B.A. in Economics

FAQs for B.A. requirements beginning Fall 2022

For B.A. requirements prior to Fall 2022, please refer to the archived Undergraduate Bulletin based on the year of Matriculation

Economics courses develop the critical and analytical skills essential for understanding economics and institutions, in both their contemporary and historical settings. Although no particular vocational or professional goal is emphasized, these courses provide the academic background necessary for positions in industry or the non-profit sector, for work in many branches of government service, for law school, and for graduate study in business administration, economics, and the social sciences.

Students who contemplate graduate study in economics should strongly consider the BS instead of the AB degree.

Math Requirement

Completion of a higher-level math course (MATH  111 or higher) demonstrates proficiency in lower-level math courses; therefore, lower-level requirements may be waived for students who have successfully completed higher-level math courses.

  • MATH 21 OR MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I OR MATH 105L Laboratory Calculus and Functions I AND MATH 106L Laboratory Calculus Functions II
  • OR any higher-level math course with MATH 111 as prerequisite.

Core Economics Courses

For students entering Fall 2022 or later, core classes must be completed before senior year, but students are encouraged to complete them no later than sophomore year.

  • ECON 101D1 Economics Principles 
  • Econometrics
    • ECON 104D2 Statistical Foundations of Econometrics and Data Science
    • ECON 204D Econometrics Data Science
  • Microeconomics
    • ECON 201D Intermediate Microeconomics I 
  • Macroeconomics
    • ECON 210D Intermediate Macroeconomics

Applied Economics Course*

Choose ONE of the following:

  • Economics 335 Economics of Global Health
  • Economics 345 Urban Economics
  • Economics 352 How to Use Data to Design Better Macro Policies
  • Economics 442 Development Economics: Theory, Evidence, and Policy
  • Economics 443 Empirical Methods in Gender and Family Economics
  • Economics 444 Equality of Opportunity: Theory, Evidence, and Policy            
  • Economics 445 Economics of Crime
  • Economics 451/Financial Economics 451 Housing and the Economy
  • Economics 452 Economic Growth
  • Economics 490 Special Topics courses when Applied, only those designated on approved list   
  • Economics 493 Honors Research Independent Study
  • Economics 496S Honors Seminar II

*The Applied Economics course list is being developed and will be expanded. New courses will be posted to this webpage when approved.


Upper-Level Electives

  • Four Economics (ECON) Electives or Financial Economics (FECON) electives at the 300- or 400-level, of which one must be a 300- level and one must be a 400-level

    (ECON 500-549 may only be counted toward the major with approval from the director of undergraduate studies.)4

The total number of electives required for the B.A. degree is five: One applied elective and four general upper level electives, with at least one of those at the 300- and one at the 400-level.

General Restrictions

  • Prerequisites for the major, as well as requirements, may not be taken Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, with the exception of Economics 101.
  • A maximum of two economics transfer credits will be accepted toward the major. We no longer accept transfer credits for: ECON 101, ECON 104, ECON 201, ECON 204, ECON 205, ECON 208, and ECON 210. Transfer students must earn at least half their credits toward the major at Duke. 

1 Beginning Fall 2023, incoming students will be required to take Economics 101. The Economics Department will no longer accept AP, IPC, or transfer credit to fulfill this requirement. Students matriculating prior to Fall 2023 with credit for both AP Macro and AP Micro (4 or higher) may receive credit for ECON 101. To receive credit for ECON 101 using an international standardized exam, please visit the Trinity College policy for qualifying scores.

2 STA 230/MATH 230, STA 231/MATH 340, STA 240L/MATH 228L, or STA 432/MATH 343 may be substituted for Econ 104.

3 For students entering prior to Fall 2022, Economics 205D can substitute for one 300-level general elective.

4 Econ classes 500-599 count as 300-level electives and Econ classes 600-699 count as 400-level electives.