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Online Courses

The Economics Department at Michigan State University offers a wide variety of online courses in the summer.  A full slate of courses is offered every summer.  We offer courses at all levels: introductory courses that provide you with a foundation of knowledge that allows you to move on and take advanced courses; and advanced courses that provide surveys of key areas in economics and delve more deeply into the economic issues of the day. You can also take one (or more) of our specialized courses that cover topics as varied as the Economics of Sports, Economics of Gender and Introduction to Econometric Methods

If you are interested in our online courses, please visit our registration information page.  You need not be a Michigan State student to take our courses.  Most of our courses, if not all, can be taken for transfer credit (but, check with your university or college to make sure before enrolling).  You can also take our courses just to learn more about economics.  You need not reside in the Lansing area either – provisions can be made that will allow you to take our courses from anywhere in the country.

If you have any questions, please contact us at courseinfo@econ.msu.edu

Summer 2016 Courses:

EC201   Economics 201: Introduction to Microeconomics

Economics 201, Introduction to Microeconomics. The pedagogical approach in Introduction to Microeconomics online is aid learning by providing many different but mutually reinforcing learning materials. In that spirit, the course authors offer a multifaceted approach to learning that includes a textbook, other additional readings, online video streaming lectures, individualized problem sets, practice quizzes, and an asynchronous discussion forum. (more...)

EC202   Economics 202: Introduction to Macroeconomics

Developed by Professor Norman Obst.  The severe economic downturn that began in 2008 has increased interest in economy-wide assessment of economic activity.  The persistent high levels of unemployment and high national debt levels have challenged policy makers to implement workable solutions.  Will the economy experience deflation, or falling price levels, as a result, or will high growth rates of monetary measures lead to inflation rate increases?  Economics 202 online provides a foundation for economic analysis along with a framework with which national economic measures can be understood.  The financial markets are examined (more...)

EC301   Economics 301: Intermediate Microeconomics

Developed by Professor Stacy Dickert-Conlin. This course covers the theory of consumer behavior, the theory of production and cost, the theory of the firm in competition and monopoly, and game theory. (more...)

EC302   Economics 302: Intermediate Macroeconomics

Economics 302 online is an intermediate level course in macroeconomics. The objective of the course is to introduce students to facts and models that will help them improve their understanding of fundamental macroeconomic and public policy issues regarding inflation, unemployment, business cycles, monetary and fiscal policies.. (more...)

EC310   Economics 310: Economics of Developing Countries

Developed by Professor Chris Ahlin. Why are some countries rich and some countries poor? What policies can poor countries undertake, if any, to transition from poor to rich? How does globalization, including the rise of international trade and capital flows, affect poor countriesí prospects for economic development? What role does the financial sector have to play in economic development? What role does foreign aid play? What explains the phenomenally high rates of growth of some poorer countries in past few decades? Is the world as a whole moving toward greater or less poverty? Are poor countries getting poorer and rich countries getting richer, or vice versa; and why? How does poor countriesí economic growth impact rich countriesí growth opportunities? Must economic growth eventually die out, or is it sustainable in the long-run; and if so, how? (more...)

EC330   Economics 330: Money and Banking

Developed by Professor Norman Obst.  The financial crisis of 2007 – 2009 nearly triggered a worldwide depression.  Could the crisis have been prevented, what caused it to happen, and will it occur again? Economics 330 online studies the basic functions of the financial system while deemphasizing the memorization of operational details.  As economic incentives and technological advancements cause the financial system to evolve, understanding its basic functions increases in importance.  Changes will occur as governments, firms, and consumers adjust to the transformations resulting from the crisis and (more...)

EC340   Economics 340:  Survey of International Economics

Developed by Professor Steven Matusz. Hourly compensation for the average U.S. manufacturing employee was $33.53 in 2009.  In that same year, hourly compensation for the average Chinese worker employed in manufacturing was $1.74, yet the United States managed to export more than 50 billion dollars worth of manufactured goods to China.   How is that possible?  Similarly, in 2009, U.S. imports from all countries exceeded exports to all destinations by more than $350 billion, but the value of American aircraft exports was more than four times the value of aircraft imports.  What determines a country’s overall trade balance, and how is it possible for high-wage countries to compete in the world market?  Does competition in the world marketplace benefit all participants, or does it create winners and losers? (more...)

EC370   Economics 370:  The Economics of Sports

Developed by Professor Lawrence Martin.  All sports fans make bold statements. “I was so hot yesterday.  I knew that I couldn’t miss.”  “Papa Grande is great in save situations, but he is terrible otherwise.” “Drive for show, putt for dough.”  “A-rod is overpaid.” “Athletes always try their best whether there is money or not.”  “Discrimination is a thing of the past.” “Referees are biased.” “It’s not wise to go for it on fourth down.” “The Big Ten is better than the SEC.” “I can beat the betting market.”  Economists have studied sports for several decades and have developed ways to think through such statements and assess their validity.  This course studies the economic approach to sports.  It deepens understanding of strategies, rules, performance, money and many other aspects of sports. (more...)

EC420   Economics 420:  Introduction to Econometric Methods

Developed by Professor Jeffery Wooldridge Faculty Supervisor is Professor Jeff Biddle.  This course teaches the basic methods used by economists to analyze statistical data, methods that  are also used in other data-based fields, such as marketing research and public health, and are increasingly valued by private sector employers. The on-line version of the course was developed by MSU professor Jeff Wooldridge, based on his textbook Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach, which is the world’s most highly respected and widely used Econometrics textbook. (more...)


EC491   Economics 491: Advanced Topics in Economics: Economics of Gender

Course developed and supervised by Professor Susan J. Linz. Analysis of the ways in which the economic well-being of men and women differ, with special focus on differences across levels of economic development and cultural environments. Employs commonly-used analytical tools to investigate causes and consequences of gender inequality in such areas as employment, ownership and welfare. Explores theories and evidence of gender differences in both the formal economy and informal or shadow economy, using international comparisons to gain a global perspective. (more...)


Heterodox Economics   Economics 491: Advanced Topics in Economics: Heterodox Economics

Developed and supervised by Professor Jeff Biddle. Almost all of the economics classes offered at colleges and universities in the US today teach a particular kind of economics, that is, a particular approach to understanding and studying the economy. This kind of economics, alternatively called “neoclassical”, “orthodox” or “modern mainstream” economics, involves, among other things, a specific set of assumptions about human behavior (for example, individuals maximize a stable utility function, firms maximize expected profits), theories derived from those assumptions (for example, the theory of supply and demand), and certain standard research procedures. (more...)


Michigan State University Department of Economics