Freshmen Placement

Please go to Economics Placement Website: https://classesv2.yale.edu. Click on the Economics Placement Site Tab. You will find individual advice on which course is best for you to start your economics education at Yale. To get your personal placement, click on the “Your Placement” tab. Placement recommendations for Fall 2014 are now posted.

Further Information about Placement

The majority of students considering economics take a course in introductory microeconomics in the fall of freshman year (see below for options), and then take a course in introductory macroeconomics in the spring of freshman year (again, see below for options). Even for students who already have a strong background in economics, the Yale introductory micro course is usually the best place to start: the level of analysis in this course is well above that in most high-school courses.

Nevertheless, there are some exceptions. Your personal placement at the ClassesV2 economics placement site is based on admissions data and information you provided in the freshman survey. Using that information and past experience, the economics department has determined which economics courses you will want to consider taking first.

Please note:

  • Placing out of introductory courses does not reduce the number of courses required for the economics major.
  • You may not place out of an introductory economics course unless your personal placement at the economics placement site recommends it or you have permission from the DUS.

Placement is not a perfect process. For example, we may not have complete information about an economics or math course you took outside the US; or your AP results may have arrived too late to be in our data base.

Over-placement. If you think you have been incorrectly recommended to skip an introductory economics course, do not worry. Your personal placement to skip introductory micro is just an option. You always have the option of taking introductory micro as your first economics course at Yale. Similarly, your personal placement to skip introductory macro is just an option.

Under-placement. If you think you have been incorrectly not allowed to skip an introductory economics course, you should first check carefully both the Placement Rules and the Frequently Asked Questions listed below. If you still think your placement is wrong, you should see the DUS. You should bring documentation about any economics and math courses you have taken, including the grades. You may not skip introductory micro or macro at Yale unless your personal placement on the economics placement site recommends it or you have permission of the DUS.

Other Recommended Courses to Take Freshmen Year

Regardless of your math background entering Yale, we strongly recommend that you take a further mathematics course at Yale during your freshman year. For many students, the appropriate course to take is either the next level of calculus or linear algebra. For some other students, the appropriate course to take is at a higher level. The mathematics department can advise you on the appropriate course to take. Some students also take courses in statistics in preparation for their econometrics sequence.

Introductory Course Options

In the fall semester, introductory micro is offered in two main formats. Econ 115 is held in a large lecture class. Econ 110 covers the same topics but is taught in smaller sections that are only open to freshmen. Econ 115 is also offered in the spring. 

In the spring semester, introductory macro is offered in two formats. Econ 116 is held in a large lecture class. Econ 111 covers the same topics but is taught in smaller sections that are only open to freshmen. Econ 116 is also offered in the fall. No student may enroll in introductory macro until they have taken a micro course at Yale or have a personal placement recommending introductory macro.

Freshmen interested in taking Econ 111 this spring must preregister here between 8:30am Monday, December 8, 2014 and 5:00pm on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Because there are a limited number of slots in this class, places will be assigned randomly to a subset of those that preregister. Assignments will be available on the preregistration site after 9:00am Friday, January 9, 2015.

In addition to these options, Quantitative Foundations of Micro (Econ 108) is an alternative to Econ 110 and 115 intended for students with limited or no experience in calculus. It places greater emphasis on quantitative methods and examples. Econ 108 is held in both the fall and spring semesters. Enrollment in Econ 108 is limited and requires a personal placement into the course (see ClassesV2 for your personal placement for Economics) or permission of the DUS. Preference is given to freshmen. Enrollment is limited and so students (even those with a placement from this site) must apply for places here.

Application to Econ 110a: Enrollment in Econ 110a is also limited to freshmen and students must apply if they would like to take this course. You may apply at https://students.yale.edu/ocs-preference/select/select?id=10510 between 4:30pm and 7:30pm on Monday, August 25.

Intermediate Course Options

Most economics majors take intermediate micro and macro during their sophomore year, but some qualify to take intermediate courses during freshman year. To take intermediate economics during your freshman year, your personal placement under the post’em tab must recommend it or you must have permission from the DUS.

In the fall semester, intermediate micro is offered in two formats. Econ 121 is the standard intermediate micro course. Econ 125 covers more theoretical material and is intended for students with a stronger math background. Econ 121 is also offered in the spring.

In the spring semester intermediate macro is offered in two formats. Econ 122 is the standard intermediate macro course. Econ 126 covers more theoretical material and is intended for students with a stronger math background. Econ 122 is also offered in the fall but only for sophomores and upper-classmen. No student may enroll in intermediate macro until they have taken a micro course at Yale.

All of these intermediate courses have not only introductory economics pre-reqs but also math pre-reqs. This underlines the importance of taking both introductory economics and a Yale math course during freshman year.

Placement Rules

To take introductory macro (Econ 111 or Econ 116) without first taking introductory micro (Econ 108, 110, 115) you must have:

  • a 5 on the AP micro exam (or equivalent), and
  • either a 5 on the AP BC-calc exam (or equivalent) or have taken a Yale calculus class such as Math 115, 118 or 120.

To take intermediate micro (Econ 121 or 125) without first taking introductory micro (Econ 108, 110 or 115) you must have:

  • a 5 on the AP micro exam (or equivalent), and
  • either a 5 on the AP BC-calc exam (or equivalent) or have taken a Yale calculus class such as Math 115, 118 or 120.

To take intermediate macro (Econ 122 or 126) without first taking introductory macro (Econ 111 or 116) you must have:

  • taken a Yale micro course; and
  • a 5 on the AP macro exam (or equivalent); and
  • either a 5 on the AP BC-calc exam (or equivalent) or have taken a Yale calculus class such as Math 115, 118 or 120.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am happy with my personal placement, do I need to see the DUS to confirm them?

No. We are, of course, happy to advise students and we look forward to meeting all students during their time at Yale, but we cannot physically see all 1300 freshman in person during the first week.

My personal placement includes 108, 110 or 111. If I decide to take these courses, do I still need to apply for a place?

Yes. Econ 108, Econ 110 and Econ 111 are limited enrollment courses. Even if your personal placement includes these courses as a suggestion, you still have to apply for a place if you wish to take any of these courses. Since space is limited, not everyone get’s their first choice.

If I apply but do not get into 110 [similarly, 108], may I still take Econ 115?

Yes. And similarly, if you do not get into 111, you can still take Econ 116.

I am very interested in economics but I did not take any economics in high school. Is this a problem?

No. Many very successful economics majors do not start economics before college. This is completely fine.

I am very interested in economics but I am worried about my math background. Should I talk with the DUS?

Yes but don’t worry. Please come to see us during the first week of term. You are not alone: many successful economics majors enter Yale with a limited math background. We can help you choose courses to help you succeed.

I am very good at math: the math department has placed me in Math 230 (or above). Does this affect the economics course that I should take in freshman year?

Not directly, but please come talk to the DUS during the fall semester. We may be able to advise you already on good economics options to take after your first year, and you may want to talk about the math-econ major.

I have taken exams either in high-school or elsewhere that are not the standard US exams [e.g., I took A’levels or I took a college course]. Should I talk with the DUS?

It depends. If you are happy with your placement then you are good to go. If you think you need a new placement, please talk to the DUS. Bring with you documentation that confirms your grade in these courses. If possible, also bring the syllabus or details of the course you took just in case it is a new one for us.

I took lots of economics and calculus in high-school but I did not take an exam. May I skip introductory economics?

No. We have found that students in this category almost always do best to take introductory economics first.

I took AP micro [or macro] in high school and got a 5 on the exam, but I was not placed into intermediate micro [or macro]?

Probably because of math. To skip introductory economics, you also need to have a 5 on the AP BC calculus or equivalent. It is also just possible that we do not have your AP scores. If this is the case, please see the DUS and bring documentation of your scores.

My personal placement differs from the advice I got from my friend / councilor / dean / priest / the president. What should I do?

Smile nicely to your friend / president etc., and then take our advice.

My personal placement suggests that I skip introductory micro. Can I still enroll in introductory micro?

Yes.Your personal placement to skip introductory micro is just an option. You still have the option of taking introductory micro as your first economics course at Yale.

My personal placement suggests that I skip introductory macro. Can I still enroll in introductory macro?

Yes, Your personal placement to skip introductory macro is just an option.

My personal placement suggests that I do not skip introductory micro. Can I still enroll in intermediate micro?

No. You may not skip introductory micro unless your personal placement recommends it or you have permission of the DUS. If you think this placement is in error, please first read the placement guidelines above, and then (if you still think the placement is an error) contact the DUS. Please bring with you relevant documentation about the courses you have taken and your scores in those courses.

My personal placement suggests that I do not skip introductory macro. Can I just go ahead and skip introductory macro?

No. You may not skip introductory macro unless your personal placement recommends it or you have permission of the DUS. If you think this placement is in error, please first read the placement guidelines above, and then (if you still think the placement is an error) contact the DUS. Please bring with you relevant documentation about the courses you have taken and your scores in those courses.