Study Abroad

Study Abroad and Study Away Policy

  1. Seven of the nine required courses for the economics major must be taken within the Department of Economics and Accounting at Holy Cross. This policy does not apply to transfer students.
  1. Both intermediate theory courses (Econ 255 and Econ 256) must be taken within the Department of Economics and Accounting at Holy Cross.
  1. Credit granted for a course taken abroad precludes the student from receiving credit for a similar course taken here, even at a higher level.

Further Explanation

Credit toward the economics major for courses taken abroad will be limited to zero, one, or two courses. In order to receive credit toward the major, a course must have prerequisites equivalent to those for similar level courses in our department (i.e., lower level courses must have a prerequisite of a year of college-level economics, and upper levels must have a prerequisite of a calculus-based intermediate theory course). Typically, students be able to find lower level electives that meet this criterion. Occasionally, students may find upper-level courses. Please be aware that many foreign institutions do not offer calculus-based intermediate theory courses and therefore do not offer courses equivalent to our upper-level electives.

The economics major consists of nine courses:

  • 1 Principles course (taken prior to Study Abroad)
  • 2 Theory courses (taken here, preferably prior to Study Abroad)
  • 1 Quantitative course (taken here, typically after Study Abroad)
  • Statistics* (a comparable course — including regression analysis — may be taken abroad or away)
  • 4 electives* one of which may be lower level (requiring only a year of principles as a prerequisite); the remainder must be upper level (requiring calculus-based intermediate theory as a prerequisite)

*Up to two of these courses may be taken abroad or away, if found to be commensurate with the courses offered here.

Extraordinary circumstances can be referred to the chair for discretionary decisions.

Note: Additional complexities are created by the demands of the accounting major. Students in that program are referred to the accounting coordinator for credit decisions.       

Study Abroad Worksheet

Many economics majors participate in the College’s Study Abroad Program. If you are interested in studying abroad, it is a good idea to start thinking about your course selections early. Discuss your interests with your faculty advisor and department chair so that you can develop a plan to complete the major.

Important reminders

1. Calculus – Take it early!

Economics majors must complete the equivalent of a year of calculus before they may enroll in the intermediate theory courses Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (Econ 255 and 256). Economics majors are strongly encouraged to complete the calculus requirement during their first year at Holy Cross. Students completing calculus as sophomores will find it difficult to study abroad since so many of the required courses will need to be taken after they return to campus senior year.

2. Intermediate Theory – Best to complete it before going abroad

Since students must take at least three upper-level electives requiring intermediate theory courses as prerequisites, we strongly recommend taking both ECON 255 – Microeconomics and ECON 256 – Macroeconomics before going abroad. If only one theory course can be taken, we recommend taking Microeconomics as it is the sole prerequisite for several upper-level electives. Be sure to see the Department Chair about enrollment in these courses.

3. Credit for Courses Abroad – Limited to two courses

Economics majors studying abroad may take one economics course for credit as a lower level elective provided that an appropriate course can be found and is pre-approved by the department. The economics major permits students to take a lower level elective as one of their four required electives. Additional electives taken abroad may count for College credit but will not advance the student’s standing in the major unless they are replacing economics AP credits. Remember the maximum number of ECON courses that can be taken is 14 for single major students and 10 for students with a double major.

4. Summer School Options – Limited to certain courses

Many economics majors consider taking a summer school course prior to the study abroadyear. It is important to realize that we do not permit students to take intermediate economics courses or upper-level electives in the summer. In certain situations, we permit students to take Statistics in summer school. The statistics course must be pre-approved by the department chair and must include coverage of the standard statistics curriculum, including a study of regression analysis.

5. Course Sequence Senior Year – Don’t leave too many courses

Students returning from study abroad often have many economics major requirements left to complete during their final year. If you have not taken Microeconomics (ECON 255) prior to senior year, then you will not be able to take any upper level electives until spring of your senior year.

Economics Major Requirements

Plan to complete

(list semester)

Calculus – Math 135/136


ECON 110 – Principles of Economics


ECON 255 – Microeconomics


ECON 256 – Macroeconomics


ECON 249 – Statistics


ECON 265 or 266– Quantitative Macro or Quantitative Micro


Electives – (3 must be upper level, 1 may be lower level)

Lower level elective (This course may be taken abroad if pre-approved)


Upper level elective


Upper level elective


Upper level elective


Additional courses beyond major requirements



Note: There may be other issues for students who have used AP credits to fulfill some of the major requirements. Please consult with your faculty advisor if you have special circumstances.


Download a printable version (PDF)


Letter to Students Currently Studying Abroad

TO: Economics majors studying abroad
FROM: Chair, Department of Economics and Accounting

Congratulations on having been accepted into a Study Abroad program. We in the Department of Economics and Accounting would like to make sure that we have a system of open communication with you so you can make informed decisions concerning courses, with no surprises when you return.

Contact: Our new study abroad advisor for economics is Thomas Gottschang. All inquiries should be directed to him. Professor Gottschang has the authority to approve courses and determine their levels.

Information: When looking for course approval, please send Professor Gottschang the following information.

  1. Name of school/program you are attending
  2. Course name, in the original language
  3. Course name, translated into English
  4. Course number
  5. Web address at which he can find the course. If outsiders to the institution are not able to access the site, please copy and paste the course information into the email message.
  6. Please also include information about your own economics background: Have you completed calculus? Both principles? Any theory? Statistics? Do you have to replace any economics courses due to AP credits? What is your class year?

Providing this information upfront expedites the process for us and gives you answers more quickly.

Please remember that our 200-level electives require a year of college-level economics as a pre-requisite, so courses taken abroad must have a similar requirement in order to fulfill that role. Our advanced electives require intermediate theory (taught in a calculus-based way) as a pre-requisite, so that’s what we’ll look for in courses taken abroad. Do not rely on the title of the course. Just because we teach Econometrics as an advanced course does not mean that other institutions do. Statistics may be taken abroad, but we must determine that the course covers regressions.

A maximum of two courses may be taken away from Holy Cross, including courses taken over the summer. Remember that any principles or statistics courses that are covered through AP credit must be replaced by additional Economics electives. Finally, be aware that business courses will not be granted any Holy Cross credit. The Registrar will not accept those courses, and neither will this department.