The Economics major provides a critical examination of how the economic system works in the United States and throughout the world. The introductory courses are surveys of economic problems, policies, and theory; and the required courses in Microeconomic Theory and Macroeconomic Theory give a deeper analytical foundation. Electives permit further study in a wide range of fields, including money and banking, international trade and finance, public sector economics, economics of the family, economics of education, inequality, environmental economics, industrial organization, and computational investing.

The Economics major provides a general background that is useful to those planning careers in law, government service, or business as well as those planning careers as professional economists. Professional economists work as college teachers, as researchers for government agencies, businesses, and consulting firms, and as administrators and managers in a wide range of fields.

The B.A. in Economics has been classified as STEM (CIP Code 45.0603: Econometrics and Quantitative Economics). Students in STEM degree programs can apply for a 24-month STEM extension of F1 Optional Practical Training (OPT).

The Core Courses

Principles of Economics (ECON1101) is a 4-credit course, with 3 hours of lecture and a 1-hour discussion section. This satisfies one of the University’s two Social Science Core requirements. Qualifying Advanced Placement (AP) scores on both Micro and Macro allow to the student to place out of ECON1101 (and later take an Economics elective to replace 1101 to ensure the appropriate number of courses needed to satisfy the minor/major/concentration). For the classes of 2025 and before, qualifying AP exams on both Micro and Macro also satisfy the second Social Science Core requirement. For the classes of 2026 and after, only one Social Science Core requirement is satisfied with the qualifying AP score in Micro or Macro; completing ECON1101 will allow these students to satisfy the second Social Science Core requirement, however.

Requirements for Economics


Double Major

Requirements for double majors are the same as those for the major.

Courses Taken Outside the Department

General Department policy is that students may apply external credits to no more than three courses for the major. External credits are any college level credits taken outside the MCAS. This includes summer session(s) at BC or another institution, study abroad programs, and/or courses through Woods College of Advancing Studies (WCAS). Classes that can be taken outside of the Economics Department at BC include the equivalent of ECON1101 and two electives. Three electives are allowed for students who enroll in a year-long study abroad program. All intermediate courses (Theories, Statistics, and Econometric Methods) must be taken through the BC Economics department. Exceptions are made for transfer students, however.

All external courses need the syllabi approved by the Director of Undergraduate Study to determine if the course will count towards their study of Economics. Lists of pre-approved courses abroad and through the WCAS are listed on the Economics website.

The same rules apply for CSOM concentrations.

Information for Study Abroad

There are many opportunities for students to take elective courses at the many varied institutions partnered with BC. The Department of Economics encourages students to take advantage of global engagement and education, and it will work with students to help make it happen.

The Office of Global Education (OGE), located in Hovey House, coordinates study abroad opportunities and can provide detailed information about specific programs. OGE helps plan and coordinate students’ study abroad semester or year from beginning to end: from offering advice about various programs; applying to and planning the course of study at whatever program the student may choose; and transferring credits and grades back to BC when the student return after having successfully completed their studies abroad.

To ensure that students are able to complete the requirements for the MCAS Economics major or minor in time for graduation, all students must have completed Statistics and either Micro or Macro Theory before studying abroad. The Department strongly recommend that both Theory courses and Econometric Methods are completed before studying abroad as well, as those courses must be taken no later than the junior year.

The following requirements must be met for a course to transfer back credits towards the major or minor:

1.    MCAS Economics majors and minors and CSOM Economics concentrators must earn at least a B- in at least one of the Intermediate Theory courses before going abroad.

2.    Micro Theory, Macro Theory, Statistics, and Econometric Methods cannot be taken abroad.

3.    Classes to be taken abroad must be approved for content. The Director of Undergraduate Studies for Economics will determine if the course counts as a lower-level (2000 level) or upper-level (3000 level) elective. As a general rule of thumb, lower-level courses require Principles of Economics (ECON1101) as a prerequisite. Upper-level electives require Micro and/or Macro Theory, at a minimum, as prerequisites. Please send a detailed and complete course syllabus to the Director of Undergraduate Studies as a WorkFlow. Courses taken from abroad that count towards your MCAS Economics major, minor, on concentration must be similar to what you could take at BC in the Economics Department.

4.    The course must have the appropriate number of credit hours. OGE determines the course credit hours. If you have questions about the number of credit hours a course has, please check with the Academic Operations Administrator.

5.    The student must receive a C- or above in the course (if taken in an external program) to receive transfer credit at BC.

6.    Students cannot have exceeded the limit of courses that can be taken outside of the Department. General Department policy is that students may apply up to three external courses or 9 credits (e.g., AP exams, summer session at BC, WCAS, study abroad). Students can take one introductory course (e.g., ECON1101) and two electives outside of the BC Economics Department. Students studying abroad for an entire year are allowed an extra elective, however. All intermediate courses (Theories, Statistics, and Econometric Methods) must be taken through the Economics Department at BC. Exceptions are made for transfer students. In general, for single semester abroad programs, students may take a maximum of two courses abroad; for full-year programs, students may take a maximum of three courses abroad. Students who have previously taken summer courses, those with AP credits, etc. should discuss their individual situations with the DUS. Please note that it is not always possible to take more than one elective abroad, so careful planning is required.

7.    A course must generally be a 3-credit course to qualify, but students may combine two 2-credit-hour courses to count for one elective, or three 2-credit-hour courses to count for two electives. The Department collects a list of classes it has approved and will share it with students. Student Services and OGE also have copies of this list. Therefore, if a course you take is on the list, it will automatically be placed on your degree audit when Student Services receives the grade from the host university, assuming the student has met all of the other requirements listed above.

Economics majors, minors, and concentrators must contact OGE to apply for study abroad and to plan their semester or year abroad. Those planning to participate in the Honors Program are strongly advised to identify a thesis topic and a faculty supervisor before going abroad, especially if the student will be abroad during the spring semester of their junior year. Very tight deadlines during the fall semester of senior year make this advance planning essential. Students who are considering doing Ph.D. work in Economics or related disciplines should plan their programs abroad with particular care.