Concentrating in Economics

Listed below are the basic requirements for an Economics concentration and additional requirements for honors.  The Economics Concentrator Guide, FAQs, and Honors page contain more details and useful information.  For info on College requirements, please see the Harvard Handbook for Students.

A printable version of Economics Requirements is available here.

For Spring 2020, all courses are graded on an “Emergency Satisfactory/Emergency Unsatisfactory” or “SEM/UEM” basis. All "SEM" grades for required economics courses taken in Spring 2020 will be accepted for Economics concentration and secondary field credit. For more information, please see Harvard's coronavirus FAQs or stop by our virtual Zoom Advising Office Hours.  

Basic Requirements for All Concentrators

The Basic Track consists of 11 courses.*

  • MATH 1A
    • This requirement applies to the Fall 2010 entering class onwards. 
    • Can be satisfied by placing into MATH 1B or higher on the Harvard Math Placement Exam or by scoring 5 on the AP Calculus exam (AB or BC).  Students who place out of Math 1a do not need to replace this with another course.
    • Math Ma+Mb is equivalent to Math 1a.  Math Qa+Qb also satistifies the Math 1a requirement.
  • EC 10A and EC 10B (Principles of Micro and Macro)
    • Can be satisfied by scoring 5 on the microeconomics (EC 10A) and/or macroeconomics (EC 10B) AP exams.
    • Concentrators who skip EC 10A or EC 10B must replace each course with an additional economics elective.
  • ECON 20, STAT 100, STAT 102, STAT 104, STAT 109, STAT 110, APMTH 101, MATH 18b/19b, or MATH 154
    • Only one of the above courses can count towards a student's Economics concentration requirements (or secondary field).
  • ECON 1010A/1011A and ECON 1010B/1011B (Intermediate Micro and Macro Theory)
    • Concentrators who take their first intermediate theory course must receive a B- or higher in both 1010A/1011A and 1010B/1011B.  
    • Concentrators who do not meet these requirements must take ECON 975A or ECON 975B or an economics elective that has 1010A/1011B or 1010B/1011B as a prerequisite.
  • ECON 970 (Sophomore Tutorial)
  • ECON 1123 or 1126 (Econometrics)

None of the above may be taken Pass/Fail.

  • Three additional economics courses (listed here)
    • One course must have a writing requirement.
    • One course must have intermediate theory (ECON 1010 or ECON 1011) as a prerequisite.
    • A course may satisfy both a writing requirement and a theory prerequisite requirement; however, a total of three economics courses must still be taken.
    • Up to two electives (except those used for the writing requirement) can be taken P/F with the professor's permission.
  • In making honors recommendations, the Department also takes into account the strength of a student’s program (e.g., Economics 1011a/b vs. 1010a/b, Statistics 110/111 vs. 104 or 100).

Additional Requirements for Honors Eligibility

Both honors tracks consist of 15 courses.* Concentrators can be eligible for honors through the Thesis Track or the Advanced Course Track. The honors math requirements and ECON 985 may not be taken pass/fail.

  • Thesis Track (eligible for summa, magna, or cum degree in Economics) requirements:
    • MATH 1B and multivariable calculus (one of MATH 18, MATH 21A, APMTH 21A, or higher)*
    • Two semesters of ECON 985
    • Successful completion of a Senior Thesis
    • The honors exam
  • Advanced Course Track (eligible for cum degree in Economics) requirements:
    • MATH 1B and multivariable calculus (one of MATH 18, MATH 21A, APMTH 21A, or higher)*
    • Two additional courses, including one with a writing requirement and one with intermediate theory as a prerequisite
    • The honors exam

*Students who place out of Math 1a or Math 1b on the Harvard Math Placement Exam do not need to replace it with another course.  There is no placing out of MATH 18/MATH 21A/APMTH 21A.