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Economics Major

Many Economics students complete a double major. Learn about complementary programs that are often taken in conjunction with Economics.

Outstanding majors may pursue honors in economics through a research paper completed in their senior year. Our selective four-year BA/MA program is also an option for qualified Economics majors.  

Core Courses in Economics (6)

* The Economics 281 requirement will be waived if you take Economics 381-1 as a field course.

Advanced Field Courses in Economics (6)

Six 300-level economics courses (in addition to 310-1, 310-2 and 311) are required. As of September 2019, students may count up to one non-economics class as a substitute.  Currently, the only permitted substitutions are:

Any such substitutions must be noted on a student's petition to graduate and initialed by an economics adviser. This is usually done at the end of junior year. Please note, if you are counting BUS_INST 304, 321 or Math 366-1 for BIP, you cannot count it for Economics.

Students double majoring in Economics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) or Industrial Engineering and Management Science should see the section on dual majors for special arrangements.

Note that Economics 249 Business Strategy is designed for non-majors. Majors should not take this course, but should take Economics 349 Industrial Economics which cover the same material at a higher level. Economics 249 does not count either as an advanced field course or as a related course for the Major in Economics.

Courses in Related Fields (5)

Grade Requirement

All core, field, and related courses must be taken for a letter grade (not P/N) and must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. It should be noted that to calculate your "Economics GPA" you should not count your five related courses. The courses that you are required to count are all 6 core courses and all 6 300-level economics field courses.

Dual Majors

Most dual majors need to satisfy the full requirements of both Departments or Programs. However, there are some exceptions for students dual majoring with:


Many students who are considering economics might also be interested in these programs:

Class of 2018 Destination Report

The Northwestern Career Advancement Office released a report showing that 96% of Northwestern students are employed, enrolled in graduate/professional school, or pursuing other career-related activities within six months of graduation. 

Economic Majors fared better at 98% being employed or enrolled in graduate/professional school, or pursuing other career-related activities within six months of graduation. 46% of students went into Business & Financial Services and 30% went into consulting. 

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