The Economics major at Carolina is one of the largest majors within the College of Arts and Sciences. Its Bachelor of Arts degree program is centered within the College’s philosophy of liberal arts to develop each student’s critical thinking skills and, as one of the social sciences, to enable them to gain a broader understanding of human behavior on individual and group levels.


All entering UNC students spend the first two years in the General College. During these four semesters they are required to take a variety of courses in English, foreign language, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, aesthetics, history and philosophy.

Because the study of economics involves a substantial amount of quantitative analysis, Economics majors are required to complete a course in calculus and a course in statistics prior to beginning the courses of the major.

  • MATH 231  or STOR 113  can be used to satisfy the calculus requirement; MATH 116  is not acceptable. The Department strongly encourages students to take STOR 113 , unless they plan to take additional math courses beyond Math 231. 
  • STOR 155 is used to satisfy the statistics requirement.

Students considering doing graduate work in economics should take additional math courses and/or major or minor in mathematics.

Courses required for completing the Major in Economics.

Students who major in Economics are required to take Economics 101 and at least seven (7) additional Economics courses. Note that 200 and 300 level courses in Economics do not count toward the major. A grade of C or better must be achieved in Economics 101 and at least six (6) of the subsequent courses in the major.

The introductory course:  Economics 101. 

Three core courses are also required (with pre-requisite courses indicated in brackets):

  • ECONOMICS 400: [pre: STOR 155]  Elementary Statistics and Econometrics
  • ECONOMICS 410: [pre: 101]  Intermediate Theory: Price and Distribution
  • ECONOMICS 420: [pre: 101]  Intermediate Theory: Money, Income and Employment

These three will usually be completed by the middle or end of the junior year.

Four ECONOMICS courses numbered above 420, with at least one course numbered above 500.

We separate these courses into field and advanced courses.

The field courses include the following:

  • ECONOMICS 423: [pre: 420] Financial Markets and Economic Fluctuations
  • ECONOMICS 430: [pre: 410 & 420] Economic Development of the United States*
  • ECONOMICS 434: History of Economic Doctrines
  • ECONOMICS 440: [pre: 410] Analysis of Public Finance
  • ECONOMICS 445: [pre: 410] Industrial Organization
  • ECONOMICS 450: [pre: 410] Health Economics: Problems and Policy
  • ECONOMICS 454: [pre: 310 or 410] Economics of Population
  • ECONOMICS 455: [pre: 410] Environmental Economics
  • ECONOMICS 460: [pre: 410] International Economics*
  • ECONOMICS 461: [pre: 410] European Economic Integration
  • ECONOMICS 465: [pre: 410] Economic Development
  • ECONOMICS 468: [pre: 310 or 410] Principles of Soviet and Post-Soviet Economic Systems
  • ECONOMICS 469: [pre: 310 or 410] Western and Asian Economic Systems
  • ECONOMICS 480: [pre: 410] Labor Economics
  • ECONOMICS 485: [pre: 410] Economics of Sports
  • ECONOMICS 491: Seminar in Economics

The advanced courses include the following:

  • ECONOMICS 510: [pre: 410] Topics in Microeconomic Theory
  • ECONOMICS 511: [pre: 410 & MATH 233 or permission] Game Theory in Economics
  • ECONOMICS 520: [pre: 420] Topics in Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECONOMICS 540: [pre: 440] Advanced Topics in Public Finance
  • ECONOMICS 545: [pre: 445] Advanced Topics in Industrial Organization
  • ECONOMICS 560: [pre: 460] Topics in International Economics
  • ECONOMICS 570: [pre: 400]  Economic Applications of Statistical Analysis
  • ECONOMICS 580: [pre: 480] Topics in Labor Economics
  • ECONOMICS 586: [pre: 410 or permission] Economics of the Family

For students in the Senior Honors Program, both ECONOMICS 691H and ECONOMICS 692H are required advanced courses.  A student in the Senior Honors Program will complete at least three courses numbered above 420 and these two advanced courses in addition to the introductory course and the three core courses.


Economics courses that do not count toward the major.

The Department offers the following courses as service to other departments, schools and curricula. Since they are designed for students with somewhat different interests and objectives, these courses do not count towards an Economics major and may not receive graduation credit if paired with similar courses from the above lists: First Year Seminars, ECON 231, ECON 234, ECON 267, ECON 310, ECON 320, ECON 325, ECON 328, ECON 340, ECON 345, ECON 360, ECON 363, ECON 380, ECON 385, and ECON 390.

Students should check the Undergraduate Bulletin for further details.