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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:


April 2020


To:        All Economics Majors and Concentrators
From:   Susan Elmes, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Economics Department
Re:       Newsletter for Fall 2020 Registration


Dear Students,


Please read through the following information as you plan your fall course schedule. Note that the registration information in the online CC bulletin often lags several days behind the Registrar’s page. For the latest information on classes you should always check the Registrar’s Directory of Classes site. You should also complete a checklist to determine what courses you need to complete your major requirements.

Rising Seniors

All students intending to graduate with an economics, financial economics or joint major in Spring 2021, must complete UN3211 Intermediate Micro, UN3213 Intermediate Macro and UN3412 Intro to Econometrics (or POLS GU4712) by the end of the Fall 2020 semester. You will not be permitted to take any of these courses in the Spring semester. Students in the joint major with Political Science must also complete GU4370 Political Economy in the Fall semester. If you are taking UN3211, UN3213 or UN3412 in the Fall semester, then you must request written permission to do so. Send these requests to se5@columbia.edu .

Senior Seminar Registration

All students interested in taking a senior seminar in the fall semester must register for ECON GU4911 Section 000 ECONOMICS SEMINAR REGISTRATION. Details about the senior seminar registration procedure are posted on the Senior Seminar Registration webpage. The page currently lists Spring 2020, but the process and procedures for Fall 2020 are the same; the timeline dates for the fall will be updated later.  We expect to offer the following senior seminars in the fall semester, and will be adding additional seminars in the near future:

Instructor         Schedule
Sunil Gulati W 4:10 PM – 6:00 PM
Prajit Dutta M 6:10 PM – 8:00 PM
Tri Vi Dang T 10:10 AM – 12:00 PM
Graciela Chichilnisky W 2:10 PM – 4:00 PM
Andres Drenik M 10:10 AM – 12:00 PM

Titles and descriptions of these seminars will be posted on the Senior Seminar Descriptions page as soon as available.



In person advising hours are not available at this time. Please send all questions about major requirements and course offerings to econ-advising@columbia.edu . It is strongly recommended that you complete a checklist for your major before contacting econ-advising.

Lecture Courses

4370 Political Economy

The political economy class will be offered only in the Fall semester.  Seniors in the joint major with Political Science who have not previously taken GU4370 Political Economy MUST take 4370 in the Fall semester. Rising Juniors planning on graduating early (i.e. before Spring 2021) must also take the course in Fall 2020.

Accounting and Finance

Outside of the major in Financial Economics, economics students may not take accounting for major credit.  Students in the Financial Economics major may take either BUSI 3013 or IEOR 2261 to fulfill the accounting requirement for their major. If you have questions about these accounting courses, please contact the business concentration at BusinessManagement@gsb.columbia.edu or the IEOR department directly.  Online registration for IEOR E2261 is restricted to declared majors in Financial Economics.

College Business Courses

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

Corporate Finance

Students interested in taking Corporate Finance must sign up for the wait list in SSOL. We will admit students to this course from the wait list following the procedures outlined on the Registration Information page of the department website. If you sign up for more than one waitlist, then you should complete the short preference survey asking you to rank the sections (there is a link on the waitlist page). When possible we place students in their more preferred section.

5000 and 6000 Level Courses

Graduate level courses in economics (courses numbered 5000 and above) are closed to online registration by undergraduates. Students wishing to take one of these classes must receive approval from both the Directors of Undergraduate Studies and Graduate Studies. Prior to taking any of these courses, it is expected that you have successfully completed one or (preferably) more of the advanced undergraduate courses (4211, 4213 and 4412), higher level statistics (such as the year-long sequence 4203-4204, formerly 3105-3107), and at least one semester of mathematical analysis (4061).  We will be reviewing the requests to take these courses in August.  Do not send in your requests at this time. There will be an email in August soliciting students who are interested in taking these courses.

Course Offerings By Semester

Fall Electives Open for the April Registration Period (unless otherwise noted)

  • 2105 The American Economy (tentative)
  • 3025 Financial Economics
  • 4020 Economics of Uncertainty and Information
  • 4213 Advanced Macro
  • 4251 Industrial Organization (tentative)
  • 4280 Corporate Finance
  • 4301 Growth and Development
  • 4325 Economic Organization and Development of Japan
  • 4370 Political Economy
  • 4412 Advanced Econometrics
  • 4415 Game Theory (tentative)
  • 4438 Economics of Race in the US
  • 4465 Public Economics
  • 4500 International Trade (tentative)
  • 4750 Globalization and Its Risks

Courses listed as “tentative” are courses that the department currently plans to offer at the schedules listed in the DoC, but the schedules may change over the summer.  These courses will be open to registration.

Spring (Tentative)

  • 2257 Global Economy
  • 3025 Financial Economics
  • 3265 Money and Banking
  • 4211 Advanced Microeconomics
  • 4230 Economics of NYC
  • 4251 Industrial Organization
  • 4260 Market Design
  • 4280 Corporate Finance
  • 4321 Economic Development
  • 4415 Game Theory
  • 4465 Public Economics
  • 4500 International Trade
  • 4505 International Macroeconomics
  • 4860 Behavioral Finance

Please note that the spring electives are subject to change. We will update you with the final list of spring electives in the Summer Mailing.

Course Prerequisites

You must complete the pre-requisite courses before you can take an economics course. Students who take courses out of sequence (before or concurrently with its prerequisites) will be subject to a penalty of taking additional courses to be assessed by the department’s director of undergraduate studies. This rule applies even if you have received instructor approval to take the class.  If you have already taken a course out of sequence, then contact the director of undergraduate studies immediately. The prerequisites for courses are as follows:

Economics Course Prerequisites
UN1105 None
UN3213 Math UN1101, Econ UN1105

Co-requisite* Math UN1201

UN3211 Math UN1201, Econ UN1105
UN3412 Math UN1201, Stat UN1201

Econ UN3211 or Econ UN3213

2000 Level Electives Econ UN1105
3000 Level Seminars Econ UN3211, UN3213, UN3412
UN3025 Financial Economics

GU4020 Econ of Uncertainty

GU4230 Economics of NYC

GU4260 Market Design

GU4280 Corporate Finance

GU4370 Political Economy

GU4700 Financial Crises

GU4710 Finance and the Real Economy

Cognitive Mechanisms and Economic Behavior

Econ UN3211, Econ UN3213, Stat UN1201


GU4211 Advanced Micro Econ UN3211, UN3213, Math UN2010

Co-requisite* Math UN2500 or GU4061

GU4412 Advanced Econometrics

GU4213 Advanced Macro

Econ UN3211, UN3213, UN3412, Math UN2010
GU4413 Econometrics of Time Series Econ UN3211, UN3213, UN3412

Co-requisite* Math UN2010

GU4860 Behavioral Finance Econ UN3211, UN3213, UN3412
All other UN3000-GU4000 Level Electives Econ UN3211, UN3213
All 4000 Level Seminars (except 4921) Econ UN3211, UN3213, UN3412
GU4921 Political Econ seminar Econ UN3211, UN3213, UN3412 (or POLS GU4712) and GU4370
Barnard Electives (BC3000) Barnard prerequisites – check the Barnard bulletin

 *A co-requisite may be taken prior to taking the course or concurrently with the class.

NOTE that a prerequisite of STAT 1201 means STAT 1201 or a higher level statistics course. Neither STAT 1101, nor POLS 4710 may be taken in place of STAT 1201 to fulfill the pre-requisite requirements listed above.

Elective Courses for the Financial Economics Major

This is a list of the economics courses offered in the fall semester that may be taken for elective credit. For information about the offerings of non-economics courses, you should consult the Directory of Classes site.

  • 3265 Money and Banking (Barnard)
  • 4020 Economics of Uncertainty and Information
  • 4213 Advanced Macro
  • 4251 Industrial Organization (tentative)
  • 4412 Advanced Econometrics
  • 4415 Game Theory (tentative)
  • 4465 Public Economics
  • 4500 International Trade (tentative)

Financial economics majors must take a minimum of 2 of their 4 elective courses from the prescribed list of electives in the Economics Department.

Elective Courses for the Economics-Philosophy Joint Major

The department is offering the following courses in the fall semester that may be taken for credit for the economics-philosophy joint major:

  • 4020 Economics of Uncertainty and Information
  • 4213 Advanced Macro
  • 4301 Growth and Development
  • 4370 Political Economy
  • 4415 Game Theory (tentative)
  • 4438 Economics of Race in the US
  • 4465 Public Economics
  • 4500 International Trade (tentative)
  • 4750 Globalization and Its Risks

Joint majors with philosophy must take at least 2 of their 3 economics electives from the prescribed list posted in the bulletin and online on the checklist for their major.

Senior Thesis

Students interested in writing a senior thesis should have attended the recent information session. If you did not attend the session, then you should read the information posted on the department website on the Honors and Prizes page. If you would like to receive preliminary feedback on your thesis idea, then (after reading the General Information memo) complete the Preliminary Application posted on the department’s wiki page (in the Economics Department Information section), and send it to me directly at se5@columbia.edu.  The deadline for the preliminary proposal is May 1st. The final proposal for the honors seminar will be due on August 21st (no late proposals will be accepted). The honors seminar is closed to online registration. Students will only be admitted to the honors seminar after August 20.

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 3025 and ECON 3265 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.
Research Credit

In early September, the department will send out a list of the names of faculty members and PhD students who are looking for research assistants and descriptions of their projects There is no pre-registration during the spring registration period for these research positions.  More information about research credit can be found on the Opportunities page and on the Registration Information page on the departmental website.

The department occasionally receives requests for research assistants from other divisions of the University. We generally post these announcements on the wiki which you should check periodically for new announcements.

Summer Research Prizes

The department of economics provides financial support for CC and GS students who take unpaid summer internships that focus on research. By introducing students to original research, a summer internship can provide the foundation for an honors thesis or develop an interest in pursuing a graduate degree.  We are looking to support up to 5 CC and 2 GS students. We will provide each student with a stipend of $3000.  To apply for this stipend, you must be a declared economics major, financial economics major or joint major in CC, and you must submit the following information to Susan Elmes at se5@columbia.edu by Monday, April 20th:

  • Name and UNI
  • Internship or RA Information (Name of organization or faculty member)
  • A brief (one page) essay describing the internship, learning objectives, and supervision.
  • Employer Verification (a letter or email showing that you have been offered the internship)

This money is meant to support research, so the internship must be research in nature and cannot focus on office or clerical tasks. Preference will be given to students working with Columbia University faculty (the faculty need not be in the economics department).


Wiki - Econ Info for Students

When the department receives announcements and advertisements from other institutions we post those announcements on the undergraduate wiki.  You will use your Columbia UNI and password to access the site.  We post job, RA, TA and internship information on this site. You will also find announcements of lectures, academic programs and other opportunities that we think may be of interest to students in economics.

Study Abroad

All students who are planning on studying abroad in the fall must see Sunil Gulati during the spring advising period to get preliminary approval for any economics courses that they are planning on taking abroad. All students who are planning on taking classes this summer outside of Columbia University must also contact Sunil Gulati (skg21) now to get preliminary approval for any economics courses that they are considering taking. To take courses outside of Columbia during the summer, you must also have the approval of your School. The Economics department cannot give you credit for courses that have not been approved by your School. Please review the material posted on the Transfer Credit Information page.

Undergraduate TA Positions

The department expects to hire undergraduate TAs again next year. Undergraduate TAs receive $1800 per semester. Undergraduate TAs have many of the same responsibilities as the graduate TAs in the department. In August you will receive an email listing the TA positions and their requirements. Please do not apply for a position before you receive this email.

Good Luck with Finals.


Susan Elmes
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Economics Department

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.
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