The Major in Economics
The following prerequisites must be completed before declaring the major.
- Complete at least two graded economics courses at the University.
- Achieve a grade point average of at least 2.3 for all economics courses (those with ECON mnemonic).
- Microeconomics. Complete one of the following courses—ECON 201, ECON 301, or ECON 311—with a minimum grade of C+. Students who have AP or transfer credit for ECON 301 at the time that they matriculate at the University are exempt from this requirement. Students who receive below a C+ in ECON 301 may not attempt ECON 311 in order to satisfy the microeconomics prerequisite.
- Calculus. Complete one of the following courses—APMA 111, MATH 122, or MATH 132—with a minimum grade of C. Students who have AP or transfer credit for one of these courses at the time that they matriculate at the University are exempt from this requirement. Students considering the concentration in financial economics or graduate work in economics should take MATH 131 and MATH 132 (or APMA 111 and APMA 212) instead of MATH 121 and MATH 122. Students who entered the University prior to Fall 2006 may use MATH 121, MATH 131, or APMA 109 to satisfy the calculus prerequisite.
- Complete a statistics course (ECON 371; STAT 312; APMA 311 or 312; or STAT 212) with a minimum grade of C. Students who have AP or transfer credit for one of the preceding courses at the time that they matriculate at the University are exempted from this requirement. (With the permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, SEAS students may declare the economics major, and later complete statistics in the third year, using APMA 312 or STAT 312).
Please note these important requirements for declaring the major.
- No prerequisite for declaring the major can be satisfied by retaking the same course, unless the retaken course was completed prior to Spring 2007.
- No transfer course taken after matriculation at the University may be used to satisfy a prerequisite.
- No transfer course taken after matriculation at the University may be used to satisfy a prerequisite.
Students with questions about prerequisites for declaring the economics major should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
How to Declare the Major
- Review your transcript to make sure you have completed all the prerequisites.
- Pick up a Declaration of Major form from Garrett Hall, and fill in the courses completed or in progress.
- Bring your declaration form and a current VISTAA form to the Undergraduate Secretary at the Economics Department (2015 Ivy Road, Dynamics Building, room 326). You can make an appointment by calling 924-3179. The secretary will confirm that you have completed the prerequisites and assign you a faculty advisor.
- Meet with your new advisor to make preliminary decisions about the economics electives that will be taken to complete the major and get his or her signature on the declaration form.
- Return the yellow copy to the secretary and take the original (white) copy to Garrett Hall (or your school of enrollment, if not Arts & Sciences), where it is entered into your student record.
The following requirements must be completed to receive the B.A. in Economics.
- Complete four required courses—ECON 201, ECON 202, ECON 301 (or ECON 311), and ECON 302. ECON 201, 202 and 301 (or 311) must be completed by the end of the sixth semester. Majors who fail to do so will be dropped from the program. Students entering the University with ECON 301 or 302 on their transcript are exempt from ECON 201 or 202, respectively.
- Earn 15 hours of elective credit in economics courses, at least 12 hours of which must be in courses numbered above 299, and at least six hours in courses above 399. (ECON 371 does not count as an elective course.) Engineering students may use SYS 444 or 544 as an economics elective unless they have taken ECON 418 or 419.
- Achieve at least a 2.0 grade point average in your economics courses. If you take more than the minimum 15 hours of electives, the elective courses with the highest grades will enter the economics grade point average.
Graduation, Degree Audit, and Declaration Deadlines
Students expecting to graduate, participate in UVa Final Exercises, and receive their diploma in May must complete a degree audit by the first Friday in February. Students whose final semester is in the fall, and who expect a January graduation, must complete a degree audit by September 30, or the preceding Friday if this falls on a weekend. Information is sent to you from Garrett Hall or your school’s registrar’s office. The same deadlines apply to major declaration for students wishing to declare economics as a minor or a second major.
Please note these important policies regarding degree requirements.
- No course taken credit/no credit may be used to satisfy degree requirements.
- Once students have declared the major, they sometimes consider retaking a required or elective course. How would this affect the economics grade point average? If you fail a required course (ECON 201, 202, 301, or 302), you must retake it to graduate, and both grades enter the economics grade point average. There is rarely a reason to retake a required or elective course that was passed, since the second grade will not enter the economics grade point average, and the course will not carry credit.
- No course taken outside the University after matriculation may be counted towards the major in place of ECON 301 or ECON 302.
- At most six hours of the fifteen hours of elective course credits may be in courses taken outside of the University.
- To receive transfer credit, all courses taken outside the University after matriculation must be approved in advance by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The approval process is described at http://www.virginia.edu/economics/Transfer.htm
- More information about transfer credit policies and study abroad is available at:
Distinguished Majors Program
The Department of Economics offers an opportunity for economics majors with exceptional records to participate in a Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). The program is two semesters in length, with application and admission occurring during the spring semester of the student’s third year. Applicants should have a strong overall academic record, with a cumulative grade point average in economics that is at least 3.6 at the time of application. Applications are due in March of each year.
The program will bring the best undergraduates together so they can learn from each other, enter the intellectual life of the Department of Economics, discover the nature of research in economics, and write a thesis. Specific requirements of the program include:
- Each student must take Econometrics (ECON 472), either before entering the program or in the fall of the fourth year.
- Each student must take the Distinguished Majors Seminar (ECON 411) in the fall of the fourth year, which requires a substantial paper.
- Each student will complete a DMP thesis (ECON 496), independent research under the supervision of an economics faculty member, due in April.
In all, the program involves six credit hours by the fall (ECON 472 and 411) and three credit hours in the spring (ECON 496). Department recommendations for Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction will be based on:
- quality of the thesis
- overall work in the Distinguished Majors Program
- overall work in economics, and
- overall college record
Concentrations in Economics
Economics majors whose interests are heavily focused on one of the following areas may want to declare a concentration in it. Concentrations involve additional requirements beyond the major requirements.
For students who expect to graduate in May, the deadline for declaring a concentration is the first Friday in February in the student’s final semester. If the student’s final semester is in the fall, and a January graduation is expected, the deadline for declaring a concentration is September 30, or the preceding Friday if this falls on a weekend.
For more information, contact the person specified under each concentration.
Concentration in Financial Economics
Economics majors may declare this concentration when they have completed ECON 472 with a minimum grade of B.
To complete the concentration, students meet the ordinary requirements for the major and complete ECON 303, either ECON 434, ECON 435, or COMM 372, and ECON 436, and COMM 201. (Note: Courses in the School of Commerce do not count as economics electives.)
For more information on the concentration in financial economics, contact Chris Otrok at email@example.com.
Concentration in International Economics
Economics majors may declare a concentration in international economics when they are enrolled in or have already completed ECON 372 or 472.
To complete the concentration, students meet the ordinary requirements for the major and complete ECON 421, ECON 422, and any two of the following: ECON 451, ECON 423, or an area studies course within the department (ECON 309, 353, 355, 441, 456, or 507).
For more information on the concentration in international economics, contact Emily Blanchard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concentration in Public Policy
To declare a concentration in public policy before his or her last year at the University, an economics major must have completed ECON 301 or 311 with a grade of B or better, and completed ECON 372 or 472 and ECON 431. To declare the concentration in the second to last semester at the University, a major who has satisfied the microeconomics requirement must have completed, or be enrolled in, ECON 372 or 472 and ECON 431.
To graduate with the concentration, a major must meet the ordinary requirements for the major and complete ECON 372 or 472, ECON 431, ECON 488, and at least two of the following courses: ECON 304, 305, 331, 333, 408, 415, 416, 418, 420, 421, 422, 423, 433, 442, 443, and 451.
Students who concentrate in public policy are encouraged to take courses in the Department of Politics. PLAP 338, 471; PLCP 413 and 525; and PLPT 480 are especially relevant.
For more information on the concentration in public policy, contact Ed Olsen at email@example.com.
Requirements for Minor
Students who wish to minor in economics must complete ECON 201, 202, 301 or 311, an approved statistics course (listed above) and nine credits of ECON electives with a cumulative GPA of 2.000. At least six credits in economics elective courses must be earned in courses numbered 300 or above. None of the nine credits of economics electives offered for the minor may be taken via transfer credit or study abroad. They must also pass at least one semester of calculus (for example, MATH 121, 131, or APMA 109), which may not be taken on a credit/no-credit basis. Students may declare a minor as soon as they pass the four required courses, the calculus course, and attain a grade point average of at least 2.000 in all economics courses (including an approved statistics course) completed at UVa. College rules require that the minor be declared by the end of the add period in the semester before graduation, ordinarily the seventh semester. The procedure for declaring a minor in economics is described on the department’s undergraduate program web page.
The Department of Economics is located off-Grounds at 2015 Ivy Road (Dynamics Building). The mailing address is P.O. Box 400182, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182. The department’s web address is www.virginia.edu/economics. If you have further questions about undergraduate study in economics, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.