Undergraduate Opportunities

Photo by Melissa De Witte.

The Economics Department at UCSC encourages you to explore our upper division classes that go beyond a lecture and section. Integration of education includes learning how to apply facts, test theories, and extend competency in specialized areas. Included below are five courses, each of which offers unique opportunities and call upon unique skills. They are the perfect way for motivated students to gain experience in the area of Economics as undergraduates.

Please see an undergraduate advisor if you are interested in any of these opportunities.

Econ 191 – Economics Teaching Practicum (5 units, Pass/No Pass, not repeatable for credit)

Each student serves as facilitator for small discussion group in connection with core economics courses. Facilitators complete course readings and meet with instructor as a group to discuss the teaching process. Undergraduates also work in tandem with graduate student teaching assistants in the course. Assisting faculty with classes is a valuable experience. Students learn new skills, develop a close relationship with faculty members, and get an opportunity to review and master some basic economics concepts. Most people who have done this in the past have found it very rewarding. They have learned a lot about themselves as teachers, and they have also learned a lot about economics; in a way, you don't fully understand a concept until you can explain it to others. Duties would include full responsibility for one independent section (meeting once a week for eight weeks), attending class, one office hour a week, help in proctoring and help with grading.

Econ 193 - Field Study (5 or 10 units per quarter, Pass/No Pass, 10-unit maximum)

The field study program offers economics, global economics, business management economics, and the combined majors the opportunity to apply and integrate upper division course material in the context of a workplace. Field study allows students to earn academic credit while gaining firsthand experience in a work setting where they are trained and supervised by a professional. This opportunity provides an experiential approach to the learning process. It allows students to develop skills, gain professional knowledge and to clarify or further define their career goals. This course may not be counted toward the upper-division major requirements. (see Field Study listing in handbook for additional information.)

Econ 195 - Senior Thesis (5 units)

Work with faculty sponsor on a supervised research project. After research is completed, a paper is written which is read and approved by your faculty sponsor. A final copy of the thesis is to be turned in to the department office. This course may be used to fill one upper-division elective toward major requirements. This is a great opportunity in that you get to work directly with a faculty member and conduct your own research like a first-year graduate student. It is also a great way to prepare yourself for what you will be doing in graduate school and a possibility of getting your research published. This also shows responsibility and initiative on resumes and graduate school applications.

Econ 199 – Independent Study (5 units)

Do you have an economics topic that you’d like to do research on and write about? Is there a course we don’t offer that you’d like to do research on? Or, are you interested in the research of one of our faculty members and want to assist them in some way? If so, this may be an option for you. You work independently but will have an economics faculty sponsor who will guide and mentor you along the way. This course is repeatable for credit. However, students can only apply one independent study toward major requirements. This also shows responsibility and initiative on resumes and graduate school applications.

Peer Advising (2 units, repeatable for credit)

The Economics Peer Advising program is designed as a way for business management economics, economics, global economics as well as combined majors (Econ/Math, Envs/Econ, LALS/Glec) juniors and seniors to help other economics undergraduates by answering questions, providing information and giving advice about the economics majors. Peer advisors represent the economics department at campus events and orientations, work on projects, and assist the staff. Peer advisers work in the department for 4-6 hours a week, and complete a project and paper. This provides an opportunity to get to know faculty and staff on a more personal level, get a glimpse into the “behind the scenes” activities, learn about opportunities first, get experience in advising, a great way to get some face time with peers and get to know people. This also shows responsibility and initiative on resumes and for graduate school.

Paid Undergraduate Readers

On occasion the department has (paid) reader positions available. The responsibility of reader positions entails grading assignments and/or exams. Students are selected and hired based on academic performance, faculty approval and university employment eligibility.