Undergraduate Advising

Economics Advising

All undergraduate students majoring in Economics are advised by the undergraduate economics advisor who serves as the major advisor, and helps ensure students meet all university, general education and major requirements for the undergraduate degree.  In addition to meeting economics requirements, students must meet the following University-wide requirements, as specified in the catalog: 120 credits, general education requirements and 39 credits of upper-division course work. 

Advising FAQs

Academic advisors provide students with information about requirements, opportunities and procedures.  Your academic advisor can also provide advice and assistance on general education requirements, deadlines, policies and more.  Advisors can also be a primary source of information for navigating on campus.  Advisors help students find the information they need to make good decisions for themselves; advisors do not make decisions for students. Take an active role in advising because, ultimately, you are responsible; it is your college education.  At the same time, you should feel comfortable seeking assistance, particularly with general education requirements and writing courses.

The econ advisor is available to meet with you throughout the year (in LA 407) and can assist you with general education and other university requirements for graduation. She will assist you in tracking your progress and keep an electronic file of your records.  Professors in the Economics Department are also available to meet with you throughout the year to help you navigate departmental course offerings and inform you of educational options that meet your interests and enhance your career goals and your post-graduation options, or any other aspect of your education.  Don’t hesitate to contact Economics faculty.

Your advising number allows you to register for courses via Cyberbear.  Advising numbers change every semester and are given to students only after they have spoken with the advisor.  The University of Montana is a “mandatory advising institution,” which means students are required to meet with an academic advisor prior to registration each semester. The mechanism for ensuring that students meet regularly with advisors is to mandate that you contact your academic advisor each semester to receive your advising number. 

If you are a graduating senior, however, and have already filed graduation paperwork, you may stop by the office or email Stacia to get your advising PIN.

AcademicPlanner (AP) is UM's cloud app to help with course planning.  Enter your NetID and password, and AcademicPlanner will display the classes you have taken and identify whether these classes satisfy general-education requirements.  In addition, AP can help develop a class schedule for next semester or next year.  AcademicPlanner is not Cyberbear, where you can actually register for classes. Rather, AcademicPlanner acts as a guide to make sure that you are on track to meet your academic goals, for example, ensuring that you have the right number of credits, and helping you avoid scheduling conflicts. To use AcademicPlanner, you must know your NetID and password (you can find your NetID under personal information in CyberBear). Once you are logged in to AcademicPlanner, click the Academics tab in the upper left corner, and select the semester on which you want to work.  

Economics requires three math courses:  Math 115: Probability & Linear Math, M 162: Applied Calculus, and Stat 216: Introduction to Statistics.  These courses, however, have other math prerequisites:  an ALEKS score of ≥ 3 is needed to enroll in Math 115; an ALEKS score of ≥ 4 is required to enroll in M 121, M 151, M 162, M 171 or Stat 216. 

To begin, take the math literacy exam through ALEKS to determine which math course is the most appropriate for you.  Depending upon your placement results and preparation you will be placed in M 065, M 090, M 095 or higher.   Applied Calculus (M 162) is sufficient for the economics degree.  A good preparation/prerequisite for Applied Calculus (M 162) is M 121, College Algebra.  This class, of course, may require other prerequisites depending upon your preparation.

If you’re unhappy with your initial math placement exam score you are allowed to retake the exam. Contact the OfficeForStudentSuccess@umontana.edu for instructions.   If you need to refresh your math skills, consider EdReady, a free computer-based, self-paced, skill strengthening program.

If you plan on taking additional math courses or to go to graduate school, you should take M 171 and M 172, Calculus 1 and Calculus 2.  Prerequisites for M 171 include an ALEKS score of ≥ 4, M 151 or M 121 and M 122 or M 162.  The Math Department can provide direction for courses based on Applied Calculus (M 162) or courses based on Calculus I/II (M 171/M 172).  

To satisfy General Education Requirements (GER) you must fulfill three distinct writing requirements:  beginning, intermediate and advanced. 

  • The beginning writing requirement is met by completing WRIT 101, College Writing, or its equivalent.

  • The advanced writing course is the upper-division writing requirement which is fulfilled in economics by writing a senior thesis (ECNS 488 and ECNS 499).  

  • Between WRIT 101 and your senior thesis you must complete an intermediate writing course.  The economics degree does not require that you take a specific course to fulfill your intermediate writing requirement.  You may take any course that is an approved intermediate writing course.  The department does, however, offer ECNS 433, Environmental Economics, which is the only approved intermediate writing course among our course offerings.  Approved intermediate writing courses change from year-to-year, so be sure to confirm that the course you take is an approved intermediate writing course during the semester you’re enrolled.

    • A score or 3 or higher on the Language and Composition Advanced Placement test exempts a student from taking WRIT 101.

    • Placement into Writ 101 is made on the basis of the SAT or ACT Writing subscore (7-10), SAT Writing Section (440-690) Combined English/Writing ACT (18-31) or MUS Writing Assessment score (3.5-5).

    • Scores higher than those listed place a student into WRIT 201. 

No.  In all courses required for the major you must receive a grade of C- or higher.  You cannot take a course CR/NCR that you wish to apply to your degree requirements.

How do I know what courses I can take while I'm abroad that will count toward my degree?  Who can tell me what courses count for major and/or degree requirements?

The first step is to contact the Study Abroad Coordinator in International Programs. The coordinator advises students wishing to study abroad, and assists in processing applications for UM-sponsored study abroad and exchange programs. The office is located in International Center 112 and can also be reached by phone at (406)-243-2278 or by email.

Once you've spoken to the Study Abroad Coordinator and selected the appropriate school you can determine which courses are best suited to you and whether your courses will fulfill major and/or degree requirements.

As a transfer student, you should have received a letter and transcript from the UM Registrar's Office indicating what courses you have taken that have transfer credit, and what credit designation they have received (e.g., an "NS" after a course means that you have received Natural Science credit towards UM's General Education requirement). If you don't know what the transfer credits mean, or you need help obtaining your transcript, contact the Registrar's Office. If you need help obtaining transfer credit that you believe should be given for courses you have taken elsewhere, contact the Admissions Office which is also located in the Lommasson Center.

You are placed on academic probation at the end of any semester if your cumulative GPA drops below 2.00. "Academic Probation" is the yellow light phase of academic progress - it indicates that you are experiencing challenges in the course that are now reflected in your course performance. Being placed on academic probation does not mean you cannot succeed in college. There are an array of services and programs offered through the Office for Student Success to help you succeed. You remain on academic probation as long as your cumulative grade point average is below a 2.00.

Financial aid questions are addressed by the UM Financial Aid Office, located in Lommasson Center 218, by calling (406) 243-5373, or emailing faid@mso.umt.edu.

During registration periods, attend your appointment prepared. Have a good idea of the courses you would like to take the following semester. Please bring questions and be prepared to discuss general education or other university requirements, or any other aspect of your education in the College of Humanities & Sciences.

  • Use UM’s cloud app, AcademicPlanner (AP), to help develop your class schedule.

  • Make an individual advising appointment with your academic advisor who is available all year for academic assistance. 

  • When you go to your individual advising appointment, make sure you bring:

    • your tentative course schedule from AcademicPlanner

    • your General Education Form

    • your Economics Major checklist 

  • Melanie Hoell, the College of Humanities & Science's academic advisor, is an extremely valuable resource. You can contact Melanie by email or by calling (406) 243-4005. Her office is located in LA 136.

  • If you have or need documentation of a disability, you should contact Disability Services for Students (DSS), if you need assistance taking notes, need to make special arrangements for exams, or have other related needs. DSS is located in Lommasson Center 154 and you can contact the office by email at dss@umontana.edu.

  • If you are a First-Generation College Student (neither parent, or guardian, completed a four-year college degree before your 18th birthday), or are a Low-Income student (you qualify under federal financial guidelines, similar to Pell Grant eligibility), or have a documented physical or learning disability, you may be eligible for TRiO Student Support Services. Meeting any one of these qualifications entitles you to receive support and advice from the TRiO advisors. The TRiO office is located in Lommasson 180.  You can contact the TRiO staff by calling (406) 243-5032 or emailing trio.SSS@mso.umt.edu.

  • If you are a veteran, and need advice or resources, you can contact the Veteran's Education and Transition Services (V.E.T.S.) Office. The office is located at the base of Mount Sentinel, at 1000 E. Beckwith.  They can be contacted by phone at 406-243-2744 or by emailing vetsoffice@umontana.edu.

  • If you are an international student, and have questions about your academic program while attending UM, you can contact Marja Unkuri-Chaudry, in the International Center 110, by calling (406) 243 2296, or emailing MarjaC@mso.umt.edu.

  • If you are a student athlete, you can contact your Athletic Academic Advisor, Jennifer Zellmer-Cuaresma, by calling (406) 243-2600, or emailing jennifer.zellmer-cuaresma@umontana.edu. Jennifer's office is located in the Student-Athlete Academic Center 208.

  • If you are a Native American student, and need advice and/or resources, please contact American Indian Student Services in the Payne Family Native American Center, by calling (406) 243-6306, or emailing fredricka.hunter@mso.umt.edu.

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Please see economics advisor for additional questions or problems.