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Associate Degree in Economics



Students interested in working in economics should plan to transfer to a university after completing the program at West. Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues. Nearly half of all economists work in federal, state, and local government. Federal government economists collect and analyze data about the U.S. economy, including employment, prices, productivity, and wages among other types of data. They also project spending needs and inform policymakers on the economic impact of laws and regulations. Many economists work for corporations and help them understand how the economy will affect their business. Specifically, economists may analyze issues such as consumer demand and sales to help a company maximize its profits. Economists also work for research firms and think tanks, where they study and analyze a variety of economic issues. Many economics grads become educators and writers as well.

Economics classes will help you make more informed decisions as both a consumer and voter

Economics students learn how to analyze booms and busts in an economy. They learn to use statistics and other quantitative tools. Economics majors also explore economic history, economic thought, globalization, and important economic institutions, such as the Federal Reserve System (Central Bank), the International Monetary Fund, and The World Bank.

Even if you don’t want to be an economists, Forbes Magazine suggests Economics is one of “the six classes that will make any college grad employable.” says in economics classes, “you will learn more about how the world works...the impact decisions have on the firm, industry, and national level...the effect government policies have on the economy and on employment... [studying economics] will help you make more informed decisions as both a consumer and as a voter.” 

Economics is part of the Behavioral & Social Sciences Division at West Los Angeles College.

Appropriateness to Mission

The Associates in Arts in Economics (AA-T) Degree prepares students for transfer to a Bachelor of Arts program in Economics at a California State University (CSU). This degree aligns with the college’s mission to provide a transfer path for student success.

Statement of Program Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of the Associate in Arts in Economics for Transfer is (1) to enable students to develop a good understanding of the national economy, (2) to think critically about problems in the business world, and (3) to provide the courses necessary to prepare students for transfer to a CSU. Students who complete the program will be able to demonstrate the following Program Learning Outcomes:


  • Achieve a basic understanding of markets, economic institutions, and the global economy.
  • Generate constructive analysis of real-world issues using the theories of economics, including macroeconomic and microeconomic theories, economic history or history of economic thought.
  • Locate, utilize, and critically interpret economic information and data using statistical methods or economic theories. • Identify complex social and economic problems and analyze those using the theoretical tools and quantitative methods of economics and seek effective solutions.
  • Effectively communicate economic ideas, problems, and findings.


The study of economics is essential for understanding our society. The study of Economics utilizes historical data, theoretical models, and empirical evidence to explain real-world behavior of individuals, firms, and nations making production and consumption decisions.

The Associate in Arts in Economics for Transfer (AA-T) is a degree that provides a solid lower-division preparation for students who intend to transfer to a California State University (CSU) for a bachelor’s degree in Economics. This degree is designed to provide a clear pathway to a CSU and guarantee admissions to a CSU. Although, students are guaranteed admissions, it is not to any particular campus or program in the CSU system. Students will be required to meet with a counselor for specific university major preparation at the college of their choice in order to facilitate a seamless transition. This coursework will satisfy the lower division Economics requirements at some of the CSU campuses. Information on which campuses accept this degree can be found at

This degree complies with The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440). To earn this AA-T degree, students must meet the following requirements:

(1) Completion of 60 semester units or 90 quarter units that are eligible for transfer to the California State University, including both the following:

(A) The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University General Education-Breadth Requirements.

(B) A minimum of 21 semester units in the major or in a major area of emphasis as determined by the community college district.

(2) Obtainment of a minimum grade point average of 2.0

Associate Degrees for Transfer also require that students earn a C or better in all courses required for the major or area of emphasis. Completion of this AA-T program will provide students the foundation to pursue careers in business, education, finance, urban planning, and federal, state and local government. Students will not be required to complete additional local graduation requirements to obtain the AA-T degree.