Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare her major before the end of her sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.

The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.

For more information, visit the Catalog Homepage to view the current content. To view Catalogs from previous academic years, visit the Catalog Archives page.

Students may complete a major or minor in Economics. 

The Economics curriculum is designed to provide an understanding of economic processes and institutions and the interactions among economic, political and social structures. The curriculum helps students master the methods used by economists to analyze economic issues and it enables them to make reasoned assessments of alternative public policies in a wide range of fields.

Major Requirements

The economics major consists of 10 semester courses in economics and one semester of college-level calculus. The required courses for the economics major are:

  • ECON 105 Introduction to Economics
  • ECON B200 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON B202 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 253 Introduction to Econometrics 
  • A research seminar in economics (ECON 390-399) that fulfills the thesis requirement. Each seminar focuses on a specific field in economics and requires that a student has successfully completed prior coursework in that field. For example, ECON 316 or 348 is a prerequisite for ECON 396. In exceptional cases, ECON 403 Independent Research may be substituted for this requirement; this requires preapproval of the instructor and the department chair.
  • At least two 300-level electives for which ECON 200 or 202 is a prerequisite, at least one of which is a Writing Intensive 300-level elective
  • Three additional 200- and/or 300-level economics electives
  • A minimum of one semester of college-level calculus (or its equivalent)

Majors are advised to complete ECON 200, 202, and 253 during sophomore year. They must be completed by the end of junior year or before any study away. These three courses should be taken at Bryn Mawr or Haverford. The department does not grant credit for Swarthmore's intermediate microeconomics course, ECON SW011, because it is not calculus-based.

Students who earn a grade below 2.7 in ECON 105 are advised not to major in Economics.

Minor Requirements

The minor in economics consists of ECON 105; either ECON 200 or 202; ECON 253 and three electives, one of which must have ECON 200 or 202 as a prerequisite.
  A minor plan must be approved before the start of the senior year.

More Important Information for Majors and Minors

Students with questions about the Economics major or minor are encouraged to meet with an Economics faculty member.

  • ECON 200, 202 and 253 have a 200-level economics elective as a prerequisite. Thus, majors are encouraged to enroll in a 200-level economics elective in the semester after they complete ECON 105.
  • Most courses offered by the Haverford economics department count toward the Bryn Mawr economics major and minor. An exception is Econ H247 (Financial and Managerial Accounting).  H300 covers the same material as B200; H302 the same material as B202; and H304 the same material as B304.
  • Most courses offered by the Swarthmore economics department may also be counted toward the Bryn Mawr economics major and minor; two important exceptions are SW011 (Intermediate Microeconomics), because it does not draw on the same quantitative tools and SW033 (Financial Accounting).
  • Students may substitute ECON H203 or H204 for ECON 253 as a major requirement if they also take ECON 304 as an elective.
  • Most of our 300-level electives assume that you have been exposed to the regression model, which is covered at some length in ECON 253 (Introduction to Econometrics), but only briefly in ECON H203 or H204 (Statistical Methods) at Haverford.  Therefore, you should take ECON 253 unless you are confident you will be able to complete ECON 304 before taking one of those other 300-level courses.
  • If a student has taken ECON 105 or H106, she cannot take another introductory course elsewhere for credit.
  • No more than two courses that do not have Econ 105 as a prerequisite can be counted toward an economics major or minor at Bryn Mawr.
  • At least one semester of calculus (MATH 101) is a prerequisite for ECON B200, B202, and B304. Two semesters of calculus (MATH 102) are a prerequisite for ECON H300 and H302.


An economics major with a minimum GPA of 3.70 in economics, including economics courses taken in the second semester of the senior year, will graduate with honors in economics.

Advanced Placement

The department will waive the ECON 105 prerequisite for students who score a 5 on both the Microeconomics and Macroeconomics AP exams or a 6 or 7 on the Economics Higher Learning Exam of the International Baccalaureate. The waiver does not count as course credit toward the major or minor; majors and minors receiving advanced placement must still take a total of ten and six courses in economics, respectively. Students qualifying for advanced placement should see the department chair to confirm the waiver, plan their course work in economics and receive a permission number to enroll in the elective that will substitute for Econ 105.

Study Away and Transfer Credits

Planning ahead is the key to successfully balancing a semester or year away with the economics major. Students planning a semester or year away must complete the statistical methods and intermediate theory courses (200, 202 and 253) before going away and must consult with the department chair well before the application deadline for study away. If a student wants a particular course to count toward the economics major or minor, the student must obtain approval from the department chair before confirming registration at the host institution.