Economic Policy Minor

Economic Policy Minor


Economic policy questions stand at the center of public policy debates in the U.S. and countries all around the world. The goal of this minor is to provide students who are not majoring in economics with the analytical tools that are necessary to participate in and shape public policy debates. 

The foundation for the minor is provided by the principles courses ECON 1 (Microeconomics) and ECON 2 (Macroeconomics).  After having completed the principles courses, the student can choose a minimum of four elective courses, which apply the basic tools of economic analysis to specific policy questions. For instance, Development Economics covers policies that promote growth, alleviate poverty, and improve health and educational attainment in underdeveloped countries. In Labor Economics students learn how to analyze the effect of minimum wages and welfare benefits on labor supply and unemployment, how to measure the effect of tuition subsidies, and job training programs. Other electives examine the effects of trade policies such as tariffs or export subsidies or currency unions (International Economics), health care policies (Economics and Financing of Health Care Delivery), or policies that regulate specific markets such as public utilities (Industrial Organization).

The Economic Policy Minor can be completed by taking courses that do not have calculus prerequisites.


The Economic Policy Minor consists of six courses, none of which may be taken pass/fail.  The six courses include two required courses and four electives. 

(Both courses are required)

  • ECON 1: Introduction to Microeconomics

  • ECON 2: Introduction to Macroeconomics

(Choose 4 from the list)

  • ECON 13: Strategic Reasoning. Prerequisites: ECON 1

  • ECON 24: Developmental Economics. Prerequisites: ECON 1

  • ECON 28: Financial Meltdown, Past and Present. This course is offered by the history department as HIST 131 and crosslisted as ECON 28

  • ECON 32: Political Economy. Prerequisites: ECON 1

  • ECON 33: Labor Economics. Prerequisites: ECON 1

  • ECON 35: Industrial Organization. Prerequisites: ECON 1

  • ECON 36: Law and Economics. Prerequisites: ECON 1

  • ECON 39: Economics and Financing of Health Care Delivery. Prerequisites: ECON 1

  • ECON 45: Economics and Theories of Fairness. Prerequisites: ECON 1, ECON 2

  • ECON 50: International Economics. Prerequisites: ECON 1, ECON 2 (or ECON 10)

  • ECON 103: Statistics for Economists. Prerequisites: ECON 1, ECON 2, MATH 104, MATH 114 or 115 

Please note that not all of these courses are offered in each academic year.  You can find information on the course offerings under Course Information 

  • A 0-level course can be substituted with a 200-level course in the same subject area if the student meets the prerequisites for the 200–level course. For most of these 200-level courses the Prerequisite is Econ 101, Math 104, and Math 114 (or Math 115).

  • Students are required to take four of the six economics courses in residence at the University of Pennsylvania. All courses taken in residence must be taken within the Economics Department. No substitutions for courses from other departments will be accepted.

  • Students must have a GPA of 2.0 in the Economics Policy Minor in order to graduate with a minor in Economic Policy.

  • Only three of the six courses are allowed to double count toward the fulfillment of other minors or majors offered by the College.

  • Students who have declared an Economics Major, a Mathematical Economics Major, or an Economics Minor cannot receive an Economic Policy Minor.

  • Wharton students who wish to pursue an Economic Policy Minor may substitute Econ 1 and Econ 2 with Econ 10 and BPub 250. No additional substitutions are permitted.

  • 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 0xx (or higher) level ECON course to complete the minor. 

  • 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 ECON 1 (or ECON 2) has two options: 
    (i) Take ECON 1 (or ECON 2) at Penn and count it toward the minor.
    (ii) Take an additional ECON course to replace ECON 1 (or ECON 2). 
    Students who have waivers for both ECON 1 and ECON 2 need to take two additional ECON courses.