Transfer Credit Information
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.
|Program||# Lecture Courses in Economics1||
Min # in
|Max # Outside3|
- 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. UN3025 and UN3265 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 another institution, and transfer credits from other universities.
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 (UN1105), 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.
I. Guidelines for Sciences Po Students
Most joint degree students have transfer credits that will place them out of UN 1105 Principles of Economics, UN 1101 Calculus I and UN 1201 Calculus III when they arrive at Columbia. In addition, most students receive credit for one 3000 level elective course in economics. Currently, we are reviewing one statistics course for possible transfer. Details on how to receive these transfer credits are below.
We do not accept any transfer courses for the intermediate core economics courses (UN 3211 Int Micro, UN 3213 Int Macro and UN 3412 Econometrics). You will have to take those classes here at Columbia.
We usually grant transfer credit for one elective course at the 3000 level. In most cases, we transfer the course Microeconomics: Info, Design and Institutions (various course numbers). Since we do not have a similar course here, using this course as your transfer class will not limit your selection of upper level elective courses here at Columbia. If you did not take this course (or did not receive a grade of 12 or higher) then it may be possible to transfer another elective course. We only accept one 3000 level course for transfer.
If a course is included on our list of Pre-Approved Classes here then you do not need to submit course materials for the class. The list is organized by campus. The course number on your transcript must match the course number on the list to be pre-approved. Periodically, this list will be updated to include new courses or course numbers from Sciences Po.
How to Apply for Transfer Credits from Sciences Po
Fill out the Transfer Credit Form for Sciences Po students here and submit it along with a complete transcript (landscape version with all courses) from Sciences Po to your GS advisor. The department reviews transfer credit requests at specific dates (see Deadlines section) and GS will send your materials to us at the appropriate time. Do not send your materials to the department directly.
If your course numbers match the course numbers on our pre-approved list, then you do NOT submit any materials from that course. For any class on the pre-approved list you only need to include a transcript showing that you completed the course with a grade of 12 or higher along with your completed Transfer Credit Form.
If you list courses that are not on the pre-approved list, then you do need to submit additional materials. In most cases, a syllabus from the course is sufficient, so please include a syllabus for these classes in your submission.
The Academic Resources Fair Page here has general information for new students arriving at Columbia who are considering a major in economics. On this page you will find information on placement in economics (based on your transfer credits), as well as, general advice regarding class selection as a new student.
As an incoming Sciences Po student, it is highly recommended that you take at least one of the classes UN 3211 Micro or UN 3213 Macro in your first semester. If you are being placed out of both Principles and Calculus III then you may take either of these courses. If you are being placed out of Principles and Calculus I only then you may only take UN 3213 and must take Calculus III concurrently. If you are considering writing a senior thesis in economics or pursuing graduate work in economics, then it is recommended that you take both UN 3211 and UN 3213 in your first semester (if possible).
II. Guidelines for All Other Students
- With the exception of UN1105 Principles of economics and UN1101 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 advisor.
- 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, elective courses at the Barnard economics department, summer school courses taken at other universities or colleges, 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.
III. APPLYING FOR TRANSFER CREDIT
MATH AND STATISTICS
- The economics department will review the transfer credits from Calculus taken at an American college or university (see below for more information) for prospective economics majors. 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.
- (New) The economics department will review transfer credits for Statistics UN1201 (see below for more information) for prospective economics majors.
ALL ECONOMICS COURSES, CALCULUS-I and STATISTICS
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.
- Please Note: In order for a course to be evaluated for Transfer Credit, it must have already been completed (not in progress), and the grade for the course must be noted on the transcript submitted.
- 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.
IV. DEADLINES 2023-2024
For the academic year 2023-2024 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 2023 is July 5, 2023. The deadline for students wishing to take classes in the Spring 2024 is September 26 and December 19, 2023.
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 his/her advisor to submit his/her application for the next deadline.
- General Studies: The deadlines for students wishing to take economics classes in the Fall 2023 are May 30, July 5, and August 8, 2023. The deadlines for students wishing to take classes in the Spring 2024 are September 26 and December 19, 2023. An additional deadline in the spring semester is February 6, 2024.
V. REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS
UN1105 PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS
- 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 UN1105 for the majors or concentration.
- Almost any introductory course in economics is acceptable as a substitute for UN1105 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.
STAT UN1201 INTRO TO STATISTICS (Revised)
- The Statistics requirement is STAT UN1201. Only statistics courses that had a calculus prerequisite will be considered for transfer credit. You must submit both a syllabus and either one exam or sample notes from the class. Do not submit materials from a statistics class that did not require calculus.
- Statistics AP credits is equivalent to STAT UN1111, and not to STAT UN1201 that is required for the economics majors and concentration.
- Only statistics courses with a grade 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.
- 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.
UN3213 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 (e.g. growth, consumption-savings, IS-LM etc.) to receive transfer credit. If the syllabus does not list the prerequisites then include the course description from the bulletin that shows the course prerequisites.
UN3211 INTERMEDIATE MICRO
- 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 (e.g. consumer theory, production, general equilibrium etc.) to receive transfer credit. If the syllabus does not list, the prerequisites then include the course description from the bulletin that shows the course prerequisites.
UN3412 INTRO TO ECONOMETRICS
- 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 (e.g. linear regression model, instruments, time series etc.) to receive transfer credit. If the syllabus does not list, the prerequisites then include the course description from the bulletin that shows the course prerequisites.
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 prerequisites, then include the course description from the bulletin that shows the course prerequisites.
FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING (BUSI UN3013, IEOR UN2261)
- 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.
VI. 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.