When you declare your economics major, you join the community of students and faculty engaged with economics at Amherst.   We think economics is an exciting subject, and we look forward to sharing our passion for it with you!  We encourage you to talk with faculty and other students about economic issues and theories outside of class, around campus, and in office hours, and to broaden your engagement with economics beyond your classes.

As an economics major, you will be included in department events such as seminars, lunches, or guest speakers ā€“ keep an eye out for announcements from the department and join us to do economics.  You will also be assigned a faculty academic advisor; your advisor will assist you in planning your course of study both within economics and in the liberal arts more generally.  Remember that it is up to you to make the most of your economics major.  Think about the academic and professional goals you wish to achieve, read up on the major requirements and course offerings, and plan ahead.

This Handbook is intended to serve as a resource in your academic planning.  As professors and advisors, we are committed to supporting you as a student of economics and the liberal arts.  We encourage you to take ownership of your own education.  Be aware of both the opportunities and the requirements of the economics major, and seek out appropriate guidance as you engage in your studies and plan for your future.

This document will help you answer questions such as:

  • Should I major in economics?
  • How do economics majors usually schedule their courses over their time at Amherst?
  • How should I approach my studying in economics courses?
  • Which core theory course should I take first?
  • Should I take the advanced core theory courses?
  • When should I start taking upper-level electives?
  • How do I get experience doing economic research?
  • What if I want to study abroad?
  • Can I get economics credit for business or accounting courses? (the short answer is no)
  • Iā€™m thinking of going to graduate school in economics ā€“ how should I prepare?

Please read this handbook thoroughly, and consider rereading it each academic year to see if there is any new advice that catches your eye.

Welcome to the Economics Department!