Course Requirements

The Economics Major consists of a minimum of 12 courses, none of which may be taken as pass/fail.

1.1 Mathematics – Required Courses (2 CU):
  • (1CU) MATH 104: Calculus, Part 1
  • (1CU) MATH 114: Calculus, Part 2;  OR MATH 115. Prerequisite: MATH 104.

The department recommends that students take MATH 114 instead of MATH 115. This is for several reasons: MATH 115 includes material on probability that is already covered by other courses in the major (in particular, ECON 103), while MATH 114 deepens a student's understanding of calculus. Moreover, MATH 114 is the gateway course for the upper-level mathematics courses, while taking MATH 115 complicates further study in mathematics. Students who have not satisfied the Math pre/corequisites for the intermediate-level and advanced economics courses will be dropped from registration during the first two weeks of the semester.

1.2 Economics – Required Courses (6 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, A- or better in ECON 10), MATH 104, MATH 114 or 115
  • (1 CU) ECON 102: Macroeconomic Theory. Prerequisites: ECON 101, MATH 104, MATH 114 or 115
  • (1 CU) ECON 103: Statistics for Economists. Prerequisites: ECON 1 and 2 (or alternatively, A- or better in ECON 10), MATH 104, MATH 114 or 115
  • (1 CU) ECON 104: Introduction to Econometrics. Prequisites: ECON 101, ECON 103, MATH 104, MATH 114 or 115
Economics – Elective Courses (4 CU, choose 4 courses from the list):

The courses are grouped into the following categories: Econometrics,  Empirical Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics/Game Theory, and International and Development Economics. It is not required that a student chooses all four 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 or 115 as prerequisite. Some courses also require ECON 102, ECON 103, or ECON 104 as prerequisites. Please see Course Descriptions for details.


  • ECON 221: Time Series Econometrics
  • ECON 222: Microeconometrics
  • ECON 224: Statistical Learning and Causal Inference for Economics

Empirical Microeconomics

  • ECON 231: Public Finance
  • ECON 232: Political Economy
  • ECON 233: Labor Economics
  • ECON 234: Law and Economics
  • ECON 235: Industrial Organization
  • ECON 236: Health Economics
  • ECON 237: Urban Fiscal Policy
  • ECON 238: Economics of Education
  • ECON 239: The Digital Economy


  • ECON 210: Economics of Family
  • ECON 241: Economic Growth
  • ECON 242: Topics in Macroeconomics (various sections are available).
  • ECON 243: Monetary and Fiscal Policies
  • ECON 244: Macro-Modelling
  • ECON 246: Money and Banking
  • ECON 247: Structural Changes in the Modern Macroeconomy

Microeconomics/Game Theory

  • ECON 210: Economics of Family
  • ECON 211: Social Choice Theory
  • ECON 212: Game Theory
  • ECON 260: Decision Making
  • ECON 262: Market Design
  • ECON 681: Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 682: Game Theory and Applications

International and Development Economics

  • ECON 251: International Trade
  • ECON 252: International Finance
  • ECON 261: Topics in Development
  • ECON 271: Foundations of Market Economies
  • ECON 272: China: Institutions and the Economy

Economic History and History of Economic Thought

  • ECON 273: The Political Economy of Early America
  • ECON 274: History of Economic Thought

Honors Seminar

  • ECON 300: Honors thesis seminar. This course runs over a full academic year.

Independent Studies

  • ECON 199: At most one independent study (ECON 199) can substitute for a 200-level course in the major. Students wishing to enroll in an Independent Study must have their outline approved and be enrolled prior to the end of Add Period. No Independent Study will be accepted afterwards. 
  • Wharton students taking ECON 10 instead of ECON 1 and 2 will have to take an additional 200-level course in economics 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.
  • ECON 103 is a one-semester course on probability and statistical inference.  A two-semester sequence of mathematical statistics (STAT 430/431) or (ESE 301/302) can be taken to replace ECON 103.  Students who take the mathematical statistic sequence need to take an additional 200-level economics course to complete the requirements for the economics major. Note that the Economics Major requires the completion of 14 CU  if a student opts to take STAT 430/431 or ESE 301/302.

    Students who have taken the first course of the statistics sequence (STAT 430 or ESE 301) are encouraged to also take the second course (STAT 431 or ESE 302) because ECON 103 covers, in part, material on probability that is covered in the second course of the statistics sequence.
    Students who have taken STAT 430 or ESE 301 but experienced difficulties with the material taught in these courses may take ECON 103 instead of the second course of the statistics sequence.
    Introductory sequences STAT 101/102 and STAT 111/112 do not count as substitutes for ECON 103.

  • Students who have taken ECON 050 may not take ECON 251.
  • Students must have a GPA of 2.0 in the Economics Major in order to graduate with a major in Economics.
  •  Students are required to take 6 of the 10 economics courses at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • All LPS summer courses count toward the Economics major. LPS academic year courses of ECON 1, 2, 101, 102 and 103 may also be counted toward the Economics major. LPS courses with designations above Econ 103 that are offered during the academic year will not count toward the Economics Major (unless you are an LPS 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).