Economics Major | Economics Minor

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the economics department count toward the general distribution requirement in social science with the exception of ECON 113ECON 116, ECON 210, ECON 256ECON 258, ECON 353ECON 354, and internships, independents, and preceptorships. Topics courses will be considered for general distribution on a course-by-course basis, and approved at the discretion of the department chair.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar's web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The economics department participates in the Honors Program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available on the department website.

Topics Courses

ECON 194, ECON 294, ECON 394, ECON 494 

In addition to a large number of elective courses offered regularily (see catalog descriptions), the department offers occasional topics courses.  Information on topics courses to be offered may be obtained from the department office, and will be posted as part of the class schedule prior to registration.

Course Numbering

The logic behind the departmental numbering of courses is as follows: courses in the 100s have no prerequisite; courses in the 200s have ECON 119 as the sole prerequisite; courses in the 300s and 400s have prerequisites other than ECON 119 (and sometimes ECON 119 as well). The 300 level courses that are required for both a minor and major in economics are ECON 361 (Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis), Economics ECON 371 (Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis) and ECON 381 (Introduction to Econometrics). Some or all of these courses are required for the 400 level courses. Some of the intermediate level electives (e.g., ECON 342, Economics of Poverty in the US) require ECON 119 and a 200-level course, but not all do. The category of 600s is reserved for independent projects, internships and preceptorships.

The distinction between Group E (economics) and Group B (business) elective courses is made on methodological grounds. While both Group B and Group E courses are motivated by and situated in real-world contexts, Group E courses are rooted in economic models that analyze human decisions regarding the optimal allocation of scarce resources. If the course is more empirical in nature, hypothesis testing takes center stage. Group B courses generally fall under the category of business courses and while these courses are very important for our undergraduate economic majors, they are not central to the liberal arts economics core.

Policy on Grades

In order to be accepted into any economics course, a student must have received a grade of C- or higher in all courses that are prerequisites for the course in question.

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of independent projects, internships and preceptorships.  For more information, contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.

Economics Major

Major Requirements

The major in economics requires 1) a minimum of nine economics courses, 2) the department's capstone experience, and 3) two required courses in mathematics. Of the nine economics courses four are required courses: ECON 119 - Principles of Economics, ECON 361 - Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis, ECON 371 - Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis, and ECON 381 - Introduction to Econometrics. Three of the remaining five courses must be from Group E (economics) and include: one course at the 200 level plus two additional courses, at least one of which must be numbered above 400. The final two courses can be exclusively from Group E or Group B (business) or some combination of the two groups. Students may count toward the major up to two approved courses taken while studying away. Approved study-away economics courses fall into Group E, while approved business courses fall into Group B.

Minimum grade of a C- is required for a course to count towards the economics major.

The capstone requirement in economics is satisfied by any one of the following: (a) completing an approved 400-level elective course that includes a significant research component; (b) completing ECON 444 - Honors Seminar in the fall and defending an honors thesis in the spring; (c) conducting an independent project that includes a major paper. This capstone experience is in addition to the nine economics and two math courses required for the major and is to be undertaken during the senior year.

Math and statistics courses required for an economics major are 1) MATH 135 - Applied Multivariable Calculus I or MATH 137 - Applied Multivariable Calculus II or MATH 237 - Applied Multivariable Calculus III, and 2) STAT 155 - Introduction to Statistical Modeling. The department recommends that students take MATH 137 when possible.

Topics courses, which by college convention carry the number ECON 194, ECON 294, ECON 394, or ECON 494, may be taught at all levels of difficulty. Those topics courses for which only ECON 119 is prerequisite are the equivalent of 200 level courses for purposes of fulfilling the major requirements. Those for which a 200 level course is prerequisite are the equivalent of 300 level courses. Those for which ECON 361, ECON 371, and/or ECON 381 are prerequisite are generally classified as the equivalent of 400 level courses. Information on these classifications is included in Topics course descriptions or may be obtained from the department chairperson.

Economics Minor

Minor Requirements

The minor in economics requires a minimum of six courses within the department, and one of MATH 135 - Applied Multivariable Calculus I, MATH 137 - Applied Multivariable Calculus II, or MATH 237 - Applied Multivariable Calculus III. The department recommends students take MATH 137 when possible. Three economics courses are required for the minor: ECON 119, ECON 361, and either ECON 371 or ECON 381. The three electives are subject to the following constraints: a) one must be a 200-level Group E (economics) course; b) the remaining two may be from either Group E or Group B (business) and at any level.

Economics courses that do not count for the major in economics also do not count for the minor. Courses graded on an S/SD/N basis do not count for the economics minor.