Tufts University  |  School of Arts and Sciences  |  Find People  | 
   

Undergraduates

Program Requirements

Overview

All majors in economics must complete a basic program that includes mathematics, principles of economics, intermediate microeconomic theory, intermediate macroeconomic theory, and statistics. Two tracks toward a major are offered. Option I, the Major in Economics, is somewhat less structured and allows some greater flexibility in the choice of courses. Option II, the Major in Quantitative Economics, follows a more mathematical approach to the study of economics and provides the background recommended for those contemplating graduate study in economics or the more quantitative areas of business and finance.

Under either major option, it is recommended that students begin taking the principles course and required mathematics courses during their first year, and begin taking the core economic theory courses during their second year. Once the principles and core prerequisites have been met, a wide range of elective courses is available. Restrictions on the choice of electives for each major are summarized below. A minimum grade of C- is required for all mathematics, core, and elective courses used to satisfy major requirements.

Back to top

Declaring an Economics Major


Declaring an Economics Major requires that you:
  1. Complete a Declaration of Major Form (also available in Dowling Hall)
  2. Have your pre-major advisor sign your Declaration of Major Form
  3. Meet with an Economics advisor and have your new advisor sign your Declaration of Major Form
  4. Deliver the original Declaration of Major Form to the Dowling Hall Service Desk

To choose an Economics Advisor you may:

  1. Contact any advisors to determine their availability.
  2. Speak to a staff member in the Economics office to request help.

Please keep in mind that not all faculty members are eligible or available to be advisors.

Back to top

Preparing for Graduate Study in Economics

Students wishing to pursue graduate work in economics should consult with their advisor at their earliest opportunity. Graduate study in economics is highly mathematical. Entrance into top programs, especially the top twenty programs, is also extremely competitive. On the other hand, there is excellent funding available for smart and well trained applicants and Tufts has historically done a good job of placing students in top Ph.D. programs.

Because the top doctoral programs are so competitive, it is important that you plan your undergraduate course of study carefully so that you will both stand out as an applicant and be successful in the program. Doing a senior thesis or some other research activity can be valuable. Econometrics is an invaluable tool and a signal to graduate programs of your ability to do quantitative work in economics. Equally (if not more) important, you should take higher level Mathematics courses.

The Department of Economics recommends that you take at the minimum:

  • Mathematics 42 (formerly Mathematics 13), or Mathematics 44 (formerly Mathematics 18)
  • Mathematics 70 (formerly Mathematics 46)
  • Mathematics 72 (formerly Mathematics 54)
  • Mathematics 135, and Mathematics 136

Additional courses you could take include Mathematics 51 (formerly Math 38), 161, and 162. These courses, however, will not substitute for courses in the first list.

In addition to demonstrating strength in mathematics, you should take courses that strengthen your writing skills as well as your analytic reasoning skills. You should also take classes within the department in such a fashion that you will have 2 or 3 full-time faculty members who know you well enough to write letters of recommendation for you.

If you plan to spend part or all of your junior year abroad, we strongly urge you to contact your advisor early in the planning process to find a program that will allow you to maintain the rigor that will be necessary to ensure acceptance at a top graduate program. There are a number of excellent programs that will complement your training in economics here at Tufts and expose you to top-notch teachers and researchers. Other programs, however, are not designed in a way that will allow you to develop the skills and expertise you will need to be a strong applicant in the best graduate programs in Economics. Again, talk to your advisor early in your planning process.

Finally, we note that an undergraduate degree in economics is not a prerequisite for graduate work in economics. Many economists (including faculty in this department) did not major in economics as undergraduates. They did, however, have the Mathematics and writing skills necessary to succeed in graduate programs. Please feel free to contact your advisor or any member of the faculty in Economics if you think you might be interested in graduate work in economics.

Back to top

Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Tufts undergraduates with adequate preparation may enroll in graduate courses. If such courses are passed with a minimum grade of B- and are not needed for the completion of baccalaureate requirements, they may be applied toward a Master of Arts in Economics. Tufts students who apply to the M.S. program are subject to the usual admission requirements, but are not required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Learn more >

Back to top

Approved Courses for Majors or Minors in Economics

All students should be aware of the following general restrictions on major and minor courses. Students are expected to check with an economics advisor if they are unclear about the status of a course.
  1. No Pass/Fail courses can be used to satisfy the requirements for a major or minor.
  2. A grade of C- or above is required for all core and elective courses used to satisfy major or minor requirements.
  3. No more than two courses can be transferred to meet major requirements and no more than one course can be transferred to meet the minor requirements.
  4. Only courses that have a primary focus on economics and that make use of economic analysis are eligible to be used as electives for the two majors or the minor in economics. Department of Economics courses numbered Economics 3 through Economics 10 (with the exception of Economics 5) are specifically not eligible for credit toward a major or minor in economics. These courses are non-economics courses that are offered as a service to the student community. This policy specifically excludes several courses that are primarily "business" courses, such as Economics 3 (Accounting), Economics 6 (Business Law), and Economics 7 (Principles of Finance). Business classes that are offered by other Tufts' programs and business classes that are transferred from other institutions are also excluded.
  5. Courses offered by Experimental College may not be used to satisfy major or minor requirements.
  6. Courses offered by other departments in AS&E or in other schools at Tufts (including Fletcher) that have a primary focus on economics and that make use of economic analysis may be eligible, with the approval of the Department's Transfer-of-Credit Representative, to be used as electives. Any such course should have at least an Economics 1, 2, or 5 prerequisite (or their equivalent). Please consult the Transfer of Credit checklist for the steps that must be followed in order to petition to have courses from other departments at Tufts accepted for economics credit.

Back to top

Advanced Placements and Acceleration Credit

Any awards of credit for previous secondary school work must conform to the regulations stated in the Bulletin of Tufts University for Arts & Sciences as administered by the Office of the Dean of the Colleges. Questions about the interpretation of these regulations should be directed to the Dean's office. If a student is awarded advanced placement or accelerated credit based on previous work, the student may not take a comparable course for credit toward the degree. The most common award for secondary school work in economics is for credit in Principles of Microeconomics or credit in Principles of Macroeconomics. This credit is typically awarded for satisfactory scores of CEEB Advanced Placement Exams or on other recognized national matriculation exams.

Advanced Placement Examinations of the College Entrance Examination Board
  • A student scoring 5 on the Microeconomics AP exam is eligible for one credit. The student should enroll in Principles of Economics (Economics 5).
  • A student scoring 5 on the Macroeconomics AP exam is eligible for one credit. The student should enroll in Principles of Economics (Economics 5).
  • A student scoring 5 on the Microeconomics AP exam and 5 on the Macroeconomics AP exam is eligible for two credits. The student is eligible for enrollment into intermediate economic theory courses (Economics 11, 12, or 18) and should not enroll in Principles of Economics (Economics 5).
  • Credit from the Statistics AP exam does not satisfy the Statistics (Economics 13) course requirement for any economics major or minor.

Foreign Diploma Credit

  • British General Certificate of Education, A-Level
    A student with a grade of A, B, or C in economics is eligible for one Tufts credit for Principles of Economics, and placement into intermediate economic theory courses.
  • French Baccalaureate
    A student with a score of 10 or higher with a coefficient of 3 or higher in economics is eligible for one Tufts credit for Principles of Economics and placement into intermediate economic theory courses.
  • International Baccalaureate, Higher Level
    A student with a score of 5 or higher is eligible for one Tufts credit for Principles of Economics and placement into intermediate economic theory courses.
  • Foreign diplomat credit for Statistics does not satisfy the Statistics (Economics 13) requirement for any economics major or minor.

Back to top

Honors in Economics

Effectively immediately, completion of a designated Economics Research Paper class is no longer a requirement for Magna/Summa Honors. This change applies to senior candidates for Magna or Summa this academic year. However, completing such a course remains a requirement for completion of the Quantitative Economics concentration. Please contact your Economics faculty advisor if you have questions about this change. The award of degrees Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude requires recommendation by the Department. Recommendation is not automatically determined by any mechanical rules, but the minimum requirements to be considered by the Department are shown below. Students should keep in mind that course credits transferred to Tufts without letter grades are not normally used as part of the review for honors.

Magna Cum Laude

To be recommended by the Department for graduation magna cum laude, it is necessary but not sufficient for a student:
  1. To have a grade point average of 3.65 or higher.
  2. To have six or more A's in the courses counted toward the concentration in Economics (Economics 1, 2, and 5 are not eligible).
  3. To demonstrate a high level of intellectual force. Included in the ways the department judges this attribute are: quality of contribution in classes; excellent performance in all of the courses offered for the major; quality of projects pursued, especially class and seminar papers; quality of a written thesis and its defense; and the overall rigor and challenge of the student's academic program in the major.

Summa Cum Laude
To be recommended by the Department for graduate summa cum laude, it is necessary but not sufficient for a student to meet the qualifications for magna cum laude but at an even higher level. In particular, a student must:

  1. Have a grade point average of 3.8 or higher.
  2. Have six or more A's in the courses counted toward the concentration in Economics (Economics 1, 2, and 5 are not eligible).
  3. Demonstrate outstanding intellectual force. Included in the ways the department judges this attribute are: quality of contribution in classes; superior performance in all of the courses offered for the major; quality of projects pursued, especially class and seminar papers; quality of a written thesis and its defense; and the overall rigor and challenge of the student's academic program in the major.

The award of summa cum laude is not solely at the discretion of the Department. It requires the recommendation of the LA&J Committee on Honors, and the approval of the faculty of Liberal Arts and Jackson. The LA&J standard for summa cum laude is "extraordinary achievement in the breadth, as well as the depth, of a student's intellectual development." Historically, the Committee on Honors has relied heavily on a review of the student's entire transcript, the earning of at least one "A" grade in each distribution area, and recommendations from the student's major department.

Back to top

The Course Numbering System

Each course in the Department of Economics is assigned a number that reflects the prerequisites of the course and the major or minor requirements it might satisfy.
EC 1-2 and 5 Prerequisite Courses are prerequisites to Core and Elective Courses.
EC 3 and 6-10 Non-major Courses do not satisfy major or minor requirements.
EC 11-19 Core Courses are required theory courses for majors and prerequisite courses for the Upper-level Electives.
EC 20-99 Lower-level Electives have Economics 1, 2, and/or 5 as prerequisites.
EC 100-199 Upper-level Electives have at least one Core Course as a prerequisite. Only approved upper-level electives are eligible for graduate credit.
EC 200-299 Graduate Courses automatically grant graduate credit.

Back to top

Advisement Report Approval for Graduating Seniors

The steps to apply for graduation and submit an Advisement Report (formerly known as Degree Sheet) are as follows:
Seniors must:
  1. use SIS to apply for graduation as of some date (typically February 2016 or May 2016).
  2. use SIS to generate a printed Advisement Report showing all classes you have taken and the classes you will take in your final semester at Tufts.
  3. complete an Economics Major Checklist or Quantitative Economics Major Checklist and have it reviewed and approved by your economics advisor.
  4. leave your signed major checklist and Advisement Report with the staff in the Economics Administration Office (Braker, Rm. 110). The form will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Chair. The form will then be returned to the staff within 24 hours.
  5. pick up your approved major checklist and Advisement Report from the department office and drop forms off at the Dowling Hall service desk.

February 2016 graduates should complete these steps between now and Friday, October 9, 2015.

May 2016 graduates should complete these steps after they preregister for Spring classes, or between Wednesday, November 5 and the deadline of Friday December 4.

The Undergraduate Chair will not process forms for May 2016 graduates until students have their Advisement Report showing Spring 2016 class registrations.

Please email Professor Ed Kutsoati at edward.kutsoati@tufts.edu if you have any questions.

Back to top

Checklists/Forms

Please complete the following forms online, print, secure the necessary signatures, and submit to the Economics Administration office (Braker Hall, Rm. 110).

*For various other forms, please refer to the Registrar's Office's Student Forms.