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FAQ


General/Advising

How do I make an appointment with an Economics advisor?
To make an appointment with an Economics advisor, please use https://student.msu.edu.  You are not assigned to a specific advisor.  You may schedule an appointment with any of the advisors. 

Does the Economics department have walk-in advising hours?
Walk-in advising is held at the beginning of each semester and approximately once per month throughout the year.  Please visit the department facebook page for updated information on times and locations of walk-in advising.

Walk-in advising is meant for quick questions, including degree checks for students who have recently seen an advisor, advisor signatures for internship or reduced course load forms, one semester course planning, and declaration of the EC minor.  Major changes, probation conferences, career planning, and long-term course planning are not allowed during walk-in advising.

How do I contact an Economics advisor?
You may email general questions to advising@econ.msu.edu.  We try to respond to all emails within 2 business days, although it is occasionally longer during busy times of the year (e.g., beginning of each semester and during spring enrollment). 

We do not provide detailed advising via email.  If your question requires an extensive review of your record, you will be asked to make an advising appointment or come to walk-in advising hours.

How do I change my primary major to Economics?
To change your major to Economics, make an appointment with an Economics advisor via https://student.msu.edu.  You may schedule an appointment with any of the advisors.  You may not change your primary major during walk-in advising.

If your GPA is below 2.0, you must get approval from the College of Social Science Student Affairs Office before changing your major.  Call 517-355-6676 to schedule an appointment.

How do I add an Economics minor, additional major, or 2nd degree?
To add any of the above Economics designations, make an appointment with an Economics via https://student.msu.edu.  An advisor can explain the differences among these options and how they fit into your remaining time at MSU.  You may not add a 2nd degree during walk-in advising.

What are the requirements for an Economics major, minor, or 2nd degree?
Primary major requirements can be found on the department website and in the academic programs catalog.  Additional majors are required to complete the same Economics courses as primary majors, but are not held to the College requirements.  Second degree candidates must complete at least 150 total credits and the same College and Economics requirements as primary majors.  Minor requirements can be found in the academic programs catalog.

Students in all EC programs are encouraged to meet with an advisor to review requirements specific to their circumstances.  You may also email general questions to advising@econ.msu.edu.
 
Do I have to apply for graduation?
Yes.  All MSU students need to submit an application for graduation.  Apply no later than the end of the first week of the semester you expect to complete your degree requirements.  This will assure the listing of your name in the commencement program.  Summer degree candidates should submit an application before the end of the first week of Spring semester.   

 

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Overrides/Prerequisites

Can I get an override into an EC course that is full?
No.  The Department of Economics does not provide overrides into full courses or for missing prerequisites.  For full courses, we suggest you monitor the system and sign up for a seat alert through the Schedule of Courses to be notified when a space becomes available.

Can I get a prerequisite waived or take a prerequisite and the course which requires it at the same time, e.g., can I take 420 and 499 concurrently?
No.  Prerequisites are strictly adhered to and must be successfully completed before the subsequent course can be taken.

How can I request an override?
If you need to request an override for a reason other than an enrollment limit or to waive a prerequisite, fill out the Override Request Form on the department website.

How can I add a course after the open enrollment period?
You may contact a professor with a request to late add a course.  For an EC course, please fill out the online late add form.  It will route to the professor for approval.  The department will then process the late add if you are eligible for the course (e.g., completed all prerequisites) and there is space in the room.

 

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Transfer Courses

Can I transfer courses from a community college?
Students with fewer than 56 credits may transfer courses from a community college for credit, until 56 total credits are earned. 

Students with at least 56 credits may use a community college course to meet University or College requirements, but no credit will be awarded.  If a student repeats an MSU course at a community college after 56 credits, the new course will be posted to the record as a repeat BUT it will not change the grade of the initial enrollment at MSU and no additional credit will be earned.

How can I find out if a course at another college/university will transfer to MSU?
Courses that have been evaluated for transfer to MSU can be found on Transfer MSU.  If a course is not listed, contact the appropriate department for a transfer course evaluation form.  Click here to submit an Economics transfer course evaluation form.

For complex transfer credit issues, you should meet with an advisor before you enroll in a course at another institution in order to verify if and how courses may fit into your degree program.

May I transfer economics courses to MSU if I am an economics major?
Economics majors may count a maximum of four economics transfer courses in their economics requirements, including AP and IB credit.  A maximum of one of these courses may be at the 400 level.

May I transfer economics courses to MSU if I am an economics minor?
Economics minors may count a maximum of two economics transfer courses in their economics requirements, including AP and IB credit.  At least one 400-level economics course must be taken at MSU.

 

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Extra Help

How can I find extra help for an EC course?
In addition to professor and TA office hours for all EC courses, the department offers Economics Help Rooms for EC 201, 202, 301, and 302.  Click here for details on this free service.  Students may also access a private tutor list here.  Please note this list is NOT department approved and all arrangements are made between the tutor and requesting student.  Students must enter an MSU netID and password to view the private tutor list.

Where can I get help for personal problems affecting my academics?
Counseling and Psychiatric Services has counselors to help students deal with a variety of life issues.

 

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Graduate School & Careers

What courses will best prepare me for graduate school in economics?
Graduate study in economics requires strong skills in mathematics and statistics.  Math requirements for most programs are calculus (MTH 132, 133, 234), and linear algebra (MTH 309).  Top applicants also take analysis (MTH 320).  We also recommend some advanced statistics and econometrics (EC 420, 421).  Also, because graduate study in economics involves research, our EC 499 class with its opportunity to write a research paper, is excellent preparation.

Can I ask a professor for a recommendation?
Yes.  Please make your request in writing (email is acceptable) and allow a minimum of 2 weeks prior to a deadline.  Provide the professor with all relevant information, including the school or company requesting the recommendation and how/where to send it.  If the recommendation is to be mailed, please provide all mailing materials.  Students should request recommendations from professors in whose classes they performed well and with whom they had some interaction.  Students may also want to provide a signed reference release form to allow faculty to provide personally identifiable information, like grades.

What kinds of jobs can I get with an Economics degree? 
One of the most beneficial things about an MSU Economics degree is that the analytical skills acquired in our program are valued in a variety of fields.  Most of our students choose to pursue business careers after graduation.  Other popular areas include public policy/government and consulting.  Many Economics majors continue their education in PhD programs, law school, and business school.  Recent reports from law and business schools show that Economics majors outperform most applicants on LSAT and GMAT exams.

How can I find an internship?
There are many resources available through the Career Services Network to assist you in finding an internship.  Register with Handshake to gain access to job and internship listings.  You can also use this website to register for events and career fairs, and schedule appointments with a career services advisor. 

Can I earn credit for an internship?
The College of Social Science offers SSC 493 for students who are interested in earning credit for an internship.  To determine if an internship qualifies for academic credit, follow the steps outlined on the SSC 493 web page.  You should also meet with an Economics advisor to discuss how internship credits can be applied to your degree program.

 

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Economics Courses

What does the (W) in the course title mean?
Courses listed with a (W) after the title indicate that they meet the university’s tier II writing requirement.  Students with mastery of the material in EC 301 and 420 are encouraged to fulfill this requirement using EC 499, which includes development of a research paper. 

Can I take graduate-level EC courses as an undergraduate?
Yes.  It is most often available to students in the Honors College who have exceptionally strong backgrounds deemed sufficient for success in the course(s).  Interested students should contact the instructor regarding readiness and then submit an override form.  The department will review the request, and students will be notified of the decision.

What is the department policy regarding enrollment in 400-level EC courses?
Due to the high demand for seats in 400-level EC courses and to help ensure that students can enroll for these required courses when needed, students may not enroll in more than five 400-level EC courses over the course of their undergraduate program.  Students seeking an exception must submit a request to advising@econ.msu.edu.

 

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Independent Studies, Undergraduate Research, Assistantships, Etc.

What is an undergraduate assistantship and how can I apply?
Undergraduate Assistantships are paid positions in which students generally assist with EC 201 and 202.  The opportunity is open to all undergraduate students.  To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria by the end of the Spring semester prior to the academic year for which they are applying:

    • Earned a minimum of 56 credits
    • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA AND 3.25 EC GPA
    • Completed EC 201 and EC 301 or 251H, and EC 202 or 252H
    • Be available for an interview (generally in April)   

The application is sent to EC majors during the Spring semester each year.  Applications are also available in 110 Marshall-Adams.  Applications are generally due in March of each year.

Can I do an independent study and/or undergraduate research with a professor?
Yes, although this is not common practice.  This requires initiative on your part to seek out a professor whose research interests may parallel your own and to inquire whether an opportunity exists for your participation.  Most successful students approach a professor with a well-developed research idea and proposal.  You may learn more about our faculty areas of interest by visiting the department website.  Following an agreement with a professor, students should meet with an advisor to discuss whether the experience might qualify for credit as an independent study.

 

 

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Michigan State University Department of Economics