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The College Catalogue

Economics – Overview

  • B. Zorina Khan, Department Chair
  • Elizabeth Weston, Department Coordinator

  • Professors: Rachel Ex Connelly, Deborah S. DeGraff, John M. Fitzgerald†, Jonathan P. Goldstein, B. Zorina Khan
  • Associate Professors: Gregory P. DeCoster, Guillermo Herrera
  • Assistant Professors: Stephen J. Meardon, Erik Nelson†, Daniel F. Stone, Yao Tang
  • Fellows: Bing Chen, Yun Kim

The major in economics is designed for students who wish to obtain a systematic introduction to the theoretical and empirical techniques of economics. It provides an opportunity to learn economics as a social science, 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 2555 {255}, 2556 {256}, and 2557 {257}); two advanced topics courses numbered in the 3000s {300s}, at least one of which must be designated as a seminar; and two additional courses in economics numbered 2000 {200} or higher. Only one of Economics 2301 and 3302 {260 and 360} may be counted toward the economics major. Because Economics 1101 {101} is a prerequisite for Economics 1102 {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 2555 {255} is a prerequisite to Economics 2556 {256}. Advanced topics courses normally have some combination of Economics 2555 {255}, 2556 {256}, and 2557 {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 for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).

All prospective majors and minors are required to complete Mathematics 1600 {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 1800 {181}) and linear algebra (Mathematics 2000 {201}) early in their careers. Such students are also encouraged to take Mathematics 2606 {265} instead of Economics 2557 {257} as a prerequisite for Economics 3516 {316}. The Economics 2557 {257} requirement is waived for students who complete Mathematics 2606 {265} and Economics 3516 {316}. Students should consult the Department of Economics about other mathematics courses that are essential for advanced study in economics.

Interdisciplinary Major

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 2555 {255} and any two additional courses numbered 2002 {200} or higher. Only one of Economics 2301 and 3302 {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 for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).

Requirements for the Minor in Economics and Finance

The minor in economics and finance consists of Economics 2555 {255}, 2301 {260}, and 3302 {360}, and one additional course at the intermediate or advanced level selected from among Economics 2309 {209}, 2323, 2380 {238}, 2556 {256}, 2557 {257}, 3305 {355}, 3350 {370}, 3509 {309}, 3532 {302}, 3533 {306}, and an Intermediate or Advanced Independent Study as approved by the finance advisor. Since Economics 2555 {255} is a prerequisite for Economics 3302 {360} and other upper-level economics courses, prospective minors are encouraged to complete 2555 {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 for regular letter grades (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 validation by the department to enable them to indicate that they have done so.

Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2013. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.