Economics

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Davidson, NC 28035

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Davidson, NC 28035

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Economics Major

Major Requirements

To complete a major in economics you must complete 10 economics courses that are distributed as follows:

  • Economics 101
  • Economics 202, 203, 205, and 495 (all four courses must be completed at Davidson College)
  • One course from the 210 or 310 series
  • One course from the 220 or 320 series
  • One course from the 230 or 330 series
  • Two other courses above Economics 101, with the exceptions of Economics 114, 122, 130, 180-184, 195, 196, 199, and 401, and the exception that, of Economics 211, 212, and 213, only two of them may be counted toward the major.
  • At least one of the 10 courses must be a 300-level course.
  • At least one of the 10 courses must be an "S" course (a course with a significant writing component as listed below).

Courses taken pass/fail at Davidson may not be counted towards the major.

An "S" course contains a significant writing component. At least two of the department's courses each semester are offered as "S" courses. Economics 402 will satisfy the "S" requirement; with the approval of the department, Economics 295, 296, 395, or 396 may satisfy the "S" requirement.

The department strongly recommends that you fulfill the core requirements of Economics 202, 203, and 205 early in the major. Some economics courses, including Economics 202 and 203, have a calculus prerequisite. Economics 205 has a prerequisite of Economics 105 (or permission of the instructor).

Planning Your Economics Schedule

General Guidelines

Calculus (MAT 111 or 112) should be taken early in the major as it is a prerequisite for Economics 202, 203, and other Economics courses.

Economics 105 (Statistics & Basic Econometrics) should be taken early in the major as it is a preferred prerequisite for Economics 205 (Econometrics) and a prerequisite for some electives.

Consider taking 200-level electives during your first and second years in order to learn how economics is applied in particular fields, and discuss your specific situation with your academic advisor.

The department strongly recommends that you fulfill the core requirements of Economics 202, 203, and 205 early in the major, as the material covered in these courses is the backbone of economic analysis used in many of the elective courses.

Three Paths to a Major

Below are three examples of typical paths to an economics major, but you will also want to speak with your academic advisor about your specific situation.

1. Are you interested in either graduate school in economics, completing an honors thesis, or conducting summer research?

If you intend to study economics in graduate school you should:

  • Take at least mathematics 150, 160, 230, 235, 330, and 340 (which is one version of a minor in mathematics)
  • Plan to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Conduct independent economic research through a summer research grant, independent study, or the economics department honors program. Discuss these options with your major adviser by January of your junior year to be eligible for some summer research grants.

We recommend that you begin taking the core economics courses (202, 203, and 205) as early as possible. This will prepare you for possible summer research opportunities and for advanced electives that may include Advanced Microeconomics or Advanced Macroeconomics.

If you are interested in pursuing research opportunities at Davidson, then you do not require additional math electives but we do recommend that you complete ECO 202, 203, 105, and 205 before conducting your research. We also recommend taking ECO electives in the field in which you are interested in conducting research.

Example Schedule: Davidson Research and Graduate School

First year ECO 101
Calculus I
Math Electives (for graduate school)
Sophomore ECO 202, 203, and 105
Math Electives (for graduate school)
Junior Study Abroad
ECO 205
ECO Electives
Math Electives (for graduate school)
Senior ECO Advanced Micro/Macro (for graduate school)
ECO 495 (spring)
ECO Electives
Math Electives (for graduate school)

2. Late to the Game? Are you considering majoring in economics but have taken only a few ECO courses?

To explore your interest in economics, you should first take ECO 101. If ECO 101 interests you, then you can consider taking a 200-level elective or a core theory course (ECO 202 or 203). This will provide you with better information about core economic theories as well as the ways in which economic ideas are used to analyze real work questions in more depth.

While we encourage students to take economics classes early in their Davidson careers, the economics major can successfully be completed in five on-campus semesters if needed.

The example below assumes the student opts for study abroad in fall of the junior year. However, be aware that study abroad can occur for the full year, or in either the fall or the spring semester. You should consult with your academic advisor about your specific situation.

Example Schedule: The ECO Major in Five On-Campus Semesters

Fall Spring
First Year -- --
Sophomore ECO 101
Calculus I
ECO 202
ECO Elective
Junior Study Abroad
(ECO Elective Credit)
ECO 105
ECO 203
Senior ECO 205
ECO Elective
ECO 495
ECO Elective

3. Need Flexibility? Many students fall somewhere between the above categories.

The economics major is very flexible and can accommodate a variety of schedules and goals. Given below is one possible example of such a schedule that would lead to an economics major. It assumes the student opts for study abroad in fall of the junior year. However, be aware that study abroad can occur for the full year, or in either the fall or the spring semester. Discuss your specific situation with your academic advisor, since your course planning will likely involve a schedule lying somewhere between the above two examples.

Example Schedule: Need Flexibility? A Typical ECO Major Schedule

Fall Spring
First Year ECO 101 (either semester)
Calculus I (either semester)
ECO 101 (either semester)
Calculus I (either semester)
Sophomore ECO 202
ECO Elective
ECO 203
ECO 105
Junior Study Abroad
(ECO Elective Credit)
ECO 205
ECO Elective
Senior ECO Electives ECO 495

Other Considerations

In the spirit of our discipline, which emphasizes that all choices involve trade-offs, we offer some additional issues to consider about specific major courses.

ECO 202 and ECO 203:

  • Taking these courses early will allow you to get more out of your electives and it will provide you with more opportunities to take 300-level electives.
  • Taking these courses together provides some benefits, since certain 203 concepts build upon 202 concepts. However, it can also be beneficial to take these courses in different semesters since they are demanding and theory-intensive courses.

ECO 105 and ECO 205:

  • Since ECO 205 builds directly upon ECO 105, many students find it beneficial to take the courses in sequential semesters.
  • An advantage of taking these courses early is that you will get more out of electives, since you will better understand the econometric methods employed in various papers. Completing ECO 205 before the end of your junior year allows you to either conduct summer research or to complete an Honor’s Thesis during your senior year.

200-level Electives:

  • The 200-level electives provide an excellent opportunity to see how economics is utilized to analyze a variety of questions and fields. Since most 200-level electives only require ECO 101, these courses provide an excellent opportunity to explore the major and to see if it is the right field for you.

300-level Electives:

  • The 300-level electives utilize more advanced theories and tools that building upon ECO 202, 203, 105, and 205.