Online Principles of Economics

Description, Dates, and Tuition
Requirements and Policies
Additional Resources
Contact Us

Description, Dates and Tuition

The Online Principles of Economics course examines the government’s role in the creation of an ideal environment for the proper function of the private market, and how government can improve outcomes when conditions are less than optimal. Major topics include consumer choice, production decisions, market structures, fiscal and monetary policies, unemployment, inflation, international trade, and exchange rates. During the Fall and Spring semesters, this course is available to all non-degree students and prospective MA, MIPP and PhD applicants. This course will cover introductory micro and macroeconomics, and can be used to complete the MA economics prerequisite prior to the application deadline (completion of this prerequisite before applying is recommended by the Admissions Office, but not required). It can also be used to fill prerequisite requirements for the Microeconomics and/or Macroeconomics courses. Registration is handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. The summer offerings are only open to incoming degree students.

Download Syllabus


Spring 2018 OPE Dates

Wednesday, January 31 - Monday, April 30, 2018

Cost of tuition: $1,500

How to Apply

The application for Online Principles of Economics is closed. 

Please fill out the above application and attach the following documents:

  • Transcripts from any previous degree granting institutions
  • A current resume or CV
  • A brief personal statement (1 page double spaced) that tells us about your background and why you are interested in the course

Requirements and Policies

Online Principles of Economics is a non-credit course and will not appear on a Johns Hopkins SAIS transcript. In place of a transcript, students will receive a letter of completion on Academic Affairs letterhead verifying their enrollment and final grade in the course. Students who are taking this course in order to meet the entry requirements for a SAIS degree, must receive a B- or higher in order to meet that requirement.

Academic and Financial Policies:

Tuition for this course is non-refundable once orientation begins. The last day to withdraw from the course without a failing grade will be after the third week of the course. No tuition will be refunded and a grade of W will be recorded for the course.

This course will be conducted in the same manner as a credit-based course and students are expected to participate fully. Missed assignments and a lack of participation may result in a failing grade and the inability to retake the course. 

Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs by e-mail ( or phone (202.663.5671) with any other questions.

Information is subject to change without prior notice.

Additional Resources

Download Syllabus


Online Principles of Economics Course Structure

The purpose of Online Principles of Economics is to teach basic, essential economic concepts and expose students to the analytical tools, debates and applications of economics. 

The course contains two parts:

  • Part 1 - Microeconomics - contains five modules (Modules 1 to 5)
  • Part 2 - Macroeconomics - also contains five modules (Modules 6 to 10)

Each module contains lectures, a discussion question, and two quizzes (one for practice and one that will be graded).


Introduction to Online Study

Perhaps the biggest difference between an online course and a traditional course is the absence of an oral lecture, which is replaced in the web‐based format by lecture notes, voice-over PowerPoint presentations and online discussion boards. The student’s interaction with the instructor is also different. In a traditional class a student can raise his or her hand to ask a question. That dynamic is replicated in the online format via office hours hosted in a real‐time chat room, through email exchanges or posting on the discussion boards.

While an online course is structured differently than a traditional face‐to‐face course, the format affords additional opportunities for active learning. For instance, the exercise of composing well‐written answers to weekly discussion board questions can foster deeper analysis than in‐class discussion. An online course also lends itself to frequent formative testing, so that the student receives more feedback regarding his or her progress throughout the course. And because the online system will grade the practice quizzes automatically, the feedback will be immediate. In the case of the graded quizzes, you will usually learn the results within a few hours following the end of the quiz period.

Course Methodology

The course is organized into weekly modules. Lecture notes in this course will be provided in the form of narrated PowerPoint presentations, which highlight essential textbook content. They also provide a first test of your comprehension of the material.

This course will employ a variety of assessments. First, there will be weekly multiple‐choice practice quizzes. Second, there will be weekly multiple‐choice graded quizzes. Third, there will be discussion questions, for which you will both make your own contribution and critique your fellow students’ responses. Finally, there will be a midterm and a final exam containing a combination of multiple‐choice and short‐answer questions.

A typical week in the Online Principles of Economics course will involve the following:

  • Read the textbook
  • Read and listen to the lecture notes/PowerPoint presentations
  • Take the online practice quiz – multiple times if you wish ‐‐ and learn from your mistakes
  • Take the graded multiple-choice quiz
  • Participate actively in weekly discussions


Contact Us

To contact us, please email: or call 202-663-5671.