Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences



The study of Economics is the study of scarcity and involves making decisions about how best to use limited resources. UH West O‘ahu offers a broad-based training in economics with both introductory courses open to students in all majors and upper-division courses that allow  students to focus on issues in business, finance, and social justice as well as better understand their surroundings. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with a concentration in Economics will have a strong knowledge of economic theory, an understanding of the economic issues around the world, and, most importantly, the critical thinking skills to deal with those issues. Courses are offered primarily through in-person classes with occasional distance learning courses.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a concentration in Economics from UH West O‘ahu will be able to:

  • Use marginal analysis (including supply and demand) to explain regulated and unregulated markets.
  • Use models of market structures to analyze perfect competition and monopoly.
  • Use theory to explain how trade enhances growth.
  • Use aggregate demand and supply analysis to explain inflation, unemployment and growth.
  • Develop quantitative skills for models and real world issues.

Careers and Earning Potential

The study of Economics prepares students for a variety of careers in the fields of banking, consulting, finance, insurance, real estate, academia, non-profit organizations, and government. Economics graduates also find employment as analysts, statisticians, advisors, managers, consultants, brokers, and teachers.

According to a recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary for 2014 graduates with bachelor’s degrees in Economics were $49,022. Moreover, the graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics have among the highest lifetime earnings according to the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. Economists working at the state or local levels apply their skills in a variety of ways including establishing economic development plans for the region, and forecasting population growth and its effect on tax revenue and education budgets.

The Economics curriculum provides graduates with a variety of career opportunities. In addition, it prepares students for graduate programs including economics, business, banking, education, management, public administration, law and more.

For more information on careers and earning potential, visit the Hawaiʻi Career Explorer website.

Student Clubs

UH West O‘ahu has a chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon for students who excel in their economics courses. This chapter offers a wonderful opportunity for students to enhance their understanding of economics in the company of friends, learn what one can do with an economics degree after graduation, and signal to others their interests and abilities in economics.