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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 2024



Dear Students,

Please read through the following information as you plan your fall course schedule. Before registration, 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 2025, must complete UN3211 Intermediate Micro, UN3213 Intermediate Macro and UN3412 Intro to Econometrics (or POLS GU4712) by the end of the Fall 2024 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 plan to take UN3211, UN3213 or UN3412 in the Fall semester, then you must request written permission to do so. Send these requests to se5@columbia.edu.


See the Advisors page for expanded office hours for the registration period. You may also send questions about major requirements and course offerings to econ-advising@columbia.edu. It is recommended that you complete a checklist for your major before contacting econ-advising.

Senior Seminars

Seminar instructors, titles, descriptions and schedule are posted on the Senior Seminar Descriptions page. Senior seminars are closed to online registration. Most seminar seats are allocated through the Senior Seminar Lottery.

Senior Seminar Lottery

To participate in the lottery for a senior seminar, you must register for GU4911 Section 000, ECONOMICS SEMINAR REGISTRATION.

To be eligible to register for GU4911 sec 0, you must

  • be a rising senior
  • be a major in economics, financial economics or economics-math,
  • have completed all of the prerequisites (UN3211, UN3213 and UN3412) before Fall 2024
  • not currently be taking nor previously taken an economics senior seminar.

Details about the senior seminar lottery can be found on the Senior Seminar Registration page. Students who plan to take a seminar in Fall 2024 must read the posted information, and participate in accordance with the outlined procedures and deadlines.

Students Not Eligible for the Seminar Lottery

If you are not eligible for the lottery (see criteria above), then 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 register for any open seminar seats. See the Senior Seminar Registration page for details.

Joint Majors with Political Science, Philosophy and Statistics

The seminars for these joint majors will be offered in Spring 2025.

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 GU 4370 Political Economy MUST take GU4370 in the Fall semester. Rising Juniors planning on graduating early (i.e. before Spring 2026) must also take the course in Fall 2024.

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 any of the three courses ECOB UN 2261 (Barnard), BUSI UN3013 or IEOR E2261 to fulfill the accounting requirement for their major. If you have questions about the business or IEOR 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. All rising senior Financial Economics majors who have not completed their accounting requirement must register for one of these classes, ECOB UN 22161, IEOR E2261 or BUSI UN3013, in Fall 2024.

College Business Courses

Columbia College offers several business oriented classes. The department does not offer 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. 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 (GU4211, GU4213 and GU4412), higher level statistics (such as the year-long sequence GU4203-4204), and at least one semester of mathematical analysis (GU4061). We will review requests to take these courses in August. Do not send in requests now. There will be an email in August soliciting students who are interested in taking these courses.

Course Offerings by Semester

We plan on offering the following elective courses in the Fall of 2024. We hope to add one or two additional courses to this list later this semester, but they are unlikely to be open for registration in April.

Fall Electives Prerequisites Fin Ec Elective Econ-Phil Elective
UN 2105 American Economy UN 1105
UN 3025 Financial Economics UN 3211, UN 3213, STAT UN 1201
UN 3265 Money and Banking (Barnard) UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes
GU 4213 Advanced Macro UN 3211, UN3213, UN 3412,
MATH 2010
Yes 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 4321 Economic Development UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes
GU 4370 Political Economy UN 3211, UN 3213, STAT UN 1201 Yes
GU 4415 Game Theory UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes Yes
GU 4438 Economics of Race UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes
GU 4465 Public Economics UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes Yes
GU 4480 Gender and Applied Economics UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes
GU 4500 International Trade UN 3211, UN 3213 Yes Yes


Spring (Tentative)

We plan to offer the following courses in the Spring of 2025. Other courses may be added or substituted later. An updated list will be included in the Summer Mailing in August and posted on the website.

  • 2257 Global Economy
  • 2261 Accounting and Finance for Economics
  • 3025 Financial Economics
  • 3265 Money and Banking
  • 4211 Advanced Microeconomics
  • 4228 Urban Economics
  • 4251 Industrial Organization
  • 4280 Corporate Finance
  • 4400 Labor Economics
  • 4415 Game Theory
  • 4465 Public Economics
  • 4500 International Trade
  • 4630 Climate Finance
  • 4710 Finance and the Real Economy
  • 4750 Globalization and its Risks
  • 4840 Behavioral Economics
  • 4860 Behavioral Finance
Senior Thesis

Please review the information posted on the wiki page (in the Economics Department Information section) and on the Honors and Prizes page. There will be an Info Session for students interested in writing a thesis, and all students are welcome. The details for this event are:

Honors Thesis Information Session

Date:     April 24

Time:     6:10 – 7:10 PM

Where: 1027 IAB

*Please RSVP at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc5g588aJJRQRgoTyYp_pxp2dVfnWw0yn6g1GtVxeuLyHqucg/viewform?usp=sf_link

If you would like to receive preliminary feedback on your thesis idea, then complete the Preliminary Application posted on the department’s wiki page, and send it to me directly at se5@columbia.edu. The deadline for the preliminary proposal is May 17. The final proposal for the honors seminar will be due on August 19 (no late proposals will be accepted). The honors seminar is closed to online registration. Students will be admitted to the honors seminar at the start of the semester.

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 from 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 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 plan to study abroad in the Fall must see Sunil Gulati during the Spring advising period to get preliminary approval for any economics courses that they intend to take abroad. All students who hope to take classes this Summer outside of Columbia University must also see Sunil Gulati now to get preliminary approval for any economics courses. Note that students must also have approval from their school to take Summer courses outside of Columbia. The Economics Department cannot give you credit for courses that have not been approved for transfer credit by your School. Please review the material posted on the Transfer Credit Information page.

Research Credit

In early September, the department will post on the wiki page 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 April registration period for these research positions. More information about research credit can be found on the Opportunities and Registration Information pages of the website.

We also occasionally receive requests for research assistants from other divisions of the University. We also 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 $5000. 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 Friday, April 19:

  • 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.

Undergraduate TA Positions

The department expects to hire undergraduate TAs again next year. 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 said email.

Good Luck with Finals,

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.
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