This section provides information about how studying abroad fits in with the economics major.

  • The Decision to Study Abroad.  This is an important decision and you should by all means consult with your major advisor.  However, you should be aware that your advisor will not have information about specific countries or programs; the Office of Global Education should be able to provide you with lots of helpful information.
  • Your Planned Course of Study. You should consult with your major advisor about your planned course of study.  If you have questions about a particular course, send copies of the course description and syllabus to your advisor prior to meeting with them.  Do your best to resolve any questions before leaving Amherst.
  • Questions about Course Credit. This is an area where you should not seek our advice except in rare circumstances.  The economics department procedure for granting elective credit for study abroad is exactly the same as the procedure we follow for students taking classes in the Five-College Consortium.  Please refer to the previous section for the details about which courses may be taken elsewhere.

One complication arises when determining course credit if the number of courses you take abroad to get a semester of Amherst College course credit differs from 4. You get a single Amherst economics elective credit for each 25% of your courseload that is made up by economics electives.  Anything less than 25% will not yield economics elective credit. For example, suppose you need to take 5 courses abroad to get 4 Amherst course credits.  In this case, if 1 of the 5 courses was an economics course taught in an economics department you would not receive an elective credit because that course would represent only 20% of your load.   If you took 2 economics courses, 40% of your load would be economics and you would receive 1 elective credit.  Lastly, there are cases in which a student is given double credit for a course taken abroad.  If you take 3 courses and one was an economics, double-credit course, you would receive 2 elective credits.  If you were to take 4 courses and one was an economics, double-credit course, you would receive one elective credit.

We want you to make the most out of your time.   You can help us by seeking advice on important issues about your decision to study abroad or what you will study while abroad.  We believe that the vast majority of questions about credits is answered above.  Of course, if your situation does not fit these rules, you should consult your academic advisor.

It may be helpful to know that, in general, economics majors who study abroad usually take one or two economics courses in order to receive one elective credit towards their major.