Below is a list of questions the department receives most often from undergraduate students. Please review this list before contacting a staff or faculty member with a question.
1. Who are the Department Advisors?
Academic advising on economics classes to be taken during junior year and senior year will be done by Professor Smita Brunnermeier. Queries regarding the Political Economy Certificate should be directed to Professor Thomas Fujiwara and questions about the Finance Certificate should be directed to Professor David Schoenherr. Professor Alessandro Lizzeri coordinates the Senior Thesis and Professor Kelly Noonan coordinates Junior Independent Work.
2. Why should I choose the Economics concentration?
There are intellectual reasons as well as bottom-line reasons. Intellectually, economics offers the study of a unique combination of social concerns—or example issues such as employment and growth, inflation, globalization, health, and poverty—as well as scientific methods—for example rigorous theoretical and statistical analysis.
In bottom-line terms, although Economics at Princeton is regarded and taught as part of a liberal-arts education, not as a preparation for a specific vocation, it does provide an especially relevant background for careers in business and government and graduate study in economics, public policy, business administration, and law. Finally, the economics major is particularly easy to combine with the finance certificate—the core courses of one can be used as departmental electives in the other. To learn more about how Princeton Economics alumni use their degrees, read these interviews with recent graduates.
3. How is the Economics department different from other departments?
One of the best ways to decide whether a particular major is a good fit for you is to look at the variety and depth of independent research conducted by its undergraduate students. We encourage you to browse over some of the research conducted by our seniors in recent years. The full set of senior theses submitted to the Department of Economics from 1927-present are archived at Princeton University’s Mudd Library.
4. What are the prerequisites for admission to an Economics concentration?
You can find detailed information on admission prerequisites here.
5. Do I have to take MAT 202?
You must take MAT 175, ECO 201, MAT 201, or EGR 156 to satisfy our math entry pre-requirement. It is highly recommended that students who wish to take math-track econometrics (ECO 312), upper level finance certificate courses (such as ECO 462, ECO 465 and ECO 466), or pursue graduate studies in economics and finance take MAT 202 in addition.
6. What are the requirements for completing an Economics concentration?
You can find detailed information on Economics concentration requirements here.
7. What is the usual sequence of courses for the Economics concentration?
To ease student planning and course selection, we have outlined four common course sequences here.
8. I am planning to be an Economics concentrator and spend a semester abroad in my junior year. How should I prepare for this?
If you wish to pursue study abroad, you should start planning as soon as possible and make sure to take the core courses of the Economics major during your sophomore year. The department approves core courses taken at other universities abroad only in very exceptional circumstances and only if they are of comparable standards and taken at institutions of comparable quality. We will not allow you to postpone core courses to senior year. Visit the study abroad page to learn about several important considerations as you plan and to see recommended course sequences.
9. Can I take Economics courses at any other institutions?
An ECO 100 or ECO 101 equivalent course taken at another university during the summer may be preapproved by the Executive Director of Undergraduate Studies to serve as an Economics prerequisite. Other Economics courses will only be considered for general credit if they are used to remedy a course deficiency in meeting university re-admission requirements for non-Economics students on a leave of absence.
Depending on quality, transfer credit for up to two 300 or higher level Economics course may be available if they are taken during a full academic semester or year as part of a preapproved study abroad program.
Visit the Preapproval of Summer Courses and Study Abroad pages to learn more about how to apply for preapproval.
10. What is an Internship Milestone Credit and how should I apply for it?
The Internship Milestone Credit allows students who have declared Economics as their major to record a summer internship experience on their transcript and receive academic credit for it. Learn more about the credit and how to apply here.
11. I intend to pursue a PhD in economics. How should I prepare?
Still have questions? Get in touch with a member of the Academic Advising Team.