Academic Advising Checklist

Questions You Need to Ask Yourself in Your First Semester

  • Your first semester course selection may be determined by which Concentration and Specialization you intend to pursue.  You may change this at a later time.  

    • The level of the two courses is similar. However, U6400 is more calculus-based, the pace of the course is faster and the workload is heavier. Which of the two courses is easier depends on your ability to work with math. Because many economic arguments are easier to understand with the use of math, if you are comfortable with rigorous logical reasoning U6400 may be easier than U6300. Both courses will use univariate calculus. U6400 will also use multivariate calculus and logarithmic functions.
    • Students completing the International Finance and Economic Policy and Energy and Environment Concentrations and the DAQA Specialization are required to take U6400/U6401 Economic Analysis.
  • If you would like to take advanced statistics courses you are encouraged to take U6500 Quantitative Analysis in your first semester.  Students pursuing IFEP: Economic Policy Focus Area and the DAQA Specialization are required to take U6500 Quantitative Analysis in the fall semester and U6501 Quantitative Analysis II in the spring semester of your first year.

  • Whether you will take the proficiency exam or coursework to fulfill this requirement, you should do this in your first year.  If you are starting a language at level 1 (beginning), you must start in your first semester.

  • Please review the syllabi on Courseworks to decide which Politics of Policymaking course you will take in your first semester at SIPA.  

Things to keep in mind

Proficiency exams

  • Proficiency exams are offered in Economics, Statistics, Accounting, and foreign languages.
  • Proficiency exams are offered during orientation week and the first week of classes each semester. Students may sign up for proficiency exams in the Student Affairs Office.
  • A student who takes and passes a proficiency exam is exempt from taking that course and may substitute another course. Passing a proficiency exam exempts you from taking a class, but does NOT grant you credit towards your degree. Note: Students who pass the proficiency exam for Economics are still required to take 6 credits of upper level Economics classes to substitute for the Economics core.

The typical course load is 14-16 credits.