Whether your post-graduate goal is law school, business school, work after graduation, or something altogether different, it is wise to plan your schedule carefully and as far ahead as possible. Your advisor can help you select the particular combination of courses which provides the best background and training for your particular interests, and students should consult their advisors often when planning their schedules. If you have not yet declared the major formally and have not been assigned an advisor, discuss your choices with any faculty member you know. You may also contact Professor Elizabeth Bayley, Undergraduate Program Advisor. Whatever courses you choose, we hope that you find your exploration of economics a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
The Department of Economics offers courses that range from introductory principles courses to advanced theory and econometrics for graduate students. All courses build upon, and thus require as pre-requisites, one or both of the introductory courses, ECON101 and 103.
The 300-level elective courses presume a working knowledge of one or both the introductory courses and are geared for students who wish to explore various specialties in the economics discipline. These courses are primarily recommended for non-majors.
The more specialized 400-level courses have as pre-requisites intermediate microeconomics (ECON300 or 301) or macroeconomics (ECON303). These courses, which cover in part the same general subject matter as the 300-level electives, allow both majors and non-majors to obtain a relatively deep and sophisticated understanding of particular subjects. Some 400-level courses also require calculus. Finally, the department offers 600-level courses which are open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.
Students are encouraged to take ECON300 or 301 and ECON303 as soon as possible, ideally in your sophomore year. Students taking ECON301, which uses calculus, should take it as soon as possible after their calculus course. (Be careful to take the correct intermediate microeconomics class for the degree you are pursuing. ECON301 is required for B.S. students; B.A. students may take either ECON300 or ECON301.
For a sample curriculum, please click here and choose your respective degree and admittance year.
Mathematics and Economics
A student may receive an economics degree without taking any formal calculus courses (via the B.A. degree). However, mathematics cannot be avoided entirely. Both graphical analysis and, to a lesser extent, algebra are used in almost all economics courses. Although calculus is a formal requirement only for the B.S. degree, the Department of Economics strongly recommends that all economics majors acquire familiarity with introductory calculus (as in MATH221-222), even if one pursues the B.A. degree. Without calculus, a student’s options will be reduced, since several advanced courses require calculus.
Summer and Winter Classes
ECON101, 103, and 308 are offered in both Winter and Summer sessions. ECON340 (International Trade) is also often offered, as well as occasional specialty courses in European or Latin American Economics. There is no certainty that any particular 300 or 400-level course will be offered. Courses are offered during Winter Session in Geneva. For more information on study abroad programs in economics, click here.
Independent Study Options
As an alternative to regularly scheduled courses, a student may arrange for Independent Study, ECON366. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out a particular professor to supervise the independent study. The student and a faculty sponsor must complete the "Independent Study Courses - Department of Economics" form which specifies the project, its scope, credit hours, etc. This form is available in the Department of Economics office. In addition, the student must fill out a University registration form, also available in the Department of Economics office. Independent study should be reserved to meet special interests of the student rather than to meet course credit requirements. The student should bear in mind that, because independent study usually involves research, and because it is essentially unstructured, it is difficult to meet the requirements for three credit hours in the brief Winter/Summer session. Independent Study ECON466 credit may be earned only with the Chair’s approval, and can be requested only when the outcome of a ECON366 project is substantial enough to warrant upgrading the course to ECON466. ECON466, however, cannot be substituted in place of either of the two required 400 level elective courses in economics.