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Economics Major Requirements

Economics major leading to BA degree

A major in economics leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree requires completion of at least 47 credits as follows:

  1. ECON 101 and 102, 203, 210, 211, 398; INTR 201, 202
  2. Five additional courses in economics numbered above 211. (Note: A maximum of nine credits from supervised study abroad and/or special topics courses may apply toward major requirements.)
  3. One course chosen from POL 100, 105, and 111
  4. Achievement in calculus at a level equivalent to MATH 101
  5. One additional course in politics at any level or one additional course in mathematics for which MATH 101 is a prerequisite.
  6. Grade-point average: at least 2.000 in the economics credits offered for the major, and at least 2.000 in the total of all credits, from whatever department, offered for the major.

Students pursuing Honors in Economics are required to take ECON 399.

  1. Required courses:
    • ECON 101 - Principles of Microeconomics

      FDR: SS1
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Survey of economic principles and problems with emphasis on analysis of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy. The first half of a two-term survey of economics. Should be followed by ECON 102.

    • ECON 102 - Principles of Macroeconomics

      FDR: SS1
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ECON 101.

      Continuation of survey begun in ECON 101, with emphasis on performance of the aggregate economy. Analysis of unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.

    • ECON 203 - Econometrics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite or corequisite: INTR 201. Prerequisite: INTR 202 or permission of the department head.

      Explorations of regression models that relate a response variable to one or more predictor variables. The course begins with a review of the simple bivariate model used in INTR 202, and moves on to multivariate models. Underlying model assumptions and consequences are discussed. Advanced topics include non-linear regression and forecasting. Examples in each class are drawn from a number of disciplines. The course emphasizes the use of data and student-directed research.

    • ECON 210 - Microeconomic Theory

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 102; MATH 101.

      Contemporary theory relating to consumer behavior, the firm's optimizing behavior, the nature of competition in various types of markets and market equilibrium over time. Recommended for economics majors not later than their junior year.

    • ECON 211 - Macroeconomic Theory

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: Economics major, ECON 101 and 102, or instructor consent.

      This course develops the classical macroeconomic framework and uses this to explore the causes and consequences of economic growth, inflation, output, and employment. This same exercise is conducted using alternative theoretical frameworks, including those associated with Keynes, Monetarists, and New Classical thinkers. Emphasis is placed on investigating the impact and effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy under each of the theoretical paradigms or schools of thought developed.

    • ECON 398 - Topical Research Seminar in Economics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ECON 203, 210, and 211 and major standing.

      Students work through the original literature in a given field within the discipline of economics. Emphasis is on critical understanding of that literature. Required written work and class discussion focus on summarizing and reviewing articles, gaining insight into the current economic knowledge documented in that literature, and identifying research questions implied by that literature. Based upon this review, students write a detailed proposal of an independent research project after which they carry out the project and write a paper documenting their research. Those students who choose to continue in ECON 399 have the opportunity to develop their proposals into complete research papers.

    • INTR 201 - Information Technology Literacy

      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 1


      Prerequisite: First-year or sophomore standing

      Through the use of interactive online tutorials, students gain proficiency in and a working knowledge of five distinct areas of information technology literacy: Windows Operating System, spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel), word processing (Microsoft Word), presentation software (Microsoft PowerPoint), and basic networking (the Washington and Lee network, basic Web browsing, and Microsoft Outlook). Lessons, exercises, practice exams and exams mix online efforts and hands-on activities.

    • INTR 202 - Applied Statistics

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: INTR 201.

      An examination of the principal applications of statistics in accounting, business, economics, and politics. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis.

  2. Five additional courses in economics numbered above 211.
  3. (Note: A maximum of nine credits from supervised study abroad and/or special topics courses may apply toward major requirements.)

  4. One course chosen from:
    • POL 100 - American National Government

      FDR: SS2
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.

    • POL 105 - Introduction to Global Politics

      FDR: SS2
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.

    • POL 111 - Introduction to Political Philosophy

      FDR: SS2
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      An introduction to some of the perennial themes of politics, such as the relationship between human nature and political institutions, individual freedom and community, private conscience and civic virtue, the claims of reason and faith, the nature of law, obligation, and rights, among others. Our inquiry is guided by selections from influential works in the history of political thought, ancient, modern and contemporary, as well as plays, dialogues, comedies, tragedies, novels, and films. Consult with instructor for specific reading assignments and course requirements.

  5. Achievement in calculus at a level equivalent to MATH 101
    • MATH 101 - Calculus I

      FDR: FM
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Note: Students needing this course to fulfill an FDR requirement should add to a waiting list when open; additional sections may be added.

      An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem.

      Winter 2014 description:

      Math 101E: Calculus I for Beginners with Biology Applications (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Students who have already taken calculus cannot take this section. This section has a strong emphasis in biology. An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. This class is restricted to and specially tailored for those who are beginning their study of calculus. (Students who have already seen calculus, yet wish to retake it, must register for 101 instead of 101B.) This section meets four days per week. (FM) Toporikova.

      Fall 2013 descriptions:

      MATH 101: Calculus I (3). An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. This section assumes that students have already seen some calculus, yet want to start over at the beginning of the calculus sequence. Students who have never seen calculus should instead take 101B (note that both 101 and 101B lead into Math 102). The class meets three days a week. (FM) Abrams, Beanland, Keller.

      MATH 101B: Calculus I for Beginners: A First Course (3). Students who have already taken calculus can not take this section. An introduction to the calculus of functions of one variable, including a study of limits, derivatives, extrema, integrals, and the fundamental theorem. This class is restricted to and specially tailored for those who are beginning their study of calculus. (Students who have already seen calculus, yet wish to retake it, must register for 101 instead of 101B.) This section meets four days per week. (FM) Bush.
       

  6. One additional course in politics at any level or one additional course in mathematics for which MATH 101 is a prerequisite.
  7. Grade-point average:
  8. at least 2.000 in the economics credits offered for the major, and at least 2.000 in the total of all credits, from whatever department, offered for the major.