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Undergraduate Student Experiences

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Undergraduate Lounge

The Undergraduate Economics Lounge, located in Uris Hall room 477, is a small relaxed atmosphere workspace for undergraduate students. The lounge is often used by students to have group meetings, get some work done, or hang out in between classes.

This facility is equipped with comfortable chairs, a large whiteboard, and work tables for students to complete assignments.  Various economics journals, office supplies, and a copy of The New York Times are also available daily.  Information about the major, upcoming events, and economics opportunities are posted within the lounge. 

Coffee and Conversation:

During the academic year, the very popular Coffee and Conversation program, is held each Wednesday from 10:00am-2:00pm in the lounge.  Enjoy free coffee, tea, and snackswhile getting to know some other Economics majors! 

If your economics related program, class, or organization would like to host a Coffee and Conversation contact Sarah at sls499@cornell.edu.  This is a popular time for students to enjoy the lounge, work on an assignment, and socialize with faculty.

Location:

477 Uris Hall - Take the stairs or elevator to the fourth floor, face the Cornell Economics logo, and a take a left down the hallway. 

Hours:

Currently, the lounge is open 24 hours a day.  Please treat the lounge with respect and clean up after yourself. 

If you need an escort after a late night of studying call Cornell Police at 607-255-7373.  A member of their escort team will walk you back to your residence hall.  This service operates from 8:00pm-2:00am Sunday through Thursday and 8:00pm-1:00am Friday and Saturday while classes are in session.

Contact:

Sarah Schupp's (Undergraduate Experience Coordinator) office is located directly next to the lounge.  Feel free to stop by to ask questions about the major and how to get connected with campus resources.  Students may reserve the lounge for economics related programming and a projector may be set up. Contact Sarah at sls499@cornell.edu for more information or if you have a suggestion for the lounge.  

Economics Tutoring Center (ETC)

The tutoring center is supported financially by the Cornell Economics Department, which receives support from both ILR and the College of Arts and Sciences and is staffed by undergraduates under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Wissink, Senior Lecturer, and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Economics. The ETC tutors are able to help with concepts from introductory microeconomics, introductory macroeconomics, intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics and econometrics. In addition to having demonstrated skills in economics, the ETC tutors have excellent information technology skills. The tutoring center is equipped with a computer and Internet access. Students looking for assistance can be shown where to find help with specific concepts and general "computer-related" problems.

  • "Direct help" for course-specific problem sets is not supported. The ETC is not a place to go to "get answers" for class problem sets and should not be seen as a substitute for lectures, sections, or attending the Professor's and/or Teaching Assistant's office hours. The ETC is designed to complement these parts of the course.
  • ETC tutors are not expected to be total experts on ALL versions of 1110, 1120, 3130, 3140, 3110, 3120.  They will do their best to help students who stop by.
  • Any undergraduate student who wants help with an economics course can use the tutoring center, however, tutoring content will be limited to the courses listed above.   If you are having difficulty with core concept in an intermediate course or elective course you are enrolled in, stop by the center and see if one of the tutors can help.
Tutor Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Courses
Destin Royer   10 -11 AM   10 -11 AM 3:30 - 5:30 PM (Takton) Econ 1110, Econ 1120, Econ 3030, Econ 3040, Econ 3110, Econ 4090, Econ 3120
David Wu         1:20 - 4:00 PM Econ 1110, Econ 1120, Econ 3030, Econ 3040, Econ 3110
Ziqian Tao   1:30-2:30 PM 2:20 - 4:20 PM 1:30-2:30 PM   Econ 1110, Econ 1120, Econ 3030, Econ 3040, Econ 3130, Econ 3140
Robin Wang     1:20 - 2:20 PM     Econ 1110, Econ 1120, Econ 3030, Econ 3040, Econ 3110, Econ 3120
Calvin Ng 4:30 - 6:00 PM   4:30 - 6:00 PM   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM Econ 1110, Econ 1120, Econ 3030, Econ 3040, Econ 3110, Econ 3120, Econ 4610



Location and Directions:
The ETC is located in Uris Hall 475.  Turn left getting off the elevator, then turn left and walk down the corridor, turn left again and the office is on the right.  The ETC is located next door to the Undergraduate Economics Lounge.

Graduate Student Tutors For Hire:
In order to facilitate students' search for extra help, the Economics Department has compiled a list of graduate students who have expressed interest in tutoring.  Any arrangement you make with the listed individuals is a private arrangement.  Click here for the graduate student tutor list and information on tutor rates.  

Learning Strategies Center
In addition to supplemental courses, the Learning Strategies Center (LSC) offers tutoring for ECON 1110 and ECON 1120.  For hours, location, and tutor information visit the tutoring page on the LSC website.  Late night and Sunday tutoring is available. 

Interested in Becoming A Tutor?
ETC tutors staff a walk-in tutoring office on the 4th floor of Uris Hall.  The center is primarily for undergraduates enrolled in Economics Department introductory and core courses. ETC tutors help students with economic and math concepts, lecture materials, and assist students in preparing for their exams and getting started on problem sets.  In addition to having demonstrated skills in economics, ETC tutors must also have excellent communication skills. "Direct help" for course-specific problem sets is not be supported and ETC tutors are not expected to be substitutes for Teaching Assistants or faculty office hours.   

ETC tutors also help students taking other econ classes brush up on basic concepts previously learned and now being applied or expanded upon in advanced economics electives. ETC tutors staff a walk-in tutoring office on the 4th floor of Uris Hall.  The center is primarily for undergraduates enrolled in Economics Department introductory and core courses. ETC tutors help students with economic and math concepts, lecture materials, and assist students in preparing for their exams and getting started on problem sets.  In addition to having demonstrated skills in economics, ETC tutors must also have excellent communication skills. "Direct help" for course-specific problem sets is not be supported and ETC tutors are not expected to be substitutes for Teaching Assistants or faculty office hours.   ETC tutors also help students taking other econ classes brush up on basic concepts previously learned and now being applied or expanded upon in advanced economics electives. 

Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research helps students apply classroom learning to new situations and gain a variety of disciplinary skills. It offers a unique opportunity for students to engage in inquiry in their chosen field of study and develop practical hands-on knowledge.  Faculty and PhD students in the Department of Economics occasionally have the need to hire undergraduate research assistants (URAs).  Projects can include gathering and analysis of economic data, creating charts and graphs, coding, and checking mathematical calculations. Having experience with economic modeling software is helpful, but not always required. 

Our majors have conducted undergraduate research within our department, with faculty from other academic departments, and at off-campus internships. In addition, economics students also have the opportunity to write an honors thesis or complete an independent study project.  Please read below to learn more about recommended skills (and where to get them), available department research projects, and other undergraduate research opportunities at Cornell.  

Recommended Skills:
Stata, SAS, Excel, MATLab . . . where can you get these skills?

Hatfield Undergraduate Research Assistant Program:
The Economics Department's URA Program is supported by the Robert S. Hatfield Fund for Economic Education. The Hatfield Fund is used to enhance undergraduates' understanding of applied economics in general and the benefits and problems of the free market system.

Available Hatfield Projects:
Any available Hatfield URA projects will be listed here. Projects will also be advertised in our biweekly major e-newsletter, Ezranomics.  If there are not any projects listed, join the Hatfield URA Listserv to get notified when a new project becomes available.

There are currently no Hatfield projects available, please click here to join the Hatfield URA Listserv

Hatfield URA Applications:
This application will ask for the following information:

  • Name and NetID
  • Which faculty projects you would like to apply for
  • Resume
  • Class Standing (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior) and Graduation Date
  • A few sentences about your particular areas of research interest within economics
  • Grades from core economics courses
  • A list of math courses you have taken
  • Your proficiency with a variety of computer software programs

Your email will be added to the URA listserv that will be used to notify candidates of future opportunities.  If you need to update your application or apply for other URA projects in the future, please re-enter the survey.  You will have the option of attaching new documents and updating your information. 

Contact:
If you have questions about the URA application please email Sarah Schupp, Undergraduate Experience Coordinator, at sls499@cornell.edu.

Other Research Opportunity Resources:
Economics URA positions will be limited in number and competitive, so consider looking elsewhere as well.  The campus has many avenues for pursuing research.

Honors & Independent Study

Honors

The Undergraduate Honors Program in Economics (Econ 4990-4991) is an opportunity for students who have demonstrated academic excellence in the major to pursue an independent research project. The program runs for the entire senior year, and the research is conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Admission to the Honors Program is selective, and it is based upon the following criteria: 1) performance in coursework, both economics and in general, 2) a description of the proposed research question, 3) a letter of recommendation from a member of the faculty, and 4) prior research experience, if any. Students typically develop empirical projects, but it is also possible to do experimental, theoretical, or historical work.

During the fall semester, students develop thesis proposals that articulate the research question, survey the relevant literature, and assess the relevant data. After the approval of the thesis proposal, students are enrolled for the spring semester.  Students successfully completing the Honors Program receive eight credits which can be applied toward the 100-credit requirement in Arts and Sciences. The Honors Program counts as one course toward the twelve course requirement of the Economics Major.  Students who successfully complete the program will graduate cum laude.  Awards of the higher levels of honors - magna cum laude and summa cum laude - take into account not only thesis quality but also performance in the major and other factors.

Requirements:

There are no formal prerequisites for the class. Honors students must be in residence at Cornell during both semesters of senior year (ie. fall and spring) unless special permission is granted.

Independent Study

This program is less selective and less formal than the Honors Program, but also offers Economics majors an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and to conduct original research. Students participating in this program enroll in Econ 4999, Independent Study in Economics; this course carries variable credit, and is available both fall and spring semesters. Before enrolling in Econ 4999, the student must submit a proposal for independent study, approved by a member of the Economics Department.

Econ 4999 will count towards the 100 College of Arts and Sciences course credits needed for graduation however, it will not count toward distribution/breadth requirements. 

For further information, see any member of the Economics Department, and visit the College of Arts & Sciences Academic Advising Center, G17 Klarman Hall.

 

OΔE - Honors Society

Cornell University hosts the New York Kappa chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, The International Honor Society in Economics, and was chartered in 1961. We are economics majors interested in creating a close-knit community within the department and supporting the academic success of our members.

Click here for more information on the OΔE website.

CES (Economics Society)

The Cornell Economics Society (CES) is an independent organization registered with the Student Activities Office; it's the largest and longest running undergraduate economics and pre-business association at Cornell.  The Society meets every week, and sponsors a speaker series and other events,  New members are always welcome.

To join the Cornell Economics Society, visit their Orgsync profile and follow the directions to join their listserv.

The Cornell Economics Society also publishes The Visible Hand, an undergraduate journal of economics news and analysis, and distributes this journal nationwide. The Visible Hand is peer-reviewed and promotes undergraduate economic research. You can read past editions of The Visible Hand and learn how to contribute an article on the society's Orgsync profile.

Study Abroad

Many Economics majors study abroad, and they frequently count Economics courses taken abroad toward their Economics major.  Some of the most popular programs among Economics majors are:

  • University College London (UCL), UK
  • Oxford University, UK
  • London School of Economics (LSE), UK
  • University of Seville, Spain
  • University of Paris, France

But Economics majors participate in numerous other programs as well.

Below, you’ll find information about the Study Abroad process, including the rules regarding study abroad courses counting towards the Economics major.

The Process

Step 1: Identify a program that interests you.

Your starting point in identifying a program is the Cornell Abroad Website.  There, you will find information about Study Abroad in general and about specific programs.  As you consider programs, make sure you are following the Study Abroad Guidelines for Arts & Sciences.

Note: The Study Abroad office has put together this document that lists recommended Study Abroad options for Economics students.  This document is a very useful reference, although please keep in mind that it was prepared without much input from the Economics Department.

Step 2: Make your application

Once you identify your program, you’ll generate an application via the Cornell Abroad Website.  Most of the application you’ll complete on your own, but there are two places that require signatures from Economics Department faculty—both places are on the A&S Study Abroad Program & Course Approval Form, Part II.

First, you must see your Economics faculty advisor.  Your faculty advisor will assess how study abroad fits into both your Economics major and your overall academic program.  If he/she agrees that study abroad works well for you, he/she will sign the bottom section of this form.  Important: Your faculty advisor does NOT approve specific courses—see the next paragraph.

Second, if you plan to count Economics courses taken abroad toward the Economics major, you also must see the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) or the Associate DUS. The DUS or Associate DUS—and not your faculty advisor—makes all decisions about whether and how specific Study-Abroad courses can be counted toward the Economics major.

Here is a sample A&S Study Abroad Program & Course Approval Form, Part II, highlighting where you’ll need signatures from Economics Department Faculty.

The general rule is that for a study abroad course to count towards the Economics major it must require as an official prerequisite at least introductory microeconomics and/or introductory macroeconomics.  There are no exceptions to this rule and you are responsible for determining that it is satisfied for any study abroad courses you propose.

Furthermore, for a study abroad course to count towards the Economics major as a 4000-level elective, it must require as an official prerequisite intermediate microeconomics and/or intermediate macroeconomics, or econometrics. Again, there are no exceptions to this rule and you are responsible for determining that study abroad courses you want to count as 4000-level electives satisfy it.   

To provide help in this regard, please see our Acceptable Study Abroad Courses.  This document gives some guidance regarding the courses at some popular Study Abroad programs that might count toward the Cornell Economics major. 

Step 3: Get accepted, and go study abroad!

Step 4: Return to Cornell, and get Economics courses approved.

When you return to Cornell, you must complete a Request for Approval of Credit Completed Abroad—you can pick up this form from the A&S Advising Office.  On this form, the DUS or Associate DUS must sign to approve any Economics course taken abroad that will count toward the Economics major.  Here is a sample of this form that highlights where the DUS or Associate DUS must sign.

Please note: This process will be put online soon—new instructions will appear here once that transition is made.

Further Information

Where to study: If your goal is to take high-quality Economics classes while studying abroad, then the best options are the top UK institutions of UCL, Oxford, and LSE.  These institutions have excellent Economics departments, with a large number of available Economics courses.  However, we permit students to count Economics courses from a very large number of programs.  Please gather information about the program or programs that most interest you, and then see the DUS or Associate DUS to discuss whether these programs have acceptable Economics courses. 

Core Economics courses: Please remember that your core Economics courses—Intermediate Microeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Statistics and Probability, and Econometrics—cannot be taken abroad—these courses must be taken at Cornell. 

For Economics majors who plan to study abroad, it is strongly recommended that you complete all your core Economics courses before going abroad.  These courses cannot be completed abroad, and failing to complete these courses prior to going abroad will make it difficult to complete the Economics major.  Moreover, having taken all the core courses will increase the range of economics courses you can take when abroad. Any student who would like to go abroad without fulfilling this recommendation must have his/her Economics advisor certify that the student has a concrete and workable plan for how to study abroad and still complete the requirements of the Economics major. 

Please note: to be competitive for some UK programs (such as UCL), you must take all core courses and receive excellent grades. For advice on your competiveness, please see a study abroad advisor. 

Number of courses: Please remember that there are limits on the number Economics courses taken abroad that can count toward the Economics major—see your major requirements for details.

Types of courses to take: Except for the core Economics courses, an Economics course taken abroad can be on virtually any economics topic.  However, we encourage students to take advantage of their study abroad programs by taking Economics courses on topics that are not available at Cornell.

Pre-approval is useful, but not necessary:  If the DUS or Associate DUS pre-approve a course, then we are committing to accept that course toward the economics major (subject to successful completion and subject to the restrictions on the number of courses).  However, it is perfectly fine to decide to take a non-pre-approved course after arriving at your Study Abroad location—and indeed, students frequently decide (or need) to adjust their courses once they arrive.  In that case, you can either email the DUS (econdus@cornell.edu) at the start of the semester and ask for a new preapproval, or you can merely wait and ask when you return.

Career Development

Click here for more detailed information on our Career Development page.