I. Required for the Major
The economics major consists of four sequences.
Introductory Sequence: ECON 0150 and ECON 0155. Neither ECON 0150 nor ECON 0155 assumes any prior exposure to economics, but both courses presume a thorough working knowledge of algebra. Note: Students must pass ECON 0150 and ECON 0155 with at least a C- to be admitted into ECON 0250 and ECON 0255 respectively without a waiver.
Quantitative Sequence: The quantitative sequence in economics consists of two courses. The first course can be ECON 0210, MATH 0116, or MATH 0310, PSYC 0201, or BIOL 0211. (ECON 0210 may not be taken concurrently with MATH 0116, MATH 0310, PSYC 0201, or BIOL 0211. Credit is not given for ECON 0210 if the student has taken MATH 0116, MATH 0310, PSYC 0201, or BIOL 0211.) Students with strong mathematical background wanting to take MATH 0410 (Stochastic Processes) should take MATH 0310 rather than MATH 0116 or ECON 0210, since MATH 0310 is a prerequisite for MATH 0410. The second course in the sequence is ECON 0211. Students must pass ECON 0210 with at least a C- to be admitted into ECON 0211 without a waiver. MATH 0121 (or their AP or IB equivalents) is a prerequisite for ECON 0211 and ECON 0255. (In special circumstances, students who have a strong background in high school calculus, but did not do the AP or IB equivalent, may substitute either MATH 0200 or CSCI 0101 for MATH 0121 with approval by the economics chair.)
Intermediate Theory Sequence for students entering in Spring 2013 and earlier: ECON 0250 and ECON 0255. Credit for MATH 0121 (the equivalent or higher) is a prerequisite for ECON 0255.
Intermediate Theory Sequence for students entering in Fall 2013 and later: ECON 0250; ECON 0255; and one of ECON 0212, ECON 0229, or ECON 0280.
Note: It is important, especially for those planning to study abroad for a full year that the above three sequences be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
Elective Sequence: Majors are required to take at least four electives, two of which must either be at the 0400-level or a combination of one 0400-level and the ECON 0701/0702 senior workshop sequence. The other two electives may be 0200-, 0300-, or 0400-level courses. All majors must take at least six economics courses in the major at Middlebury, including one 0400-or 0701/0702 sequence. The 0400-level courses are seminars that typically enroll no more than 16 students, have intermediate theory as a prerequisite, and serve as a capstone experience for the major. Emphasis is placed on reading, writing, and discussion of economics at an advanced level. The 0701/0702 workshops are seminars that typically enroll eight students, have intermediate theory and a field course as a prerequisite, and involve writing an independent research paper. The difference between an ECON 0400-level seminar and an ECON 0701/0702 workshop is the degree of independence the student has and the level of sophistication expected in the paper. Any student wanting honors in economics must take ECON 0701and ECON 0702. Because of space constraints, ECON 0701/0702 workshops are initially reserved for straight economics majors; others, including minors and majors in programs that include economics will be admitted on a space available basis.
Courses that do not count towards the major or minor: ECON 0205 (Economics of Investing) will not count towards the major, though ECON 0205 will count towards the minor. Beginning Fall 2014, ECON 0240 does not count towards the major or minor requirements. Only two of the following four courses, if completed before Fall 2014, will count towards the major requirements: ECON 0316, ECON 0317, ECON 0412, and ECON 0475. ECON 0500 does not count towards the major or minor requirements . Economics electives taken during the winter term will count towards the major or the minor only if so designated in the winter term catalog.
Honors: To be eligible for honors in economics, students must take the Senior Research sequence (ECON 0701 and ECON 0702) during their senior year. The purpose of this two-semester sequence is to foster independent student research, culminating in a research paper in the style of an economics journal article. Prior to enrolling in ECON 0701, students must have taken a minimum of six economics courses at Middlebury approved to count towards the major requirements. Each course in the sequence will have no more than eight students who will work on their projects for two semesters (either fall/winter or winter/spring) and will include both individual meetings and group meetings to develop new techniques and present and discuss research. Students who have prearranged a research topic with the professor will be given priority in admission to the seminar. Also, because of limited resources for guiding senior work, students with a single major in economics will be given priority over double majors who will do senior work in other departments. Students interested in pursuing departmental honors must take the Senior Research Workshop sequence (ECON 0701 and ECON 0702) during their senior year. To receive departmental honors the student must receive a minimum grade of A- in ECON 0701 and ECON 0702, and have a 3.5 or higher GPA in all economics courses taken at Middlebury approved to count towards the major requirements. High Honors requires a minimum grade of A in ECON 0701 and ECON 0702, and a 3.75 or higher economics GPA. Highest Honors requires a minimum grade of A in ECON 0701 and ECON 0702, and a 3.9 or higher economics GPA.
Joint Majors: The Department of Economics does not offer a joint major.
International Politics and Economics Major: Please refer to the International Politics and Economics section of the catalog for details about the major or visit the International Politics & Economics webpage for the most current information.
International and Global Studies Major: Please refer to the International and Global Studies section of the catalog for details about the major or visit the International and Global Studies webpage for the most current information.
AP Credit Policy: To obtain credit, students will need to submit their official scores to the Registrar's Office and obtain approval from the department chair. Students who score a 5 on the Advanced Placement exam in Macroeconomics or Microeconomics will receive credit for Introductory Macroeconomics (ECON 0150) or Introductory Microeconomics (ECON 0155) respectively and cannot enroll in these courses at Middlebury. Students who score a 5 on the advanced placement exam in statistics are strongly encouraged to enroll in Economic Statistics (ECON 0210) but they may choose to use their AP credit instead. Note: Students may not receive AP credit and course credit for the same course.
Students who score a 4 on the advanced placement exam in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics or Statistics must earn a B- or better grade in the corresponding intermediate-level course ECON 0250, ECON 0255, or ECON 0211, respectively, to receive college credit for the AP course. Note: Students are required to complete an additional elective for each of these courses when a grade of B- or higher is not earned in the corresponding intermediate-level course.
International Baccalaureate/A-Levels: Students who have completed an International Baccalaureate or the equivalent of the introductory sequence abroad before coming to Middlebury and have earned a score of 7 on IB Economics or a grade of A on A-Level Economics should begin their studies of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics with ECON 0250 and ECON 0255. These students will be given one course credit toward the economics major, and will be prohibited from enrolling in ECON 0155 or ECON 0150. Students who have earned a score of 6 on IB economics or a grade of B on A-Level economics are encouraged to begin their studies of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics with ECON 0250 and ECON 0255, but they may elect to enroll in ECON 0155 or ECON 0150. Students majoring or minoring in Economics will need to replace the other introductory course with an ECON elective. Students who have completed a statistics course with a score of 6 or higher on IB Statistics, or a grade of B or better on A-Level Statistics are exempt from ECON 0210, and may begin their course of study of economics statistics with ECON 0211 or MATH 0310. If they choose to start with ECON 0211, they will need to replace the ECON 0210 with an ECON elective. The same rules apply where ECON courses are requirements for other majors.
Transfer of Credit: Students may take economics courses in approved programs (abroad and domestic) and have those courses count towards the major and/or the general graduation requirement. Summer school courses will generally not be given credit for the major unless there is an overriding reason to take a summer school course. Any summer school course must meet a minimum of six weeks and have at least 36 hours of class time. Students planning to take courses off-campus should discuss the proposed course(s) with their advisor and get pre-approval from the chair of the economics department. Upon completion of the course(s), students should submit their course material and a copy of their transcript along with the appropriate Application for Transfer Credit form to the department coordinator for departmental approval. After receiving departmental approval, students must submit their forms to the director of off-campus study for final approval. Courses having a BU (Business) or MGMT (Management) prefix will normally not be considered the equivalent of an economics course. No credit will be given for business courses taken over the summer. A maximum of one credit will be given for a business course taken through a junior year abroad business program. However, this credit will count as a general credit only, not as a major equivalent credit. Business courses taken in a non-business program will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those that match the department's offerings, and have strong liberal arts content, have the best chance of receiving credit.
II. Post-Graduate Preparation
Graduate programs in economics or finance [other than a Masters of Business Administration (MBA)] generally require a high degree of mathematical sophistication. Students thinking of continuing in such a program are encouraged to: (i) take MATH 0310 in place of ECON 0210; (ii) select economics electives with significant mathematically and statistically rigorous content [recommended courses fulfilling the elective requirements of the economics major include: ECON 0229, ECON 0280 (formerly ECON 0380), ECON 0390, and ECON 0411]; (iii) take a number of additional courses in mathematics and computer science [recommended courses include: CSCI 0101, MATH 0315, MATH 0318, MATH 0323, MATH 0410, and MATH 0423]. Good training for graduate school might include being a statistics tutor or having worked as a research assistant at Middlebury College or at a Federal Reserve Bank, or as an intern at a research institute or NGO. Students thinking about this option should discuss their plans with their advisor and other faculty members.
Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs look for students who have taken a wide range of courses across the curriculum rather than for students who have narrowly focused on economics and math. Thus, it is not necessary for someone planning to go on in business or to an MBA program to have majored in economics. MBA programs normally expect that students have worked for a couple of years in business, government, or similar organization before they begin the MBA program. The appropriate coursework for these MBA programs is a wide range of liberal arts courses.
III. Minor in Economics
(As of Fall 2012, the Economics Department no longer offers a minor)
The economics minor consists of five courses: ECON 0150, ECON 0155, ECON 0250 or ECON 0255 (MATH 0121 is a prerequisite for ECON 0255), and two electives, one of which must be at the 0400-level or the 0701/0702 senior workshop sequence. (Minors interested in the 0701/0702 senior research workshop sequence will need to satisfy additional requirements listed in the section on Honors and will be admitted on a space available basis only.) Economics electives taken during the winter term will count towards the major or minor only if so designated in the winter term catalog. All economics minors must take at least three economics courses in the minor at Middlebury.