Is Economics a Hard Major?

Economics is a great major to pursue. The vast majority of students find economics to be a relatively difficult major. Economics is a broad and versatile subject and it includes the study of many different fields.

Is Economics a Hard major?

Economics is a hard major. Economics is considered to be one of the most difficult commerce degrees. Economics is a mix of many subjects including mathematics, business, accounts, psychology and sociology. Other STEM majors such as engineering and mathematics are harder than economics.

Similar to business, economics is a rather broad major. However, economics is a harder subject because it is more specialized, requires greater critical thinking and analysis, and has more maths involved.

Economics is a highly interconnected subject. It is extremely important to understand the various concepts. In your more advanced courses, the topics are intertwined and you will have to analyse an economic scenario holistically. This explains why economics is considered a hard major to pursue.

Moreover, some economics concepts tend to be counterintuitive to everyday thinking. People immediately assume inflation to be a negative thing since they feel that there will be an increase in the prices of consumables while discounting the fact that inflation will also lead to a surge in wages.

Economics is further divided into microeconomics and macroeconomics. These subcategories of economics can be deemed as two entirely different subjects because of the sheer volume of content they contain.

Microeconomics courses are in-depth classes that focus on the decisions of individuals and businesses regarding the allocation of resources and the prices at which they trade goods and services.

Macroeconomics on the other hand takes on a top-down approach and looks at the economy as a whole. Macroeconomics analyzes entire industries and economies rather than individuals and businesses.

Economics is also considered a social science. It is essential to understand psychology in order to predict human reaction to various economic situations. For example, knowing how humans reacted to inflation in the past can help economists make future policy.

Economics also focuses on consumer behaviour and why consumers may prefer one product over another or substitute a certain product when the price reaches a certain point.

How Hard is an Economics Degree?

Generally, an economics degree is quite hard. Most of the economics courses require critical thinking and mathematical analysis. For the most part, the difficulty of an economics degree depends on how challenging your compulsory core courses are, the advanced classes you select, and the overall difficulty of your university.

An economics degree requires you to complete roughly 15 mandatory core courses. Furthermore, you will also have to take several advanced classes and a bunch of general electives to graduate with a degree in economics.

Most universities will typically require the following core courses:

  • Introduction to Microeconomic Theory
  • Introduction to Macroeconomic Theory
  • Foundations of Econometrics
  • Probability and Statistics I
  • Probability and Statistics II
  • Calculus I
  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • Advanced Economic Theory
  • Game Theory
  • Applied Econometrics
  • Financial Economics 1
  • Financial Economics 2

These courses are highly interconnected and you will have to truly understand economics in order to do the more advanced courses. Mere regurgitation of the content will not be sufficient to do well in economics.

Moreover, economics is a highly theoretical subject. Most of the courses are about graphs, theory, policies, and applying mathematics. Many students struggle with subjects that are abstract since they are difficult to understand.

After completing the core courses you will have to study more advanced classes. These classes are even more theoretical and logical. Understanding the rationale behind economics will become increasingly difficult in the junior and senior years of your university.

However, you will get a chance to choose your advanced classes. If you like psychology and history then courses like behavioural economics and economic policy will be a great choice. If you have a strong grasp of mathematics then you should choose classes like mathematical economics and advanced econometrics.

The depth and level of difficulty of your economics degree will strongly depend on your university’s overall difficulty and reputation. Universities with good reputations and higher rankings tend to make their courses more difficult.

Why is Economics so Difficult?

Economics is so difficult to study because it comprises many different subjects including mathematics, finance, business, psychology and law. Moreover, economics is a highly theoretical, logical, and interconnected subject that you must understand thoroughly in order to apply its principles. These factors make economics so difficult to study.

Is there a lot of Math in Economics?

There is a considerable amount of maths in economics but not a lot of it. Most economics majors require one maths and one stats class. Economics is definitely maths oriented but the maths required is not too advanced or complex at the undergraduate level. However, the maths required at the graduate or PhD level economics is undeniably more intensive.

To fully appreciate economics you must have a good understanding of the underlying maths involved. Most of the math required at the undergraduate level is not more complex than high school math. Algebra, trigonometry, geometry, pre-calculus, and basic calculus should be more enough to study economics.

Quantitative courses such as advanced econometrics are very mathematical but extremely useful in your career. Ideally, you want to take as many quantitative courses as possible.

Can I Major in Economics if I am Bad at Math?

You can major in economics if you are bad at maths but are willing to put in the work to improve your math abilities. Economics is maths oriented and you must have a good understanding of high school maths in order to do well in economics. You can drastically improve your math abilities through consistent practice and regular revision.

Maths plays an integral role in economics. In order to pursue a major in economics, you must know your way around high school math or at the very least have a good understanding of middle school math.

If you still struggle with middle school math concepts then you should definitely reconsider majoring in economics. However, if you can manage middle school math and only struggle with high school math then you can go ahead with an economics major provided that you brush up your math skills in the meantime.

Math tends to become more difficult and abstract as you take more advanced economic courses. The plethora of online resources can be extremely helpful in gaining mastery over maths.

Is Economics harder than Maths?

Economics is not harder than Maths. In fact, maths is one of the hardest and most challenging majors. Most students struggle with maths because it is a highly abstract subject and has many tough concepts and ideas. Economics is a hard subject but not quite as difficult as maths.


Economics is a great major to pursue. Many students initially struggle with economics but over time they get the hang of it. If you are passionate about economics then you can easily overcome any difficulty you face in the subject. Good Luck!