FAQ ●  Resources ● Giving
Select Page


Prior to the registration periods in November and April, the department sends out information regarding major requirements and course offerings on the major listserv. This document is also posted here:

November 2023

To:      All Economics Majors and Concentrators
From: Susan Elmes, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Economics Department
Re:      Newsletter for Spring 2024 Registration

Dear Students,

Please take a few minutes to look through the information below as you plan your Spring courses.

Graduating Seniors

Each year several students fail to graduate with their intended degree because they did not complete their major requirements. In order for you to graduate, the department must certify that you have completed your declared program in economics in accordance with the requirements and rules as specified in the bulletin. We will check your Columbia transcript, as well as any transfer credits that have been approved by the department. Transfer credits that are not approved by the department are not counted towards the major requirements. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have completed all requirements of your economics major, and that your student records are up to date.

You should complete a checklist for your program (available here), and if you have any questions or concerns about your completed checklist, then you should contact econ-advising@columbia.edu. Extra office hours of the econ advisors will be held during the advising period. The days and times these office hours are posted on the Advisors page in the department’s website. You should not rely on your DAR or on your College or GS advisor to confirm that you have completed your economics program.

Four of the most common problems are:

  • AP, IB or GCE credits not listed on the transcript: All economics and math advanced placement credits must be posted on students’ SSOL transcripts for CC students, and confirmed to the department by the school advisors for GS students. If these credits are not posted or confirmed, then the department cannot credit students with the completion of ECON UN1105, MATH UN1101, MATH UN1102.  Students will then be officially missing said required courses, and consequently the department will be unable to certify those students’ major requirements for graduation.  CC students should check that their SSOL transcript lists all relevant AP, IB, GCE credits at the bottom of the transcript., and GS students should confirm with their school advisors that the department has been notified of those credits.
  • Math High School credits: If you took a high school math course that exempted you from Calculus I, then you must obtain written certification from the math department, and have that sent to the Economics department (ly38). Students who did not receive college credit for their calculus course must take an additional course in math, statistics, computer science or economics to replace the missing 3 credits. The course may be selected from any economics elective at the 2000 level or higher, any math course above UN1101 (except UN1201), any statistics course above UN1201 or any computer science course.
  • Transfer credits: All economics transfer credits (including calculus-I and statistics UN1201) used for an economics program must be approved in writing by the Economics department. See the Transfer Credit Info page for information on how to apply for departmental transfer credit approval. All math (except Calculus-I and statistics UN1201) transfer credits must be approved by the math /statistics department, and a copy of that approval(s) sent to the economics department (ly38).
  • Course Sequencing: The department does not count credits from courses that were taken prior to the completion of the course pre-requisites. All course pre-requisites are posted in the bulletin and on the department website. If you have taken a course prior to, or concurrently with its pre-requisites, then you will be required to take at least one additional course in economics, and you should contact Laura Yan (ly38) ASAP to discuss what additional course (or courses) that you will be required to take.


The earlier that you find any of these issues, the easier it is to take care of them. The department will not give graduation clearance to any student who has not satisfied the major or concentration requirements due to any potential problems caused by the above points.

CC Seniors Registering for Fewer than 12 credits

If you are a CC senior who intends to register for fewer than 12 credits, then the college requires you to show proof that you are on track to complete your program in the Spring semester. After you register for your courses, you should speak with econ-advising during their office hours. You will show them a completed checklist for your major, as well as, a copy of your current transcript. If everything looks good, then they will email your college dean.


The graduate student advisors will hold additional office hours during the advising period. You can discuss with them your major requirements as well as course selection. Their office hours are posted on the Advisors page in the department website. You may also contact them by emailing them at econ-advising@columbia.edu.

Senior Seminars

Senior Seminar Lottery

If you plan to take a senior seminar in Spring 2024 then you should participate in the seminar lottery. To join the lottery, you must register by November 17 for GU4911 Section 000, ECONOMICS SEMINAR REGISTRATION. If you have a HOLD on your registration and are unable to register for GU4911 by November 17, then you must contact Laura Yan (ly38) by November 17 to let her know. You will be added manually to the Courseworks page for GU 4911 section 0.

To be eligible to participate in the lottery, you must

  • be a senior
  • be a declared major in economics, financial economics and economics-math,
  • have completed all of the prerequisites (UN3211, UN3213 and UN3412)
  • not currently be taking, or have previously taken an economics senior seminar.

Details about the senior seminar registration procedure can be found on the department Senior Seminar Registration page.  Students who plan to take a seminar this spring must read the posted information, and participate in accordance to the outlined procedures and deadlines.

Students Not Eligible for the Seminar Lottery

If you are not eligible for the lottery (see criteria above), you may still be able to take a senior seminar, provided that you have satisfied all of the seminar pre-requisites. Beginning the second week of classes, qualified students will be allowed to enroll in any open seminar. See the Senior Seminar Registration page for details.

Joint Majors with Political Science, Philosophy and Statistics

In the case of the seminars required of joint majors, the students in these majors (joint majors with political science, philosophy and statistics) have priority registration, and will be contacted directly by Laura Yan.  Students in the said joint majors will not be allowed to register for GU4911 sec 0. Spaces in the Econometrics Seminar remaining after the joint majors have registered may be made available for general registration.

Senior Seminar Schedule

All micro and macro seminars (GU 4911 and GU 4913) in the Spring will fulfill the seminar requirement for the financial economics major. Descriptions of seminars are posted at Senior Seminar Descriptions | Columbia | Economics

Course Instructor Schedule        Topic
GU4911 sec 1 Murat Yilmaz W 12:10 – 2 PM Economics of Industrial Organization
GU4911 sec 2 Sunil Gulati M  2:10 – 4 PM Sports Economics
GU4911 sec 3 Graciela Chichilnisky W 2:10 – 4 PM Globalization and It’s Risks
GU4911 sec 4 Doug Almond M 10:10 – 12 PM Environmental Economics
GU4911 sec 5 Dan O’Flaherty T 10:10 – 12 PM Homelessness in Rich Cities
GU4911 sec 6 Andrew Abere R 12:10 – 2 PM Economics of Antitrust
GU4911 sec 7 Rosanne Altshuler T 2:10 – 4 PM Economics of Tax Policy
GU4911 sec 8 Andrew Kosenko M 4:10 – 6 PM The Economics of Information
GU4913 sec 1 Rich Clarida R 8:10 – 10 AM International Monetary Economics
GU4913 sec 4 Joe Stiglitz and Karla Hoff W 10:10 – 12 PM Behavioral Insights into Economic Development
GU4913 sec 5 Tamrat Gashaw M  12:10 – 2 PM Topics in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Based Investing


Seminars for Joint Majors
   Joint Major    Instructor    Schedule        Topic
Political Science TBA TBA TBA
Political Science Carlo Prato TBA Institutions, Inequality, and Redistribution
Philosophy Melissa Fusco W 2:10 – 4 PM TBA
Statistics Seyhan Erden W 4:10 – 6 PM Topics in Macro and Finance


Juniors Planning Fall Graduation

Students in the joint majors with political science, philosophy or statistics who are considering graduating in the Fall of 2024 must take their senior seminar this spring. If you are planning on graduating in the Fall of 2024, contact Laura Yan to let her know that you will need to register for the political economy seminar, econ-philosophy or the econometrics seminar. You must have completed all of the seminar prerequisites before taking the seminar this Spring. The seminars for these joint majors will NOT be offered in Fall 2024.

New Junior Seminar

The goal of the junior seminars is to strengthen the research and writing skills of our students.  Like senior seminars, the prerequisites of a junior seminar are 3211, 3213 and 3412 and will have a limited number of seats. Unlike senior seminars, a junior seminar will count as an elective course and may be taken for elective credit for the economics, financial economics, or any joint major. A junior seminar does NOT replace a senior seminar, so a student who takes a junior seminar will take at least two seminars to complete the economics major. Students will be admitted to the seminars from the wait list via SSOL prior to the beginning of classes.  Preference will be given to junior majors who are interested in writing a senior thesis in economics and who are good candidates to do so (students are expected to have received a B+ or higher in the three prerequisite courses). A student who successfully completes a junior seminar will be given preference in admission to the honors seminar. To register for a junior seminar, you must sign up for the wait list in SSOL. 

UN3953: Causes and Consequences of Inequality
Instructor: Matthieu Gomez
Thurs 6:10-8:00 pm

This seminar will discuss the economic causes and consequences of inequality, with a particular focus on top income and wealth inequality. We will discuss the relative role of technology, financial markets, and institutions in driving the recent rise in inequality. Seminar students are expected to actively participate in class discussions, make an in class presentation of selected readings and of original work and write a term paper on an agreed upon topic.

Lecture Courses

GU4280 Corporate Finance

Students interested in taking Corporate Finance in the spring must sign up for the waitlist for the course. Students will be admitted to the class from the waitlist in December in accordance with the rules posted on the Registration Information page on the department website.

Accounting and Finance

Beginning in the Spring of 2024, the Barnard and Columbia Economics Departments will offer a new accounting course, UN 2261 Accounting and Finance for Economics. We expect to offer one section of this course each Spring semester. The course will be offered by Barnard this Spring. If you are a Financial Economics major, then you may take this course to fulfill your Accounting requirement. We expect that there will be considerable demand for the course, so if you plan to take it then you should register for it at your earliest opportunity.

Students in the Financial Economics major also have the option to take either BUSI UN3013 or IEOR E2261 to fulfill the accounting requirement for their major. If you have questions about these accounting courses, please contact BusinessManagement@gsb.columbia.edu at the Business School or the IEOR department.  At this point, I do not believe that engineering is offering IEOR E2261 in the Spring semester.

College Business Courses

Columbia College offers several business oriented courses. The department does not oversee these courses, and does not have any information about them. If you have questions about these courses, you should send an email to BusinessManagement@gsb.columbia.edu in the Business School. Finally, note that you may NOT take these courses for elective credit towards any major in economics other than Financial Economics. Financial economics majors should check their major requirements for details on which courses may be taken for elective credit.

5000 and 6000 Level Courses

Graduate level courses in economics (courses numbered 5000 and above) are closed to online registration to undergraduates. All 5000 level courses are limited to Masters students only. Undergraduates wishing to take a 6000 level class must receive approval from both the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies. Since the first year PhD courses are year-long courses, students may only begin these courses in the Fall semester.

All Spring Elective Courses

The table below lists the pre-requisites of the elective courses offered this Spring. The two columns labeled “Fin Ec Elective” and “Econ-Phil Elective” indicate which electives may be taken to fulfill major requirements in that joint major (see your checklist or the bulletin for more information).

     Spring Electives      Prerequisites   Fin Ec Elective Econ-Phil Elective
UN 2257 Global Economy UN 1105
UN 3025 Financial Economics UN 3211, UN 3213, STAT UN 1201
UN 3265 Money and Banking UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes
UN 3953 Causes and Consequences of Inequality UN 3211, UN 3213, UN 3412 Yes Yes
GU 4020 Econ of Uncertainty UN 3211, UN 3213, STAT UN 1201 Yes Yes
GU 4211 Advanced Micro UN 3211, UN 3213, MATH UN 2010

(MATH UN 2500 or GU 4061)*

GU 4230 Econ of NYC UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes
GU 4251 Industrial Organization UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes
GU 4260 Market Design UN 3211, UN 3213, STAT UN 1201 Yes Yes
GU 4280 Corporate Finance UN 3211, UN 3213, STAT UN 1201
GU 4415 Game Theory UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes Yes
GU 4465 Public Economics UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes Yes
GU 4630 Climate Finance UN 3211, UN 3213, STAT UN 1201 Yes Yes
GU 4750 Globalization & its Risks UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes
GU 4710 Finance and the Real Economy UN 3211, UN 3213, STAT UN 1201 Yes
GU 4840 Behavioral Economics UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes Yes

* These courses are co-requisites. A co-requisite may be taken prior to or concurrently with the class.

Major Credit for Non-Departmental Courses

The department limits the number of courses that students may take outside of the Columbia Economics Department.

  • All majors and joint majors must take a minimum of 5 lecture courses in the Columbia Department of Economics. ECON UN3025 and ECON UN3265 will be considered Columbia department electives regardless of the instructor. Concentrators must take a minimum of 4 lecture courses in the Columbia department.
  • The remaining credits for economics lecture courses may come from AP, Barnard elective courses (2000 or 3000 level), and transfer credits (either taken before registering at Columbia or study abroad).
  • Students must take their senior seminar in the Columbia Department of Economics.
  • The department does not have restrictions on the number of non-economics courses taken outside Columbia to fulfill major requirements. For example, a student who has AP or transfer credits for Calculus-I will be able to take the same number of economics courses outside the department as a student who does not have such credits.
  • Note that in the case of joint majors, courses taken to fulfill the requirements of the affiliated department are subject to the rules of that department. For example, a joint major with political science must check with the Political Science department on whether or not a particular class taken outside of Columbia is acceptable for the joint major.
Study Abroad

All students who are planning on studying OUTSIDE of Columbia University in the spring must see Sunil Gulati during the fall semester to get preliminary approval for any economics courses that they are planning on taking at another institution.  Please see the Transfer Credit Info page on the departmental website for more information regarding the transfer credits that the department will accept. Note that you must also speak with your school adviser about taking courses at another institution.

Research Credit

Students interested in working with a faculty member should read the Opportunities page on the department website. In January the list of researchers looking for assistants will be posted on the wiki page, Econ Info for Students. There is no November registration for these research positions. See the Registration Information page for more details.

Undergraduate TA Positions

Undergraduate TAs receive $2016 per semester. Undergraduate TAs have many of the same responsibilities as the graduate TAs in the department. Early in January a list of TA available TA positions will be posted on the WIKI page, Econ Info for Students.


Susan Elmes
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Economics

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)
Mail Code 3308  
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)

Mail Code 3308

420 West 118th Street

New York, NY 10027

Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Translate »