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Credit and Registration FAQs

Find answers to question about registration procedures and receiving credit for internships and courses taken elsewhere.

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Credit for Internships & Study Abroad

Can I get major credit for an internship program?

The Economics Department has no internship program and usually does not give credit for internships. Business internships are increasingly popular with students, because they provide valuable work experience and useful knowledge about professional opportunities. However, they seldom entail the acquisition of new knowledge of economic analysis equivalent to a 300-level course in this department.

There are instances in which an intern receives extensive, supervised training by professional economists, but this is rare. As an example, some participants in the Chicago Field Study program have received one 300-level economics credit for internships in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Students engaged in the Field Study program are registered for a WCAS course (CFS 393), which is another condition for receiving credit for an internship. In some instances, a student might arrange an independent study (see above) in conjunction with an internship, in which a research project is undertaken that draws on the internship experience. In such a case, credit would be awarded for the work completed in the 399, not merely for the practical experience of the internship; but it is a way of trying to interrelate academic training and professional experience. Each case must be weighed individually, however. Typically, you will have to write a paper based on your internship.

If you have an internship opportunity for which you would like to receive major credit, you should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies well in advance of the start of the program. A final decision about economics credit cannot be made until you have completed the internship.

Can I get major credits for courses taken while studying abroad?

Students who are contemplating study abroad should consult one of our advisors to discuss the likelihood of their receiving major credit for courses offered in the programs they are considering. They should also be sure to complete all of the core courses for the major before going abroad.

As part of the application process, students must bring the required form and meet with an advisor in each of their majors and minors and consult about what classes might work for their academic progress.   If the advisor judges the quality of the course to be likely comparable to our Economics 300-level field courses, he or she will sign the provisional pre-approval part of the form.  This form is submitted to the Study Abroad Office.  Once the student has completed these courses, it is the student’s responsibility to fill out the Petition for Creit for Courses Taken Abroad and bring it and the transcript back to an economics advisor. The advisor will grant credit if the student received a grade of C (not C-) or better and the course materials lived up to expectations for quality.  This form should then be taken to the Weinberg Advising Office at 1908 Sheridan Road.  (Note:  Economics will accept up to two classes per term, or four for a full academic year abroad.)

The Director of Undergraduate Studies has prepared some information on the availability of Economics course credit for courses taken as part of NU's study abroad program

Transfer Credit

What type of course taken elsewhere, either elsewhere in the U.S. or abroad, can count towards an economics major?

It is department policy that credit will not be awarded to those courses that are specifically appropriate to a business curriculum - in other words, lacking any economics principles in any way.

For example: we would not give credit toward your economics major for such business courses with titles such as Management and Entrepreneurship or Bargaining and Negotiation. These classes are appropriate to a business curriculum, not an economics program. Nonetheless, such courses as International Economics or The Economics of European Integration would be worthy of credit as 300-level economics field courses. The first is probably most similar to our 361 International Trade, and it might cover a bit of 362 International Finance. It is important to note that if you have already taken either of these (but especially 361), you could not get credit for the equivalent. You can't repeat a course for credit. Although our department does not have an equivalent course to the Economics of European Integration, it is still a fine course and well worth taking to get the most out of your undergraduate economics experience.

How can I get approval for courses taken at other U.S. universities?

Students who are considering taking a course at another US university or college should consult with a major advisor before doing so, and bring a class description.  Students should also be familiar with the Weinberg College rules on such transfers.  If the advisor judges the quality of the course to be comparable to our Economics 300-level field courses, he or she will give pre-approval for the course.  Once the student has completed the course with a grade of C- or better, the student should send the information about the course to an economics advisor for review and approval for the course to count for the major or minor. 

Note:  Economics will accept up to a maximum of two classes per term, up to a maximum of four total. 

Registration Issues

Can I take Economics courses offered in Summer Session or the evening program?

Courses taken in Northwestern's Summer Session automatically count toward the requirements of the Economics Major and Minor. However, courses offered by the School of Professional Studies' evening program are not generally acceptable toward the Department's requirements. Exceptions to this policy will only be considered in rare cases of hardship, and with the express consent of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Is there preregistration for majors and minors?

Yes.  Majors and Minors are able to preregister for up to two classes. Students are reminded that they must declare the Economics Major or Minor to participate in pre-registration. 

What happens if a class fills up during registration?

When a class closes out during registration, a wait list will open up within CAESAR.  Instructors usually will add students if students drop the class and/or if additional seats are available in the lecture room. If the instructor can add you, she or he will send you a "permission number" to allow you to register for the class. More senior students and those who put their names on the waiting list earliest are normally given preference. If you have special reasons for needing the course, you should e-mail the instructor a note explaining the circumstances, but you must add your name to the wait list first.

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