A Guide From Here to Graduation

It is never too early to develop a plan, and here is the place to start for those of you who are either considering Economics as a major or are already an Economics major. This is a step-by-step guide to developing that plan

  1. Create a folder: Get an envelope or manila folder that you will keep all of your academic records in. Use it, or create a folder on your computer and keep an electronic version.
  2. Identify where you are: Get your progress report on E-campus and determine the courses you have taken so far.
  3. Decide on the degree: There are three options – the BA or one of the two BS degrees in Applied Economics or Theory and Methods. The primary difference between the BA and BS degrees is the math. You will need calculus and statistics for the BS degrees. Those who are considering going on to graduate school in Economics should consider the Theory and Methods degree.

Identify graduation requirements: You need to determine your graduation requirements using the curriculum worksheets at the academic advising page. Fill in the sheet to identify what you MUST take to graduate.

BA Degree: There are FOUR constraints

  • Core ECN requirements are on the Academics page
  • General Education requirements are on the General Education page
  • 300-level course requirement (42 credits)
  • 120 credits minimum for graduation

BS DegreeThere are THREE constraints

  • Core ECN requirements are on the Academics page
  • General Education requirements are on the General Education page
  • 120 credits minimum for graduation
  1. Identify ECN requirements: For Economics the best strategy is to begin by taking the core courses – ECN306, ECN305, ECN327, ECN328 – plus STA308 after you have taken the introductory courses – ECN201 & ECN202. Try to space your core courses out – take no more than two core courses in any semester and only one of the intermediate theory courses (ECN327 & ECN328). You should also identify any courses that are only offered in one semester. At the present time in Economics the only core courses offered once a year are ECN375 (Spring) and ECN376 (Fall).
  2. Identify General Education requirements: You can determine this online with the degree audit, but if you are switching between BA and BS degrees make sure you check after the switch because there are a few differences. Information on the courses that apply to each division in the current program are available at the General Education site by either outcomes or departments. Information on previous general education requirements are also available. You just need to find your calendar year (the year you entered URI unless you changed it) to determine the appropriate requirements.
  3. Identify the number of “free” electives: Assuming 3-credit courses, you will need 5 courses a semester (15 credits) for 8 semesters for a total of 40 courses (120 credits). Economics will require 10 courses, and general education will total about 13, so you will have about 17 courses (51 credits) that you can select.
  4. Develop a plan for those free electives: Most of you will have a number of free electives, so you must decide on how best to utilize that time. This is a good time to talk to advisors and mentors, to assess your strengths and weaknesses, and think about what you want to do after graduation. You want to avoid just taking a course – you want to take courses that are a part of a plan. Here are a few options that students have taken.
  • Internship: This can be for as few as 3-credits and as many as 15 credits, and they can be local or far enough away to require a semester away from URI. If you are interested, you should talk with an advisor or contact the Center for Career and Experiential Education.
  • Study Abroad: This can be a great and valuable experience and you should contact the Office of International Education to discuss the opportunities.
  • Foreign language beyond general education: Globalization makes a second language a valuable asset.
  • Skills development: Critical thinking, speaking, writing, math, statistics, leadership would be on a short-list of skills recruiters are looking for.
  • Minor: In the College of A&S it will be about 6 courses.
  • 2nd-major: In the College of A&S it will be about 10 courses.

8. Construct a Graduation PLAN. This will be different for each of you, but what should be the same is you start by creating a table as a spreadsheet on your computer, or use this curriculum chart. You should note that in addition to the Fall and Spring semesters there are also columns for J-term (intercession between the Fall and Spring semester) and Summer. If you are planning on graduating in a timely fashion, you might want to explore the possibilities. In the next section you will find detailed advice and a sample graduation plan.

Graduation Plan

Here is one possible plan for a third year BA student who has taken ECN201 & ECN202, seven (7) general education courses, no 300-level courses, and 51 total credits. Based on this track record, the student must find places in the table to locate eight (8) ECN courses including four core courses (ECN305, ECN306, ECN327, & ECN328) and the capstone course (ECN445). The student also must take six (6) general education (GEXX) courses and six (6) 300-level courses (3XX). If there are General Education courses that are at the 300-level, then these can count as 300-level classes so the free electives are really free.

To finish the 120 credits in four years will require 9 credits (three 3-credit classes) beyond the 60 that would be the normal load for two years. This is needed because the student started the year with 51 credits rather than the expected 60. This student will graduate on time by taking the J-Term course in Cuba (ECN gives credit for the PSC415 course) and two summer courses at the 300-level between the 3rd and 4th year. One of those courses is ECN305, which is a course Economics offers every summer.

This student also wants to study abroad in the Fall of the 4th year, and during that semester will take one courses that will transfer back as 300-level ECN course. Be careful, however, about relying on a 300-level ECN when studying abroad. Keep in mind that not all programs have 300-level ECN courses, and even if they do, in any given term they may not be available. You will also need to receive prior approval for the course from the Department chair. In addition to the 300-level ECN course, this student while studying abroad is taking two general education courses, one 300-level elective, and one free electives (FEXX). Once all the requirements have been satisfied, there are openings for three free electives (FEXXX) that can be taken at any level.


  Fall J-Term Spring Su Fall J-Term Spring Sum
Course 1 ECN306 PSC415 ECN327 ECN305 ECN3XX   ECN445  
Course 2 ECN328   3XX GEXX 3XX   ECN3XX  
Course 3 GEXX   3XX   GEXX   3XX  
Course 4 GEXX   GEXX   GEXX   3XX  
Course 5 3XX   FEXX   FEXX   FEXX