Financial Economics Major

Requirements for the FINANCIAL ECONOMICS Major


Core Requirements in the ECONOMICS Department

  • UN1105 Principles of Economics
  • UN3211 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • UN3213 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • UN3412 Econometrics
  • UN3025 Financial Economics
  • GU4280 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 UN1105.
  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 UN1101 Calculus I
  • MATH UN1201 Calculus III
  • STAT UN1201 (W1211) Introduction to Statistics, or a higher level statistics course such as SIEO UN3001 (SIEO W4150)
  • BUSI UN3013 Financial Accounting (or IEOR UN2261 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 UN1101-UN1102.
  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 UN3013 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 UN3265 Economics of Money and Banking
  • ECON GU4020 Economics of Uncertainty and Information
  • ECON GU4213 Advanced Macroeconomics
  • ECON GU4251 Industrial Organization
  • ECON GU4260 Market Design (new)
  • ECON GU4412 Advanced Econometrics
  • ECON GU4413 Econometrics of Time Series and Forecasting
  • ECON GU4415 Game Theory
  • ECON GU4465 Public Economics
  • ECON GU4500 International Trade (new)
  • ECON GU4505 International Monetary Theory and Policy
            or BC3038 International Money and Finance
  • ECON GU4526 Transition Reforms, Globalization and Financial Crisis
  • ECON GU4700 Financial Crises
  • ECON GU4850 Cognitive Mechanism and Economic Behavior
  • ECON BC3014 Entrepreneurship
  • ECON BC3017 Economics of Business Organizations
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  • BIOT GU4180 Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • BUSI UN3021 Marketing Management
  • BUSI UN3701 Strategic Behavior/Strategy Formulation
  • BUSI UN3703 Leadership in Organizations
  • BUSI GU4412 Managerial Negotiations
  • COMS UN1002 Computing in Context
  • HIST UN2903 (W3903) History of Finance
  • IEOR UN3106 Intro to OR: Stochastic Models
  • IEOR GU4700 Intro to Financial Engineering
  • MATH UN3050 Discrete Time Models in Finance
  • POLS UN3630 The Politics of International Economic Relations
  • STAT UN3207 (W3051) Math Finance in Continuous Time (new)
  • STAT GU4261 (W4290) Statistical Methods in Finance
  • STAT GU4207 (W4606) Elementary Stochastic Processes (new)
  • STAT GU4262 (W4635) Stochastic Processes for Finance
  • STAT GU4281 (W4840) Theory of Interest - See *Note)

*Note: Starting Spring 2016, STAT GU4281 (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 (UN3211, UN3213 and UN3412) and at most one of the 3 required finance courses (UN3025, GU4280 and UN3013) 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 UN3211, UN3213, and UN3412.
  • UN3265 Money and Banking counts 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 UN3025 or GU4280 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 UN1105 Principles of Economics may be taken Pass/D/Fail and a grade of "P" must be received.