Economics Major Requirements

(Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

The introductory courses AS.180.101 Elements of Macroeconomics and AS.180.102 Elements of Microeconomics are open to all students. Each 200-level course has at least one of AS.180.101 and AS.180.102) as a prerequisite. Some have both.

AS.180.301 Microeconomic Theory and AS.180.302 Macroeconomic Theory courses have AS.180.101 Elements of Macroeconomics and AS.180.102 Elements of Microeconomics as well as Calculus I (AS.110.106 or equivalent) as prerequisites. (AS.180.301 Microeconomic Theory can be taken concurrently with AS.180.101 Elements of Macroeconomics but only if the student has completed AS.180.102 Elements of MicroeconomicsAS.180.302 Macroeconomic Theory can be taken concurrently with AS.180.102 Elements of Microeconomics but only if the student has completed AS.180.101 Elements of Macroeconomics). All 300-level courses above 301 and 302 have Microeconomic and/or Macroeconomic Theory (AS.180.301AS.180.302) as prerequisites (or, with permission of the instructor, corequisites), as well as Elements of Economics and Calculus. Some 300-level courses have additional prerequisites; see individual course listings. Independent study is available, subject to the consent of the department and of the faculty member with whom the student wants to work.

Subject to the consent of the instructor and the DUS, graduate courses at the 600-level are open to qualified undergraduates in the spring of their junior year or later. 

For the economics major, a minimum grade of C- or better is required for all courses meeting the requirements and courses may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Courses directly equivalent to JHU courses from study abroad or taken at other universities may count towards requirements; however non-direct equivalent courses must be approved by the department’s director of undergraduate studies. In all cases, at least 5 of the 10 required economics courses of the major must be taken at JHU.  Internships, independent studies, and intersession courses do not apply towards major requirements. 

Major Requirements

Economics Core
AS.180.101Elements of Macroeconomics 13
AS.180.102Elements of Microeconomics 13
AS.180.301Microeconomic Theory4
AS.180.302Macroeconomic Theory4
Economics Electives
Three 200- or 300-level economics courses 29
Two 300-level economics courses6
AS.110.106Calculus I (Biology and Social Sciences) 34
or AS.110.108 Calculus I (Physical Sciences & Engineering)
EN.553.111Statistical Analysis I4
or EN.553.112 Statistical Analysis II
or EN.553.211 Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences
or EN.553.310 Probability & Statistics for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
or EN.553.311 Probability and Statistics for the Biological Sciences and Engineering
or EN.553.420 Introduction to Probability
or EN.553.430 Introduction to Statistics
or AS.280.345 Public Health Biostatistics
Total Credits40

Students who use exam credits to satisfy the AS.180.101 Elements of Macroeconomics and/or AS.180.102 Elements of Microeconomics requirements must take additional courses in the department to reach a total of 10 courses in the department.


Please note: AS.180.203 Faculty Research in Economics, a S/U one-credit course, does not count as one of these three 200-level electives.


Or other equivalent courses approved by the DUS.

Additional Notes for Students

  • EN.553.111 Statistical Analysis I or equivalent (any of the Statistics courses listed above) is a prerequisite for Econometrics.
  • Except for AS.180.301 Microeconomic Theory, AS.180.302 Macroeconomic Theory, AS.180.334 EconometricsAS.180.521 Research in Economics, and AS.180.522 Senior Thesis the department does not necessarily offer all 200- to 500-level courses every year. Students should plan their programs accordingly, in consultation with faculty.
  • The Senior Honors Thesis sequence (AS.180.521 Research in Economics and AS.180.522 Senior Thesis) cannot be used to satisfy any of the requirements for the major. Anybody interested in pursuing the senior honors thesis should discuss this with the student's academic advisor not later than the end of the spring semester junior year.

Sample Program of Study

A typical program might include the following sequence of courses:

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
 7 7
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
200 level elective3200 or 300 level elective3
 7 7
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.180.3343300 level elective3
200 or 300 level elective3 
 6 3
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
300 level elective3200 or 300 level elective (optional)
 3 0
Total Credits 40
  • The total credit count for the major includes AS.110.106 and EN.553.111. Students trying to take these courses after freshman or sophomore year are likely to run into serious schedule conflicts in the junior and senior years because of the need to fulfill the prerequisites for advanced courses. Consult with faculty at an early stage.

Honors in Economics

Departmental honors are awarded to those students who satisfy the following requirements:

  • All economics courses applied to the major have been taken in the department.
  • AS.180.521 Research in Economics and AS.180.522 Senior Thesis. The thesis may not be counted as one of the five economics electives.
  • A grade point average of at least 3.5 for all economics courses.
  • A grade point average of at least 3.5 for AS.180.301 Microeconomic TheoryAS.180.302 Macroeconomic TheoryAS.180.521 Research in Economics and AS.180.522 Senior Thesis.