Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Saturday, July 4, 2020, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2019-2020 Course Catalog

Required for the major in economics

Students who major in economics will learn to comprehend an economic journal article, including the interpretation of quantitative evidence and regression analysis results, and to prepare an economic analysis (either micro or macro) and communicate effectively the results of that analysis orally and in writing. Students will learn to construct tables and graphs from available public sources that identify relevant trends for public or private policy decision-making, and they will use the methods of economics to analyze a broad spectrum of problems in social science.

The major in economics requires the following:

  1. ECON 100: Introductory Economics
  2. The following mathematics courses:
    1. MATH 140: Calculus I or both MATH 120: Applied Calculus I and MATH 130: Applied Calculus II
    2. MATH 107: Elementary Statistics (or equivalent)
  3. Intermediate theory (majors must take all three courses prior to completion of the junior year; the economics department must approve any exception):
    1. ECON 300: Microeconomic Theory
    2. ECON 320: Macroeconomic Theory
    3. ECON 380: Econometrics
  4. Two additional six-unit courses numbered 200 or higher (six units of tutorial or independent study may count as one of these two courses) and three additional six-unit courses numbered 400 or higher. A maximum of six units of internship credit can count for these requirements. The Senior Experience requirement does not count toward these five courses.
  5. Complete the Senior Experience in economics by taking ECON 601: Senior Experience: Reading Option or ECON 602: Senior Experience: Research Paper Option as described below.

Required for the interdisciplinary major in mathematics-economics

Students who complete the major in mathematics-economics will pursue the outcomes described for the economics and mathematics majors with an explicit focus on economics in constructing and critiquing mathematical arguments. Students pursuing the major must have an advisor in each department.

The major in mathematics-economics requires the following:

  1. The mathematics component of the major is:
    • The following mathematics courses:
      • MATH 140: Calculus I
      • MATH 155: Multivariable Calculus
      • MATH 200: Complex Sequences and Series
      • MATH 240: Probability
      • MATH 300: Foundations of Algebra
      • MATH 310: Foundations of Analysis
    • Either MATH 435: Optimization or MATH 445: Mathematical Statistics
    • Six additional units in a mathematics course numbered 400 or above, with 435, 440, 445, or 560 recommended
  2. The economics component of the major is:
    • ECON 100: Introductory Economics
    • The following theory courses (majors must take all three courses prior to completion of the junior year; the economics department must approve any exception):
      • ECON 300: Microeconomics
      • ECON 320: Macroeconomics
      • ECON 380: Econometrics
    • Any three six-unit courses numbered between 400 and 580
  3. The interdisciplinary component of the major is:
    • Completion of an independent study project that has been approved by both departments.

Senior Experience in economics

The economics curriculum culminates with a one-term three-unit Senior Experience course required for all majors. Each year, two sections of the course will be offered. In one section (ECON 601), in which the students read a monograph by a formidable economist or a piece of central interest to economists and engage in active discussion, each student produces a term paper in reaction to the reading. In the paper, each student must relate the reading to theories and applications he or she studied in economics courses. The monograph will be selected by the faculty member teaching the course. This Senior Experience option is designed to mirror the Freshman Studies experience at the end of the student’s career at Lawrence.

In the other section (ECON 602), each student is expected to produce a research paper that stands up to the standards of the profession. To register for this section, students must already have a research idea, generally developed in a 400-level course, and discuss a research proposal with the 602 instructor. Students must explain how the previous paper will be improved, refined and polished in content and in form so that it stands up to the standards of the profession. Instructor approval of this proposal is a prerequisite for registration.

Interdisciplinary mathematics-economics (economics-mathematics) majors may choose to meet their Senior Experience requirement by taking one of the above workshop Senior Experience courses or by satisfying the requirement of the department of mathematics for interdisciplinary mathematics-economics majors’ requirement. In either case, they will need to demonstrate the ability to combine topics in both disciplines—bringing appropriate techniques of mathematics or statistics to bear on the study of economics, or learning mathematics or statistics suggested by models in economics. Students who plan to complete this interdisciplinary major must have their Senior Experience proposal approved by one advisor in the department of mathematics and one in the department of economics prior to the term in which they plan to complete the experience.

Required for the minor in economics

  1. ECON 100: Introductory Economics or ECON 300: Microeconomic Theory
  2. Six additional six-unit courses, at least five of which must be economics courses numbered 200 or above and one that could be a mathematics course. Only six units of tutorial or independent study may count as one of these six courses.

Teacher certification in economics or broad-field social studies

Economics majors can seek certification to teach economics or broad-field social studies at the secondary level. For certification in broad-field social studies, students must complete the economics major and a minimum of two courses each in two other social studies (anthropology/sociology, government/political science, history, or psychology) and at least one course in each of the remaining social studies. Students are strongly encouraged to take a course in U.S. history and a course in global history. A course in environmental studies is also required. Students who plan to seek teacher certification should review the requirements in the Education section of the catalog and meet with the director of teacher education, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.

Course structure and numbering

ECON 100 is a survey course and is an excellent introduction to the discipline, even for those with high school courses.

The 200-level courses apply basic theory to particular fields of inquiry and should be accessible to students with a sound introductory course.

The 300-level courses are intermediate theory courses that are foundational for the economics discipline, and a sequence of 300-level classes is required of all majors.

The 400-level courses are advanced applications classes.

The 500-level courses are graduate-school preparatory courses. 

The Senior Experience courses are at the 600-level. 


ECON 100 and ECON 225 are excellent either as stand-alone courses or as gateways into the discipline. We recommend that all majors and minors take these courses.

For the economics or mathematics-economics major:

  • Speak to a professor in the department about mapping curricular choices. 
  • Take MATH 140 or  MATH 120 and 130 as soon as possible. MATH 150 and MATH 240 are also recommended.
  • Take ECON 100, a 200-level economics course, and then ECON 300.
  • Talk to the instructor and explicitly obtain consent to enroll if you do not meet prerequisites for a course. 
  • Students preparing for graduate work in economics, public policy, business, statistics, or an M.B.A. in a quantitative field should plan to take a number of mathematics courses. These students should consult the economics faculty for advice. The mathematics-economics major or a double major in economics and mathematics are particularly well-suited for these students. Any student interested in graduate economics should take ECON 500 and ECON 520 and several selected mathematics courses as part of their preparation.