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Frequently Asked Questions

Do many of the economics courses have prerequisites?
Yes. A list of all economics courses, including course descriptions and prerequisites can be found in the University catalog.

Who should I contact if I have a question about the major, what courses to take, whether or not certain courses (from other colleges) transfer, and so on?
You should contact the current chair of the department, Dr. Robert Rider. His phone number is 760.750.4140 and his email address is

Is there a general College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences advisor I should see if I have any questions about my courses, what courses I need to take before I graduate, and so on?
Yes, you should see Benita Ramirez at:

How many lower-division (100-200 number) courses can I transfer in and apply to the economics major?
Two. One course must fit the description of Economics 201 (Principles of Microeconomics) and the other course must fit the course description of Economics 202 (Principles of Macroeconomics).

How many upper-division (300-400 number) courses can I transfer in and apply to the economics major?
Two, but there are conditions: First, upper-division units must be in courses that clearly fit the course description in the Cal State San Marcos Catalog and satisfy any conditions or prerequisites. Second, the following courses must be taken at Cal State San Marcos to receive credit: Economics 301, 302, 303, 441, and 471.

When should I enroll in Math 132 (or 160) and Math 242?
You should enroll in these two courses as soon as possible. Math 132 or 160, in particular, is a prerequisite for many economics courses and Math 242 is a prerequisite for Economics 471, Econometrics.

I am thinking about going on to do graduate work in economics. Should I take some additional mathematics courses at Cal State San Marcos?
Definitely. Suggested math courses include Math 160 (substitute for Math 132), 162, 260, 262, and 374. Please see the chairperson of the department for other suggestions about preparing for graduate school.