Carnegie Mellon University

Core Economics Courses

The core courses in the undergraduate economics curriculum consist of foundational, intermediate, and advanced economics courses (microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics); mathematics, statistics; and writing courses that provide the applied and theoretical underpinnings of the curricula. These courses are common to all of our major degrees.


Core Courses Offered by the Undergraduate Economics Program

73-060 Economics BaseCamp

Explore emerging frontiers at Economics BaseCamp, a faculty-driven series of talks by CMU’s leading experts on economics. This series of lectures, discussion sessions, and events will introduce you to your professors and expand your understanding of the myriad ways and unexpected places that economics impacts and informs the world. This course is designed for students interested in exploring what economists do, what makes the CMU economics program distinctive, and the role of economic models and data analysis in designing business decision-making and policy design.


73-102: Principles of Microeconomics

In a world where one is constantly confronted with choices and trade-offs (time, land, money, resources, etc.), we offer a course for anyone who expects to make a decision in their life. Students will learn how economists model the decision-making processes of people, firms, institutions, and governments, and their eventual choices.


73-103: Principles of Macroeconomics

We live in a world where vast economic differences exist across nations and within nations. Have you ever wondered why some countries are poor and some are rich, why some people earn more than others, why some households are taxed more than others, and what the heck money is? This course is for students interested in how economists model and measure national decision-making processes and measure these outcomes that impact one's wallet, business, and future.


73-210: Sophomore Curriculum in Economics

This course is designed for students interested in exploring their ethical personal and professional values, identifying areas of learning for development, and understanding the vast array of resources available in the economics program and, more generally, on campus.


73-230: Intermediate Microeconomics

The goal of this course is to investigate how markets work, when market failures occur, and how to fix these failures. This course is a critical component for students preparing to enter the fields of consulting, finance, policy making, government, consulting, strategic consulting, and tech fields.


73-240: Intermediate Macroeconomics

This provides a distinctive evidence-driven approach to macroeconomics that builds on microeconomic foundations. In this class, you will encounter the latest thinking, view evidence and data through the lens of macroeconomic models, and confront fundamental economic questions: What causes business cycles? How severe is wage inequality in the U.S.? Can trade wars ever be effective? What are the macroeconomic implications of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency?


73-265: Economics and Data Science

This course is for students interested in the foundational skills in economic analysis, computing, and statistics. The course provides students with hands-on experience in identifying, analyzing, and using data to solve real-world problems in economics and business.

(Not part of the required set of courses in the Bachelor of Science in Economics and Mathematical Sciences curriculum.)


73-270: Professional Communication for Economists

Success in the work world is dependent on the ability to effectively communicate one's ideas to a wide range of audiences. This course is for students who want experience with audience analysis, practicing communication, and learning how to listen.


73-274: Econometrics I

Evaluation of hypotheses is a central element of economics. Economic and business data is rarely generated in the controlled environment of the lab. It is generated by observing behavior in the real world. In Econometrics you will learn about the challenges of working with and drawing conclusions from real world "field" data. You will also be introduced to some more advanced data analysis techniques that are appropriate for economics and business problems.


73-374: Econometrics II

The material covered in this course extends from the material covered in Econometrics I (73-274). The course will include both the theory behind the methods and a hands-on analysis of actual data, providing students the tools for both research and industry jobs.

(Not part of the required set of courses in the Bachelor of Arts in Economics nor the Bachelor of Science in Economics and Politics.)


73-497: Senior Project in Economics

Senior Project in Economics is a capstone course, which will showcase the analytical and quantitative skills that you have acquired as an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon. In this course, you will join a team of students working on an independent, applied research project. You will be guided throughout by a faculty mentor.

(Not part of the required set of courses in the Bachelor of Science in Economics and Statistics nor the Bachelor of Science in Economics and Mathematical Sciences.)


73-500/501: Tepper Senior Honors Thesis in Economics

The Senior Honors Program in Economics provides qualified students with the opportunity to engage in original research during their senior year at Carnegie Mellon. Writing a Tepper Senior Honors Thesis in Economics is an opportunity for qualified students to explore a topic in economics over an extended period of time (two semesters). This process of intellectual inquiry and knowledge creation culminates in a thesis and public presentation. For many, this process of intellectual inquiry and knowledge creation is the highlight and culmination of their undergraduate academic experience.


Core First Year Courses Offered Outside of the Undergraduate Economics Program

21-120: Differential and Integral Calculus

Differential and integral calculus are the branches of mathematics that are concerned with functions' rates of change and their sizes and volumes (offered by the Department of Mathematics).


21-256: Multivariate Analysis

Students will learn to use a wide range of tools from the field of multivariate analysis. The course is broken into three sections: vectors and matrices (for modeling and solving linear problems), optimization, and integration (offered by the Department of Mathematics).


36-200: Reasoning with Data

Students will gain an awareness and appreciation of the data analysis pipeline and be able to apply introductory level data analysis tools to applications across disciplines (offered by the Department of Statistics and Data Science).