Course Requirements

The Mathematical Economics Major consists of a minimum of 16 courses, none of which may be taken as pass/fail.


Part 1: Introductory and Intermediate-Level Courses


1.1 Mathematics – Required Courses (5 CU):
  • (1CU) MATH 114: Calculus, Part 2 OR MATH 116 (honors version of MATH 114). Prerequisite: MATH 104.
  • (1 CU) MATH 240: Calculus, Part 3 OR MATH 260: Honors Calculus.
  • (1CU) MATH 312: Linear Algebra; OR MATH 313: Computational Linear Algebra; OR MATH 314: Advanced Linear Algebra; OR MATH 370: Algebra; OR MATH 514* Advanced Linear Algebra
  • (2 CU) MATH 360-361: Advanced Calculus; OR MATH 508-509*: Advanced Analysis

1.2 Probability and Statistics – Required Courses (1 or 2 CU)
  • To satisfy the Probability and Statistics requirement, the student can take either
    (2 CU) STAT 430: Probability; AND STAT 431: Statistics
    (2 CU) ESE 301; AND ESE 302
    (1 CU) ECON 103: Statistics for Economists Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2 (or alternatively, an A- or better in ECON 10), MATH 104, MATH 114
  • Students who choose ECON 103, need to take at least one additional course that covers topics in Probability and/or Statistics. This additional course may count toward the Mathematics Electives or Economics Electives. Approved courses are: MATH 546*, MATH 547*, ECON 104, ECON 221, ECON 222. Other courses require approval of the Undergraduate Chair.
1.3 Economics – Required Courses (5 CU)
  • (1 CU) ECON 1: Introduction to Microeconomics
  • (1 CU) ECON 2: Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • (1 CU) ECON 101: Microeconomic Theory. Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2 (or alternatively, an A- or better in ECON 10), MATH 104, MATH 114
  • (1 CU) ECON 102: Macroeconomic Theory. Prerequisites: ECON 101, MATH 104, MATH 114
  • (1 CU) ECON 681: Microeconomic Theory. Prerequisites: ECON 101

Part 2: Advanced Courses

2.1 Mathematics – Elective Courses (2 CU, Select 2 courses from the following list)

The courses are grouped into the following categories: Differential Equations; Real Analysis, Probability and Applications; Computation; Optimization. It is not required that a student chooses two electives from the same category. The categories are merely indicative of particular specializations that could be pursued. Please check with the MATH or ESE department for prerequisites and course details.

Differential Equations
  • MATH 420: Ordinary Differential Equations. 
  • MATH 425: Partial Differential Equations. 

For students declaring the Mathematical Economics Major after June 30, 2013, the course requirements are changed as follows:  MATH 240 (or MATH 260) no longer counts toward the two required mathematics-elective courses. It is now a required course (see Section 1.1 above).

Real Analysis, Probability, and Applications
  • MATH 480 Elementary Topics in Advanced Real Analysis. Prerequisites: Math 360-361 OR Math 508-509*
  • MATH 530*: Mathematics of Finance. 
  • MATH 546 (STAT 530)*: Probability Theory
  • MATH 547 (STAT 531)*: Stochastic Processes.
  • MATH 320: Computer Methods in Mathematical Science, Part 1. 
  • MATH 321: Computer Methods in Mathematical Science, Part 2. 
  • ESE 303: Stochastic Systems Analysis and Simulation
  • ESE 304: Optimization of Systems
  • ESE 504: Introduction to Optimization Theory
  • ESE 605: Modern Convex Optimization
  • NETS 412 Algorithmic Game Theory
  • CIS 519*: Introduction to Machine Learning
  • CIS 520*: Machine Learning


2.2 Economics – Elective Courses (3 CU, choose 3 courses from the list):

The courses are grouped into the following categories: Econometrics, Macroeconomics, and Microeconomics/Game Theory. It is not required that a student chooses all three electives from the same category. The categories are merely indicative of particular specializations that could be pursued.

All 200-level economics courses require ECON 101, MATH 104, and MATH 114 as prerequisites. Some courses also require ECON 102, ECON 103, or ECON 104 as prerequisites. Please see Undergraduate Course Descriptions for details. See Graduate Course Descriptions for details on graduate economics courses.

  • ECON 104: Introduction to Econometrics
  • ECON 221: Time Series Econometrics 
  • ECON 222: Microeconometrics
  • ECON 705*: Graduate-level Econometrics 1: Fundamentals
  • ECON 241: Economic Growth
  • ECON 242: Topics in Macroeconomics
  • ECON 243: Monetary and Fiscal Policies
  • ECON 246: Money and Banking
  • ECON 244: Macro-Modeling
Microeconomics/Game Theory
  • ECON 211: Social Choice Theory
  • ECON 212: Game Theory
  • ECON 260: Decision Making
  • ECON 262: Market Design
  • ECON 682*: Game Theory and Applications

* All graduate-level classes above marked with an asterisk require the permission of the instructor. Please contact the instructor and be prepared to share information about the ECON and MATH courses you have taken and the grades that you have obtained in these courses. Based on this information, the instructor will determine whether the course is suitable for you.


Additional Policies

  • Waivers and transfer credits for mathematics courses will be handled by the Mathematics Department.
  • Wharton students taking ECON 10 instead of ECON 1 and ECON 2 will have to take an additional advanced (200-level or above) economics course to complete the major.
  • Wharton students may replace the required ECON 101 course by BEPP 250 HONORS. The regular BEPP 250 course does not count as a substitute for ECON 101.
  • Courses not explicitly listed in Part 2 require the approval of the Economics Undergraduate Chair to be counted as either Mathematics or Economics elective.  To petition a course that is not listed, please send an email to the Economics Undergraduate Chair, that lists all three Econ and two Math .).courses that you are planning to use as electives (if you are not sure about your choices, provide different options).  In the past we sometimes approved statistics and engineering courses that for the purpose of the Math major are counted as "inside" the Math department (see "Cognates and Electives for Math Majors and Minors")
  • Students must have a GPA of 2.0 in the Mathematical Economics Major in order to graduate with a major in Mathematical Economics.
  • Students who have declared a Mathematical Economics Major cannot simultaneously receive an Economics Minor/Major or a Mathematics Minor/Major.
  • Students are required to take 9 of the 16 courses at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • With the exception of ECON 1 and 2, permission from the Undergraduate Chair is required to count LPS courses toward the Mathematical Economics Major.
  • Students who have received ECON 1 credit and an ECON 2 waiver for a single semester introductory micro/macro course need to take an additional 2xx (or higher) level ECON course to complete the major.
  • Starting with students entering Penn in the Fall of 2017, we will no longer convert advanced placement waivers (AP, IB, and A-Level) for ECON 1 or ECON 2 into course credits upon completion of the ECON minor, the EPOL minor, the ECON major, or the MATH-ECON major. However, the waiver can be used to satisfy prerequisites for higher-level economics courses.

A student with an advanced placement waiver (AP, IB, and A-Level) in either ECON 1 or ECON 2 has three options: 
(i) Take ECON 1 or ECON 2 at Penn and count it toward the major.

(ii) If you have taken a 0xx-level ECON course prior to declaring the ECON/MAEC major, it may be used to replace ECON 1 or ECON 2 and counted toward the major. 

(iii) If you have not taken a 0xx-level ECON course prior to declaring the ECON/MAEC major, then you will need to replace ECON 1 or ECON 2 by a 2xx-level (or higher) ECON course, which will be counted toward the major.

Students who have waivers for both ECON 1 and ECON 2 need to take two additional ECON courses and can at most replace one of the two introductory courses by a 0xx-level ECON course, provided they have taken this course before declaring the major.

The department encourages students with a strong economics and quantitative background to pursue option (iii).