Economics has been described as the study of the issues arising from the allocation of limited resources to meet society’s unlimited human wants. A major in economics provides the first stage for those interested in graduate work in economics or business. It also offers a rounded background for careers in law, journalism, government and international affairs, teaching, industrial relations, business and business economics, and public service. For up-to-date information on department faculty, the major, course offerings, visiting lecturers and special events, point your web browser to www.oberlin.edu/economic.
The department does not give advanced placement credit. Students who have scored 4 or 5 on both AP microeconomics and macroeconomics or who believe they have covered the material in Economics 101 (Principles of Economics) through an International Baccalaureate program, may obtain permission from the department chair, to bypass Economics 101 to take more advanced courses.
Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions.
Principles of Economics (Economics 101) is a prerequisite for all further study in the department. Although it is possible to complete the major requirements even if Economics 101 is taken as late as the second semester of the sophomore year, we recommend that potential majors take Economics 101 in their first year, and a 200-level applied course (numbered Economics 201-250) and Calculus I (Mathematics 133, or its equivalent), by the end of their sophomore year. Core courses in intermediate theory and methodology (Economics 251, 253, and 255) should be completed no later than the end of the junior year. Note: Statistics (Mathematics 113) is a prerequisite for Economics 255, and Calculus I (Mathematics 133) is a prerequisite for many economics courses numbered 251or higher.
Students planning graduate work in economics, public policy or business are strongly encouraged to take as much work in mathematics as can reasonably fit into their schedules. A one year sequence in Calculus (Mathematics 133 and 134 ) and Econometrics (Economics 255) should be considered minimal preparation for graduate study in business. Students who plan to enter business directly after graduation also will find these courses desirable. Most students admitted to graduate programs in economics have backgrounds that include Calculus through Multivariable Calculus (Mathematics 231) and Linear Algebra (Mathematics 232). Training in Probability and Statistics (Mathematics 335 and 336) is also recommended. In addition, those students considering graduate study in economics are advised to take at least one of the more advanced economic theory and methods courses (Economics 351, 353, or 355).