Q. I need some help deciding what economics courses to take. Can you answer some of my questions?

A. Sure! If you’re just looking for general information about the economics major, you may want to read through this whole document – most of the information will come in handy sooner or later if you decide to be an economics major. If you have a specific question, and it appears on the list below, just click on the question and you’ll jump right to the answer. If that answers your question, great! If not, then you need to contact your advisor. Send him or her an email – most economics professors read their email regularly.

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Q. I’m a fall-term first-year student, and I think I want to be an economics major. What should I be taking now?

A. For the economics major, there are two (or perhaps three) courses you should take this year. The first is Economics 101, Introduction to Economics. You can take this any time during your first year, although since Economics 101 is a prerequisite for every other economics course, you should probably take it as early as you can. The second is your mathematics requirement. In order to proceed the core course Economics 241, 242, and 243, which are normally taken sophomore year, you must complete Math 110, 101, or 113. You can take Math 110, which covers differential calculus in one term; or...

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Q. That’s only two or three courses. What else should I take as a first-year student?

A. If you want to take more economics courses as a first-year student, take courses with numbers below 240. Those courses are normally available only to first-year students and sophomores, and they don’t require anything other than Economics 101 as a prerequisite. They’re excellent courses to prepare you to take the core of the major as a sophomore. There’s no need to start the Economics 241, 242, 243 sequence as a first-year student. Some first-years take one of these in spring term, but sophomore year is the normal time to take these courses.  We recommend waiting until...

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Q. I’m a first-year student and I’m not sure if I want to be an economics major or not. What courses can I take to find out?

A. Take introductory economics – that is the best class to give you a broad introduction to what economics is all about, so you can decide if you want to take eleven more classes in it. If you’ve already taken introductory economics, and you’re still not sure, then take two more classes – one numbered below 240 this year or next, and either Economics 241 or 242 in the fall or winter of your sophomore year. After those three courses you should be in a good position to know whether economics is the right major for you.

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Q. I’m a winter-term or spring-term first-year student, and I want to be an economics major. Should I be taking anything different?

A. No, the same advice applies to you as applies to a fall term first-years – take Economics 101 and the appropriate math course by the end of your first year, and do as many other useful courses as you can.

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