Transfer Credit and Off Campus Study
Bates students may receive credit for Economics classes taken at other institutions, including as part of study abroad programs.
How Do I Go About Receiving Credit?
Before beginning a course at another institution, students are strongly advised to have their courses pre-approved by the Chair of the Economics Department. If you do not get pre-approval, you assume the risk that your course will not be approved later on. To obtain pre-approval, please complete the Application for Economics Transfer Credit form.
Pre-approval is simply an email from the Department Chair. Save this email.
The Registrar awards transfer credit only after you have completed the course and earned a satisfactory grade. Upon returning to Bates, forward your pre-approval email to the Registrar as part of this process.
How do I Obtain Approval for my Study Aboard Plan?
Economics majors must have their study abroad plan approved by both the department and Center for Global Education. To obtain departmental approval, you must complete the Economics Study Abroad Approval form. Before completing this form, your academic advisor is available to discuss any questions or concerns. Note that the department does not use paper forms.
Once approved, the department will communicate its approval to the Center for Global Education. As a reminder, you must upload a completed version of the Academic Approval Form to your Global Bobcats registration before February 8th (global.bates.edu). If approved, you are not required to have a signature on the form.
What Courses Can I Receive Credit For?
ECO 150: If the department chair determines that they are an acceptable replacement, students may receive credit for ECO 150 (Applied Principles of Economics) for an Introductory Economics course taken at another institution. Many institutions offer separate introductory courses for microeconomics and macroeconomics. We accept both of these as transfer credit for ECO 150. Online courses of sufficient quality are accepted.
Core Courses: Of the four core courses for the major, Economics 250, 255, 260 and 270, only one may be taken off-campus and counted towards the major.
Note that these courses are taught at a more advanced level at Bates than is common at the undergraduate level at other institutions. Intermediate Micro and Macro courses taken elsewhere should be taught using calculus. At some institutions, students must take courses at the Master’s level to meet this requirement.
Students wishing to take Econometrics abroad are cautioned that many of the courses entitled “Econometrics” are not comparable to the Bates course. Students must ensure that Econometrics courses taken elsewhere are indeed a full semester of econometrics, rather than statistics and econometrics compressed into a single semester. Students not following this guidance will, at best, be unprepared for their 300-level electives at Bates. At worst, the course may not be approved for major credit by the department chair.
Because the core courses lay the foundation for upper level coursework, we do not generally accept online courses as transfer credit for core courses. We understand, however, that unusual circumstances may arise where a student must take an online core in order to maintain good progress in the major. If so, students may file a petition to count an online core course. The petition should describe the proposed course, the reasons why the student needs to take it, and if the student has enrolled in the equivalent core course earlier at Bates. Petitions should be sent to the Chair of the Economics Department.
If you have failed an Economics course course at Bates, you may not then receive transfer credit for that course taken at another institution.
Electives: Students may receive transfer credit for one 200-level elective and one 300-level elective. Online courses may be accepted if they are of sufficient quality.
To count for 200-level credit, the course must generally have a prerequisite of an introductory economics course.
To count for 300-level credit, courses taken abroad must generally have either intermediate microeconomics or intermediate macroeconomics as a prerequisite.
Students should apply for pre-approval for all electives taken away from Bates. In all cases, the department chair reviews the proposed courses to decide if their quality justifies transfer credit. If an elective is similar to an existing Bates elective, the student may receive transfer credit for that specific course.
Thesis: Transfer credit is not permitted for senior thesis or as a W3.
BATES DOESN’T OFFER BUSINESS COURSES. CAN I TAKE THESE COURSES ABROAD AND HAVE THEM COUNT TOWARDS MY BATES DEGREE OR MY ECONOMICS MAJOR?
Generally, no. Business courses such as marketing, management, accounting, organizational behavior, etc. do not fit within the Bates College economics curriculum. Pure finance courses are also generally not accepted although some finance courses with sufficient economic overlap may be considered at the discretion of the department chair. In rare cases, economics courses may be labeled as non-economics classes (e.g. Management 205, Econometrics: Theory and Evidence, at the London School of Economics). These may be considered.
COURSES AT SOME OVERSEAS UNIVERSITIES ARE YEAR-LONG COURSES. DO THESE COURSES COUNT AS TWO COURSES TOWARDS THE MAJOR?
No. Although such courses may count as two towards the 32 courses required for the B.A. (or B.S.) degree, major credit is determined by the course content, not the duration of the course. The number of elective courses required for the major is determined by the expectation that students experience a variety of applied topics during their course of study.
WHAT INSTITUTIONS ABROAD HAVE GOOD ECONOMICS PROGRAMS?
The Study Abroad Office keeps program evaluations completed by former Bates Study Abroad students. These provide helpful guidance about the strengths and weaknesses of the various programs.