Undergraduate Student Experiences
You are here
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:
Ordinarily during the academic year, the popular Coffee and Conversation program is held each Wednesday from 10:00am-2:00pm in the lounge, but the program is on hiatus due to COVID-19.
If your economics related program, class, or organization would like to host a virtual Coffee and Conversation contact the Undergraduate Experience Coordinator at email@example.com.
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 unavailable due to COVID-19 social distancing policies.
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.
The ETC will operate remotely in Spring 2021. You can access tutoring by enrolling in the Canvas course: https://canvas.cornell.edu/enroll/TJCXTG
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.
Interested in Becoming a Tutor?
For Fall 2020, all ETC office hours take place via unrecorded and unposted Zoom meetings. Tutors are also asked to follow the Discussions board on the ETC Canvas course and answer posted questions. Eligible tutors must have already completed the 6 fundamental courses: ECON 1110 & 1120, ECON 3030 & 3040 and ECON 3110/3130 & 3120/3140. Send an email to Prof. Wissink with a brief statement about why you wish to tutor, a copy of your current resume, and an unofficial copy of your most up-to-date transcript.
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.
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.
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 below, join the Hatfield URA Listserv to get notified when a new project becomes available.
Hatfield URA Applications:
This application will ask for the following information:
- Name and NetID
- Which faculty projects you would like to apply for
- 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.
Note for Spring 2021:
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic many students are living at home and taking online classes. International students are generally not eligible for remote paid student research positions. Exceptions may be possible for students who are legally stranded in their home country due to travel restrictions. Non-international students may be eligible to work remotely if they are living in the United States outside of Ithaca. Students who are not eligible for paid student employment positions may still receive academic credit for research. Please contact Allison Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about your eligibility for remote work before seeking Hatfield research opportunities.
If you have questions about the URA application please email Allison Barrett, Undergraduate Experience Coordinator, at email@example.com.
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.
- If you are just starting to look for a research opportunity, you might consider starting with the College of Arts & Sciences and follow your passions. The College of Arts and Sciences maintains a registry of projects seeking undergraduate assistants. You may also speak with your Advising Dean to help narrow down your interests. This page also details the Einhorn Grant and Undergraduate Research Fund.
- Consider off-campus opportunities, whether it's an internship with Cornell In Washington in which you will be conducting research or a summer program.
- Check out Cornell's Undergraduate Research Page to find opportunities across campus.
- Visit the Student Employment Database to view available research opportunities on and off-campus.
- View the listing of Cornell’s 150 centers, institutes, laboratories and programs that may have URA opportunities.
Honors & Independent Study
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. For more information, visit https://economics.cornell.edu/honors-independent-study
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.
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.
Economics Society, Cornell
The Economics Society 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 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 application via the Office of Global Learning 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.
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.
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.
Please note: This process will be put online soon—new instructions will appear here once that transition is made.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the start of the semester and ask for a new preapproval, or you can merely wait and ask when you return.
Click here for more detailed information on the Office of Career Development.
CPT (Curricular Practical Training)
ECON 4997 Cross Cultural Work Experiences.
This course is only open to Economics majors who will be working in the summer in a country other than that of their citizenship. International students may use this course as part of Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Enrollment occurs in the spring semester prior to summer employment, with a grade posted in the fall after the requirements are satisfied. Prior to registering for the course, students must obtain a summer internship offer and international students seeking CPT work authorization MUST submit the CPT application to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). This involves the student: i) obtaining the CPT Application form from ISSO (https://isso.cornell.edu/students/working-us/f1-curricular-practical-training) , ii) completing the Student Information and having the Academic Advisor’s Recommendation completed by the course instructor. Take the signed form to the Economics Department Main Office and obtain a stamped Add/Drop form for the course and iii) submit the completed form to ISSO. ISSO will review the application and the students eligibility. If approved, the authorization is granted by issuing an updated I-20 with the employer’s information notated on page 2 of the document. When the CPT has been granted and the I-20 has been updated and is ready to be picked up the ISSO will send an email. The I-20 is shown to the employer as evidence of work authorization.