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Declaring the Economics major

For information on declaring the Economics major, please visit Declaring Econ Major/Minor.

Major Course Requirements

The following requirements apply to Economics primary majors entering the university Fall 2018 or later
For students who entered the University prior to Fall 2018, schedule an appointment to meet with an Academic Advisor in the Department of Economics to confirm requirements. Students who are pursuing a double major or a dual degree who do not have Economics listed as their primary major in SPIRE are not required to complete an Economics IE or JYW course, as these should be completed in the student's primary major.

1.  One of the following core microeconomics courses:
ECON 103 – Intro to Microeconomics
RES-ECON 102 – Intro to Resource Economics

2.  One core macroeconomics course:
ECON 104 – Introduction to Macroeconomics

3.  One of the following introductory calculus/math modeling courses:
MATH 127 – Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences I
MATH 131 – Calculus I

4.  One of the following second level calculus/math modeling courses:
MATH 128 – Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences II
MATH 132 – Calculus II
(A second statistics class may be substituted for Calculus II with permission of advisor)

5.  One of the following courses in statistics:
RES-ECON 212 – Intro to Stats/Social Science
STATS 240 – Intro to Statistics
STATS 501 – Methods in Applied Statistics
STATS 515 – Statistics I
PSYCH 240 – Statistics in Psychology
OIM 240 – Business Data Analysis
EDUC 240 – Introduction to Educational Statistics

6.  One of the following intermediate microeconomics theory courses:
ECON 203 – Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
RES-ECON 202 – Price Theory

7.  One intermediate macroeconomics theory course:
ECON 204 – Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

8.  Junior Year Writing (JYW), fulfilled by the following course (not required for Econ secondary majors):
ECON 365 – Writing in Economics (formerly ECON 397W)

All sections of ECON 365 fulfill the Junior Year Writing requirement. 

9.  Integrative Experience (IE), fulfilled by one of the following courses (not required for Econ secondary majors):

ECON 306 – History of Economic Thought  
ECON 367 – Post Independence African Development
ECON 394AI - Fundamentals of International Political Economy
ECON 394CI – The Economics of Cooperative Enterprise
ECON 394EI - Economics and Ethics
ECON 394FI – Finance and Society
ECON 394IO – Industrial Organization Perspectives
ECON 394LI – Law and Economics
ECON 494MI - Correcting Market Failures
ECON 499C – Honors Thesis Seminar – 1st Semester
ECON 499D – Capstone Course – 2nd Semester

An ECON course taken to fulfill the IE also fulfills either one of the required four upper-level ECON courses (see 10. belowor one of the required upper-level ECON courses in Option A (see 11. below).  

10.  Four upper-level ECON courses: 3 credits each, numbered 205 or higher.  See Resource Economics section below under Guidelines for additional information.

11.  Complete the International and Intercultural Requirement for Students entering Fall 2018 or after (Students entering UMass prior to Fall 2018 see an advisor):  This 3 course (8-12 credit)  requirement is fulfilled by one of the following options:  

  1. 3 courses from the International and Intercultural Course List
  2. 9 credits in a single foreign language. 
  3. A combination of courses: 6 credits in a single foreign language and one 3-4 credit course from the International and Intercultural Course List
  4. Completion of a Certificate Program in one of the programs with Intercultural and International emphasis:  African Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, International Agriculture, International Relations, International Scholars Program, Translation and Interpreting Studies, Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies.
  5. 8 or more credits of courses transferred from a UMass International Programs Office approved study abroad program. 

12.  Complete either Option A or Option B:
Option A – Two additional upper-level ECON courses, 3 credits each, numbered 205 or higher.
Option B – A collateral field of study, fulfilled by completing one of the following:
1)  Any major, minor, or certificate that is not Economics or Resource Economics.
2)  Any combination of five courses in the Isenberg School of Management major departments:  3 credits each, numbered 200 or higher.  See Isenberg School of Management Courses section below under Guidelines for additional information.
3)  A group of five courses, 3 credits each, generally numbered 300 or higher, chosen by the student and pre-approved by the Director of Undergraduate Advising in the Department of Economics, in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • The proposal presented by the student must, in the judgment of the Director of Undergraduate Advising in the Department of Economics, fulfill the criterion of relevance to economics set forth in the requirement, and form a coherent set of courses.
  • All courses included in the collateral plan must be preapproved by the Director of Undergraduate Advising prior to enrollment.
  • The student is responsible for presenting a convincing case for the proposed course of study.
  • No course may be used to simultaneously fulfill the requirements of a collateral field and another requirement of the Economics major. (This does not prohibit fulfilling General Education requirements with courses taken for the collateral field or for any other requirement for the Economics major.)
  • RES-ECON courses cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.



Grading and other Requirements

  • No course required for the Economics major may be taken Pass/Fail. 
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 must be earned in courses applied to Economics major requirements. 
  • An overall minimum grade point average of 2.0 must be earned in courses applied to either Econ Major Option A or Econ Major Option B.
  • A minimum of four of the nine required ECON courses must be taken in the Department of Economics at UMass Amherst.

Independent Study, Honors Thesis, and Internship (Practicum), and non-content Credit

  • No more than one Independent Study or Honors Research/Thesis course (any course number containing 96 or 99) may count toward Economics major requirements. 
  • Internship (Practicum) credit ​(any course number containing 98) does not count toward Economics major requirements.
  • Non-content skill courses, such as ECON 491I-Job Skills for Economics Majors, do not count toward the major.

Isenberg School of Management Courses
The Department of Economics is a Contracting Department with the Isenberg School of Management.  Contracting Department means that Economics majors are eligible to register for designated Isenberg courses (listed below) through SPIRE, where the course Restrictions/Notes in SPIRE note that section of the course as open to Contracting Departments, categories 1, 2, 3, or 4 (i.e. Contracting Departments -3, Contracting Departments 1-4), and all course prerequisites are met.

The following courses are designated as Contracting Department courses in Isenberg for the Department of Economics:
ACCOUNTG 221 – Intro to Accounting I
ACCOUNTG 222 – Intro to Accounting II
FINANCE 301 – Corporation Finance
ISENBERG 260 – Introduction to Law (previously MANAGMNT 260)
MANAGMNT 301 – Principles of Management
MARKETNG 301 – Principles of Marketing

Economics majors who wish to enroll in Isenberg courses that are not listed above should see the Isenberg course override request information:

Isenberg manages enrollment in all Accounting (ACCOUNTG), Finance (FINANCE), Hospitality and Tourism Management (HT-MGT), Management (MANAGMNT), Marketing (MARKETNG), Operations and Information Management (OIM), School of Mangement (SCH-MGT) and Sport Management (SPT-MGT) courses.  Questions regarding enrollment in all Isenberg courses should be directed to:
Isenberg Undergraduate Programs Office
Isenberg Hub, Room N230

Resource Economics
Resource Economics and Economics are two separate academic departments, majors, and minors.  One RES-ECON course, 3-4 credits, from the following list may fulfill either one of the required four upper-level ECON courses (see 10. above under Requirementsor one of the required upper-level ECON courses in Option A (see 11. above under Requirements):
RES-ECON 262 – Environmental Economics
RES-ECON 263 – Natural Resource Economics
RES-ECON 312 – Introduction to Econometrics
RES-ECON 313 – Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics
RES-ECON 324 – Small Business Finance
RES-ECON 397A – Economics of Contemporary Information Technology
RES-ECON 428 – Managerial Economics
RES-ECON 452 – Industrial Organization in Resource Economics
RES-ECON 453 – Public Policy in Private Markets
RES-ECON 462 – Experimental Economics
RES-ECON 470 – Family Economic Policy: Issues and Implications
RES-ECON 472 – Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics

Questions regarding enrollment in all Resource Economics courses should be directed to the Department of Resource Economics.  Contact information is provided at

Secondary Majors, Double Majors, Dual Degrees
There are different requirements depending on whether a student is completing Economics as a primary major, secondary major, double major, or dual degree.  Below is a brief summary, but students should meet with an Economics advisor to ensure that they are meeting all requirements.

  • Students pursuing a double major, with Economics as a primary major, may satisfy the Junior Year Writing (JYW) requirement with an approved JYW course from their secondary major, but must have the substitution approved by an Economics advisor. The IE requirement must be satisfied by an approved Economics IE course and generally cannot be satisfied by a course from the secondary major.
  • Students pursuing a double major, with Economics as a secondary major, are not required to complete the IE requirement or JYW in Economics but must satisfy these requirements with courses in their primary major.
  • Students pursuing a dual degree (150 credits, two Bachelor degrees) must complete the IE requirement and junior year writing requirement only for the major that is listed as their primary major in SPIRE.