Financial Economics Major

Requirements for the FINANCIAL ECONOMICS Major

Core Requirements in the ECONOMICS Department

  • W1105 Principles of Economics
  • W3211 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • W3213 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • W3412 Econometrics
  • V3025 Financial Economics
  • W4280 Corporate Finance


  1. Econ AP/IB/GCE credits *must* appear in your SSOL transcript in order for the department to credit you with the completion of Econ W1105.
  2. Transfer credits that would exempt students from any of the above core courses must be approved by the department in writing.  See the Transfer Credit Information page for detailed information.

Core Requirements in OTHER Departments

  • MATH V1101 Calculus I
  • MATH V1201 Calculus III
  • STAT 1201 (W1211) Introduction to Statistics, or a higher level statistics course such as SIEO 3001 (SIEO 4150)
  • BUSI W3013 Financial Accounting (or IEOR E2261 Intro to Accounting and Finance)


  1. Math AP/IB/GCE credits *must* appear in your SSOL transcript in order for the department to credit you with the completion of Math V1101-V1102.
  2. Transfer credits for Math and/or Statistics must be approved in writing by the math and/or statistics departments respectively.  See the Transfer Credit Information page for detailed information.
  3. Transfer credits for BUSI W3013 must be approved by the Economics department.  See the Transfer Credit Information page for detailed information.

Economics Electives

Students must take 4 electives from the following list of classes:

  • ECON V3265 Economics of Money and Banking
  • ECON W4020 Economics of Uncertainty and Information
  • ECON W4213 Advanced Macroeconomics
  • ECON W4251 Industrial Organization
  • ECON W4260 Market Design (new)
  • ECON W4412 Advanced Econometrics
  • ECON W4413 Econometrics of Time Series and Forecasting
  • ECON W4415 Game Theory
  • ECON W4465 Public Economics
  • ECON W4500 International Trade (new)
  • ECON W4505 International Monetary Theory and Policy
            or BC3038 International Money and Finance
  • ECON G4526 Transition Reforms, Globalization and Financial Crisis
  • ECON W4700 Financial Crises
  • ECON W4850 Cognitive Mechanism and Economic Behavior
  • ECON  BC3014 Entrepreneurship
  • ECON  BC3017 Economics of Business Organizations
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  • BIOT W4180 Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • BUSI W3021 Marketing Management
  • BUSI W3701 Strategic Behavior/Strategy Formulation
  • BUSI W3703 Leadership in Organizations
  • BUSI W4412 Managerial Negotiations
  • COMS W1002 Computing in Context (new, Oct 2015)
  • HIST 2903 (W3903) History of Finance (new)
  • IEOR E3106 Intro to OR: Stochastic Models
  • IEOR E4700 Intro to Financial Engineering
  • MATH V3050 Discrete Time Models in Finance
  • MATH 5010 (W4071) Intro to the Math of Finance
  • POLS W3630 The Politics of International Economic Relations
  • STAT 3207 (W3051) Math Finance in Continuous Time (new)
  • STAT 4261 (W4290) Statistical Methods in Finance
  • STAT 4207 (W4606) Elementary Stochastic Processes (new)
  • STAT 4262 (W4635) Stochastic Processes for Finance
  • (STAT 4281 (W4840) Theory of Interest - See *Note)

*Note: Starting Spring 2016, STAT 4281 (W4840) Theory of Interest will no longer be accepted as an FE elective.


  1. At least two of the elective courses must be chosen from the Economics department: ECON courses either Columbia or Barnard.
  2. If a student takes an economics elective without having completed all of the prerequisites, then that course will not count towards the major. Senior seminars cannot be counted as electives.
  3. Courses not listed above will not be counted towards the major unless the student gets prior written approval from the director of undergraduate studies.


  • The financial economics major requires a minimum of 8 lecture courses in economics, one senior seminar and 5 classes outside of the department (math and stats). All majors must take a minimum of 5 of the 8 economics lecture courses in the Columbia Department of Economics. The remaining credits for economics lecture courses may come from AP (IB, GCE) Credits, Barnard elective courses, and Transfer credits (either taken before registering at Columbia or study abroad).
  • At most, one of the 3 intermediate theory courses (W3211, W3213 and W3412) and at most one of the 3 required finance courses (V3025, W4280 and W3013) may be taken outside of the University (the course must be approved by the department- see transfer credit information online). The Barnard offerings of micro, macro and econometrics are NOT acceptable substitutes for W3211. W3213 and W3412.
  • V3265 Money and Banking count as an elective offered by the Columbia department regardless of the instructor.
  • Students must take their senior seminar in the Columbia Department of Economics.

Every student must take at least one seminar in the Columbia Department of Economics.  Students must have completed at least one of V3025 or W4280 prior to taking their senior seminar.  Each semester the department will designate which economics seminars may be taken for credit for the financial economics major. This information will be posted online (on the senior seminars page) and emailed to students. 

Students must receive a grade of at least C- in order for the course to count towards the major (including statistics and math). Only W1105 Principles of Economics may be taken Pass/D/Fail and a grade of "P" must be received.