The W. A. Franke College of Business2019-2020


Business Economics, Undergraduate Certificate

This undergraduate certificate affords a trip into the important human science of economics. Students complete micro- and macro-economics classes, and then select three other upper-division business economics courses.


What Can I Do with a Certificate in Business Economics?

The goal of this certificate is to broaden your understanding of the role of economies in local, national, and global affairs. You will gain insight into how economic decisions influence commerce, politics, and individual opportunity. This certificate is open to non-business majors (after they have completed appropriate prerequisites).

University Requirements

  • To receive an undergraduate certificate (at least 15 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.

    Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program). See the "Details" tab for additional information.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Note: MAT 108 is a suitable equivalent to MAT 114.

Minimum Units for Completion 15
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Additional Admission Requirements Required

Purpose Statement
The primary mission of the economics certificate program in the W. A. Franke College of Business (FCB) is to train these students to successfully employ economic theory and concepts to real-world problems through the developing of analytical and quantitative skills in order for them to succeed in their professional and academic endeavors.  Recipients of the economics certificate will learn how to think like an economist by developing analytical and quantitative skills in identifying the essential elements of a problem and finding solutions.  They explore topics from pricing strategy and cost-benefit analysis to monetary and fiscal policy impact and international trade.  The certificate program provides students with a complementary skill set for the major they have chosen as their career path.  In addition, the economics certificate program also serves FCB business degree programs and Liberal Studies through our curriculum. The curriculum for business and Liberal Studies students focuses on essential concepts and principles of economics in order to help students understand, think, and form opinions about, and develop responses to local, national, and global economic issues.
Student Learning Outcomes
1.  Economics graduates will be able to explain key economic concepts and principles in both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.

  • Scarcity, Opportunity Cost & Comparative Advantage
    • Students use Production Possibility Frontier curves to calculate opportunity costs in order to evaluate the trade-offs involved in decision making.
    • Students use comparative advantage to calculate efficiency improvements resulting from trade and specialization.
  • Supply and Demand, Market Equilibrium & Price Elasticity
    • Students employ demand/supply concepts to determine market equilibrium.
    • Students understand why supply and demand may shift over time and analyze the impacts on market equilibrium that result from these shifts.
    • Students calculate price elasticity of demand and illustrate its uses in market analysis.
  • Efficient Markets: Costs of Production, Perfect Competition, Imperfect Competition, Labor Markets
    • Students are able to distinguish between explicit and implicit costs as well as between average and marginal costs.  They can use these relationships to derive the full cost of operating a business firm.
    • Students use cost and revenue curves to determine profit-maximizing output under conditions of perfect competition and imperfect competition.
    • Students are able to determine the optimal amount of labor to hire in order to achieve an efficient outcome in the labor market.
  • Market Inefficiency: Externalities and Market Failure
    • Students understand the concept of market failure, and are able to apply this to situations where environmental externalities are present.
  • Economic Indicators: Gross Domestic Product, Business Cycles, Employment, Inflation & the Consumer Price Index
    • Students can use the circular flow diagram to show that income from domestic production equals expenditure on domestic output.
    • Students can identify & explain the expenditure components of GDP (Y = C + I + G + NX.)
    • Students understand the meaning and components of the business cycle and can explain why the economy experiences good and bad times.
    • Students understand the concept of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and how to transform economic variables to account for the effects of inflation as well as explain differences between real and nominal interest rates.
  • Economic Growth
    • Students understand the determinants of productivity and can evaluate policy implications of productivity changes that occur across the economy.
  • Economic Theory: Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply (AD/AS)
    • Students are able to use Y = C + I + G + NX to explain why aggregate demand (AD) is downward sloping and what factors can shift AD.
    • Students are able to use both long-run aggregate supply (LRAS) and short-run aggregate supply (SRAS) to show how levels of output change in the economy over time.
    • Students understand the transition from short-run equilibrium to long-run equilibrium in order to explain economic fluctuations which occur in the economy.
  • Economic Policy:  Fiscal Policy, Monetary policy
    • Students are able to explain and calculate the impacts on the economy resulting from the multiplier and the crowding-out effects associated with fiscal policy.
    • Students understand the functions of money, how the banking system creates money, and how the Federal Reserve System uses its monetary control instruments to stabilize the economy.
2.  Economics graduates will be able to explain and evaluate what economic concepts and principles are used in nontechnical economic analyses published in printed and electronic media.
  • Students are introduced to a broad range of nontechnical economic outlets including the popular press (newspapers and magazines) as well as government and historical documents.
  • Students are capable of analyzing and explaining the economic content appearing in these writings.
3.  Economics graduates will be able to prepare an organized, clearly written analysis of an economic issue.
  • Students can appropriately analyze economic issues and concepts, and can effectively demonstrate their economic reasoning with clearly written statements on exams.
  • Students can communicate their economic reasoning using well-developed and concise language in assigned research papers.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
  • The W.A. Franke College of Business (FCB) offers more than a dozen undergraduate certificates, some of which are open to all Northern Arizona University students.

    For a list of certificates open to non-business majors, contact the Office of Academic Services in the FCB. 

    The FCB does not accept upper-division transfer credits from programs not accredited by the AACSB (such as the University of Phoenix or the Bachelor of Business Administration program at NAU).

    You must complete 6 units of certificate coursework that are not used in your major, minor, or other certificates, and you must complete at least 60% of certificate coursework at Northern Arizona University.

Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following 15 units with a minimum GPA of 2.0:

    • ECO 284, ECO 285 (6 units)
    • Select three business economics courses (ECO prefix) at the 300 or 400 level (9 units)
    Please note that this certificate is not available for Business Economics Majors.

  • You must have completed all of the coursework used to fulfill these requirements within the last 10 years.

  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate.  Federal financial aid cannot be used if the certificate is completed as a stand-alone certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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