In addition to the Tips for all College of Management Majors, here are a few specific to Economics.

Have you ever considered an economics major or minor for your degree program? The College of Management (COM) offers a variety of lower and upper division economics courses, in varied formats throughout the year. Many economics courses also meet a number of General Education and Liberal Studies (GELS) requirements, in addition to major requirements.

Prerequisite Tips

Below are some strategies for completing prerequisites and choosing courses that may meet more than one requirement in your degree program. You will want to complete your prerequisites in a timely manner so that you are ready to take specific economics courses when they are offered during the year.

  • Check Course Descriptions for prerequisites on the Web. You must complete the prerequisites before taking a course.
  • College Algebra is the prerequisite for both ECON 201: Microeconomics and ECON 202: Macroeconomics.
  • Macroeconomics and/or Microeconomics are required prerequisites for any economics courses 300-level or above.
  • You should take calculus before you start taking upper division (level 300+) economics courses.
  • Calculus is required for ECON 351: Intermediate Macroeconomics and ECON 352: Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Calculus is strongly recommended for ECON 497: Economic Research & Forecasting.

Math and Economics

Economic theory is math intensive. The economics major is not a very good fit for students uncomfortable with intensive use of math. Employment as a professional economist generally requires advanced degrees in economics and these degrees tend to be math intensive.

Should I Choose the Economics Track or the Business Economics Track?

Two tracks are available for completing the economics major: The more traditional economics track and the more business-focused Business Economics track. Both require Math 210, Calculus. The standard Economics track requires Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECON 351) and Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON 352) courses, and therefore includes more economic theory. It is the appropriate track for students planning to go to graduate school in economics to prepare for careers as a professional economist, those who are hoping to teach economics and those considering future study in economics.

The Business Economics major is a better fit for students interested in economics but more interested in the practical application of economic theory, and planning on employment in business rather than graduate school after completing their bachelor’s degree. The Business Economics track has a more applied emphasis and includes courses in accounting and finance as well as electives including courses in decision science, management and marketing. It is not appropriate preparation for graduate school in economics.

DARS Reports

The DARS report available through your student MyMetroNet is a helpful tool to track completion of your degree requirements. However, all Economics majors will see a DARS report showing the Business Economics track requirements regardless of which Economics major track they are actually pursuing (this happens because the student records system does not currently distinguish between the two tracks). Students pursuing the traditional Economics track may contact their academic advisor to request an updated DARS report that shows the traditional Economics major requirements.

Minoring in Economics

The Economics Minor requires ECON 201: Macroeconomics and ECON 202: Microeconomics (or its equivalent) plus three upper-division level courses from the list above. If, for example, you have taken Microeconomics and Macroeconomics and you take ECON 311: Economics of the Environment to satisfy your Goal X requirement, you're only two courses away from an Economics Minor.

GELS Requirements

All courses listed below may be applied toward and/or satisfy specific Goal areas as well as Liberal Studies (400-level courses only for COM majors.)

  • ECON 201 or ECON 202 applies toward Goal V.
  • ECON 311: Economics of the Environment applies toward Goal V and satisfies Goal X.
  • ECON 313: Labor Economics applies toward Goal V.
  • ECON 314: International and Comparative Economics applies toward Goal V and satisfies Goal VIII.
  • ECON 315: Economics of Diversity applies toward Goal V and satisfies Goal VII.
  • ECON 316: Health Economics applies toward Goal V.
  • ECON 351: Intermediate Macroeconomics applies toward Goal V.
  • ECON 352: Intermediate Microeconomics applies toward Goal V.
  • ECON 420: Money and Banking, ECON 496: Managerial Economics, and ECON 497: Economic Research and Forecasting satisfy the liberal studies requirement for COM majors only.

Tips for Specific Courses

  • ECON 314: International and Comparative Economics is offered every semester.
  • ECON 316: Health Economics is offered in class and online. Sections available possibly in Spring and Summer, depending on demand and instructor availability. Econ majors or minors interested in this course should consult the current Class Schedule for availability.
  • ECON 351: Intermediate Macroeconomics, is usually offered online as an FDIS Fall semester. Calculus should be fresh in your mind when you take this course as it is mathematically intensive.
  • ECON 352: Intermediate Microeconomics, is usually offered online as an FDIS Spring semester. Calculus should be fresh in your mind when you take this course as it is mathematically intensive.
  • ECON 420: Money, Banking and Financial Institutions is offered every semester.
  • ECON 496: Managerial Economics is offered Fall semester in a classroom setting.
  • ECON 497: Economic Research and Forecasting is offered in the Spring semester, usually at the Minneapolis campus, and uses the SPSS statistical analysis package to do regression analysis on a variety of data sets.

Overlap Tips

  • Business Administration majors and Management majors may use upper division economics courses for an Economics minor AND for their major elective courses.
  • ECON 201: Macroeconomics or ECON 202: Microeconomics or any ECON courses numbered 399 and below may be used for general education Goal V requirement.
  • COM majors have Department Chair approval to use 400-level economics courses to meet the Upper Division Liberal Studies requirement. Economics courses 400-level and above do not count for Upper Division Liberal Studies for non-COM students.
  • All Economics Foundation courses, EXCEPT ACCT 210, can be used to satisfy GELS requirements, MIS 100 can be used only as a free elective.
  • A single course may be used to meet a maximum of two goal areas; this rule does not apply to the Liberal Studies requirement where courses may overlap with one or two goal areas. For example, Econ 311: Economics of the Environment, applies toward Goal V, a Liberal Studies, and satisfies Goal X.
  • Economics minors are not available to Economics majors.


  • The economics lab schedule for Macroeconomics and Microeconomics is available at Tutoring Information.

Miscellaneous Thoughts and Materials

  • While it's not a requirement, lots of smart people believe that having a course in managerial accounting is a great complement to an economics major because managerial accounting allows you to convert the theory of economics into the language of business.
  • Economics is really about how people allocate resources and how people respond to incentives.
  • You can find a lot of jokes about economists.
  • You can learn a lot about economics and the economic way of thinking by reading some of the better popular economics books, including Eat the Richby P. J. O’Rourke, Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan and Freakonomics by Stephen Levitt.
  • Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger is a graduate of the London School of Economics.
  • Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in 1776, the same year that the United States declared its independence. Coincidence? You tell me.
  • No law can keep people from engaging in mutually beneficial exchanges.
  • While there is a Nobel Prize for economics, there is not one for mathematics.