Curriculum, Courses & Requirements

Teaching undergraduates is a major focus and priority of the economics department. At UW-Madison, teaching allows the economics faculty to share their knowledge and passion to the next generations of leaders in the field. Students in the department’s top-ranked graduate program also incorporate the teaching of undergraduates as an integral part of their own research and training.

Undergraduate introductory courses typically are larger lectures taught by professors and faculty lecturers, supplemented with discussion sessions led by teaching assistants. As students advance to higher level courses, class sizes become smaller and interaction with professors can be more individualized. Intermediate and advanced courses may also have teaching assistants who specialize in the course’s subject matter. Outside of class, professors and teaching assistants are available during regular office hours.

Theory Math & Statistics Core Electives Other Electives
Econ 101 (Principles of Microeconomics), 4 cr.
&
Econ 102 ( Principles of Macroeconomics), 4 cr.
 
OR
 
Econ 111 (Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment), 4 cr.
Math 221
or
Math 217
or
Math 213
or
Math 211+Econ 205

 

*Math 211 taken alone Summer 2024 and previous satisfies requirement.

Two Core Electives are required and must be taken at UW-Madison (cannot be done during study abroad). Choose from the list below.

Remaining credits to complete the major.

Econ 301 (Intermediate Microeconomic Theory), 4 cr.
&
Econ 302 (Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory), 4 cr.

Econ 310 (Statistics: Measurement in Economics), 4 cr.

**Any other statistics courses should be discussed with an Economics academic advisor.

 

Complete at least two Economics Core Electives from the following list: 400, 410, 435, 441, 442, 448, 450, 451, 455, 458, 460, 461, 464, 467, 468, 475, 503, 508, 521, 522, 530, 548, 570, 580, 621, 623, 661, 664, 666, 690, 695

Other elective courses: 300, 305, 306, 309, 315, 320, 321, 330, 343, 355, 364, 370, 371, 390, 420, 421, 449, 462, 465, 466, 473, 474, 477, 502, 524, 526, 531, 567, 641, 663, 671

Core elective courses: 400, 409, 410, 435, 441, 442, 448, 450, 451, 455, 458, 460, 461, 464, 467, 468, 475, 503, 508, 521, 522, 530, 548, 570, 580, 621, 623, 661, 664, 666, 690, 695

Theory Math & Statistics Core Electives Other Electives
Econ 101 (Principles of Microeconomics), 4 cr.
&
Econ 102 ( Principles of Macroeconomics), 4 cr. 
 
OR 
 
Econ 111 (Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment), 4 cr.

Math 221, 222, 234 & (320 or 340)

Three Core Electives are required and at least two must be taken at UW-Madison (cannot be done during study abroad).

Optional Economics electives.

Econ 301 (Intermediate Microeconomic Theory), 4 cr.
&
Econ 302 (Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory), 4 cr.

Econ 310 (Statistics: Measurement in Economics), 4 cr.

Complete at least three Economics Core Electives from the following list: 400, 409, 410, 435, 441, 442, 448, 450, 451, 455, 458, 460, 461, 464, 467, 468, 475, 503, 508, 521, 522, 530, 548, 570, 580, 621, 623, 661, 664, 666, 690, 695

Other elective courses: 300, 305, 306, 309, 315, 320, 321, 330, 343, 355, 364, 370, 371, 390, 420, 421, 449, 462, 465, 466, 473, 474, 477, 502, 524, 526, 531, 567, 641, 663, 671

Econ 410 (Introductory Econometrics), 4 cr.

*All of the requirements of the Economics with Math Emphasis option, plus some honors-specific courses
Theory Math & Statistics Core Electives Honors Capstone GPA Requirement
Econ 101 (Principles of Microeconomics), 4 cr.
&
Econ 102 ( Principles of Macroeconomics), 4 cr. 
 
OR 
 
Econ 111 (Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment), 4 cr.

Math 221, 222, 234 & (320 or 340)

Three Core Electives are required, including Econ 580 (Honors Tutorial in Research Project Design), 3 cr.

At least two must be taken at UW-Madison (cannot be done during study abroad).

Find an economics professor mentor and enroll in either Econ 581, Honors Thesis (one semester)
 
OR
 
Econ 681 and Econ 682, Honors Thesis (two semesters).
 
**Economics 580 must be taken prior to writing the Honors Thesis.

Attain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 out of 4.0 in all courses in the major and an overall GPA of at least 3.3 in all courses taken at UW-Madison at the time of graduation.

Econ 311 (Intermediate Microeconomic Theory - Advanced Treatment), 3 cr. (Fall only)
&
Econ 312 (Intermediate Microeconomic Theory - Advanced Treatment), 3 cr. (Spring only)

Econ 310 (Statistics: Measurement in Economics), 4 cr.

Complete at least three Economics Core Electives from the following list (including Econ 580): 400, 409, 410, 435, 441, 442, 448, 450, 451, 455, 458, 460, 461, 464, 467, 468, 475, 503, 508, 521, 522, 530, 548, 570, 580, 621, 623, 661, 664, 666, 690, 695

Econ 410 (Introductory Econometrics), 4 cr.

Wondering if honors in the major is right for you? Schedule an advising appointment!

Schedule an Advising Appointment

Declare the Major

Interested in a certificate instead? Check out the requirements and how to declare a Certificate in Economic Analytics.

Extra Economics Courses

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Econ 205: Quantitative Tools for Economics

Econ 205: Quantitative Tools in Economics is a class to refine the quantitative skills necessary to succeed in intermediate and advanced-level economics courses. If you would like the chance to revisit calculus that may have faded over the years before going into the deep dive of economics and calculus that is Econ 301, 302, and 310, then Econ 205 may be the right fit.

Pre-requisites are: (ECON 101, 102, 111 or concurrent enrollment) and (MATH 211, 217, 221 or 275).

While Econ 205 does not count to the 30 credits needed for the Econ major,  it does have an impact on the Econ major GPA and counts as overall credit for a bachelor’s degree. Want to learn more? Find the syllabus here.

Econ 228: Internship in Economics

Many students pursue an internship as a way to reinforce their academic studies and gain insight into a future career. The Economics Career Development Office can assist you with finding an internship or answer questions you may have. Also, Letters & Science Career Services has information on internships that you should review if you are considering an internship.

If you are an economics major, you may qualify to earn economics course credit for the experience. The internship is recorded as Economics 228, a one (1) credit elementary level course that is graded on a credit / no credit basis. Students should enroll for Econ 228 in the same semester/session in which the internship is granted and will be completed. All enrollments require prior approval by the Department of Economics. You are responsible for securing the internship before applying for the internship course credit.

Prerequisites for enrolling in Econ 228:

  • Declared economics major with a GPA of 2.2 or higher in the major
  • Completed at least four (4) economics classes at UW-Madison
  • Completed at least one (1) intermediate theory class (Economics 301, 311, 302, or 312)

Requirements to earn course credit for an internship:

  • Submit the supporting documentation as described below to the Economics Undergraduate Office.
  • Work as an intern a minimum of 100 hours during the term.

Supporting Documentation by Internship Supervisor and Student

The following documents must be submitted via email to econadvise@ssc.wisc.edu:

  • A letter from the internship supervisor at the start of the term confirming the internship and indicating the number of hours and duties that will be required.
  • A second letter from the internship supervisor at the end of the term (no later than the last day of scheduled classes) evaluating the intern’s performance and outlining the duties performed.
  • A 2-3 page paper, written by the student, describing the relationship of the internship to economics studies.  The paper should contain a brief description of of job duties and make connections between the internship and your educational experiences in economics.  This is due by the final day of classes of the semester in which the internship occurs.

Other Stipulations

  • You will not receive credit for an internship completed while attending another university.
  • You may take Economics 228, the internship course, for a maximum of two semesters and receive a total of two (2) credits, one credit per semester.

Additional Resources

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ECON 400 vs 410

Debating whether to take ECON 400 (Introduction to Applied Econometrics) or
ECON 410 (Introductory Econometrics)? Learn more here!

Summer Economics Courses

Thinking about taking an Econ class over the summer? Find course descriptions and more information on our Summer Courses page.

Statistics Recommendations

All students majoring in economics are required to take Economics 310, Statistics: Measurement in Economics, unless another course is approved by an economics academic advisor. Students planning to pursue graduate studies in economics or those with a strong math background are strongly encouraged to take courses in statistics and related topics beyond the requirements for the economics major. Related, recommended statistics courses include:

  • Statistics 302, Accelerated Introduction to Statistical Methods    *this class is discontinued, but Stats 302 transfer credit is allowed.
  • Statistics 309, Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics I
  • Statistics 310, Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics II
  • Statistics 311, Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I
  • Statistics 312, Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics II
  • Statistics 324, Introductory Applied Statistics for Engineers
  • Statistics/Math 431, Introduction to the Theory of Probability
  • Statistics sequence: Stats 303-333, R for Statistics 1 and Applied Regression Analysis  (both must be completed)
  • Math 331, An Introduction to Probability and Markov Chain Models
  • Math 632, Introduction to Stochastic Processes

If you plan to take any statistics courses other than what is required for the major, we encourage you to meet with an economics academic advisor to discuss the best course of study to fit your future plans.

Students in pre-business who are considering economics as an additional major are encouraged to meet with an economics academic advisor to determine whether the statistics course offerings from the economics department or business school, Gen Bus 306 and 307, are best suited for a student.

Similarly, students considering a double major in economics and, data science, statistics, or math should consult academic advisors in both departments. Some courses can be counted toward the requirements for both majors, but some course sequences may limit future opportunities, so it is best to consult the advisors prior to enrolling in courses.
*For those in Data Science in specific, the Stats 240-340 sequence could be accepted for some Economics classes that list Econ 310 as a pre-requisite. Please consult with Economics Academic Advising staff to assess if Stats 240-340 could exempt you out of Econ 310 for a class you are hoping to enroll in.

Math Recommendations

Although Math 211 will satisfy the calculus requirement for the Economics major, Math 221 or 217 is recommended/preferred. This is because Math 221/217 provide a more solid foundation for intermediate and advanced economics courses.

Starting Fall 2024, Math 213 will be a pre-req for Econ 301, 302, and required for graduation with an Economics major. This rule will only apply to those who took/transferred in Math 211 in Fall 2024 and onward.

Note that Economics with math emphasis majors MUST take Math 221 or 217, Math 211 will not be accepted.

Waitlist Policy

Economics Core Electives and other high-demand courses many times do have wait lists that students may register for. Students are not guaranteed a seat in the class if they enroll on the waitlist. As space becomes available, graduating economics seniors will have preference.

For courses that are cross-listed with other departments, the wait list will be maintained by the primary department offering the course (for example, Finance/Economics 300 is owned by the Finance Department-so, the waitlist for this class is managed by the Finance Department).

If you are offered a spot off of the waitlist, you will receive an email from our office instructing you to enroll in the course.

Questions regarding the waitlist for an economics course may be directed to econadvise@ssc.wisc.edu.

Questions about the general use of a wait list should be referred to the Enrollment Helpline in the Office of the Registrar.

Transferring Courses Policies and Logistics

Stipulations for Economics Majors Transferring Credits
The Department of Economics requires that a minimum of two Core Electives in Economics are completed at UW-Madison. Additionally, the major of Economics requires that all students (transfer or not) complete at least 15 of the total 30 required intermediate or advanced credits at UW-Madison.  For example, if a student were to transfer 25 credits of Econ coursework to UW-Madison, with all of it being intermediate or advanced level, they still must finish at least 15 more Econ credits from UW-Madison to graduate and earn their degree. This is separate from the general residency requirement of your degree plan. Please work with your assigned academic advisor in Economics soon after declaring the major to discuss in more detail.

If you do wish to transfer in any course from outside UW, and not via an approved UW Study Abroad Program, check proactively to see how your course(s) will transfer

Check Transferology for the school you plan to attend. If your school is listed, you will see how courses from this school transfer to UW–Madison. If you plan to enroll in a summer course that is not pre-equated on, you may request course equivalencies via the Course Equivalency Service (CES) between March 1 and May 15. You may refer to our Guidelines for Choosing Non-UW–Madison Courses when the Course Equivalency Service is closed. Be sure to confirm that any course you take will be given transfer credit before you enroll or pay for it

If you have identified a course you wish to take outside UW, please work with that institution to get enrolled. You will likely have to apply to that institution as a Special Student or Non-Degree-Seeking-Student. Register for that course, and pass the course. You will only transfer back credit from that course, not a grade or associated GPA.

Submitting Transcripts

After completing a course off campus, request that an official transcript be mailed or sent electronically to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Electronic transcripts must be sent through a secure document sending service to etranscripts@admissions.wisc.edu. Transcripts sent through email, as an attachment, will not be accepted as official. Paper transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment must bear an official school seal or be printed on the school’s custom watermarked/security paper.

Once your final transcripts are received by the Office of Admissions, they will process the document, and send it to the Credit Evaluations Services office, who will evaluate and post the course to your UW-Madison record. Click here for more FAQ’s on how the transfer credit process works and for answers to commonly asked questions.

Where can I find the syllabi for Economics courses?

You can find example syllabi for our Economics courses here. If you do not see a syllabus for a specific course/professor, please reach out to advising team for assistance at econadvise@ssc.wisc.edu.