Planning Your Major

Structure of the economics major

Credits for the gateway courses do not count toward the requirement of at least 30 credit hours in the major.

  1. Gateway Courses
    • Math: Calculus
    • Micro: 101
    • Macro: 102
  2. Core or Foundational Courses
    • Micro: 303
    • Macro: 304
    • Metrics: 308
  3. Field Courses
    • Four electives (300 level and 400 level)
  4. Advanced Courses
    • Three 400-level courses
  5. Capstone Requirement
    • Senior capstone/COLL 400 essay (forthcoming)

We typically recommend that students plan their degree so that they have no more than three economics courses in any given semester. You may not take most 300 level courses until you've taken ECON 101 and 102 (Principles of Economics). You may not take most 400 level courses until you've taken ECON 303 and 304 (Intermediate Economics Theory).

Given these constraints, we recommended the following timing of courses:

  • Take ECON 101/102 (Principles of Economics) in the freshman or sophomore year.
  • If needed, take Calculus (MATH 108, 111 or 131) in your freshman or sophomore year
  • Take ECON 303/304 (Intermediate Economic Theory) in each of the next two semesters. You could take them simultaneously, but this is often not optimal.
  • Take ECON 307 (Principles and Methods of Statistics) by the end of the sophomore year, or no later than the first semester of the junior year.
  • Take ECON 308 (Econometrics) once its statistics prerequisite (ECON 307, or other approved courses) has been met.

The intermediate theory, statistics, and econometrics courses provide you with tools for economic analysis. If you delay taking the intermediate theory classes, you will be unable to take the required number of 400-level courses. Other economics classes to be more difficult because the foundations of economic analysis are used in all the other courses.

Principles and Methods of Statistics (ECON 307) is the prerequisite for Econometrics (ECON 308). ECON 308 is one of the most important courses that an economics major can take. The course provides the tools for doing empirical work, independent research, and Honors projects. Most graduate programs require this course. The skills you learn in ECON 308 are essential for competing in the job market. For these reasons, students should take ECON 307 (Principles and Methods of Statistics), no later than first semester of the junior year. 

Students who are late converts to economics may find this timing difficult, and exceptions to these guidelines have been common in the past. Work closely with your major advisor to make the best plan for you.