Program Requirements

Course Clusters

Core Theory: Principles of Economics (Econ 100), Intermediate Microeconomics (Econ 201), Intermediate Macroeconomics (Econ 202)

Theory Electives: Mathematical Economics (Econ 205), Game Theory (Econ 270), Topics in Microeconomics (Econ 301), Topics in Macroeconomics (Econ 302)

Economic Thought: History of Economic Thought I (Econ 210), History of Economic Thought II (Econ 211)

Statistical Methods: Statistics (Econ 229), Econometrics (Econ 329)

Economic History: European Economic History (Econ 216), Asian Economic History (Econ 218)

Applied Electives: All other courses


Three economics courses are required for Moderation, including Principles of Economics (Econ 100) and two 200-level courses, only one of which may be a theory or statistical methods course. The Moderation board meeting is typically held in the second semester of a student’s sophomore year. The Moderation board should comprise three faculty members, at least two of whom should be from the Economics Program. If a student intends to pursue an interdisciplinary concentration or a joint major, a faculty member from that concentration or program should be asked to serve on the Moderation board. At Moderation, students identify an area of focus and discuss their preliminary ideas for the required Senior Project.

Graduation Requirements

It is recommended that students take several 200-level applied courses during the sophomore and junior years. Core courses should not be taken pass/fail, and course substitutions require permission of the student’s adviser.

Graduation requirements include:

  1. the core theory sequence 
  2. a course in statistical methods 
  3. a course in economic history 
  4. a course in economic thought 
  5. at least four electives at the 200 level or above in economics, at least two of which must be at the 300 level and at least two of which must be applied electives (students with joint majors or interdisciplinary concentrations may replace one 300-level elective with two 300-level courses in a related discipline)
  6. Senior Project (Econ 401–402)
The Senior Project and the economic history and economic thought requirements are distinctive features of Bard’s economics curriculum. The economic thought course introduces students to the analytical history of ideas about how economies work and ought to work. Economic history is the history of actual economies—their growth and decline, their diverse systems for allocating goods and resources, their success (or failure) in meeting economic goals. Both areas are important for understanding the purpose and value of economics as a discipline, and help us to improve the coherence, relevance, and performance of our models and methods.

A list of recent Senior Projects in economics is available here.

Mathematics Requirements and Recommendations

Precalculus Mathematics (Math 110) or the equivalent is a prerequisite for Economics 100 and Calculus I (Math 141) or the equivalent is a prerequisite for Economics 201 (Calculus II: Math 142 is recommended). Students should follow the mathematics placement guidelines and take recommended math review workshops if needed before enrolling in the core courses.

Economics majors are encouraged to complete the calculus sequence. Students preparing for graduate school should see below for further recommendations.

Sample Program of Study

First Year Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year
ECON 100 ECON 229 ECON 201 Sr. Project I (fall)
MATH 141 or 142

ECON 200-level elective

ECON 202 Sr. Project II (spring)
FYSEM I (fall)

ECON 200-level elective

ECON 300-level elective ECON history 
FYSEM II (spring) Moderation (spring)
ECON thought ECON 300-level elective

Joint Majors and Concentrations

The economics major may be combined with interdisciplinary concentrations such as Global and International Studies, and Social Policy. Students may moderate, simultaneously or separately, in the concentration. To graduate with an economics major and interdisciplinary concentration, all course requirements for both the major and the concentration should be completed, and a single, unified Senior Project that satisfies the requirements of both the major and the concentration must be completed.

Students may pursue a joint major with another program (e.g., Mathematics, Political Studies) where the major requirements of both programs are satisfied and a single Senior Project that satisfies the requirements of both programs is completed. Students should moderate in both programs separately for a joint major, and must obtain permission from the director of each program as well as the College’s Executive Committee.

The Bard Program in Economics and Finance

For students who wish to achieve a broad education in the liberal arts while pursuing a career in the financial world, Bard offers a five-year dual-degree program leading to a B.S. degree in economics and finance and a B.A. degree in any program other than Economics. The B.A./B.S. program requires 160 credits; the student must fulfill all general educational requirements of the College’s B.A. academic program. See the Economics and Finance program webpage for further details.

Preparation for Graduate School

Students preparing for graduate school in economics are encouraged to take advanced theory courses (Econ 301, 302) and to develop their quantitative skills with additional courses such as Introduction to Mathematical Economics (Econ 205), Econometrics (Econ 329), and related courses in mathematics (Linear Algebra, Proofs and Fundamentals, Probability and Statistics).

For students considering a Ph.D. in economics, additional training in mathematics is recommended. Many Ph.D. programs expect knowledge of differential equations, proofs and fundamentals, and real analysis in addition to the coursework recommended.

Printable Brochure of the Program

File: Economics 2012-2013.pdf