The major in economics is designed for students who wish to obtain a systematic introduction to the basic theoretical and empirical techniques of economics. It provides an opportunity to learn economics as a social science with a core of theory, to study the process of drawing inferences from bodies of data and testing hypotheses against observation, and to apply economic theory to particular social problems. Such problems include Third World economic development, the functioning of economic institutions (e.g., financial markets, labor markets, corporations, government agencies), and current policy issues (e.g., the federal budget, poverty, the environment, globalization, deregulation). The major is a useful preparation for graduate study in economics, law, business, finance, or public administration.
Requirements for the Major in Economics
The major consists of three core courses (Economics 255, 256, and 257), two advanced topics courses numbered in the 300s, at least one of which must be designated as a seminar, and two additional courses in economics numbered 200 or higher. Only one of Economics 260 and 360 may be counted toward the economics major. Because Economics 101 is a prerequisite for Economics 102, and both are prerequisites for most other economics courses, most students will begin their work in economics with these introductory courses. Prospective majors are encouraged to take at least one core course by the end of the sophomore year, and all three core courses should normally be completed by the end of the junior year. Note that Economics 255 is a prerequisite to Economics 256. Advanced topics courses normally have some combination of Economics 255, 256, and 257 as prerequisites. Qualified students may undertake self-designed, interdisciplinary major programs or joint majors between economics and related fields of social analysis.
To fulfill the major (or minor) requirements in economics, or to serve as a prerequisite for non-introductory courses, a grade of C- or better must be earned in a course. Courses required for the major must be taken on a graded basis (not Credit/D/Fail).
All prospective majors and minors are required to complete Mathematics 161, or its equivalent, prior to enrolling in the core courses. Students who aspire to advanced work in economics (e.g., an honors thesis and/or graduate study in a discipline related to economics) are strongly encouraged to master multivariate calculus (Mathematics 181) and linear algebra (Mathematics 201) early in their careers. Such students are also encouraged to take Mathematics 265 instead of Economics 257 as a prerequisite for Economics 316. The Economics 257 requirement is waived for students who complete Mathematics 265 and Economics 316. Students should consult the Department of Economics about other mathematics courses that are essential for advanced study in economics.
The department participates in an interdisciplinary major in mathematics and economics. See the section on Interdisciplinary Majors.
Requirements for the Minor in Economics
The minor consists of Economics 255, and any two additional courses numbered 200 or higher. Only one of Economics 260 and 360 may be counted toward the economics minor. To fulfill the minor requirements or to serve as a prerequisite for other courses, a grade of C- or better must be earned in a course. Courses required for the minor must be taken on a graded basis (not Credit/D/Fail).
Requirements for the Minor in Economics and Finance
The minor in economics and finance consists of Economics 255, 260, and 360, and one additional course at the 200 or 300 level selected from among Economics 209, 238, 256, 257, 302, 306, 309, 355, 370 and an Intermediate or Advanced Independent Study as approved by the finance advisor. Since Economics 255 is a prerequisite for Economics 360 and other upper-level economics courses, prospective minors are encouraged to complete 255 by the end of their sophomore year. To fulfill the minor requirements or to serve as a prerequisite for other courses, a grade of C- or better must be earned in a course. Courses required for the minor must be taken on a graded basis (not Credit/D/Fail).
Economics majors cannot also minor in economics and finance. Economics majors who complete the requirements for this minor will be provided language by the department to enable them to indicate that they have done so.