Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate: A score of 4 or 5 in Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics earns credit towards ECON 110 (Principles of Economics) and counts towards the Social Science common area requirement. Prospective majors with AP credit in just one of the two AP economics courses must complete the one-semester course at Holy Cross. A score of 6 or 7 on the higher-level economics IB exam earns credit towards ECON 110 (Principles of Economics) and counts towards the social science common area requirement. A score of 4 or 5 in Statistics earns credit for ECON 249 (Statistics) and counts toward the mathematical science common area requirement. Students with AP or IB credit for principles will forfeit that credit if they enroll in ECON 110. Students with AP credit for statistics will forfeit that credit if they enroll in ECON 249. 

Majors: Students considering a major in Economics should enroll in ECON 110 (Principles of Economics) during their first year. Students with AP or IB credit for ECON 110 and/or ECON 249 economics must still complete a minimum of nine courses in the major and should contact the Department Chair, Prof. Melissa Boyle at to discuss enrolling in an appropriate economics course.

Advisory Note: Because mathematics plays an important role in economics, majors are required to take one year of college calculus or its equivalent. Economics students use calculus extensively in the department’s intermediate and advanced courses.

The calculus requirement may be fulfilled by advanced placement (a score of 4 or higher on the BC exam), the completion of a two-semester sequence of calculus, or the completion of a one-semester calculus course that has a prerequisite of one semester of calculus or its equivalent. Please see the listing under Mathematics for further guidance. Students interested in majoring in Economics are encouraged to complete the calculus requirement as soon as possible.

ECON 110
Principles of Economics
Common Area: Social Science

Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources among competing uses.  Microeconomics investigates how households and firms make individual decisions concerning the allocation of resources. Macroeconomics studies aggregate level economic outcomes such as growth, inflation, unemployment, interest rates, exchange rates, technological progress, and government budgets. This course introduces the central topics of both microeconomics and macroeconomics in one semester.

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