Economics Program

Economics Program

Economics makes the world go around!

When you think economics, you think money - right? While money is important, it’s much more than that! Economics can be defined in a few different ways. It’s the study of how people use resources and respond to incentives, or the study of decision-making. It often involves topics like wealth and finance, but it’s a broad discipline that helps us understand what we buy, where we work, and how we live. It helps us understand historical trends, interpret today’s headlines, and make predictions about the coming years.

Is Economics the right career for you?

Learning about economic concepts can help you to understand the news, make financial decisions, shape public policy, and see the world in a new way.

Have you ever asked these questions:

  • Should we increase trade with other countries? Why do some people earn more than others?
  • How can data help us understand the world?
  • Why do we ignore information that could help us make better decisions?
  • Why should we worry about increases in government spending?
The professors in the economics department invested their time and attention in my success at UCCS which made it incredibly easy to eagerly participate in conversations about economics - Joanna Galaska '18

Where can a career in Economics take me?

Economists have all kinds of jobs  – they work in business, government, and education. Employers know that economics graduates have good skills with regard to decision-making and are good with quantitative analysis. Using theory and data, they evaluate programs, study human behavior, and explain social phenomena. And, their contributions inform everything from public policy to household decisions. Take a look at the salary guide below:

College Major Starting Salary

Mid-Career Salary

Petroleum Engineering

$94,500 $176,900
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science $88,000 $142,200
Applied Economics and Management  $50,900 $140,000
Operations Research $77,900 $137,100
Political Economy $57,600 $136,200
Actuarial Mathematics $63,300 $135,100
Electrical Power Engineering $72,400 $134,700
Business Analysis $57,200 $133,200
Pharmacy $79,600 $132,500
Aeronautics & Astronautics $73,100 $131,600
Econometrics $60,100 $131,00

Selected Salaries for majors (payscale)



UCCS offers a variety of undergraduate degree options that allow you to shape your undergraduate education to fit your particular interests and career goals. Check out the table below to see what type of industries Economic majors are hired in:

Industry Annual Wage
Finance and Insurance  $118,290
Federal and Government, excluding Postal Service $119,590
Scientific Research and Development Services $109,670
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $110,630
State and Local Government, excluding Education and Hospitals $70,280

Median Annual Wages for Economists in May 2018 in the top 5 industries employing economists (Occupation Outlook Handbook)

Economics in Action

Faculty Research

Farida Khan, Ph.D.

Economics is about the problems and prospects of people, with a view to bettering their material conditions. Keeping this in mind, I study the problems faced by households and workers in different types of economics – ranging from the US to those in South Asia. Two of my current projects are the following:

Research Locations
  • Research in South Asia

    In the remote hills that are in the Southeast of Bangladesh, there are large numbers of indigenous communities who are different in appearance, language, habits, and general culture from the rest of the country. With my colleague from this region, I am studying the changes in the subsistence economies in this area. In particular, we are looking at water use by households and farmers in this area. 

    We examine this by interviewing women in this area to gauge the effect on water of the increased interactions among indigenous communities in the hills and settler communities from the plains, the advent of development agencies in the areas of indigenous peoples, greater commercialization,  and the shrinking of water resources. The focus is on water availability, collection,  and use – through which we mark changes farming practice, occupations, and migration.

  • Research in the United States

    The compensating wage differential (CWD) for nonfatal injury and value of statistical injury in occupations have rarely been analyzed separately by gender or race. My project, done with my colleague at North Carolina Central University, uses individual level data from the 2012-2015 March Current Population Survey in the United States to estimate the CWD as well as the value of statistical injury (VOI) by race and gender.

Faculty in the News

KOAA - Edward Hoang on the Federal Reserve raising interest rates (2022) 

In an interview with KOAA, UCCS Economics professor Edward Hoang, Ph.D. speaks on the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interests rates despite the war in Ukraine, and the implications of that decision for American consumers:

KOAA - Joe Craig CPF ranking (2019)

Ever wondered how economics can be used in college football rankings? Check out this KOAA interview with Economics Department Chair Joe Craig, Ph.D.

Student Success Stories

Aiden Westbrook
Aiden Westbrook
As team president of UCCS's High Altitude Race Engineering club, Econ student Aiden Westbrook proves that Economics can be applied anywhere one might find passion. The club recently competed in the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) event in Brooklyn, Michigan in June 2022.
Dylan Banko
Dylan Banko

Dylan Banko was one of more than 1,500 graduates to complete their education at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs this year, receiving a degree in mechanical engineering earlier in May. 

Click to Read More


Study Tours

Local Community Engagement

Through the Quad Innovation Partnership, UCCS students have the opportunity to collaborate with other students from Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, and the Air Force Academy to solve community issues. Take a look at this Communique article that details how our Econ students are actively involved in local innovation projects:


Where are UCCS Economics students today?

Joanna Galaska

Joanna Galaska is a 2018 Economics Graduate and is a data analyst for the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia. Her work as a data analyst supports the Public Defender Service’s mission to provide and promote quality legal representation to indigent adults and children facing a loss of liberty in the District of Columbia. She uses her data and research skills gained from studying economics in a meaningful way.

Matthew Gonzales

Matthew Gonzales is a 2015 Economics and Math Dual Major that just completed his MBA at UCCS in 2020.  He now acts as the Chief Financial Officer of St. Stephens Indian School on the Wind River Reservation in Riverton, Wyoming.  He manages grants and government disbursements of over $6 million and impacts the lives of 300 students, most of whom are Native American.  Prior to that, he worked as a Cost Analyst for the US Air Force at Peterson AFB where he performed economic and statistical analysis to estimate the cost of multi-million dollar defense systems. 

Max Matthias

Max Matthias is a 2013 Economics Graduate who just finished his PhD in Economics from University of California, Davis.  He is in his first year as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Nevada-Reno.  He studies Applied Microeconomics, Public Economics, Labor Economics, Economics of Education, and Higher Education Finance.  His current research is on how Universities have a preference for out-of-state residents and how this “crowds out” or pushes out in-state students.

Lily Cosgrave

Lily Cosgrave graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's in economics from UCCS. She is a faculty program planning specialist who looks at the schedule and universities catalog, which is the document of authority for all students in our 19 departments & programs. She works with large data sets and a variety of software throughout her day. She uses her skills and knowledge from her undergraduate degree to complete tasks and projects for the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Economics helped me connect mathematics with human behavior.  It changed the way I thought about my time, energy, and resources.  I apply concepts I learned while earning my degree on a daily basis in my business. - Chris Franquemont, Class of '14