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Prerequisites for the Econ 20000 series

FriedmanfreakFriedmanfreak Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
edited June 2010 in University of Chicago
So I was reading the course catalog and I found this for the prereqs for Econ 20000 (intermediate econ):

"ECON 19800 is required of students without a prior microeconomics course."

Do AP Micro and Maco count as prior economics courses? Can I test out of the prerequisite if they don't?

I know that high school courses don't measure up to any introductory econ course at a college, especially at the University of Chicago. Still, I'd like to know if such an option is available and what the department thinks of the matter.
Post edited by Friedmanfreak on

Replies to: Prerequisites for the Econ 20000 series

  • JBVirtuosoJBVirtuoso Registered User Posts: 4,579 Senior Member
    Yes, the APs count. The introductory econ courses here aren't really all that UChicago. And even though the course descriptions make it look like those classes are absolutely necessary, no one's going to stop you from enrolling in Econ 200 without taking them. The intro courses are taught more like social sciences, while the Econ 200 sequence is fairly math-heavy. So if you're already familiar with basic economic concepts, then 198 and 199 probably won't give you much knowledge that you'd need in the 200s. Personally, I took 198, but I'm not doing 199. I had practically no econ in high school. We'll see how it goes.
  • FriedmanfreakFriedmanfreak Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    awesome! I've been trying to arrange my schedule so that I could start the 20000 series in my second year. looks like it's a possibility.
  • neogopneogop Registered User Posts: 450 Member
    From a 2nd year Econ/Math double major who took ECON 198 Autumn quarter first year and ECON 200 Spring quarter of the same year:
    "Do NOT take the intro Econ classes. They're for kids who want to say that they took Economics at UChicago, but can't handle the math of the 200's core sequence. 198 and 199 doesn't really involve math and won't really help you for 200's."
    This guy also didn't take any Econ in high school, but he's a math wiz, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • uchicagoalumuchicagoalum Registered User Posts: 440 Member
    198 / 199 are not necessary, and are a serious waste of time if you end up majoring (think about it: if you can handle the intermediate level courses straight out of the gate, what value added are the introductory ones?).

    As noted above, no one will prohibit your enrollment in the 2000's, nor will you be at any disadvantage versus classmates who took these courses. In fact, if you cannot handle the theory as opposed to math of the 2000's series without prior conceptual exposure, you really are a poor fit for the major overall. Consider: a person taking intermediate game theory or financial economics - both common UG electives - will have no benefit of introductory courses in these domains.

    Additionally, they are a poor way to gauge one's interest in the field / major. Modern economics is a branch of the applied sciences at the graduate level, and Chicago makes a concerted effort to ensure that this philosophy trickles down to the UG curriculum. I would go so far to say that a stock, calculus based freshmen physics course is a better litmus test of economic aptitude than drawing supply and demand graphs to no end.

    However, if you are not a Calculus BC with a grade of 5 type, I would encourage you to a least finish the one quarter multivariate calculus class before commencing the 2000's. Alternatively, you can get a book like "Schaum's Outline of Mathematical Methods for Business and Economics" by Edward Dowling, and read the all the calculus / optimization chapters the summer prior (a very manageable task). Its content (see the index via Amazon) aligns perfectly with the array of skills that an 'A' student in the 2000's needs to employ in problem sets.
  • fortune3fortune3 Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    Most kids do Econ 200 in Fall of 2nd year. Unless you just refuse to take a math class or didn't place very highly on the placement test in O-week, you'll certainly qualify by then. Only official prereq is Math 153 or higher (math 130's kids are discouraged apparently), and previous knowledge of the stuff in Econ 198 and 199. I think the princeton review ap book did a nice job of covering that stuff once I forgot after HS, so you might wanna take a look at it.

    Oh and unless you wanna be really competitive, don't take Econ in spring quarter of 1st year. You have about a 50% chance of landing in a class that requires 8+ hrs a week to do well. My current class has a hw average of 97 for every assignment and its really hard, but all the go getters seem to do well in it and are outpacing even me.
  • heinochusheinochus Registered User Posts: 490 Member
    I took AP Macro this year as well as BC Calculus. Is there any additional stuff I should learn - micro, for example - in order to be ready for 20000 and not take 19? Would a look through a standard AP Micro textbook/prep book be enough? Math appeals to me more than social science.
  • rmstmpprrmstmppr Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    bump - same situation
  • uchicagoalumuchicagoalum Registered User Posts: 440 Member
    If you would like to start the 2000's right out of the gate, the best thing you can do is get a copy of Hal Varian's *undergraduate* microeconomics text and give it a one over. It is really not that long, nor that mathy (then again, it is also not very representative of problem sets). But it will give you a leg up on the theory, and let you test the waters of econ versus a pure science.
This discussion has been closed.