professional training as a preparation both for advanced study and global careers.

The Global Studies Track in Economics is designed to combine the study away opportunities for NYUAD students at the NYU campuses in the United States in New York or Washington, DC and at the NYU campus in Abu Dhabi with the experiential education and pre-professional opportunity for a paid internship in the United States over the summer.

Students apply and are admitted to this track through a competitive process, which requires:

  1. GPA of no less than 3.5 in required major courses;
  2. Cumulative unofficial GPA of no less than 3.5;
  3. Completion of the following prerequisites before starting the US component of the program: Markets, Statistics for the Social Sciences, Calculus with Applications, Multivariable Calculus, Intermediate Microeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, and Data Analysis; Completion of Economics of Incomplete Markets is highly recommended;
  4. Students focusing on Finance should also complete Introduction to Accounting and Foundation of Financial Markets before departure.
  5. Presentation of a four-year academic plan for the timely completion of the major and all other degree requirements;
  6. Statement of purpose, including an academic rationale for participating in the program, a plan for developing a capstone research proposal, and a plan for career development and securing a summer internship;
  7. Official declaration of the major at the time of application for the program;
  8. Approval of the Program Head for Economics, the Dean of Social Sciences, and the Office of Global Education.

The program requires the following academic sequence:

  • Fall semester junior year at NYU New York or NYU Washington, DC.
  • Spring semester junior year at NYU Abu Dhabi.
  • Summer internship in a field related to Economics, Finance, Business or Organizational Studies in the United States. note: Students must secure their own summer internships. The typical duration of the internship is 8 to 10 weeks. If needed, students can apply for funding through the existing summer funding process.
  • Students must apply in December of their sophomore year for the full program and commit to it if approved.

For additional information contact the Office of Global Education.


New York University's Office of Undergraduate Admissions supports the application process for all undergraduate programs at NYU.  For additional information about undergraduate admissions, including application requirements, see How to Apply