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Intro & Core Micro & Macro

Our suite of Introductory and Core courses in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics—and the rules which accompany them—can be a bit confusing.  We hope this section will help clarify things.
 

Three Sets of Courses

Econ 1110 & 1120: Introductory Microeconomics & Macroeconomics

These courses are meant to provide a broad introduction to the field of Economics, and to familiarize students with the language of Economics.  These courses are large (350-450 students).  Students from all over the university take these courses for a variety of reasons: as a preparation for the Economics major, as a preparation for other majors at Cornell (AEM, PAM, ILR, and several others), and as merely an elective course.  Both Econ 1110 and 1120 are taught during Cornell’s summer and winter sessions in small setting classes. Students interested in this option should consult Cornell’s School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions.

Econ 3030 & 3040: Core (Intermediate) Microeconomics & Macroeconomics

These courses cover the core economic methodologies of microeconomics and macroeconomics that will be used in advanced economics electives.  These courses require and build upon the material taught in Econ 1110 and Econ 1120, and they also require Math 1110.  Class sizes are typically 75-90 students, and the vast majority are Economics majors.  Econ 3030 and 3040 are sometimes (but not always) taught during Cornell’s summer sessions in small setting classes. Students interested in this option should consult Cornell’s School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions.

Econ 3010 & Econ 3020: Accelerated Microeconomics & Macroeconomics
(Note: Econ 3010 & Econ 3020 will not be taught during academic year 2015-2016)

These courses cover the introductory and core material in a single semester—i.e., Econ 3010 covers the material taught in both Econ 1110 and Econ 3030, and Econ 3020 covers the material taught in both Econ 1120 and Econ 3040 (and both courses require Math 1110).  These courses are designed to serve as an elective course for non-majors who have strong analytical skills and a strong mathematical background (and some of these students end up becoming Economics Majors), and these courses also serve Economics Majors with strong analytical skills and strong mathematical backgrounds who can move more quickly through the material covered in the introductory and intermediate courses, and who can handle a more advanced treatment.

Note: ILR Economics minors should complete their introductory & core courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics as early as possible.  The basic structure of the ILR Economics minor is that you first learn core methodologies in these courses, and then you use these methodologies in your advanced economics electives.  Hence, the earlier you learn the methodologies, the more flexibility you’ll have in taking your advanced economics electives.

Sequencing & Prerequisites

Econ 1110 & Econ 1120 can be taken in either order, and neither has a prerequisite.  They can even be taken at the same time, although you may want to check prelim schedules since they often fall on the same day.  Many students receive placement credit or transfer credit for one or both of these courses (see Policy for Intro Course Credit).

Econ 3030 & Econ 3040 can also be taken in either order.  They also can be taken at the same time, but we recommend taking them sequentially (in either order) so that you are able to devote sufficient attention to each of these courses.  The prerequisites for each course are Econ 1110, Econ 1120, and Math 1110.  It can sometimes be ok to take one of these courses without the other Intro course (i.e., to take Econ 3030 after having taken only Econ 1110 and Math 1110, or to take Econ 3040 after having taken only Econ 1120 and Math 1110), but to do so you must get permission from the instructor of the intermediate course.

Econ 3010 & Econ 3020 must be taken in that order.  The only prerequisite for Econ 3010 is Math 1110, but Econ 3020 requires Econ 3010 (or Econ 3030) as a prerequisite.  In terms of your core courses, it is also fine to combine one of these courses with one of Econ 3030 or Econ 3040—i.e., you could take Econ 3010 & Econ 3040, or you could take Econ 3030 & Econ 3020. The one thing to keep in mind is that Econ 3020 can be taken only after taking either Econ 3010 or Econ 3030.
 

Credit for Econ 1110 & Econ 1120 and Counting Toward the Minor

There are many ways to get credit for Econ 1110 & Econ 1120, including placement credit (see Policy for Intro Course Credit).  Many students arrive at Cornell with placement credit for Econ 1110 and/or Econ 1120, but wonder whether they ought to forfeit their placement credit and take one or both classes at Cornell.  The answer to this question really depends on your own personal comfort level with your economics knowledge (for more discussion see Information for Incoming Freshman).

If credit for these courses shows up on your Cornell transcript, then you can count them toward your 9 minor courses.
 

Counting Econ 3010-3040 Toward the Minor

Most students should take Econ 1110, Econ 1120, Econ 3030, and Econ 3040, which together count for 4 of the 9 minor courses.  (This group includes students who receive placement credit for the intro courses).

Some students begin with Econ 3010 & Econ 3020 (without taking intro).  For such students:

Students who receive a B or better should proceed to taking advanced electives, and Econ 3010 & Econ 3020 will count for 2 of the 9 minor courses.  (Note that students who take this route will need to take two additional advanced electives relative to students who take Econ 1110, Econ 1120, Econ 3030, and Econ 3040.)

Students who receive a B- or below can proceed to taking advanced electives, in which case their situation would be as above.  However, we strongly recommend that such students instead continue to Econ 3030 & Econ 3040—because many advanced economics electives apply the core methodologies that you learn in these courses, it is important that you feel comfortable with these methodologies.  If you do so, then Econ 3010, Econ 3020, Econ 3030, and Econ 3040 will together count for 4 of the 9 minor courses.

Occasionally, students jump directly to Econ 3030 & Econ 3040 (without taking intro).  These will count for 2 of the 9 minor courses.  (Note that students who take this route will need to take two additional advanced electives relative to students who take Econ 1110, Econ 1120, Econ 3030, and Econ 3040.)  We strongly discourage students from pursuing this path.  Instead, if you have strong analytical skills and a strong mathematical background, and you want to skip Econ 1110-1120, you should instead consider Econ 3010 & Econ 3020.

Note: There are additional hybrid cases—these follow the principles reflected above.  For instance, a student could take Econ 1110, Econ 3030, and Econ 3020, and these would count for 3 of the 9 minor courses.  Also, please note that you can receive credit for at most two of Econ 1110, Econ 3010, & Econ 3030, and you can receive credit for at most two of Econ 1120, Econ 3020, and Econ 3040.

Related Links

Main Office
Department of Economics
404 Uris Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, N.Y. 14853
Phone: (607) 255-4254
Fax: (607) 255-2818