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Chronicle misstates economics curriculum changes

A small typo in the Sept. 27 front page article on the economics department's reforms may cause some confusion. Specifically, the article states that our department will no longer give transfer or Advanced Placement credit for introductory "macroeconomics" when it should have said "microeconomics." Let me therefore take this opportunity to quickly state the department's policy on transfer credits for introductory or intermediate courses.

The article correctly reported that the introductory and intermediate courses are now sequenced--with introductory macro (Econ 1/51) followed by microeconomics (Econ 52), intermediate microeconomics (Econ 149) and intermediate macroeconomics (Econ 154). This permits us to teach all courses following Econ 1/51 at a more advanced level that reflects the high quality of our undergraduate students here at Duke. However, it also means that our new Econ 52 course is no longer equivalent to a Principles of Microeconomics course at another university, or to AP microeconomics. Therefore, we can no longer give transfer credit for AP microeconomics or Principles of Microeconomics taken elsewhere. Students may still be able to receive University credit toward graduation for such courses, but not departmental credit. Similarly, the transfer credit policy for courses previously considered equivalent to Econ 149 or 154 will also change because these courses, too, will become different than what is taught elsewhere. Students intending to major in economics must therefore take their core requirements here at Duke.

During the course of this semester, we will update our web page to reflect these and other changes.

Thomas Nechyba

Director of

Undergraduate Studies Department of Economics

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