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Majoring in Economics

The Economics major at Carolina is one of the largest majors within the College of Arts and Sciences. Its Bachelor of Arts degree program is centered within the College's philosophy of liberal arts to develop each student's critical thinking skills and, as one of the social sciences, to enable them to gain a broader understanding of human behavior on individual and group levels.

The Department of Economics is committed to providing courses which will enable students to gain a greater comprehension of the principles and problems of modern economic life so that they may participate as intelligent and informed citizens and to offer a major which will enhance their preparation for future careers. After graduation many Economics majors pursue graduate degrees in fields such as economics, business, law, health administration and public policy. Other Econ graduates proceed to employment opportunities in the private, governmental and non-profit sectors of the economy. In preparation for either employment or graduate studies, Economics majors often select second majors or minors in other departments and curricula in the University.

All entering UNC students spend the first two years in the General College. During these four semesters they are required to take a variety of courses in English, foreign language, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, aesthetics, history and philosophy. Because the study of economics involves a substantial amount of quantitative analysis, Economics majors are required to complete a course in calculus. Either Math 22, OR 23 or Math 31 can be used to satisfy this requirement. The Department strongly encourages students to take OR 23, unless they plan to take additional math courses beyond Math 31. Students considering doing graduate work in economics should take additional math courses and/or major or minor in mathematics. The Economics Department offers the following courses within the General College curriculum:

  • ECONOMICS 6: First Year Seminar in Economics. This course does not substitute for Econ 10 in the requirements for an Econ major.
  • ECONOMICS 10: Introduction to Economics. This course counts toward the social sciences perspective and is a prerequisite for all courses numbered above 65.
  • ECONOMICS 36: Economic History of Western Europe. This course counts toward the Western historical perspective.
  • ECONOMICS 59: Introduction to the History of Economic Thought. This course counts toward the philosophical perspective.
  • ECONOMICS 67: Comparative Economic Systems. This course counts toward the Non-western historical perspective.

Students who major in Economics are required to take Economics 10 and at least seven (7) additional courses in Economics. A grade of C or better must be achieved in Econ 10 and at least six (6) of the seven (7) courses in a student's major program. Since the College of Arts and Sciences requires that students in Bachelor of Arts programs pass at least four courses from a set of junior-senior perspectives, Economics majors may have as many as nine (9) free elective courses during the upperclass semesters.

The minimum of seven courses in the Economics major must include three required courses:

  • ECONOMICS 70: Elementary Statistics.
  • ECONOMICS 101: Intermediate Theory: Price and Distribution.
  • ECONOMICS 132: Intermediate Theory: Money, Income and Employment.

These three will usually be completed by the middle or end of the junior year. Students who have passed BUSI 24 are considered to have completed the ECON major's statistics requirement and therefore are not permitted to receive credit afterward for ECON 70. However, BUSI 24 does not count as one of the minimum seven courses for the major.

The remaining four (or more) courses will be selected from the following list, with at least one of these being an "advanced course":

  • ECONOMICS 67: Comparative Economic Systems.
  • ECONOMICS 91: Women and Economics.
  • ECONOMICS 92: Current Economic Problems.
  • ECONOMICS 135: Economic History of the United States.*
  • ECONOMICS 138: [pre: 101 & 132] Economic Development of the United States.*
  • ECONOMICS 141: [pre: 101] Analysis of Public Finance
  • ECONOMICS 142: [pre: 101 & 141] (advanced) Advanced Topics in Public Finance.
  • ECONOMICS 147: [pre: 101] Industrial Organization.
  • ECONOMICS 148: [pre:101 & 147] (advanced) Advanced Topics in Industrial Organization.
  • ECONOMICS 150: [pre: 101] Introduction to Health Economics.
  • ECONOMICS 158: [pre: 100 or 101] Health Economics: Problems and Policy.
  • ECONOMICS 159: History of Economic Doctrines.
  • ECONOMICS 160: [pre: 101] European Economic Integration.
  • ECONOMICS 161: [pre: 101] International Economics.**
  • ECONOMICS 162: [pre: 101 & 161] (advanced) Topics in International Economics
  • ECONOMICS 163: [pre: 101] Economic Development.
  • ECONOMICS 164: [pre: 96 or permission] International Economics from the Participant's Perspective.**
  • ECONOMICS 165: [pre: 101] Economics of Population.
  • ECONOMICS 168: Principles of Soviet and Post-Soviet Economic Systems.
  • ECONOMICS 169: Western and Asian Economic Systems.
  • ECONOMICS 170: [pre: 70] (advanced) Economic Applications of Statistical Analysis.
  • ECONOMICS 180: [pre: 101] (advanced) Economics of the Family.
  • ECONOMICS 181: [pre: 101] (advanced) Topics in Microeconomic Theory.
  • ECONOMICS 182: [pre: 132] (advanced) Topics in Macroeconomic Theory.
  • ECONOMICS 183: [pre: 101 & MATH 33] (advanced) Game Theory in Economics.
  • ECONOMICS 185: [pre: 132] (advanced) Financial Markets and Economic Fluctuations..
  • ECONOMICS 193: History of the Labor Movement.
  • ECONOMICS 194: [pre: 101] Labor Economics.
  • ECONOMICS 195: [pre: 101 & 194] (advanced) Topics in labor Economics
  • ECONOMICS 199: Seminar in Economics.

The Department participates in the UNC Honors Program by offering A-sections of ECON 10, 101, and 132 on a regular basis. These sections are designed for students who are willing to accept the challenge of a more demanding approach to the subject matter. Registration for these honors sections takes place through the university's Honors Program office in Graham Memorial. Senior majors with outstanding academic performances (typically at least a 3.5 in the major and in overall QPA) may be invited to enroll in Economics 98 and 99, which may lead to a degree with Honors in Economics. The prime focus of the senior honors work is the completion of an independent research project, culminating in a defended honors thesis. Students who graduate with Honors in Economics take at least eight courses in the major, and Economics 99 may count as the required "advance course."

The Department offers a number of other courses as service to other departments, schools and curricula. Since they are designed for students with somewhat different interests and objectives, these courses do not count towards an Economics major and may not receive graduation credit if paired with similar courses on the above lists. The courses that do not count toward your Econ major are: Econ 06E, 036, 059, 096, 100, 130, 140, 145 and 190. Students should check the University undergraduate catalogue for further details.


*Graduation credit can be received for only one of these courses.

**Students may count either Econ 161 or Econ 164 towards the major, but not both.