Planning Your Major Program

After you declare your Economics major, you should plan to meet with your Major Advisor to plan your major program, using the Major Planning Form. Based on your background and interests, this plan should spell out what courses you plan to take to complete your economics major, and in what semester you plan to take them. The form is intended to help you think about the future; it is not a binding contract.

You should also consider what courses in other departments will enhance your major. For example, if you plan to pursue graduate study in economics, you should consider courses in mathematics or computer science. Similarly, if you plan a career in the financial industry, you may wish to take one or more courses in business administration. The suggested business courses are here.

Suggested Order for the Eight Required Courses:

1. ECON 201 (e.g. First semester)

2. ECON 202 (e.g. Second semester)

ECON 201 and ECON 202 are prerequisites for all the upper level courses in economics. While either can be taken first, we recommend the order shown above.

3. ECON 300 (e.g. Third semester)

ECON 300 requires major or minor status. This is the first course in a three course sequence (including 361 and 462) on the development of research skills in economics.

4. ECON 303 (e.g. Fifth semester)

5. ECON 304 (e.g. Fourth or Sixth semester)

While neither MATH 121, Calculus I, nor ECON 301, Mathematical Economics are required for the major, we strongly recommend that you take one or the other before ECON 303. (They will make ECON 304 and many other upper level ECON courses more understandable.)

Thus, you could take ECON 301 in your fourth semester, after ECON 300. Then you could take ECON 303 in your fifth semester.

6. ECON 361 (e.g. Fifth or Sixth semester)

ECON 361 is the second course of a three-course sequence (including 300 and 462

7. ECON 462 (e.g Seventh or Eighth Semester)

ECON 462 requires senior standing and is the third course in a three-course sequence (along with 300 and 361)

8. ECON 374 or ECON 375

These courses can be taken any semester after the principles sequence, but they will benefit from having had some upper level courses first. This is especially true of ECON 374.

Thus, you might want to save them for your junior or senior years.

Frequency of Course Offerings:

Not every course in the College catalog is offered every semester! The required courses are generally offered annually, while electives are offered annually or biannually. Special topics courses are offered only irregularly, so if you see one that you are interested in, you may want to take it sooner rather than later.

Making Use of Your Advisor

You will need to meet with your major adviser before registration each semester. You will want to discuss what major, general education, and elective courses to take in the coming semester. You may also want to review and possibly revise the plan for your major program. While the Department’s faculty generally maintain an open-door policy with respect to office hours, we appreciate your making an appointment for advising, either in person or via telephone or email. The appointment allows us to prepare for the meeting.

Comments by Alumni

…Regarding Specific Courses: or “What Would You Have Liked to Know When You Started Your ECON Major?”

“Don’t make ECON 303, Intermediate Micro, or ECON 304, Intermediate Macro, your first upper level course after principles-there is a huge difference between principles and the intermediate theory courses-wait until you take at least one other upper level course.”

“Since both ECON 304, Intermediate Macro, and ECON 462, Economic Forecasting, are very work intensive courses, you should avoid taking both at the same time.”

“Anyone interested in graduate school in economics, should take several semesters of calculus and linear algebra.”