Economics Major | Economics Minor


To complete an economics major, students must successfully complete 11 economics courses, five of which are required and six are electivesAll economics courses except Econ 100, Econ 100G, and Econ 112 have math prerequisites.  Majors must also meet minimum grade requirements.  For more information on requirements for the Economics major or minor, see BASIC INFO SHEET.

All economics majors must complete the following five courses:

Econ 101 - Introduction to Microeconomics
Econ 102 - Introduction to Macroeconomics
Econ 201 - Microeconomic Theory
Econ 202 - Macroeconomic Theory
Econ 205 - Statistical Methods*

Students must receive a letter grade of C- or higher in each of these five courses in order for those courses to be counted toward the major. Beginning in Spring 2013, students will have to earn a grade of B- or better in pre-calculus (or place into calculus) before he or she will be allowed to take Econ 201 and 202.

*UMass Boston courses MSIS 111, Math 125 or Psych 270 will be considered a substitute for Econ 205.

Economics majors must complete six elective courses, including:

  • At least one Field Elective
  • At least two Alternative Approach Electives
  • At least one Capstone Elective
  • At least two other courses at 300 or 400 level

Field Electives offer broad surveys of major fields of applied economics.  Alternative Approach Electives provide students with introduction to approaches to economics different from the traditional neoclassical/Keynesian approach. Other Electives include independent studies, honors thesis, and the economics internship program. 

Students who have declared Economics major after the start of Fall 2015 must satisfy the Capstone requirement by taking a 400-level course. Also note that all 400-level courses offered in Fall 2016 or later will have 201, 202, and/or 205 as prerequisites.

The category assigned to each of the electives offered by the department is indicated in the following list. 

Field Electives
Econ 212G - Economics of the Metropolitan Area
Econ 318 - The Economics of State and Local Government
Econ 331 ‑ Money and Financial Institutions
Econ 334 ‑ International Trade
Econ 335 ‑ International Finance
Econ 336 ‑ Economic Development
Econ 345L - Natural Resources and Sustainable Development*
Econ 349L ‑ Economic Approaches to Environmental Problems*
Econ 372 ‑ Comparative Economic Systems*
Econ 380 ‑ Health Economics
Econ 390 ‑ Labor Market Economics
Econ 407 – Advanced Topics in Economic Development
Econ 413 – Advanced Topics in Urban Economics
Econ 415 – Economic Demography
[Econ 417 ‑ Public Finance]
[Econ 432 ‑ Industrial Organization]
Econ 452 - Econometrics

Alternative Approach Electives
Econ 308 - History of Economic Thought
Econ 310 - Introduction to Marxist Analysis
Econ 325 - American Economic History
Econ 337 - Emerging Economics in Asia*
Econ 338 - The Latin American Economy*
Econ 339 - Political Economy of International Migration
[Econ 343 - The Political Economy of Black America*]
Econ 351 - Economic Philosophy*
Econ 385 - Economics of Education
Econ 391 - Unions and Collective Bargaining
[Econ 392 - Women's Economic Roles*]
Econ 395 - The Economics of Social Welfare*
Econ 435 - The Multinational Corporation
Econ 418 – Political Economy of Violent Conflict
Econ 420 – Gender and Economics (replaces Econ 394)
Econ 435 ‑ The Multinational Corporation

Other Electives
Econ 476 - Internship in Economics
Econ 478 - Independent Study, Fall Term
Econ 479 - Independent Study, Spring Term
Econ 489 - Senior Honors Project
Econ 490 - Senior Honors Thesis

[ ] Not currently offered  

* 300-level Capstone Course option ONLY for students who declared their Economic major BEFORE Fall 2015.

Minimum Grade Requirement

Students must receive a letter grade of C‑ or higher in each of the five courses required for the economics major (Econ 101, 102, 201, 202, & 205) in order for those courses to be counted toward the major.  This implies that none of these five courses can be taken on a Pass/Fail basis by majors. In addition, for those declaring Econ major on or after Fall 2015, the 400-level capstone course must be taken for a grade and can’t be taken pass/fail.

In addition, a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 in economics courses is required for graduation as an economics major. 

Mathematical Prerequisites

Before students can begin the program of study in economics, they must complete a prerequisite in mathematics.  The prerequisite itself does not count towards the course requirements for the major.  The mathematics prerequisite for Introduction to Microeconomics (Econ 101), Introduction to Macroeconomics (Econ 102), and Statistical Methods (Econ 205) is:

  • College Algebra (Math 115)
  • or equivalent math level
  • or placement into Pre-calculus (Math 129 or 130)

Note that while Quantitative Reasoning (Math Q114) also satisfies the math prerequisite for these classes, we do not recommend it for majors because it does not prepare a student for Pre-calculus.

In addition, Econ 201 (Microeconomic Theory) and Econ 202 (Macroeconomic Theory) have the mathematical prerequisite of:

  • Pre-calculus (Math 129 or 130) with a grade of B- or better
  • or placement into Calculus (Math 134, 135, or 140) 


Required Courses

The minor in economics consists of six courses in the department. Almost all economics courses have math prerequisites.  These six courses must include:

Econ 101- Introduction to Microeconomics, and
Econ 102- Introduction to Macroeconomics

Two courses at the 300 or 400 level and any two other economics courses at the 200-level or above.  No substitution of non-economics courses will be accepted towards the requirements for the minor, except as described below.

Mathematical Prerequisites

Math 115 (College Algebra) or Math Q114 (Quantitative Reasoning) is a prerequisite for Econ 101 (Introduction to Microeconomics) and for Econ 102 (Introduction to Macroeconomics).

Minor Credit for Non-Economics and Transfer Courses

Economics courses taken at other institutions of higher education may be counted towards the requirements for the economics minor, up to a maximum of two such courses. One of the following courses at UMass Boston: MSIS 111, Math 125 or Psych 270, may also be counted towards the economics minor (and will be considered a substitute for Econ 205).  These non-economics courses will be considered as one of the two allowable transfer courses for the minor.

For more information on requirements for the Economics major or minor, see the BASIC INFO SHEET.

Declaring a Major or Minor in Economics

In order to declare a major in economics, simply stop by the department office (Wheatley, fifth floor, room 082).  We will sign the form required by the Registrar.  More important, we will assign you to an individual faculty member who will serve as your adviser.  If you have any questions about declaring a major in economics, you should speak with an economics professor with whom you have a course or you can arrange to talk with the Associate Chair, Professor Julie Nelson, or Chairperson of the Department, Professor Adugna Lemi.