Modified Major in Economics
The modified major in economics is intended to fit the needs of students who have an interest in economics but are also interested in studying some specific problem or topic that falls partly in the field of economics and partly in a related field.
In most cases students will be best served by completing a standard economics major. If you have interest in two different departments this is not a reason to do a modified major unless the content of the courses in the department outside economics is directly relevant to economics research. Pursuing broad interests is one of the benefits of a liberal arts education, but in most cases this is a reason for doing an economics major and an outside minor. The economics major only constitutes about one quarter of the courses you will take at Dartmouth so there is plenty of flexibility to pursue multiple interests without having it codified in a modified major.
The goal of modified majors is to use classes outside the discipline of economics to support the study of topics rooted in the primary major of economics. The economics curriculum is built around the senior seminar (ECON 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68 or 69) with students learning specific subject matter and the techniques of doing economic research as they prepare to do their own original research. In the modified major the courses outside of economics should support the investigation of economic questions posed in the senior seminar. Courses suitable for modifying economics will cover topics related to economic questions or tools suitable for economic research.
The modified major is identical to the minor, except that it also requires four major-level courses in another department or program. The ten courses that make up the modified major must form a unified, coherent whole, and not consist of a series of unrelated courses. If all of the four additional courses are in one department and that department allows it, you may obtain a major in economics modified with that department. For example, a modified major with four math classes would appear as "Economics Modified with Mathematics." If the four additional courses are in multiple departments, or one department that does not allow modifications, the major would appear as "Economics Modified."
A student planning a modified major must prepare a written proposal explaining the rationale for the planned courses. Templates for modified proposals are provided below. All modified majors must be submitted to the Vice Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org for approval at least two terms before the student will graduate. Course offerings in the modifying departments can change. It is the responsibility of the student to be sure that the full set of classes will be available in the terms that they plan to take them. Any course changes from an accepted plan require the submission of a new proposal.
In several disciplines the connections to economics are quite clear. Three examples are presented below with worksheets to guide you through course selection. In all three cases the outside courses support the study of economic questions either topically or through the study of methodologies and tools used in economic research. Students wishing to pursue modified majors with these departments will still need to submit a proposal, but proposals that follow the guidelines described below will generally be approved.