Department of Economics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Graduate Program:

Undergraduate Program:

Departmental Policies

Below is a list of some policies that are strictly enforced by the Department of Economics:

I. Registration and Scheduling
             a. Blocks
             b. Prerequisites and Other Course Restrictions
             c. Course Restrictions for Non-Majors
             d. Oversubscriptions
             e. Other Registration Policies
II. Benchmarks and Policy on Dismissal due to Benchmarks
III. Double Majors/Double Degrees
IV. Study Abroad and Outside Institutions
V. Graduation
VI. Grading
             a. Grade Disputes and Course Complaints
             b. Extra Credit
             c. Incompletes
             d. Attendance
             e. Absences from Midterms and Final Exams
             f. Academic Integrity and the Honor Code

Registration and Scheduling:


  • All first semester students are required to submit a Graduation Plan to BSOS Advising (2148 Tydings Hall) by the deadline stated during their Orientation. Registration for the upcoming semester will blocked if an approved graduation plan is not on file. Blocks cannot be lifted by an Economics advisor regardless of the situation.
  • All Economics students who have 75-89 cumulative credits will be blocked from registration for the following semester until they complete an Official Academic Audit. For more information about Academic Audits please visit the College's website at http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/advising/official-academic-audits.

Prerequisites & Other Course Restrictions:

  • The Department strictly enforces the prerequisites for all upper level ECON courses. Students who register for ECON courses without the required prerequisites completed will be administratively dropped by the Registrar's office. 
  • ECON321, ECON325, and ECON326 must be completed in residence.

 Course Restrictions for Non-Majors

ECON300, 311, 317, 321, 325, 326, 386, 399, and ALL 400-level ECON courses are restricted for ECON majors only.  Non-majors who wish to register for a restricted ECON course may request permission on the first day of classes, if and only if, prerequisites for the course are completed.  Non-majors may not request to be put on the waitlist for a course before the first day of classes.  Students in the process of declaring Economics as their major must officially be a major before they may register for any restricted course.  No exceptions to this policy will be granted.


The Department does not oversubscribe students into closed courses, regardless of class or major.  Access to courses that are full is only through the waitlist.  Professors, Teaching Assistants, and Instructors do not have the ability oversubscribe students.  Students who are on the waitlist for a particular course should NOT purchase textbooks or any supplemental course material until they are offered a seat in the course. 

Other Registration Policies:

  • All major requirements must be completed with a "C-" or better. A course taken as Pass/Fail may not apply towards major requirements. 
  • Students are only allowed two attempts at one particular course. Students who require more than two attempts at a course may be dismissed from the major for failure to complete major requirements. This is in accordance to University Policy. For more information about this policy please visit: http://www.umd.edu/catalog/index.cfm/show/content.section/c/27/ss/1584/s/1537  
  • Students planning to continue with degree after a break of 5 or more years must contact an ECON advisor to discuss major requirements.

Benchmarks and Policy on Dismissal due to Benchmarks:

Benchmarks are a set of courses that must be completed within a designated timeframe in order to remain in the major.  For more information on what the benchmark courses are please visit the degree requirements page.

  • If a student fails to complete all benchmark courses within the timeframe explained at the time the student declared Economics, he or she faces dismissal from the major.
  • If a student is dismissed from Economics for failure to meet benchmarks, he or she may not return to the major in future semesters. There are no exceptions to this policy.

If you have any questions about benchmarks, please contact an ECON advisor as soon as possible. 

Double Majors/Double Degrees:

  • Benchmark courses must be completed within the timeframe set at the time the student declared the major, regardless of whether student is a double major or is attempting access into another major.
  • Students are required to have a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or above to have a double major with Economics.

 Study Abroad and Outside Institutions:

  • Students must obtain course equivalency and applicability towards degree requirements for Economics courses taken at outside institutions (including winter and summer sessions) PRIOR to enrollment for those courses.
    • Once abroad, if a student realizes that a course previously approved by a UMCP advisor is not offered or cannot be accessed, he or she must contact an advisor via email as soon as possible to get new course(s) approved/evaluated.
  • ECON321, ECON325, and ECON326 must be completed in residence. 
  • A student may apply a maximum of 2 ECON courses taken aboard towards their major requirements. If a student chooses to take additional ECON courses abroad they will apply towards their Supporting Sequence or electives.
  • Normally all University of Maryland students are required to complete their final 30 credits in residence, however credits from a University approved study abroad program may be included in the final 30 credits.


Graduation ceremonies are conducted twice per academic year.  Spring Commencement takes place at the end of May, while Fall commencement takes place at the end of December.  Students should check the commencement website and the College's website for more information regarding specific times and venues.

There are no graduation ceremonies following the summer and winter terms. 

  • Students who are planning to complete their degree requirements during the summer should speak with an ECON advisor about the possibility of participating in the May Graduation ceremony.
  • Students who plan on completing their degree requirements during the winter term must contact a BSOS College advisor to discuss possible participation in the December Graduation ceremony. To schedule an appointment with a BSOS Advisor please call 301-405-1697.


Grade Disputes and Course Complaints

Students who wish to challenge a grade given in an Economics course must first refer to the course syllabus provided at the start of the semester and review the grading scale/system outlined.  If a discrepancy still exists, you must contact the Instructor as soon as possible and try to have all questions resolved.  If, after meeting with the Instructor, the situation has not been resolved the student should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Cindy Clement, via email (clement@econ.umd.edu).  Please include in the body of the email your name, ID#, course title, grade received, along with the nature of the dispute.  In general, grade changes are made only when a clerical error in the scoring of the exam/final grade can be proved.  All complaints should be filed in a timely manner.  A student should not file a complaint for a course taken several semesters ago. 

For more information regarding the University's Policy on arbitrary and capricious grading, please visit: http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/iii120b.html.

Students who have any complaints about a course or have complaints about an instructor should also contact Dr. Cindy Clement (clement@econ.umd.edu).  Please include in your email, your name, ID#, the course title, and the instructor's name in addition to your complaint.  

Extra Credit

Extra credit assignments for individual students are not permitted in any Economics course. An instructor may choose to make extra credit opportunities available to every student in the class before the last day of classes, but this possibility is entirely up to the discretion of the instructor, and students have no basis for expecting such opportunities.  A student may not request extra credit assignments for any reason (i.e. excessive absences, entrance into an LEP major, etc).  Instructors are required to adhere to the grading scale/criteria stated on the course syllabus.  If a student feels that they need additional help in a course, they should seek the help of a tutor, form a study group, or attend office hours with questions. 


A grade of an "Incomplete" will only be granted under extenuating circumstances and when the majority of the course requirements are completed.  For more information please visit: http://www.umd.edu/catalog/index.cfm/show/content.section/c/27/ss/1584/s/1536


Economics is one of the largest majors on campus. The department offers some of the largest lectures on campus.  While attendance may not be taken in class regularly, the University in addition to the Economics Department, expects students to attend class regularly. Several critically important concepts are explained during lectures as well as information regarding exams (content, format, tips, etc). Irregular attendance could make the difference between a "C-" and a "D+". 

 Absences from Midterms and Final Exams

In most instances midterms and final exams are predetermined at the start of the semester.  Dates are clearly stated on syllabi distributed on the first day of classes.  Therefore, students who are unable to take an exam due to religious observations must inform the instructor during the first two weeks of classes (a.k.a schedule adjustment) to make appropriate accommodations.  In cases where an exam is announced during the course of the semester (i.e. after schedule adjustment) a student must inform the instructor as soon as possible of any religious obligations etc.  

Students who are absent from a midterm for reasons acknowledged by the University as excused absences are eligible to request a make-up.  However, documentation must be provided to the instructor as soon as the student becomes aware of the situation.  Excused absences approved by the University are absences due to illness, religious observations, participation in University activities at the request of University authorities, or compelling circumstances beyond the student's control.  This is in accordance to University Policy as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog.

If a student is absent from a midterm exam due to an illness, the student must provide the instructor with written documentation from the health center or another health care official.  Documentation must be presented to the instructor as soon as the student returns to class.  Accommodations for a make-up exam will then be made.    

Since midterm examinations are conducted throughout the semester, accommodations for midterms are easier to make due to the luxury of time.  However, the same is not true for final exams.  A student should NOT be absent from an exam unless an extreme emergency has occurred.

Academic Integrity and the Honor Code

The Economics Department abides by the University's Code of Academic Integrity.  Student's who commit any act of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.

Academic Dishonesty is defined by the Office of Student Conduct as the following:

  • Cheating: "intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise".
  • Fabricating: "intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise".
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: "intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of the honor code".
  • Plagiarism: "intentionally of knowingly repeating the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise".

The above is taken from the Office of Student Conduct's website.  For more information regarding the Honor Code and Academic Integrity please click here.