Courses & Requirements

The requirements below apply to those students with a 2019-2020 catalog year. Students are required by college policy to follow the major (and minor) requirements found in the catalog in effect at the time they declared their first major. To find your catalog year, please visit your Grades and Academic Records found in myOxy and access the catalog that matches your catalog year.

Economics

Overview

Economics is the study of decision-making and policy-making in the context of a world constrained by scarcity. We aim to help our students understand how decisions are linked to incentives and how policies can help align individual incentives with social objectives, including an efficient use of the world's resources and an equitable distribution of its output. We also aim to equip our students with the rigorous theoretical and empirical tools of our profession to enable them to better analyze and guide the decision making of individuals, the conduct of businesses and nonprofit enterprises, and the policies of governments and international organizations.

The Department aims to ensure that students majoring in Economics (1) understand the framework that professional economists use to analyze social and economic issues; (2) recognize how economic behavior and policies can affect both the aggregate level of prosperity and differentials in prosperity across members of society distinguished by characteristics such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status; (3) have proficient decision-making and problem-solving skills; (4) are competent in writing and speaking; and (5) possess critical-thinking skills that enable them to apply the theoretical and empirical tools of professional economists to a wide range of issues.

Major Requirements

A major in economics requires a minimum of ten courses. 

The major can be completed in fewer than four years, but it is almost impossible to complete the major in less than three years.

For exceptions to the ten course minimum please refer to the section "OFF-CAMPUS AND TRANSFER CREDITS" below.

COURSEWORK

ECON 101Principles of Economics I

4 units

ECON 102Principles of Economics II

4 units

Calculus 1Scientific Modeling and Differential Calculus

4 units

ECON 250Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

4 units

ECON 251Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

4 units

ECON 272Applied Econometrics

4 units

Three 300-level ECON electives

12 units

ECON 495Senior Seminar

4 units

Two of the three 300-level elections must be completed at Oxy. Please note the COMP 146 (Statistics) is a requirement for ECON 272.

Choosing Electives

The economics department offers many electives, please choose from the following. If you would like to know how these electives might be grouped with other non-economics courses to give more intellectual continuity to a course of study, please refer to the department website.

Please select three of the following electives for your major requirements:

ECON 301Environmental Economics and Policy

4 units

ECON 302Industrial Organization

4 units

ECON 305Game Theory

4 units

ECON 308Public Economics

4 units

ECON 309Free Market Economics: The Austrian Perspective

4 units

ECON 311International Economics

4 units

ECON 314Economic Institutions in Historical Perspective

4 units

ECON 320Economic Development

4 units

ECON 324The Economics of Immigration

4 units

ECON 325Labor Economics

4 units

ECON 326Economics of Human Resource Management

4 units

ECON 327Economics of Gender - Marriage, Motherhood, and Money

4 units

ECON 328Economics of Race and Gender

4 units

ECON 331Radical Economic Thought

4 units

ECON 340Behavioral Economics

4 units

ECON 350Managerial Economics

4 units

ECON 351Macroeconomic Policy Since the Great Depression

4 units

ECON 352Firm-level International Trade and Investment

4 units

ECON 361Topics in Macro-Economic Theory and Policy

4 units

ECON 395Special Topics in Economics

4 units

ECON 397Independent Study

2 or 4 units

Minor Requirements

COURSEWORK

Students must complete the following coursework:

ECON 101Principles of Economics I

4 units

ECON 102Principles of Economics II

4 units

ECON 250Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

4 units

ECON 251Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

4 units

Calculus 1Scientific Modeling and Differential Calculus

4 units

Calculus 1: Please note that Calculus 1 is a prerequisite for ECON 250 and ECON 251.

Electives:

ECON Two 300-level courses in economics

8 units

Or

ECON 272Applied Econometrics

4 units

And

ECON One 300-level course in economics

4 units

Please note that either MATH 146 (Statistics)  or  COMP 146 (Statistics) is a prerequisite for ECON 272.

Second-Stage Writing Requirement

Students majoring in Economics will satisfy the Second-Stage Writing Proficiency Requirement by arranging (with the instructor) for ECON 272 or an eligible ECON 300-level course to be designated as the student's writing course. Students need to notify the instructor of the course they are wishing to designate as their writing course before the end of the semester in which they are taking the course. Writing courses cannot be retroactively counted. Also, students can only designate one course as their writing course in a given semester. Writing proficiency will be determined through faculty assessment of written work and is independent of the course grade. The Second-Stage Writing Requirement must be satisfactorily completed by May of the student's junior year. Students who fail the requirement or who fail to meet the deadline will be required to both take and pass a college writing course in the senior year, WRD 201. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental writing requirement at the time of declaring the major. See information about the two Stage Writing Proficiency Requirement  in the college catalog and consult your major adviser and/or the Writing Programs Director for additional information.

Comprehensive Requirement

Economics students meet their comprehensive requirement by successfully completing ECON 495 with a grade of C or above in the fall semester of their senior year. Students who will be off campus during the fall semester of their senior year must contact the department chair by the end of their junior year to make alternative arrangements.

College Honors

Majors can earn honors by taking ECON 498 in the spring semester of their senior year and by writing and defending, in that class, a thesis that is judged by the department faculty to be of honors quality. Enrollment in ECON 498 is limited to students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher (both overall and within the department). Interested students should consult with their academic adviser and then apply to the department chair in the fall semester of their senior year.

Transfer Credit Policies

  • Students who have passed a microeconomics or macroeconomics class at another college or university will be allowed to skip ECON 101.
  • Economics majors must complete the following courses at Occidental and may not satisfy them with transfer credits: ECON 250, ECON 251, ECON 272, at least two 300-level electives, and their Senior Comprehensives course.
  • Students may take one accounting course for College credit, either at Occidental or through transfer credits. Students may not receive College credit for any other business-related course.
  • Students who have received a score of 4 or 5 on either AP Calculus test have met the departmental Calculus I major requirement (and the calculus pre-requisite for courses that require Calculus I).
  • Students who have received a score of 5 on both the AP Microeconomics test and the AP Macroeconomics test will be allowed to skip ECON 101 and ECON 102. Students who have received a score of 4 on both the AP Microeconomics test and the AP Macroeconomics test, or a score of 4 in one and 5 in the other, will be allowed to skip ECON 101. Students who have an AP Microeconomics score of 5 may be allowed to skip ECON 101 after consultation with the economics department.
  • Students who have received a score of 7 on the Higher Level (HL) International baccalaureate in micro and macro will be allowed to skip Econ 101 and Econ 102.
  • Students who have received a score of 6 on the Higher Level (HL) International baccalaureate 6 in micro and macro will be allowed to skip Econ 101.
  • The Economics Department does not accept online courses for transfer.
  • For students transferring from another institution or students who have taken a leave of absence for at least one semester at most one 300-level elective course will be accepted toward the major or the minor in transfer. Students in this situation should consult with the department chair about how courses they have taken elsewhere may count toward the 100-level or 200-level Economics requirements.
  • Students should reference the Transfer Credit section for more details.

Courses

Economics Courses