At Yale, economics majors are required to take two “senior seminars” before they graduate. These classes usually have 10-20 students and revolve around reading and discussing contemporary research in a specific area. After three years of mostly big lecture classes on theory and methods, seniors finally get a chance to apply what they’ve learned to a substantive topic.1 I just finished my fourth year of teaching two of these seminars, and while that might not seem like very long, I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work.
Juniors can take these classes if they meet the pre-requisites (at least two of intermediate micro, intermediate macro, and econometrics), but seniors get priority and the most popular seminars are full by the time juniors can register. It’s a shame, really, since these seminars can be great training for writing a senior essay. ↩