Advice for First-Year Students

First-year students at Williams who are considering a Political Economy major should take the three introductory classes in their first year:

1. ECON 110 Principles of Microeconomics
2. ECON 120 Principles of Macroeconomics
3. PSCI 110 Introduction to American Politics

ECON 110 is a pre-requisite for POEC 253 and ECON 255 while ECON 110 & 120 are pre-requisites for POEC 250, POEC 401, POEC 402, and nearly all ECON electives in the major. PSCI 110 should ideally be taken in the first year but must be taken no later than sophomore year. PSCI 110 is a pre- or co-requisite for POEC 250, and is a pre-requisite for POEC 401 and POEC 402. Most importantly, upper class students are not admitted to the course. Please note that by College rule, students may take only their first course in the major pass/fail.

Students who score a 5 on the AP exam in Microeconomics or Macroeconomics may receive credit towards the major for the cognate introductory economics course(s). Students whose Economics Department placement exam scores allow them to place out of ECON 110 and/or ECON 120 can also receive credit towards the major for the corresponding class. No substitute higher-level coursework is required for Political Economy majors receiving credit in this way (thus effectively reducing the number of required courses from 11 to 10 or 9). Students may not substitute AP credit for PSCI 110.

First-year students considering a Political Economy major should also ensure that their math coursework is sufficient. MATH 130 (Calculus I) or the equivalent is a prerequisite for the POEC methodology requirement (POEC 253 or ECON 255). Students might also consider taking STAT 161 or STAT 201 in their first year as that would give them the option of taking ECON 255 as sophomores or juniors.