The Economics Department

Majoring in Economics

Welcome!  Want to learn a little more about why people study Economics? Check out what the American Economic Association has to say about what economics is and what your future career can be.

If you are interested in the Economics Major at UT-Austin, check out this overview of the major provided by Dr. Valerie Bencivenga, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and read the information below. If you still have questions please contact our advising office. The front desk staff can answer many questions you have about degree requirements.

If you would like to minor in Economics you should talk to your major advisor about declaring. Once you are officially declared, you can contact our office for help registering for restricted ECO classes.

Admission and Declaring the Major

Internal Transfer  External Transfer  Freshmen

Current UT Student Internal Transfer

UT students need to submit an application to the Economics Department by stated deadlines and meet eligibility requirements in order to declare an Economics major.

The application for fall admission is closed. The application for spring admission to the Economics major will be open October 1-December 1.                                                        


To be eligible for internal transfer into the Economics major you must meet the following criteria:

1. Attend an Internal Transfer Info Session. Deadline to attend an info session in order to be eligible for Spring 2020 admission is December 2, 2019.

2. Complete the following courses with a grade of at least C minus in each:

  • ECO 304K & ECO 304L
  • M 408K & M 408L (or M408C and M408D, or M408N and M408S)


  • Fall admission: May 1
  • Spring admission: December 1 

Fall Info Sessions:

  • Date: Monday August 26 Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm Room: BRB 1.118
  • Date: Wednesday September 4 Time: 5:30-6:30 Room: BRB 2.136
  • Date: Friday September 20 Time: 10:00am-11:00am Room:  BRB 1.120
  • Date: Wednesday October 2 Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm Room:  BRB 1.120
  • Date: Monday October 14 Time:  2:00pm-3:00pm Room: BRB 2.136
  • Date: Tuesday October 22 Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm Room: BRB 1.118
  • Date: Monday October 28 Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm Room:  BRB 1.118
  • Date: Tuesday November 5 Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm Room: BRB 1.118 
  • Date: Thursday November 21 Time: 1:00pm-2:00pmRoom:  BRB 1.120 
  • Date: Monday December 2 Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm Room:  BRB 1.118
Note: Deadline to attend an info session in order to be eligible for Spring 2020 admission is December 2, 2019.


Is admission to the Economics major competitive? Is there a GPA cut-off? No, currently there is no GPA requirement and approval is not on a competitive basis. Our goal is to accept all students who want Economics as their major as long as they have demonstrated basic competencies in economics and math by successfully completing the prerequisite coursework with a grade of at least C minus in each course. 

Do I need to take the required prerequisite classes in-residence? No, transfer credit and credit-by-exam credit are accepted. All required courses must be posted with final grades (or “CR” in the case of credit-by-exam) by the stated deadline in order for your application to be considered.

If I am currently taking the required courses can I submit an application? Yes, we will wait until after grades are posted to process it. Please be aware that students that are concurrently taking coursework at a community college may not be able to get their credit posted on their UT record by the stated deadline. This means you will not be able to declare Economics. You can still take Eco 329 as long as you meet the pre-requisites and you can reapply the next semester.  If you are taking prerequisite courses over the summer, you must apply the following Fall semester.

Do I need to meet a minimum number of credit hours completed in-residence to apply? No, you may apply during your first semester. The major declaration will become official the following semester.

Is there a maximum number of hours taken or semesters completed to be eligible to apply? No. 

I have business calculus (M403K & M403L). Will that meet the calculus requirement to apply? No, business calculus does not meet the calculus requirement for the major. You must have one of the stated standard calculus sequences (or equivalent) in order to apply.

I have met the course requirements and have submitted my application. When will I be declared? Applications for students who have met course requirements will be processed after grades are posted that semester. You will be notified via Secure Academic Note when your application has been processed.

I need to declare the major now in order to graduate on time! We definitely want to support your efforts to graduate on time! Non-majors may register for restricted upper division Economics courses starting on the first class day of the semester provided stated prerequisites are met and if seats are available. Visit our office for registration assistance. However, you will need to follow the stated internal transfer process and deadlines to officially declare the major.

I still have questions. Can I talk to an advisor? If you still have questions about the major or the application process, please attend one of our information sessions. Information sessions are REQUIRED for declaring the major AND you must attend one if you would like to schedule an appointment with an advisor before declaring. For any other questions please contact:

External Transfer from Another Institution

External Transfer Students must complete the following courses with a grade of at least C minus in each to be eligible for the major:

  • ECO 304K Intro to Microeconomics & ECO 304L Intro to Macroeconomics
  • Calculus I & Calculus 2 (M 408K & M 408L, or M 408C and M 408D, or M 408N and M 408S)**

** Business Calculus (M403K and M403L and their equivalents) does not satisfy the calculus requirement for the economics major.

There is no separate application for admission to the Economics major. Prospective transfers will submit the ApplyTexas application and any corresponding documentation to UT Admissions for processing. The Economics Department is not involved in the application or selection process. Contact UT Admissions for questions related to the admissions application and acceptance. 

You will find more information for prospective transfers on the Be-A-Longhorn website. 

Additional Information for Prospective Transfers:

The following courses/credit hours must be taken in residence (at UT-Austin):

  • At least 60 credit hours of (any) coursework
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours of economics coursework counting towards the major
  • All of the following courses: ECO 420K Microeconomic Theory, ECO 320L Macroeconomic Theory, ECO 329 Economic Statistics, and ECO 341K Econometrics

Transfer Resources on the UT Admissions website lets you:

  • Find the UT equivalents of courses at Texas universities and community colleges by using the Automated Transfer Equivalency (ATE) database
  • See how courses taken at other Texas institutions apply to a degree at UT-Austin by creating an Interactive Degree Audit (IDA)
  • Find out about transfer policies, procedures, and common problems
  • Prospective students from out-of-state should contact UT Admissions regarding transfer credit evaluation. International students with course equivalency/ admissions process questions should contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC).

Freshmen (first semester in college)

First Semester Freshmen wanting to declare the Economics major must be calculus ready.

There is no separate application for admission to the Economics major. Prospective freshmen will submit the ApplyTexas application and any corresponding documentation to UT Admissions for processing. The Economics department is not involved in the application or selection process. Contact UT Admissions for questions related to the admissions application and acceptance.

You will find more information for prospective freshmen on the Be-A-Longhorn website.

Are you still in high school and considering Economics as a major? Here are some things you can do to prepare:

  • Make sure you are proficient in math by taking as much as you can while in high school. Economics majors are required to take a two course sequence in calculus, and it is best to complete these courses in freshman year at college for making progress in the major. To take the calculus classes at UT, a placement exam is required. Some students fulfill the calculus requirement by "testing out" via Advanced Placement, or by taking the college level credits as dual credit.*
  • If your school offers economics courses it would be good to take them so that you are already somewhat familiar with the concepts you will study more in-depth at the college level. Some students use Advanced Placement credit-by-exam for, or take dual credit in, the freshman level economics courses required in the major, ECO 304K Intro to Microeconomics and ECO 304L Intro to Macroeconomics.
  • If you can take a statistics course in high school this will also help prepare you for subsequent coursework at the college level. Economics majors are required to take ECO 329 Economics Statistics. Unfortunatly, the credit garnered from Advanced Placement does not count for the statistics requirement in the economics major; however it can count as elective credit! See an advisor before claiming your credit!

* If you do not have the opportunity to take coursework in calculus, economics, or statistics in high school, don't worry. You will not be behind as long as you are prepared to get started right away when you get to UT.