The following page provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). 

Q: How do I know which classes transfer towards my major from a California Community College?
A: Lower-division requirements (course numbers under 100) for our majors can be taken at California Community Colleges and transferred for course and unit credit towards the 180 required for graduation if they are articulated on assist.org.

Q: Do I get course credit for AP exams that I took in high school?
A: The Economics Department awards course credit for AP courses according to the Office of the Registrar's AP/IB chart.

Q: I want to or have taken classes at another UC, CSU, or other four-year institution. Can I use them towards major requirements?
A: Any course taken at another four-year institution has to be reviewed by the department. You have to email the syllabus of the course with the substitution petition to a department adviser (econ_ugrad_coor@ucsc.edu). 

Students pursuing a combined economics major or the economics minor may use one course towards major/minor requirements. Students pursuing the economics, global economics, or business management economics majors may use two courses towards major requirements. The course must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or better to satisfy a major requirement.

The following courses must be taken here at UC Santa Cruz: ECON 100A, ECON 100B, ECON 113, and the DC requirement (ECON 104 or 197).

Q: Can I take major courses while studying abroad?
A: Often credit is given for economics courses that are taken while studying abroad. 

Students pursuing a combined economics major or the economics minor may use one course towards major/minor requirements. Students pursuing the economics, global economics, or business management economics majors may use two courses towards major requirements. 

Students who participate in the direct exchange program between UC Santa Cruz and the Autonomous University of Barcelona may apply three courses toward major requirements. You can learn more here

You may find course equivalencies between UC Santa Cruz economics major courses and UCEAP courses by viewing the economics pre-approved list of courses. You may petition a course not found on the pre-approved list by emailing the Economics Department (econ_ugrad_coor@ucsc.edu) with the course syllabus and the substitution petition form.

You can learn more about studying abroad by visiting Global Learning’s website.

Q: Do I have to take all requirements for the major for a letter grade or can I take some Pass/No Pass?
A: All classes included for major qualification determination must be taken for a letter grade. However, the Economics Department allows all other major requirements to be taken Pass/No Pass. We highly recommend no more than two in the major be taken as P/NP because graduate schools prefer to see letter grades in most major-related coursework. It is not recommended to take ECON 100A, 100B or 113 as P/NP.

Per UC Santa Cruz policy, no more than 25% of all classes can be taken as P/NP.

Q: I received an incomplete grade in a course. Is this considered a passing grade for a prerequisite?
A: No, an incomplete grade is not considered passing and therefore will not work as a prerequisite.

Q: If I take my intermediate core courses (ECON 100A, 100B, and 113) and receive grades of C (2.0) or Pass, do they still count towards the major requirements?
A: Yes, if a grade of C (2.0) or Pass is earned in the intermediate core courses (ECON 100A, 100B, and 113), they will count toward major requirements.

Q: If I take my intermediate core courses (ECON 100A, 100B, and 113) and receive grades of C (2.0) or Pass, will they still satisfy prerequisites for other upper-division courses?
A: Yes, if a grade of C (2.0) or Pass is earned in the intermediate core courses (ECON 100A, 100B, and 113), they will satisfy prerequisites for other upper-division courses.

Q: What courses are being offered in the future?
A: You may find the economics course offerings by quarter here.

Q: I want to take ECON 1 or ECON 2 in my first quarter as a freshman. Is this a good idea?
A: No, we do not recommend this. The Economics Department has qualification requirements for major declaration. Since students need to meet a 2.8 combined GPA between ECON 1, ECON 2, and the first calculus course to be able to declare our majors, doing poorly in one of the courses may make the difference between being able to major or not. Adjusting to university life in the first quarter often takes a toll on academic performance. We therefore recommend you wait at least one quarter before taking any of the qualification courses. You also do not want to combine ECON 1 and ECON 2 within the same quarter.

Q: Which calculus series should I take?
A: The calculus series you should take if you are pursuing the economics/mathematics combined major is Math 19A, Math 19B, Math 22 or Math 23A and Math 23B.

If you are pursuing a single major in any of our other majors, we recommend you take AM 11A and AM 11B.

If you are considering a double-major or major with a minor, you should verify if and what calculus series is required for the non-economics major first. Economics accepts the following series:

AM 11A + AM 11B
Math 11A + Math 11B + Math 22 (or Math 23A)
Math 19A + Math 19B + Math 23A (or Math 22)
Math 11A + AM 11B
Math 19A + AM 11B

Q: Can students switch between math sequences?
A: It is possible for students to switch between math sequences. Students who took MATH 11A or MATH 19A and can switch into AM 11B to complete the math requirement for the major. Students who have already taken MATH 11A and MATH 11B, or MATH 19A and MATH 19B, will receive duplication of credit if they then take AM 11B. It is therefore recommended that these students finish the math series by taking MATH 22 (only offered in winter quarter and summer session) or MATH 23A.

Students who are pursuing the economics/mathematics combined major must take MATH 19A, MATH 19B, and MATH 22 or MATH 23A and MATH 23B. 

Furthermore, you may review the Calculus Series Transition Policy for information about other possibilities for transitioning between math series.

Q: Which statistics course do I need to take?
A: As of fall 2023, STAT 17/17L are required for the economics majors and are course prerequisites for ECON 113.

Economics majors and minors who declared an economics major or minor prior to fall 2022 and took an alternate statistics course may reach out to the Economics Department (econ_ugrad_coor@ucsc.edu) for advice. The department faculty strongly recommend students take STAT 17/17L for optimal preparation for ECON 113 and subsequent studies for all students. 

Beginning fall 2024, all economics majors and minors will be required to take STAT 17/17L, no matter when you declared the major.

Any transfer credit for STAT 17 and STAT 17L will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Q: What is the senior comprehensive exam?
A: The comprehensive requirement for all economics majors and the combined economics/mathematics major is satisfied by passing the following intermediate core courses with grades of C (2.0) or better here at UC Santa Cruz: Economics 100A (or 100M), and 100B (or 100N), and 113. This is the reason why students should only take one of these courses per quarter.

Q: ECON 197 is full but I need it to satisfy my DC requirement, what do I do?
A: ECON 104 can also fulfill the DC requirement. We do not have enough seats for all seniors to take ECON 197 and that is why we have two options. ECON 197 is typically offered every fall, winter, and spring quarters as well as in both summer sessions. ECON 104 is offered every fall, winter, and spring quarter.

Q: I am struggling in my classes? Where can I get help?
A: It is not unusual to find yourself falling behind in a class. It’s important to seek help as soon as possible and not wait until finals week, when little can be done.  

Attend all lectures and secondary sections. Also, visit the professor’s and teaching assistant’s (TA) office hours.

A list of the academic support resources can be found here. Additionally, Learning Support Services (LSS) offers a number of tutoring resources and services. You may sign up for tutoring services via TutorHub.

If you are experiencing anxiety and need counseling, contact Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).

You can also see whether Slug Support can provide resources.

Q: What is the ECON 195 “senior thesis” or ECON 199 “independent study”?               
A: A senior thesis is not required for graduation, but highly recommended for students interested in applying to Ph.D. programs in economics. 

To enroll in ECON 195 or ECON 199, a student must first consult with a faculty adviser and fill out the required petition form. The form must be signed by the faculty adviser. The form can then be sent to department advisers for signature and review (econ_ugrad_coor@ucsc.edu). The student will then be given instructions by the department on how to enroll in ECON 195 or ECON 199. 

The main difference between the two is the length of the required paper. ECON 195 (senior thesis) generally requires 50 pages while ECON 199 (independent study) requires around 25 pages. The Economics Department will keep a copy of the senior thesis on file for reference.

Q: Do I need approval to take upper-division courses that are different from my original approved academic plan?
A: No, the academic plan is simply a guideline for you to understand what is required to complete your major. As long as you follow the policies and restrictions found in the general catalog, you may change your upper-divisions however you like. It is your responsibility to make sure you are taking the required courses for your major from the specific lists.

Q: How can I get into a full class?
A: If a course you are interested in is full, please make sure you have added yourself to the waitlist. Please also make sure that you will not have any time conflicts with other courses. If you do, you may use the swap feature to switch to a different course. Refer to the enrollment FAQs if you have trouble with enrollment.

We recommend attending the waitlisted course for the first two weeks of the quarter as the instructor might allow you to enroll if there is attrition or students who are enrolled don’t attend the first few classes.

Q: Do I have to enroll in a discussion/secondary section?
A: Most classes don’t require enrollment in the secondary section, however, please check the Schedule of Classes for details. Attendance is still highly recommended as students find it easier to ask questions in the smaller class environment. It is also a very good way to connect with fellow students to form study groups.

Q: Why can't I enroll in all of my classes during my first-pass?
A: All students are given two-pass enrollment appointments. Your class level determines how many units you will be able to enroll in during your first pass enrollment. All students will be able to enroll in up to 19 units and waitlist 14 units during their second pass enrollment. Please look at your enrollment appointment in your portal for details. For more information, please visit the Office of the Registrar’s page on enrollment or the enrollment FAQs.

Q: What are the differences between the three economics majors?
A: The economics major encompasses the core of economic theory as well as mathematical and statistical methods. The economics major is a good major to pursue if one is planning to enter law school or any areas focusing on public policy, political economy, or any third world issues. 

The business management economics major combines both the analytical approach to economics while also focusing on the technical aspects of management. Students acquire knowledge to use computing as a tool of analysis for financial or statistical data. Students pursuing the business management economics major also have the opportunity to pursue an accounting concentration.

The global economics major incorporates the study of economics in the context of a particular geographical area while allowing the student to take courses concentrated in a language other than English and to study abroad.

Q: What are the combined majors with economics?
A: There are two combined majors that students can pursue: economics/mathematics and environmental studies/economics. 

The econ/math combined major is recommended if you are planning to apply to a Ph.D. program in economics. For information on these combined majors, please refer to our website.

Q: When can I declare my major?
A: You can declare your major as soon as you meet the qualification requirements. The qualification requirements can be found here.

Q: Is there a certain GPA requirement needed for declaring the major?
A: Yes, there is a GPA qualification requirement needed to declare any of the four economics majors. You will need a combined GPA of 2.8 in ECON 1, ECON 2, and the first calculus course (AM 11A, MATH 11A, or MATH 19A).

Q: I don't meet the GPA for major requirements. What should I do?
A: If you don't meet the GPA requirement you can submit a letter of appeal. The directions on how to do that can be found here. An economics minor is also an option if you cannot declare the major.

Please note that junior transfer students cannot appeal into the major.

Q: How do I declare my major?
A: Before you can declare the major, you must meet with a peer adviser to create an academic planning form. You may attend a declaration of major advising workshop. If all sessions are over for the quarter, you will need to make an appointment to meet with a peer adviser for assistance. Please visit the advising calendar for details about our services. 

After you have a completed academic planning form, you may find instructions on how to declare your major here.

Q: How do I declare the accounting concentration?
A: Please add the requirements for the accounting concentration to your academic plan. Then re-declare business management economics with the accounting concentration through MyUCSC. The required courses for the accounting concentration can be found here.

Q: How do I declare a minor?

A: All students who are interested in declaring a minor must first submit the Petition for Major for a single major first. Once approved, you can then submit the petition for the minor. You must have an updated academic planning form with the required minor courses. We recommend reaching out to the department that houses the minor to learn more about the minor requirements. You can find a list of minors at UC Santa Cruz here

A minor is not a requirement to graduate. A completed minor is posted to a student’s transcript, but not to their diploma.

Q: Is there a deadline for adding a double-major or a minor?
A: Yes, you will want to add the double-major and/or minor before you apply to graduate through your portal.

Q: What are the most popular minors to take with the economics major?
A: Choosing a minor is completely the student’s choice. However, many students choose to minor in technology and information management, computer science, education, or statistics while majoring in some form of economics.

Q: How many units are needed in order to graduate?
A: All students need 180 units to graduate. This means that not all classes will be taken towards major requirements. Students should aim to balance their schedules in order to maximize their GPA.

Q: How do I extend my Expected Graduation Term (EGT)?
A: You will need to meet with your college adviser to petition to stay beyond 12 quarters. You will also be required to provide evidence for your request to extend enrollment. The petition to extend enrollment will need to be verified and signed by the department and then approved by your college adviser.

Q: Can I do a graduation check?
A: All majors within the Economics Department can do a graduation check. Please log into your student portal, click on the degree progress report button. If you still have questions after reviewing your courses and the degree progress report, you may see an undergraduate adviser.

Q: When will I receive my diploma?

A: Please check out the Office of the Registrar's FAQs.

Q: I need a job. How can I find one?
A: Please visit the Career Success website and search job openings on the Jobs and Internships website.

Q: How can I get prepared for the working world and to find a job after graduation?
A: We highly recommend participating in field study! This is a great way to get work experience, satisfy the PR-S general education requirement, and to earn units for graduation. Attend one of the field study orientation sessions offered every quarter.

You can also visit Career Success. You can attend their workshops and career fairs as well as use the Career Advice Network (CAN) to contact alumni who have agreed to mentor current students.

We also highly recommend creating a LinkedIn profile and joining the UCSC Economics LinkedIn group to connect with UCSC economics alumni.

Q: I am interested in doing research in economics. Where do I start?
A: Please check out the faculty listing page to see what research our professors are conducting and contact them directly. Some faculty want to see students who have completed more advanced classes before getting involved with research, but not all faculty require this. If you are interested, please contact the faculty member you are hoping to do research with sooner rather than later. Please visit this page for faculty contact information and office hours.

We also recommend checking out the LEEPs Lab, which conducts laboratory experiments with paid human subjects.

Express your interest in doing research by filling out the research interest survey (be sure to be signed in to your UC Santa Cruz account when filling it out).

For general information about social science undergraduate research, please visit this page.

Q: Where are the economics faculty offices located?
A: Faculty offices are located on the 4th floor of Engineering 2, down the carpeted hallway, which is on the opposite side of where the department office is located. All faculty office locations can be found here.

Q: Am I eligible to apply to the M.S. program in applied economics and finance?
A: If you are interested in applying for the one-year M.S. program, please contact Meenoo Kohli (econ_grad_coor@ucsc.edu), the senior graduate programs coordinator, for more information. Information can also be found on our graduate student program website here.

Q: I want to attend graduate school. What do I need to do now to prepare?
A: You will need at least two letters of recommendation from a faculty member. Attend office hours so that faculty get a chance to get to know you. Classes are large at UC Santa Cruz, so a faculty member won’t be able to write a good letter of recommendation if you just ask them at the end of the quarter without ever having visited office hours. They are here for you, take advantage of the opportunity. Questions about graduate schools should be addressed to faculty.

Engage in undergraduate research, especially if you are interested in a Ph.D. program in economics. Previous research experience is also essential for a successful application.

Q: How do I get connected to other people with similar interests and challenges?
A: Connecting with like-minded people makes a huge difference for your educational experience at UC Santa Cruz. There are many resources, but you have to reach out.

Join a student organization. For a list of student organizations, please visit this page. There are a few student groups associated with the Economics Department, which you can learn about here. For more information about student organizations, we recommend reaching out to SOAR (soar@ucsc.edu).

Attend Economics Department undergraduate events.

If you are a transfer or re-entry student, we recommend reaching out to the friendly advisers at Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students (STARS).

Q: Does the Economics Department offer events for undergraduates?
A: Yes, we do! This is a great opportunity to get engaged with fellow students and the faculty in a non-classroom setting.  Please check out the offerings on our events page here.

Q: I need help with food. Where can I go?
A: Please visit the Food Pantries and Assistance page.

Q: What's a security passphrase?
A: If you need to contact the university either in person, over the phone, or by way of Zoom, we will ask you to verify your identity by either showing your photo ID or by stating your established security passphrase.

You can set up your passphrase by clicking on the "Set My Security Passphrase" tile on your MyUCSC homepage. 

Q: How do I transfer to another school?
A: If you are planning to transfer to another UC, we recommend reviewing the UC Admissions website. Additionally, you can learn more information about UC to UC transfer here

If you are planning to transfer to a CSU and are considered an upper-division student, we recommend reviewing CSU’s website about upper-division transfer students.

Your best source of information about admissions requirements and transferable courses will be the school that you are planning to transfer to. Our office cannot determine whether or not courses at UCSC will satisfy major and/or other graduation requirements at another institution.

Q: How can I reach an adviser for further advising assistance?

You may find our services on our advising calendar.

To contact a peer adviser, you may email them here: econpeer@ucsc.edu. 

To contact a full-time adviser, you may email them here: econ_ugrad_coor@ucsc.edu