Concentration Requirements

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

Printable version of Ec Requirements

For Spring 2020, all courses are graded on an “Emergency Satisfactory/Emergency Unsatisfactory” or “SEM/UEM” basis. All "SEM" grades for required ec courses taken in Spring 2020 will be accepted for Ec concentration and secondary field credit. "SEM" does not count towards Pass/Fail requirements. 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.
  • Ec 10a and Ec 10b (Principles of Micro and Macro)
    • Concentrators who score 5 on the microeconomics (Ec 10a) and/or macroeconomics (Ec 10b) AP exams may choose to skip Ec 10a and/or Ec 10b.
    • Concentrators who skip Ec 10a or Ec 10b must replace each course with an additional economics elective.
  • Stat 100, Stat 104, Stat 109, Stat 110, Applied Math 101, Math 18b, Math 154, or Ec 20
    • Only one of Statistics 100, 104, 109, 110/Applied Math 101/Math 18b,154, Ec 20 can count towards a student's Economics concentration requirements (or secondary field).
  • Ec 1010a/1011a and Ec 1010b/1011b (Intermediate Micro and Macro Theory)
    • Concentrators who take their first intermediate theory course Fall 2014 or later must receive a B- or higher in both 1010a/1011a and 1010b/1011b.  Those who have already taken at least one of their intermediate theory courses before Fall 2014 must receive an average B-/C+ or above for the two courses.
    • Concentrators who do not meet these requirements must take Ec 975a or Ec 975b or an economics elective that has 1010a/1011a or 1010b/1011b as a prerequisite.
  • Ec 970 (Sophomore Tutorial)
  • Ec 1123 or 1126 (Econometrics)

None of the above may be taken Pass/Fail.

  • Three additional economics courses
    • One course must have a writing requirement.
    • One course must have intermediate theory (Ec 1010 or Ec 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 professor permission. "SEM" does not count towards P/F.


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 Ec 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 Math18a, Math 21a, AM21a, or higher)*
    • Two semesters of Ec 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 Math18a, Math 21a, AM21a, 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 18a/Math 21a/AM21a.