Undergraduate Student Experiences
CPT (Curricular Practical Training)
ECON 4997/4998 Cross Cultural Work Experiences
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary employment authorization that makes it possible for an F-1 international student to work off-campus if the work is directly related to an F-1 student's major area of study and has a curricular requirement. Economics majors with F-1 status who wish to pursue an internship related to economics outside of their country of citizenship should do the following:
1) Obtain an internship offer. Make sure that your prospective employer is aware that because of employment authorization requirements, you will need the offer letter early enough that you have time to complete the CPT process before your first day of work.
2) Email Prof. Wissink (firstname.lastname@example.org) a copy of the internship offer letter and your expected graduation date; let her know that you are applying for CPT. The offer letter should include a job description of the work you will do.
3) Submit the CPT application online through the International Services office. List Jennifer Wissink as the approver and email@example.com as the approver email. Select "employment is required to earn credits for a specific class" as the curricular requirement to qualify for CPT.
4) International Services will review your CPT application and your eligibility and email you to let you know the outcome and provide you with the updated I-20 work authorization.
5) If you are approved for CPT for a fall or winter internship, Amy Moesch will send you a permission code to enroll in ECON 4997, which takes place in the spring semester following your internship. If you are approved for CPT for a spring or summer internship, Amy will send you a permission code to enroll in ECON 4998, which takes place in the fall semester following your internship. These courses are 1 credit, S/U grading option only, and require you to complete assignments reflecting on your internship.
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 and office supplies are also available daily. Information about the major, upcoming events, and economics opportunities are posted within the lounge.
The Undergraduate Experience Coordinator (UEC) office, Uris Hall room 492, is located within the lounge. If the UEC is not in the office and you have a question or would like to make an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee and Conversation
During the academic year, the Coffee and Conversation program is held each Wednesday from 11:00am-2:00pm in the lounge. During this time, there are free snacks, coffee, and board games provided. It's a good chance to meet other economics majors.
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.
The Undergraduate Lounge is currently open from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.
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. 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. In addition to having demonstrated skills in economics, the ETC tutors have excellent communication and 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 concepts in an intermediate course or elective course you are enrolled in, stop by the center and see if one of the tutors can help.
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.
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.
Honors and Independent Study
At this time, the Undergraduate Honors Program in Economics is not being offered for the 2023-24 academic year.
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 program
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.
To complete the honors program the student must successfully complete the sequence ECON 4990 followed by ECON 4991. The honors program candidate takes ECON 4990 “Honors Program – Prep.” in the fall semester of their senior year. In this course, the candidate articulates their research question by developing a thesis proposal, surveys the relevant literature, and assesses the relevant data. This is a 4-credit hour course and is taken as S/U only and thus cannot be counted as one of the 12 courses required to complete the economics major. If the thesis proposal is approved, the candidate is permitted to enroll in ECON 4991 “Honors Program” for the spring semester. This is a 4-credit hour course and honors program students must register for this course for a Letter Grade. ECON 4991 can be used as one of the 12 courses required to complete the economics major (though it will not count as one of the 3 required 4000-level economics electives.) Students who successfully complete the two-course program are eligible for Latin honors. The level of honors awarded—cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude—is based on thesis quality as well as performance in the major and other factors.
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.
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.
Omicron Delta Epsilon - Honors Society
Cornell University hosts the New York Kappa chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, The International Honor Society in Economics, and it 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.
Economics Society, Cornell
The Economics Society is an independent organization registered with the Student Activities Office. It is 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 Economics Society, visit their website and follow the directions to join their listserv.
The Economics Society also publishes The Cornell Undergraduate Economics Review, an undergraduate journal of economics news and analysis, and distributes this journal nationwide. The Cornell Undergraduate Economics Review is peer-reviewed and promotes undergraduate economics research. You can read past editions and learn how to contribute an article on the Review's webpage.
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.
Step 1: Identify a program that interests you.
Your starting point in identifying a program is the Office of Global Learning 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.
Step 2: Make your application
Once you identify your program, you’ll generate an online application via the Office of Global Learning website. For Economics department pre-approval:
a. Fill out the form requesting pre-approval for Economics topics (elective) courses for the major at the 3000-level only. The Economics DUS will only pre-approve at the 3000-level prior to you going abroad. Upon your return, you may petition the DUS team to accept the course at the 4000-level.
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.
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.
b. When completing the section on your plans to complete the economics major on time, fill this information out assuming you will only be given 3000-level credit for the study abroad courses you take. Do not list specific names and numbers of courses since there are no guarantees that those courses will be taught upon your return, or that they will be offered at a time when you can take them. Use general language such as "One 3000-level economics topics course in Fall 20XX and one 4000-level economics topics course in Spring 20XX."
c. As soon as you submit the Cornell Abroad application, follow that up with a separate email to email@example.com in which you list the courses you wish the Econ DUS team to pre-approve. For each of the courses you list, attach a separate PDF or Word document that contains an English translation of as much information about the course as you can gather: Course name, number, and department offering the course; instructor; credit hours; prerequisites; and syllabus. Do not send URL links; the DUS team will not follow them. Once the DUS team sees the email from you and looks at the attachments, they will do their part of the Study Abroad form within 10 business days. The DUS team will not guarantee quick turnaround based on looming deadlines. If you are seriously interested in going abroad, you must give yourself enough time to tend to all the details.
Step 3: Get accepted, and go study abroad!
Step 4: Return to Cornell, and get Economics courses approved. Once Arts & Sciences has received your official transcript from your study abroad institution, they will send you one final credit approval form. You will need to seek final approval from firstname.lastname@example.org for the economics courses you took while abroad; follow the instructions in Step 2(c) of the pre-approval process above for each of the courses for which you are seeking final approval. Save and document as much as possible, especially if you are seeking 4000-level credit for any of the courses you took.
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.
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 of 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 (email@example.com) at the start of the semester and ask for a new preapproval, or you can merely wait and ask when you return.