- Who are the current advisors? Whom should I ask for information about the major and minor?
- Should I major in economics to prepare for a career in business?
- I took Econ 105. Can I take another introductory economics course elsewhere for credit now?
- What kind of math skills do I need to major in economics?
- Which statistical methods courses should I take?
- I’ve declared an economics major and completed a major work plan. Do I need to see my advisor?
- Can I take classes at Haverford?
- Can I take courses at Swarthmore?
- How can I get a letter of recommendation from an economics faculty member?
- Class of 2021: Andrew Nutting
- Study Abroad and Transfer Credits: Janet Ceglowski, Andrew Nutting
For other pre-major and minor advising, Janet Ceglowski or Andrew Nutting will be happy to see you on a drop-in basis during office hours
Economics is a social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources as a way to understand many types of human interaction. Training in economics is not the same thing as training in business. Professional training in business involves learning specialized techniques and skills in order to pursue the specific goals of businesses. Our economics courses do not focus on these specialized business skills and techniques. Students who major in economics because they believe that it is the subject “closest to business” may be unhappy in their economics courses. We advise students to acquire broad exposure to the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and to major in the subject that most engages them.
No. Once a student has taken Econ 105 the student cannot take another introductory course at another college or university for econ major/minor credit (e.g. Introduction to Microeconomics or Introduction to Macroeconomics).
Economics is the most quantitative social science and a solid knowledge of math is essential for understanding economic theory. At least one semester of calculus (Math 101) is a prerequisite for Econ B200, B202, and B304. Two semesters of calculus (Math 101-102) are a prerequisite for Econ H300 and Econ H302.
Graduate training in economics requires more mathematical sophistication than undergraduate economics. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in economics will need to master more advanced mathematics. Math courses that are particularly appropriate for Ph.D. study in economics include Math 101 and 102, Calculus with Analytical Geometry; Math 201, Multivariable Calculus, Math 203, Linear Algebra; Math 205, Theory of Probability and Applications; Math 210, Differential Equations with Applications; and Math 301 and 302, Introduction to Real Analysis.
Economists rely on multivariate regression analysis and probability theory as the primary tools for testing hypotheses and evaluating decisions under uncertainty. The Department does not credit toward the major introductory statistics courses from other fields, because economists rely on specialized econometric techniques (such as the regression model) in empirical work.
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 not Econ 203 or 204 (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 economics electives.
Econ 253, 203 or 204 each provide an acceptable prerequisite for Econ 304. Econ 204 has Calc II as a prerequisite. Econ 253 has both Econ 105 and a 200-level elective as a prerequisite.
Students contemplating pursuing graduate training in economics or considering a minor or double major in Mathematics should plan on including Econ 304 in their major plan.
Absolutely! Students are ultimately responsible for meeting the requirements for the major. However all econ majors are expected to confer with their major advisor each semester about their plans for the coming semester and completing the major. Once you’re officially a major, your economics advisor will be determined by class year. Major advisors will advise each class through graduation.
Most electives offered by the Haverford economics department may be counted toward the Bryn Mawr economics minor and major.
Two exceptions are:
- Econ H201 Analytical Methods in Economics is not an elective and does not count toward the major or minor unless taken in conjunction with both H300 and H302 (see below)
- Econ H247 Financial and Managerial Accounting does not count toward the major or minor.
BMC majors and minors should take the core (Econ 200, 202 and 253) at Bryn Mawr. When necessary, the following substitutions can be made:
- Majors may substitute a three-course theory sequence at Haverford - Econ H201, H300, and H302 - for the two-course sequence Econ B200 and B202 at Bryn Mawr. All three courses must be taken to substitute for Econ B200 and B202. Students must therefore decide between the two-course sequence at Bryn Mawr and the three-course sequence at Haverford.
- Students may substitute Econ H 203 or H204 at Haverford for Econ B253 as a major or minor requirement if they also take Econ 304 Econometrics as an elective.
- The prerequisites for these Haverford courses may differ from the prerequisites for the Bryn Mawr courses.
Writing intensive courses in Economics are only offered at Bryn Mawr.
The Econ B39x and H396 research seminars are open only to Bryn Mawr and Haverford economics majors respectively. The desire to write one’s senior research paper in a specific subfield of economics and to work with a specific faculty advisor is an important consideration in choosing whether to major at Bryn Mawr or Haverford.
In most cases, yes. An exception is Swarthmore’s financial accounting course (Econ SW033), which cannot be used to satisfy major or minor requirements at Bryn Mawr. When in doubt, ask your major advisor.
If you are a current or former economics student who wants to ask for a letter of recommendation, you should discuss your plans with your faculty recommender. If he/she agrees to write a recommendation letter for you, you should print out and complete this request form [PDF] before submitting it to your recommender. Recommenders should be given a minimum of two weeks advance notice.