Freshmen Information

Changes Effective Fall 2023

The College of Letters and Sciences has implemented a High Demand (HD) Major policy effective with the Fall 2023 incoming first year students (Class of 2027). As a High Demand Major we are part of the new policy. This means that for the following four years, continuing Berkeley students will have two separate pathways when applying to the major.

Admitted Before the HD Policy
For students admitted as first years prior to Fall 2023, all requirements for admission remain the same as before as outlined on our website. Students must still meet a 3.0 GPA for prerequisite courses and apply by the timeline specified (5th term or prior to accumulation of 80 units).


Admitted First Years as “Intended Economics”* After the HD Policy
For students admitted to the major as first years as “Intended Economics” in Fall 2023 and beyond, students will have guaranteed admission to the Economics major if the following conditions are satisfied.

1. Good academic standing. Minimum 2.0 GPA overall and in the major prerequisites.
2. Completion of all prerequisites by the 5th term (excluding summer, withdrawn, or canceled terms).
3. Submitting application by the 5th term (excluding summer, withdrawn, or canceled terms).

Admitted First Years After the HD Policy but not as “Intended Economics” *
Our department will continue to support “Discovery Students” who discover the Economics Major later in their college career. For students who did not select Economics on their UC Berkeley admissions application, the process for applying to a high-demand major will be through a comprehensive review. The comprehensive review will not be conducted by the Economics Department. Components of this review may include a short essay statement(s), transcripts, resume, and evaluation of their original UC Berkeley application. Please refer to this website for more details.

* To check whether you are considered “Intended Economics”, please visit your CalCentral profile under the “My Academics” tab. If you are “intended Economics” it will state “Applied HD Economics” under your profile picture.



(*) Comprehensive Review:
https://ls.berkeley.edu/ls-high-demand-majors-first-year-students

Prerequisites

The Economics major has FIVE prerequisites. All five classes (or their equivalent) must be completed prior to acceptance to the major and all must be taken for a letter grade. Students must have an average GPA of 3.0 in the prerequisite courses taken at Berkeley, and an average GPA of 3.0 in any prerequisite courses taken at another institution. Students may apply while in progress of completing any remaining prerequisites.  Admission decisions will not be made until any prerequisite courses in progress are finished and grades are available.

  • ONE course or equivalent required of Introduction to Economics:
    • ECON 1 or 2 (At Berkeley, these courses include both micro and macro economics in one course)​​
  • TWO courses are required of Math/Statistics (A-B series and Stat required):​
    • MATH 1A or 16A (or equivalent)
    • MATH 1B or 16B (or equivalent)

​                  At least one math or statistics prerequisite course must be taken at UC Berkeley.

  • ONE course or equivalent required of Introduction to Statistics
    • STAT 20, STAT 21, STAT W21, or STAT 88/DATA C88S; or
    • An upper division statistics course (STAT 131A, STAT 135, or STAT/DATA C140)* is also acceptable  

At least one math or statistics prerequisite course must be taken at UC Berkeley.  Please note: For students choosing STAT 88 to fulfill the statistics requirement, STAT/COMPSCI/INFO C8 must be completed before or at the same time as STAT 88.

  • ONE course is required of Intermediate Economic Theory to apply to the major (both are required to graduate)
    • ECON 100A or 101A
    • ECON 100B or 101B, or UGBA 101B
    • ECON 140 or 141 (effective Fall 2019)**

UGBA 101A cannot be used as a prerequisite for the Econ major - no exceptions. The prerequisite intermediate theory course must be taken at UC Berkeley.

Economics Program Plans

Sample Prerequisite Plan (.pdf): This shows how you can complete all of the above pre-requisite courses (with appropriate course combinations) and apply to the economics major on-time. 

Accelerated Program Plans: The following plans show how degree requirements can potentially be completed in THREE (.pdf), THREE AND A HALF (.pdf), or FOUR (.pdf) years. Please read all department notes at the bottom of each plan. 


Advanced Placement Examinations (AP Credit)

The following Advanced Placement Examinations are accepted by the Economics Department as fulfilling course credit:

  • Math AB - scores of 3, 4 or 5 are equivalent to Math 16A or Math 1A.
  • Math BC - scores of 3 or 4 are equivalent to Math 16A or Math 1A; a score of 5 is equivalent to Math 1B and fulfills the Economics calculus prerequisite.
  • Economics Micro/Macro - scores of 4 or 5 on both exams are equivalent to Economics 1 or Economics 2.

GCE Advanced Level Examinations A Level Credit)

The following GCE Advanced Level Examinations are accepted by the Economics Department as fulfilling course credit:

  • Mathematics - score of A, B, or C is equivalent to Math 1A and 1B and fulfills the Economics calculus prerequisite.
  • Economics Micro/Macro - score of A, B, or C is equivalent to Econ 1 and fulfills the Introductory Economics prerequisite. Students may enroll in upper division economics coursework beginning in the second semester of their freshman year.

International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations (IB CREDIT)

The following International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations are accepted by the Economics Department as fulfilling course credit:

  • Mathematics - score of 5, 6, or 7 fulfills the Economics calculus prerequisite.
  • Mathematics: Analysis & Approaches - score of 5, 6, or 7 fulfills MATH 1A or MATH 16A.
  • Mathematics: Anaylsis & Approaches - score of 7 fulfills MATH 1A and MATH 1B.
  • Mathematics: Applications & Interpreation - score of 5, 6, or 7 fulfills MATH 16A.
  • Economics Micro/Macro - score of 5, 6, or 7 is equivalent to Econ 1 and fulfills the Introductory Economics prerequisite.