Rice Economics Spring 2015 New Curriculum Announcement | Page 2

New undergraduate Curriculum

As part of the ongoing Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics (RISE), a multi-year program to enhance research and teaching in economics at Rice, the Economics Department has been restructuring both its undergraduate and graduate programs. The reform of the undergraduate program was led by our undergraduate committee (George Zodrow, director of undergraduate studies, James Brown, Flavio Cunha, and Peter Hartley) in consultation with the other members of department. As part of the process, the new Economics Department chair, Antonio Merlo, and Zodrow visited the residential colleges to outline the proposed reforms and obtain student input, and also discussed the new program with the student Economics Advisory Board appointed by the Student Association. That effort is complete and we are pleased to announce the details of the new Economics (ECON) and Mathematical Economic Analysis (MTEC) majors. These new requirements, which are illustrated below and described on the following pages, will apply to all students who matriculate in 2015 and subsequent years. They are also an option for students who matriculated prior to 2015, and we encourage current students to consider graduating under the new requirements. However, we want to emphasize that all current students may elect to graduate under the existing rules; that is, we do not intend for our new curriculum to disadvantage any of our current students.

The goal of the restructuring efforts was to create ECON and MTEC majors that best meet the needs of our students, offering carefully designed programs that provide comprehensive preparation for professional and graduate schools or successful careers in the private and public sectors while imparting a deep understanding of the economic forces that shape our ever-changing globalized environment. In addition, many of the reforms are designed to respond to various criticisms of our curriculum raised in recent senior exit surveys and other student surveys as well as discussions we have had over the years with our students. In particular, the reforms are designed to more clearly delineate our two majors, with an enhanced ECON major available to all students and an MTEC major that is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate study in economics or obtain a position in the private or public sectors that requires advanced quantitative and analytical skills. As part of the curriculum reform, we have also re-numbered and re-named several of our courses and added a significant number of new courses (and also deleted from the course catalog several courses that have not been offered in many years). These changes are described below, and complete details are provided on our website under “New Course Numbers and Names.”