Jul 15, 2024  
Course Catalog 2020-2021 
Course Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Economics Major

The major consists of a minimum of 12 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

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Students majoring in economics either complete the standard program, or choose to complete the major with a mathematics concentration. Students considering graduate programs in economics are strongly encouraged to do the Mathematical Economics Concentration.

arrow View entry-level course sequence suggestions.

Transfer of Credit

The awarding of transfer credit is at the discretion of the department chair. Students majoring or minoring in economics must take at least two of the core courses [ECON 251, 253 and 255] at Oberlin. Students should obtain preliminary approval of transfer credit in economics from the department chair prior to taking economics courses elsewhere if they want them to count towards the major or minor.


The department puts special emphasis on its Honors Program and ordinarily invites up to a quarter of its senior majors to participate. Invitations are extended toward the end of the junior year on the basis of general academic standing and work in the department up to that time. Interested students should consult with a member of the department. Students wishing to qualify for admission to the Honors Program must take Economics 251, 253 and 255 before the senior year.

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. We strongly recommend that potential majors take a 200-level applied course (numbered Economics
201-250), calculus and statistics by the end of their sophomore year. We also recommend completing one core course in intermediate theory and methodology (Economics 251, 253 and 255) by the end of the sophomore year. The remaining core courses should be completed no later than the end of the junior year.

Note: Statistics is a prerequisite for Economics 255; this may be satisfied by STAT 113 or STAT 114. Calculus I (MATH 133) is a prerequisite for almost all economics courses numbered 250 or higher; this may be satisfied through MATH 133, by AP Calculus or by taking a two semester sequence (MATH 131 and MATH 132). If the AP score on calculus satisfies the Mathematics Department criteria for granting college credit in statistics or calculus, you will have satisfied the prerequisite for our courses and the calculus major requirement.

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 or public policy. Students who plan to enter business directly after graduation also will find these courses desirable. Students considering graduate programs in economics are strongly encouraged to do the Mathematical Economics Concentration, which is described below.

Economics Major Course Lists

Additional Economics Electives

Return to the summary of requirements.