FAQ

Q. I need help. Can you answer some of my questions?

A. Sure! Here’s a list of the questions we are most frequently asked. In addition, be sure to read through the department's section in the catalog because everything there will come in handy if you decide to be an economics major.

Q. I’m a first-year student and I’m not sure if I want to be an economics major. What course(s) can I take to find out?
A. Take Economics 101. That class will give you a broad introduction to what economics is all about. If you have already taken 101, or if you placed out of Economics 101 (by earning 4s or higher on both the AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics exams), then take Economics 102 (which you can also skip if you earned 5s on both AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics exams). After these two courses, you should be in a good position to know whether economics is the right major for you.

Q. That’s only two courses. What else should I take as a first-year student?
A.  We urge prospective majors to take a Calculus I class in their first year at Oxy and to consider taking a statistics class, though that is less pressing. It’s possible that you have tested out of one or both of these classes with your AP exams, in which case, you don’t need to take the classes at Oxy. 

Q. I’m a sophomore but I haven’t taken Economics 101 yet. Can I still major in economics?
A. Yes, although you will have to double up on economics courses in almost every semester in order to catch up.  As soon as possible, take Economics 101 and the appropriate Calculus I course. Then take Economics 102 and a statistics class.

Q. When should I declare an economics major?
A. We recommend that you first complete Economics 101 and Economics 102 before declaring a major because these introductory courses will give you an overview of the field and help you decide whether you are interested in pursuing an economics major.

Q.  I’ve decided to be an economics major! How do I declare?
A.  Congratulations! Now that you’ve decided to major in economics, you should first fill out the online Economics Interest Form. You will then need to select an economics professor who you would like as your academic advisor. Bring a major declaration form to your preferred advisor for their signature. After you have obtained your advisor's signature, drop off your major declaration form in the basket outside Fowler 303 to receive the department chair's signature.

Q. What are the graduation requirements?
Here’s what you need to take in order to complete your major:
Principles: Econ 101 and 102
Math Tools: Calculus I and Statistics (Statistics is a prerequisite for Econ 272)
Intermediate Theory and Methods: Econ 250, 251, and 272
Topics: Three Econ 300-level courses
Senior Seminar: Econ 495 (Econ 250 or Econ 251 is a prerequisite for Econ 495. We also recommend that you take Econ 272 before Econ 495.)

Q.  Is it OK to take Econ 250 and 251 at the same time?
A.  Probably not. Intermediate economics courses are challenging and we feel strongly that you’ll benefit more from those classes if you spread them out. Note that you must complete at least one of these courses by the end of your junior year because senior seminars, which are scheduled in the fall of your senior year, have a prerequisite of either Econ 250 or Econ 251.

Q. I want to go on a semester abroad. How will that affect my economics major?
A.  We think a semester abroad is a terrific way to expand your horizons and broaden your perspectives.  However, you will need to plan your coursework carefully. Luckily, most study abroad programs include a 300-level economics course that can count for your major here at Oxy (you can only transfer one 300-level course from abroad). Be sure to talk with your academic advisor and the department chair before assuming that courses abroad will earn you credit at Oxy.

Q.  How can I meet the economics department’s Second-Stage Writing Requirement?
A.  You can meet the Second-Stage Writing Requirement by arranging (with the instructor) for an Econ 300-level course or Econ 272 to be designated as your writing course. The writing requirement can be satisfied as early as spring of your sophomore year and no later than May of your junior year. If you fail the requirement (or don’t meet the deadline), you will need to take a writing course in the fall of your senior year and demonstrate acceptable writing skills in your senior seminar.

Q. I would like to be an economics minor. What do I need to do?
A. To minor in economics, you need to take Econ 101, 102, Calculus I, Econ 250, 251, and two 300-level classes (or one 300-level class and Econ 272).

Q. I am thinking of doing an internship. Can I get credit for it?
A. Yes, you can earn 2 units of credit for an internship where you work at least 80 hours in the semester. You cannot earn more than 4 units of internship credit while at Oxy. Note also that if it is an on-campus internship you cannot earn credit if you are being paid. This restriction does not apply to off-campus internships.