Major Description and Requirements
To complete a major of Economics, a student must complete a minimum of 8 four-credit economic courses. Required are:
- Economics 111;
- One Economics field course (numbered 200-250)
- One of the following courses in empirical analysis:
- Economics 286 Econometrics, or
- Mathematics 336 Probability and Statistics II (Note, Mathematics 336 does count toward satisfying the course requirement in empirical analysis but does not count toward the minimum eight courses required in Economics)
- Economics 280 and 282;
- One advanced analysis course (numbered 300 – 350);
- Two economic seminars; and
- One history course above the 100-level from a list approved by the economics department (for list of approved click here), which does not count toward the eight-course minimum.
Economics 111 introduces a student to the discipline and covers topics in both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The courses numbered 205 – 250 consider important areas of applied economics at a level accessible to all students who have taken Economics 111. The tools of economic analysis are systematically developed in intermediate theory courses (280, 282), and Econometrics (286), which are recommended to all students who expect to make use of economics in their studies, careers, or vocations. Students should take one course numbered 205 – 250 before taking Economics 280, 282, or 286; students who have already taken Economics 280, 282, or 286 would not normally take courses numbered 205 – 250. Following the intermediate theory courses (280 and 282), students proceed to take advanced analysis courses (those numbered 300 – 350) to develop additional analytical capabilities. Finally, seminar courses provide advanced applications of the discipline’s theoretical, empirical, and institutional insights. Additional information regarding these different levels of Economics curriculum page.
A student majoring in economics will find available complementary work in history, other social sciences, and mathematics (including statistics and computer science). While some students double major in mathematics and economics, you do not have to be a math whiz to be a successful economics major. Quantitative reasoning is encouraged, and students will be expected to access data and to use spreadsheet and statistical software to analyze economics issues. However, beyond differential calculus and applied statistics, high order math classes are not required for the major. Another subject area that complements economics is history. Courses in history often provide context for understanding the development and evolution of institutions that impact economic activity.
In addition to these fields of study, off-campus study provides an excellent opportunity to observe and analyze how economic choices are made in other societies. To be considered for honors in economics, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College's general requirements for honors, must demonstrate to the department's satisfaction that they have achieved depth and breadth in their course of study.