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FAQ for Majors

new Econ majors 2017

How do I apply to the Economics Department?

Students must first be admitted to Stanford University. Visit the Stanford Admissions website to find out more.  The student may declare Economics as the major after meeting the Economic Department's prerequisites. View the How To Declare page for details.

What do graduates do with an Economics degree?

While many Economics majors ultimately seek a postgraduate degree in business, law, medicine or economics, some enter the labor market immediately after graduation.  Our students tend to be very successful and in great demand.  Undergraduate economics is a liberal arts subject, but the training it offers in systematic analysis of costs and benefits and in rational decision-making by individuals and organizations provides good preparation for careers in law, education, business and government.

You can watch a video provided by the American Economics Association to find out about careers in economics -  "A career in Economics . . . it's much more than you think."

Contact BEAM for specific career information or employment opportunities: AfterCollege hosts a website, as well, visit the Economics Career Network. On this site are posted jobs and internships.

How many units does the Economics Major require?

The Economics Major requires 80 units of approved economics coursework.

Can AP/IB units be used to replace Econ 1?

Students scoring a 5 on both the advanced placement (AP) microeconomics and macroeconomics tests or a score of 7 on International Baccalaureate (IB) higher level economics test may petition the Director of Undergraduate Studies to have the ECON 1 course requirement waived.  Students do not receive units credit for placing out of ECON 1. 

Are there Econ courses that I can take that do not have prerequisites?

Yes, Econ 1 is a popular course for freshmen and sophomores offered each quarter. Econ 14 and 47 are new econ elective courses offered in  2018. Econ 106 is another choice with 5 units and is an econ elective.There are many Intro Seminars covering interesting economic topics that are 3 units that do not have prerequisites (Econ 11N, 13N, 17N, 15Q, 19Q, 22N, 23N).  Go to Explore Courses for more information.

When can I declare Economics as my major?

After you complete Econ 50 with a letter grade of B or better or with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Can I take a prerequisite course at the same time I take the course requiring the prerequisite?

No, the prerequisite course must be taken in a quarter prior to taking the course requiring the prerequisite.

Can I take field courses or Econ 101 at another college?

All field courses and Econ 101 must be taken at Stanford. No Transfer Credit for a field course or Econ 101 will ever be approved.

I am a transfer student, what courses can I transfer into Economics?

Our Department aims to maintain the highest possible educational standards. Hence, approval of Transfer Credit from other institutions may be granted only if it can be demonstrated that the course taken away from Stanford was taught at a high level which is compatible with the corresponding course offered at Stanford.

  • Transfer credit for Economics core courses will depend on whether the course at another institution was taught at high enough analytical level. Credit will never be granted for non-calculus based courses.
  • If a student seeks transfer credit for an elective course the student must specify the Stanford course it most closely resembles. This includes using courses listed as field courses as elective. No course will be approved as an elective course if there is no Stanford course which it proposes to replace.
  • All field courses must be taken at Stanford in California. No transfer credit for a field course will ever be approved

Can I transfer credit from my community college?

No, transfer credit for community colleges and city colleges will not be approved.

How do I apply to graduate?

You apply for degree conferral through Axess by the deadline specified by the University Calendar.  Fill out a Major-Minor or Multiple-Major Course Approval form if you are planning to graduate with more than one major or will have a minor.  It must be approved by the Undergraduate Student Services Officer and should be done at least one quarter before graduation.

Can I walk through the commencement ceremony even if I am not graduating until the following quarter?

Yes, you must receive departmental approval and have at least 160 units toward graduation.  Complete the Office of the University Registrar's "Commencement Walkthrough Petition" and bring it into the Econ Academic Office.