BA in Economics


A student writing on her notebook in an economic class


The Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree covers foundational concepts in micro- and macroeconomic theory, business statistics and economics principles. 

BA students complete six elective courses (compared with seven for the BS in Economics), with options in regional and international fields such as Introduction to the Economy of China and International Trade Theory.



Recommended BA Course Schedule

All prospective economics majors need to take the ALEKS Placement Test to determine which course schedule is recommended for their calculus proficiency level. Students with AP Calculus credit or those who place above MATH 1231 may move through the required MATH and STAT courses at a faster pace than this schedule indicates.


First year: ECON 1011, ECON 1012, STAT 1111/1051/1053 and MATH 1221/1231/1252

Sophomore year: ECON 2101, ECON 2102 and upper-level economics electives

Junior year: STAT 2112/2118 or ECON 2123 and upper-level economics electives

Senior year: Upper-level ECON electives and ECON 4198W

First year: ECON 1001, ECON 1011, STAT 1111/1051/1053 and MATH 1221/1231/1252 (or any other prerequisites needed for enrollment into these STAT and MATH courses)

Sophomore year: ECON 1012, ECON 2101, upper-level economics electives and — if not completed already — STAT 1111/1051/1053 and/or MATH 1221/1231/1252

Junior year: ECON 2102, upper-level economics electives, STAT 2112/2118 or ECON 2123

Senior year: Upper-level economics electives, ECON 4198W

  • Students are encouraged to complete the two principles classes (ECON 1011 and ECON 1012), the introductory statistics classes (STAT 1111/1051/1053) and Calculus I (MATH 1221/1231/1252) by the first semester of their sophomore year so that they are fully prepared to enter the economics major.
  • Calculus I is a prerequisite for Intermediate Micro and Intermediate Macro (ECON 2101 and ECON 2102, respectively), meaning that it must be taken before either 2101 or 2102. We do not, therefore, recommend putting off the Calculus I course beyond the first semester of sophomore year.
  • We strongly recommend that students take Intermediate Micro prior to Intermediate Macro.
  • Intermediate Micro and Intermediate Macro are prerequisites for the Capstone Proseminar (ECON 4198W). Students will not be allowed to enroll in the proseminar until they have completed both prerequisites. It is therefore imperative to finish these intermediate theory courses by the end of the first semester of senior year, at the latest.
  • We also recommend completing Econometrics (ECON 2123) or the upper-level stats requirements (STAT 2112/2118), as well as the majority of the required upper-level economics electives, prior to enrolling in ECON 4198W. Materials covered in these classes will be extremely helpful to students in completing required research projects in the proseminar course.


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

ECON 1011Principles of Economics I *
ECON 1012Principles of Economics II *
ECON 2101Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
or ECON 2103 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach
ECON 2102Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
or ECON 2104 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach
ECON 4198WProseminar in Economics
MATH 1221Calculus with Precalculus II **
or MATH 1231 Single-Variable Calculus I
or MATH 1252 Calculus for the Social and Management Sciences
STAT 1111Business and Economic Statistics I (or equivalent) **
or STAT 1051 Introduction to Business and Economic Statistics
or STAT 1053 Introduction to Statistics in Social Science
STAT 2112Business and Economic Statistics II **
or STAT 2118 Regression Analysis
or ECON 2123 Introduction to Econometrics
Six additional Economics (ECON) courses (18 credits)numbered between 2000 and 4999; a maximum of three of these courses (9 credits) can be regional and two (6 credits) international. If students decide to take international electives, note that ECON 2180 would not satisfy the major elective requirement if taken concurrently with or after successful completion of ECON 2181 or ECON 3181 or ECON 2182. Students may substitute up to two of the six ECON elective courses with FINA 3101 and FINA 3301. However, FINA 3301 and ECON 2121 cannot both be taken for credit. If ECON 2123 was taken instead of STAT 2112 as a required course, only five additional ECON courses (15 credits) are required.
Regional courses
ECON 2169Introduction to the Economy of China
ECON 2170Introduction to the Economy of Japan
ECON 2185Economic History and Problems of Latin America
ECON 2198Special Topics in Economics - Regional
ECON 3098Variable Topics - Regional Economics
ECON 3198Advanced Topics in Economics - Regional
International courses
ECON 2180Survey of International Economics
ECON 2181 International Trade Theory and Policy
or ECON 3181 International Trade Theory
ECON 2182International Macroeconomic Theory and Policy

**Post-matriculation residency requirement: For ECON 1011 and ECON 1012 to count toward the major, the course must be completed at GW with a minimum grade of C-. Students who matriculate with credit by examination or transfer credit for one or both courses are exempt from this residency requirement for the relevant course(s).

**The MATH option, selected from among MATH 1221, MATH 1231, or MATH 1252, and STAT option, selected from among STAT 1111, STAT 1051, or STAT 1053, must be completed with a minimum grade of C-.