Required for the Major
The economics major consists of a minimum of 11 approved courses in four sequences. At least six of these eleven courses, including the electives taken at the 0300- and 0400-levels and the 0701/0702 sequence, must be taken at Middlebury College in Vermont. Note that although the 0701/0702 sequence is taken over two semesters (Fall/Winter or Winter/Spring) and counts as two credits towards the minimum 36 college requirements, it only counts as one course towards the economics major requirements. ECON 0240 and ECON 0500 do not count towards the major requirements. Economics electives taken during the winter term will count towards the major requirements only if so designated in the winter term catalog.
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.
The quantitative sequence in economics consists of two courses. The first course can be ECON 0210, MATH 0116, MATH 0310, or PSYC 0201. (ECON 0210 may not be taken concurrently with MATH 0116, MATH 0310 or PSYC 0201. Credit is not given for ECON 0210 if the student has taken MATH 0116, MATH 0310 or PSYC 0201.) 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.
Intermediate Theory Sequence
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.
Majors are required to take at least four electives, one of which must be at the 0400-level and one of which must be any of the following: a 0300-level course, another 0400-level course, or the ECON 0701/0702 senior workshop sequence. The other two electives may be 0200-, 0300-, or 0400-level courses.
The 0300-level courses are advanced electives exposing students to frontier research in specific subfields of economics that have intermediate theory as a prerequisite. 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.
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). 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. For more detailed information on how the economics GPA is calculated, please contact the department coordinator.
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 website for the most current information. Note: Students are not allowed to double major in Economics (ECON) and International Politics and Economics (IPEC).
Major in Environmental Studies with a focus in Economics (ESEC)
Please refer to the Environmental Studies Program section of the catalog (under Social Science foci) for details about the major or visit the Environmental Studies website for the most current information. Note: Students are not allowed to double major in Economics (ECON) and Environmental Economics (ESEC).
Major in Environmental Studies with a focus in Policy (ESEP)
Please refer to the Environmental Studies Program section (under Social Science foci) for details about the major or visit the Environmental Studies website for the most current information. It is possible to double major in Economics (ECON) and Environmental Policy (ESEP), however, double counting of Economics courses towards each major is not allowed, except in cases where a specific course is listed as required by both majors.
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.
Students who have completed an International Baccalaureate 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 0150 or ECON 0155. 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 0150 or ECON 0155. Students majoring 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 may begin their course of study of economics statistics with ECON 0211 or MATH 0310. If they choose to start with ECON 0211 or MATH 0310, they will need to replace the ECON 0210 credit with an ECON elective. The same rules apply where ECON courses are requirements for other majors. Please notify the department coordinator if you have qualifying IB or A-Level scores in economics that you wish to use as a prerequisite.
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 not generally 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 department chair. Upon completion of the course(s), students should submit their course material and a copy of their transcript along with a Transfer Credit Application Form to the department chair for departmental approval. After receiving departmental approval, students must submit their forms to the Registrar’s Office for final approval by the director of off-campus study. Note: Transfer Credit Forms are not required for courses listed in the Course Information Data base (CID) as approved to count towards the major. However, students must notify the Registrar’s Office of any transferred courses approved in the CID that they wish to be counted towards their major requirements. Courses having a BU (Business) or MGMT (Management) prefix will not normally be considered the equivalent of an economics course. No credit will be given for business courses taken over the summer. A maximum of one general credit will be given for a business course taken through a junior year abroad business program. 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.
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 0212, ECON 0229, ECON 0280, 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.