Thematic Focus - Political Economy Track

One open and two upper-level economics electives plus the senior requirement comprise the thematic focus dimension. "Upper-level" means that the course has one or both Intermediate Theory courses (ECON BC3033 or BC3035) as prerequisite. It's a good idea to plan ahead, which means identifying the electives you want and organizing your common core sequence in order to have the appropriate prerequisite at the right time.

Political Economy track majors must choose either the open economics elective or an upper-level economics elective to form the "link" to two interdisciplinary electives. The innovation of “linking” the interdisciplinary electives to an economics elective aims to provide more structure for students as they select electives in related departments by establishing an explicit connection between the interdisciplinary electives and at least one of the economics electives the student has taken. Under the former policy, students’ choices of interdisciplinary electives in the Political Economy Track often followed no particular logic. We believe this new feature will result in a more meaningful and cohesive major

The primary purpose of the upper-level elective requirement is to solidify your understanding of the common core concepts and tools by applying them to some specific set of problems or issues. A secondary purpose is to provide you with background in a particular area on which you can subsequently build in your senior thesis or seminar.

The senior requirement comprises three different options:

  1. Seminar option (ECON BC3063 plus elective),
  2. Thesis option ECON (BC3061-2), and
  3. Combined seminar/thesis option (BC3063/BC3062).

Whichever option you choose, two courses are required.

Statistics and Econometrics for Political Economy track majors:

Political Economy track majors can use Econ BC2411 Statistics for Economics as either a) an open interdisciplinary elective or b) an open economics elective.  They can also count Econ BC3018 Econometrics (or the equivalent Columbia course) as an upper-level economics elective.  However, if they want to count both courses for the major, Econ BC2411 must be used as an open interdisciplinary elective. 

Other introductory statistic courses such as Stat UN1101, UN1201, or Psyc BC1101 must be counted as an open interdisciplinary elective if used for the Political Economy major.