The six-semester degree program (3 years, 180 credit points) begins with the Leuphana Semester, which all students take together. Specialization in a major and a minor begins in the second semester. The major forms the subject concentration of the program with five academic semesters whose core consists of the required modules (of the concentration). The minor complements the subject concentration with a second field of knowledge. In addition to the academic fields of the major and minor, all students, from the second semester on, complete the interdisciplinarily structured comprehensive studies program together.
The modules in the major include a series of courses in the first semesters that introduce students to the fundamental methods of economics, particularly the basics of mathematics and statistics, without which a secure analysis of economic problems is not possible.
The academic foundations for the prospective economist are also laid in the first two specialized semesters. They include fundamental courses in “macroeconomics” and “microeconomics”:
- Macroeconomics tries to explain aggregate economic phenomena such as inflation, unemployment and economic growth. Typical questions in this field of economics are “Should the central bank lower the prime rate?” or “How much sense does state intervention make?”
- Microeconomics tries to explain the behavior of individual economic agents (i.e. a household, a business) and to analyze their actions on various markets (i.e. the job market). Typical microeconomic questions include, “Should there be a minimum wage in the postal sector?” or “Why do men earn more than women?”
The fourth and fifth semester elaborate on this basic framework. In their elective courses, students have the opportunity to deepen their own interests and to concentrate on specific subjects. The elective courses can, for example, cover the topics of monetary policy, economic policy, economic growth, happiness research, the economic analysis of law and many more.
Students come into contact with current research topics from the practical world of an economist at the latest in the module “researchers in action” and in the research teaching project. “Researchers in action” shows students which occupational fields are open to them after graduation. In the research teaching project, students actively participate in the formulation of a research questions and help choose a theoretical model, collect and evaluate data, etc. This direct practical application serves to prepare them for the first major academic assignment—the Bachelor’s essay.
The Bachelor thesis rounds out the B.A. in economics. Here students can show that they can apply the foundations and methodologies, which they have learned to a topic of their own. Over the course of a nine-week working period, they demonstrate that they can carry out an academic assessment of a contemporary question.
After students have completed the relevant modules (in the economics concentration as well as in the minor and the comprehensive studies program), they can graduate from Leuphana as economists with the academic degree, “Bachelor of Science.”