Economics Department

Changing Majors to Economics

Many economics majors at Reed didn’t intend to major in economics when they arrived. Many were undecided when they came to Reed; others started out majoring in math, science, another social science, or something else. Most get interested in economics while taking Econ 201, take another course or two, then finally commit themselves to the major as sophomores or juniors.

Students who take Econ 201 in their first year and take an additional economics course or two (ideally including 313, 304, or 314) in the second year are well positioned to complete an economics major. Students who have completed only Econ 201 at the end of two years can still complete the major within a four-year program, although their economics courses will be compressed into a brief span of time and they must scramble to fit enough economics into the junior year to prepare themselves for the junior qualifying exam and the thesis.

A few students have completed an economics major in four years having taken no economics courses prior to the junior year. However, the course sequence for these students was so compressed that some encountered serious difficulties both with some of their courses and with preparation for thesis research.