Undergraduate Certificate Program Institutional Economics

Portland State University Economics professor standing in front of a class

Institutional Economics Certificate Overview

Institutional economics studies the connection between emerging parts of an economy, a society, and related economic results. Students completing the Certificate in Institutional Economics will deepen their understanding of how institutions emerge, evolve, and influence economic outcomes.

This minor pairs well with degrees in psychology, accounting, mathematics, supply chain and logistics management, and human resources management.

Economics or Quantitative Economics majors must take 16 extra credits of approved electives. Electives taken in this certificate do not count towards the Economics major.

Degree Details

  • C
    Certificate Program
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Institutional Economics Certificate: Why PSU?

Undergraduate students in the economics department regularly get to participate in applied research including data collection for audit studies. Others have measured the benefits of local amenities, such as Forest Park, and even had their research projects promoted in the national press. Out students have access to agencies and organizations in Portland, Oregon, and are immersed in the robust and growing local economy.

Our students get many opportunities to intern and the ability to work while they’re in school. Economics majors have interned and worked at companies such as Energy Trust of Oregon, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on tax policy, economics of recycling, and other consulting.

What can I do with a certificate in Institutional Economics?

An Economics certificate emphasizes logical thought and problem-solving skills and the ability to connect data. This gives students the ability to see and understand both the “big picture", and the small details. These are skills that employers highly value and gives job seekers a competitive edge. Many of our students go into one of three areas; a Master’s in Economics, a graduate degree in another disciple, or a job in private industry or government.

Some examples are:

  • MA in Economics at SUNY Stony Brook
  • MS in Statistics at PSU
  • Ph.D. programs
  • Senior Analyst, Sightlines
  • Analyst. M Science
  • Pallas Global Capital LLC, New York City
  • Senior Demand Planner,. Nike
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Clackamas County Health Department
  • Oregon Health Authority
  • Bonneville Power Administration

Featured Courses

  • EC 201 Principles of Microeconomics
  • EC 202 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • EC 460 History of Economic Thought


These elective economics courses are not subject to the Program Director's Approval:

  • EC 332 Environmental Economics
  • EC 345 Marxist Political Economy
  • EC 350 Economics of Developing Countries
  • EC 417 Women in the Economy
  • EC 419 Economics of Race and Ethnicity
  • EC 442 The Multinational Enterprise in the World Economy
  • EC 443 Global Environmental Economics
  • EC 445 Comparative Economic Systems
  • EC 446 Institutional Economics
  • EC 447 Economics of Transition
  • EC 448 East Asian Economic Development
  • EC 456 American Economic History: First Century
  • EC 457 American Economic History: 20th Century
  • EC 465 Labor Economics

Student may suggest up to two alternative elective courses, inside or outside the Economics Department. Alternative electives must contribute to the student's understanding of economic institutions and meet their educational and career goals.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).