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Declaring a Major

Students seeking to major in economics should follow these steps:

  1. A prospective major approaches a member of our faculty to serve as their major advisor.  All faculty are eligible.  Generally, faculty agree to serve.  One might not if the faculty member is already advising many students.
  2. The advisor explains to the student how to fill out the Yellow Card (available to faculty as an Excel file on the Moodle for majors).  Here are some key points to note:
    • The course choices are tentative and not binding.  The point is for the student think through the requirements.
    • Fill out the card as though no JYA will take place.  But anticipate timing any JYA plans with course timing.  In particular, students should complete the core courses (Econ 102, 200, 201, and 209) before a JYA.
    • The card must show at least 11 units in economics not including Economics 120 or ungraded economics courses like field courses.
    • The card must also show at least three units at the 300-level.  For JYA planning, note that at least two of these courses must be taken at Vassar.
    • Show at least 8.5 units outside the social science division.
  3. The student submits a completed Yellow Card to the adviser and the advisor checks that all requirements for completing the major and for graduation are met.
  4. After thorough advising and successful completion of the Yellow Card, the advisor signs
    • 3 copies of the Yellow Card (printed versions of the Excel Yellow Card are acceptable. ) and
    • the “Declaration or Change of Major/Major Advisor” form.
    One copy of the Yellow Card is for the student, one is for the records of the Department of Economics, and the third is for the Office of the Dean of Studies.  Thus, students require only two copies of the Yellow Card to complete the administrative process.
  1. The student visits the chair of the department with two signed copies of the Yellow Card and the signed "Declaration or Change of Major/Major Advisor" form.   The chair
    • checks the Yellow Card and asks about advising,
    • signs the “Declaration or Change of Major/Major Advisor” form,
    • writes the name of the advisor under their illegible signature,
    • welcomes the student to the major, and introduces the student to Jessica Brochu, the administrative assistant of the Department of Economics in BH 129.
  2. Jessica Brochu also welcomes the student to the major, explains the purpose of her administrative office, takes one copy of the Yellow Card, and instructs the student to take a copy of the Yellow Card to the dean of studies and the "Declaration or Change" form to the registrar.  Going forward, Ms. Brochu
    • enrolls the student in the Moodle for economics majors,
    • tracks the student’s progress through the major,
    • and records JYA credits toward the major that have been approved by the chair.