Business Economics

You're compelled to uncover the art behind business economics - which goes way beyond numbers. As a business economist, you will use accounting and finance principles to analyze organizational structures and apply them to business. Combine that with a liberal arts education and you have the ability to make businesses stronger, more viable, and help the world economy thrive.

Our graduates work at Deere & Company, Caterpillar, Northwest Bank & Trust, and for professional basketball, baseball, and hockey franchises, among many others.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Small Classes
  • Learn from Experts in the Field
  • Intern Before You Graduate

professor in class


students in a row

Reap the benefits of personalized attention from dedicated faculty who share their real-world business experience. Our internship program takes full advantage of the number of national and international business headquartered in the Quad Cities, including Deere & Company, Arconic, Wahl, 3M, HON, and many others.

Read our fact sheet on the Economics program (pdf)

More Information on the Business Economics Program

What will I learn?

Business Economics isn't just about one industry, something you'll find reflected in your coursework.

Core business courses will give you a taste of all business-related fields: accounting, finance, management, and marketing. Economics courses then dive into specifics such as theories of micro- and macroeconomics, public finance, data analysis, and law.

We don't stop there. Specialize your business economics degree by studying international, environmental, banking, real estate, and labor economics.

Most of our Business Economics students double major or minor in Accounting or Finance, which gives you a multifaceted skill set that employers value. Or, double major or minor in International Business or International Studies. The reservoir of global knowledge you're building will take you anywhere.

Economics vs. Business Economics

What's the difference between studying Economics and Business Economics?

At St. Ambrose, we have both programs because while they sound similar, they're each distinctive areas of study and have different job possibilities.


  • Examines how incentives shape human behavior and how markets and governments, in turn, shape incentives. For example, an economist may study how taxes on carbon emissions shape incentives to produce and invest in zero-emission technologies.
  • Use data analytics to measure causal effects and forecast trends for economic outcomes.
  • Blends well with Political ScienceInternational StudiesSociology, and Psychology as double majors.
  • Prepares you for a post-graduate degree in economics, public policy, or law, so that you could conduct research, consult, or teach in high school or higher education.
  • In class, you'll discuss how to analyze general theories and measure overall outcomes.
  • One of your Economics courses at SAU can include ECON 330 Economic Analysis of Institutions where you'll discuss how institutions such as firms and governments emerge and how contracting within those institutions affects economic performance.

Business Economics

  • Examines human behavior in economic transactions and how markets impact economic returns such as profits and wealth.
  • This degree requires classes from the Business Core (Accounting, General Business, Finance, Economics, International Business, Management, Marketing, Business Ethics, and Statistics).
  • Pairs well as a double major with other business disciplines such as FinanceAccountingManagement, or Marketing.
  • Instills broad, decision-making thinking and data analytics knowledge that's useful in nearly every work sector.
  • One of your electives will be ECON 316 Real Estate Economics where you'll learn about property valuation and laws. This course, combined with other courses in Finance and Economics, can prepare you for the Certified Financial Planner exam.

Read descriptions of SAU Economics courses

How can I supplement my education?

The SAU College of Business created a comprehensive internship program so you can gain relevant career experience and show employers you are prepared, committed, and ready for any challenge.

Economics students have completed internships at many regional and national corporations, including the Rock Island Arsenal, Deere & Company, and Merrill Lynch.

Study Abroad

You've heard people say it before: "College will be the greatest time of your life!" With Study Abroad, you can add even more to your college years.

You can study in another country in a semester-long or short-term study abroad program (with a few offered during spring and winterim breaks). No matter the duration, these trips deepen your professional education while earning credit toward graduation.

There are also opportunities through an exchange program, an overseas internship, or volunteering. The limits for Study Abroad are only ones you set for yourself! SAU students have studied in Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Germany, Peru, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Chile, and more.

SAU students returning from their Study Abroad locations talk about their time away as life-changing - personally, emotionally, culturally, and academically. Click here to search our Study Abroad programs, and for general information click here.

What are some career opportunities?

Business economists are dedicated to digging into data and helping guide economic health, which gives you a myriad of career opportunities. You can work for financial service companies, insurance firms, lending organizations, marketing, and environmental agencies, and production and manufacturing companies.

Many economists work for local, state, or federal governments analyzing productivity, wages, and employment. You could also work for a research firm or think tank, an international company or organization.

Many of our business economics graduates have pursued higher degrees in economics or finance, and a number have gone to law school.


Jim Bang, PhD, Chair and Assoc. Professor

Greg Bereskin, PhD, Professor


Students have the opportunity to compete for scholarships awarded by the university based on need or academic merit.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Occasionally, there are scholarship opportunities specifically targeted to Economics majors. Contact Dr. Jim Bang, department chairperson, for more information.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics

ACCT 201 Accounting Principles I
ACCT 202 Accounting Principles II
BUS 201 Legal Environment of Business
ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 202 Principles of Microeconomics
FNCE 300 Principles of Finance
STBE 137 Quantitative Reasoning in Business
STBE 237 Statistics for Business and Economics
MGMT 210 Principles of Management
MGMT 449 Strategic Management & Policy
MKTG 209 Principles of Marketing
PHIL 305 Business Ethics
INTL 400 International Experiential Portfolio (1 credit)

ECON 312 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
ECON 313 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
ECON 331 International Economics
ECON 400 Senior Capstone Seminar in Economics
ECON 447 Econometrics

3 credits from any 300-level ECON courses;

3 credits from any 300-level ECON courses; or FNCE 411, 412, or 415; or ENGR 265, CSCI/MATH 281, or 393; or STAT 305; or MATH 370

Plan to Graduate

This plan assumes the student has not satisfied foreign language requirements (three years in high school).

If you have questions, send an email to Department Chair, Dr. Jim Bang.

Year One

STBE 137 3 THEO GenEd 3
Foreign Language 101 3 ECON 202 3
ACCT 201 3 Foreign Language 102 3
ENGL 101 3 ACCT 202 3
COMM GenEd 3 KIN 149 1
InfoLit 1 HUM GenEd 3

Year Two

ECON 201 4 STBE 237 3
MGMT 310 3 ECON 313 3
BUS 201 3 FNCE 300 3
MKTG 209 3 PHIL GenEd 3
SCIENCE GenEd 4 GenEd 2
KIN GenEd 1-2
TOTAL 16 TOTAL 16-17

Year Three

ECON 312 3 ECON 447 3
ECON 331 3 FNCE 403 3
FNCE 301 3 PHIL Elective 3
FNCE 302 3 PHIL 305 3
Liberal Arts 3 ECON Elective 3

Year Four

ECON 400 3 WI-MGMT 349 3
Electives 9 ELECTIVES 9
INTL 400 1 FNCE 492 3
FNCE 402 3

**One semester in the junior year reserved for Study Abroad
WI=writing intensive

Economics Minor (21 credits)


STBE 237 or equivalent;
ECON 201, 202;
and 12 credits of upper level ECON elective courses.

Apply Visit Info


Jim Bang, PhD, Program Director

Ambrose Hall 306
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 29 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!