Transfer Credit Information
Rules for Transfer Credit, Barnard Electives, SUMMER COURSES, and AP credits
(Revised: February 2015)
The following table summarizes for each of the majors, concentrations and joint majors in economics the number of economics lecture classes that you must take in the Columbia Economics Department.
# Lecture Courses in Economics 1
Min # in Department2
Max # Outside3,4
declared prior to Spring 2014
declared in Spring 2014 and beyond
declared prior to Spring 2014
declared in Spring 2014 and beyond
- Lecture courses do not include seminars which must be taken in the department. The lecture course counts are counts of economics courses only, so the counts do not include math, statistics or courses in other departments. There is also no change on the rule that no more than one course may be taken at the 2000 level for the economics major and concentration. No 2000 level electives are accepted for Financial Economics or any of the joint majors.
- There is no change in the rule that at least 2 of the 3 3000 level core courses must be taken in the department and no corresponding Barnard courses will be accepted. The two V courses (V3025 and V3265) will continue to be counted as departmental courses regardless of the instructor.
- Outside courses include: AP credits for Principles (1 course), transfer credits for Principles (1 course even if it was a two semester sequence), Barnard 2000 and 3000 level elective courses, summer school courses taken at any institution (including Columbia), and transfer credits from other universities.
- Beginning in the Summer of 2015, summer school courses taken at Columbia will be classified as "outside" courses, and thus may not be used to fulfill the minimum number of departmental courses. Like Barnard 2000 and 3000 level electives, students do not need to apply for transfer credits for these summer school classes.
HOW TO APPLY FOR TRANSFER CREDIT FOR COURSES TAKEN PRIOR TO enrolling AT COLUMBIA
To receive major credit for courses taken at other institutions, you must have those courses approved by the Department of Economics (even if you have already been granted college credits by your school). The Department of Economics strictly enforces the pre-requisites for our classes so you will not receive credit for a course taken at Columbia if you have not fulfilled the pre-requisite. Thus, it is important that you get departmental approval for any economics courses you are transferring prior to registering for any economics classes at Columbia. If you are registering for Principles of Economics (W1105), then you do not need to transfer any courses with the department. Below are the guidelines that you will follow in order to receive major credit for transfer courses.
- With the exception of W1105 Principles of economics and V1101 Calculus I, the department will not accept any course taken more than 5 years prior to the application for transfer credits.
- In the case of Principles and Calculus-I, the limit is 8 years (although students are strongly encouraged to re-take these courses before taking higher level courses).
GENERAL LIMITS ON NUMBERS AND TYPES OF TRANSFER CREDITS
- The department will only accept for transfer credit, courses with a grade of B- or higher. In the case of the 3000 level core courses (3211,3213 and 3412), only courses with a grade of A- or higher will be accepted. If your previous school used a grading system other than A,A-,B+ etc., then you must submit a grade conversion chart with your application for transfer credits. If you do not know where to get such a chart, then you must speak with your College or GS adviser.
- As summarized in the table above, economics majors, financial economics majors and joint majors must take a minimum of 5 lecture courses in the Department of Economics at Columbia. The remaining requirements for lecture courses may be completed by using transfer credits, electives courses at the Barnard economics department, summer school courses, AP or IB credit and study abroad courses.
- Joint majors with Philosophy who declared prior to Spring 2014 and economics concentrators must take a minimum of 4 lecture courses in the department.
- The senior seminar must be taken in the department (and does not count towards the minimum number of lecture courses).
- No Barnard core courses (BC1003, BC2411, BC3018, BC3033, and BC3035) may be taken to complete the major requirements in the department. No Barnard 1000 level courses may be taken to complete the major requirements.
- No more than one 3000 level intermediate core course may be taken outside of the department (subject to the restrictions outlined below).
- No more than one of the core finance courses for the financial economics major may be taken outside of Columbia University.
II_APPLYING FOR TRANSFER CREDIT
MATH AND STATISTICS
- With the exception of Calculus-I taken at an American college or university (see below formore information), the math and statistics departments make the decisions regarding the acceptability of courses in their departments. If you would like to transfer a statistics course, then you must see the DUS in statistics regarding that course. If you would like to transfer credits from math courses above the level of Calculus I or taken at non-American universities or colleges, then you must see the DUS in the math department. All such approvals must be documented in writing by those departments and sent to the Economics department.
ALL ECONOMICS COURSES AND CALCULUS-I
To receive transfer credit for courses taken prior to coming to Columbia, you must submit the following information to your CC or GS advisor who will then submit it to the department:
- A completed transfer credit form (available on the Transfer Credit Form page).
- A legible transcript showing when you took the course and the grade that you received. When you photocopy a transcript, it is often difficult to read due to the background noise - do not submit a transcript that is difficult to read.
- Materials from the course (detailed below). Please note that when a syllabus is requested, the syllabus must include the title of the textbook and an outline of the material covered in the course indicating the sections of the book that were covered in the course. If your syllabus is not in English, then you must submit both the original syllabus and a translation. You do not need to submit translated versions of any additional course materials.
For the academic year 2014-2015 the deadlines to submit materials for transfer credit approval to your CC or GS advisors are as follows:
Columbia College: The deadline for students wishing to take economics classes in the Fall 2014 is August 15, 2014. The deadline for students wishing to take classes in the Spring 2015 is October 1, 2014 and January 9th, 2015.
Please Note: The department will not accept transfer credit applications for review after said dates. Students who missed a deadline will need to arrange with their advisor to submit their application for the next deadline.
General Studies: The deadlines for students wishing to take economics classes in the Fall 2014 are June 2nd, July 15th, August 15th, 2014. The deadlines for students wishing to take classes in the Spring 2015 are October 1st, 2014 and January 9th, 2015. An additional deadline in the spring semester is February 13, 2015.
W1105 PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS
III_REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS
- If the College has accepted your AP credits (both micro and macro are required) or your higher level IB credits for economics, then you do NOT have to notify the department. These credits will appear on your transcript; if they do not, then you MUST speak with your CC or GS advisor. These credits must be posted on your SSOL transcript, otherwise the department cannot credit you with having satisfied W1105 for the majors or concentration.
- Almost any introductory course in economics is acceptable as a substitute for W1105 Principles of Economics. At most other schools the introductory course is a two semester sequence of classes. One semester focuses on microeconomics and one on macroeconomics. In order to get an exemption from the principles course you must have taken both semesters – introductory micro and introductory macro. Students that have only taken one semester of the two semester sequence must take principles in the department. You must submit a syllabus from each class to receive transfer credit.
- If you have taken the introductory economics courses listed on this TABLE (click for PDF doc) then you need only submit the transfer credit form, along with a transcript showing the grades that you received for these courses. You will not have to submit syllabi from these courses. Note that if two courses are listed for a school, then you must have successfully completed both courses to receive an exemption from Principles of Economics.
- If you have taken a two semester sequence, then you must have received a grade of at least B- or higher in each semester to receive transfer credit for Principles.
- The calculus requirement is Calculus I and Calculus III. If you have taken a course at an American university which includes in its title "Calculus I," then you do not need to submit that for transfer credit approval to the math department. Simply submit your transcript along with the transfer credit form to your school advisor who will then submit it to the economics department. Students who took a course with a different title or at a non-American university must submit their course to the math department for evaluation.
- If you have math transfer credits, AP or IB credits, those credits must be posted in your SSOL transcript, otherwise the department cannot credit you with having satisfied calculus I (and/or II) for the economics majors or concentration.
- Only calculus-I courses with grades of B- or higher will be accepted for transfer credit.
3000 LEVEL CORE COURSES
- The department in general does not want students to transfer credits for the 3000 level core courses, since these courses represent the intellectual core of the major.
- The department will accept at most one transfer course for a 3000 level core course. If you have taken more than one 3000 level core course then you should submit the materials from each of the classes. The department will determine which course, if any, to transfer.
- You may take only one of the 3000 level core courses during the summer session at Columbia.
- The department does not accept the Barnard department’s equivalent courses.
- Only courses with grades of A- or higher will be considered for transfer credit.
W3213 INTERMEDIATE MACRO
- An intermediate macro course is acceptable only if it has as a prerequisite the introductory course(s) in economics and at least one semester of calculus. You must submit a syllabus and either one exam from the class or your class notes for one section of the course (eg growth, consumption-savings, IS-LM etc) to receive transfer credit. If the syllabus does not list the pre-requisites then include the course description from the bulletin that shows the course pre-requisites.
- An intermediate micro course is acceptable only if it has as a prerequisite the introductory course(s) in economics and multi-variable calculus. You must submit a syllabus and either one exam from the class or your class notes for one section of the course (eg consumer theory, production, general equilibrium etc) to receive transfer credit. If the syllabus does not list the pre-requisites then include the course description from the bulletin that shows the course pre-requisites.
- An econometrics course is acceptable only if it has as a prerequisite the introductory course(s) in economics and a statistics course. You must submit a syllabus and either one exam from the class or your class notes for one section of the course (eg linear regression model, instruments, time series etc) to receive transfer credit. If the syllabus does not list the pre-requisites then include the course description from the bulletin that shows the course pre-requisites.
ELECTIVES AND CORE FINANCE CLASSES
- An elective is any course other than an introductory course, intermediate micro, intermediate macro or econometrics. The department does not accept any business oriented classes except accounting and finance courses. Credit for accounting may only be applied to the financial economics major. The finance courses must be at the intermediate level (that is they must have an intermediate micro course as a prerequisite).
- Only courses with grades of B- or higher will be considered for transfer credit.
2000 LEVEL ECONOMICS ELECTIVE
- Any economics course that has as a prerequisite only the introductory economics course(s) can only be transferred at the 2000 level. You must submit a syllabus to receive transfer credit.
3000 LEVEL OR HIGHER ECONOMICS ELECTIVE (including Financial Economics and Corporate Finance)
- In order to be considered for 3000 level credit the course must have at least one of the intermediate level courses as a prerequisite. You must submit a syllabus and either one exam from the class or your class notes for one section of the course to receive transfer credit. If the syllabus does not list the pre-requisites, then include the course description from the bulletin that shows the course pre-requisites.
FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING (BUSI W3013, IEOR E2261)
You must submit a syllabus to receive transfer credit. Accounting is taught as a major at many schools, and as a consequence the material is spread across a number of different courses. If you have taken multiple semesters of accounting, then you should submit syllabi from all of these semesters. You should also provide the complete table of contents from the textbook that you used in your accounting course(s). Failure to include this may delay the evaluation and granting of your transfer credits.
How to Apply for Transfer Credit for Study Abroad
The general rules above regarding the number of courses that may be taken outside of the department, the types of courses that may be taken outside of the department and the required materials needed to apply for transfer credit, apply as well to Study Abroad Credits. However, instead of submitting information to your College or GS advisor, you will submit that information directly to the study abroad advisor in the department. The name and contact information of that advisor is listed in the Advisors page of this website. You should speak with the advisor prior to going abroad and have your courses pre-approved. While not a requirement, pre-approval increases the likelihood that courses will be formally approved ex-post. You will then speak with the advisor again when you return with your class materials to get final approval.