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Principles of Microeconomics

  • APEC 1101, 4 credits
  • Faculty Coordinator: Donald Liu
  • Faculty Coordinator Assistant: Colette Salemi
  • Sponsoring U of M Department: Applied Economics
  • Fulfills U of M Requirement(s): Liberal Education Requirement—Social Science Core and Global Perspectives Theme
  • Teacher Applications: Check the Applicant Handbook for details.

U of M Catalog Description

Economic behavior of consumers/firms in domestic/international markets. Demand, supply, competition. Efficiency, Invisible Hand. Monopoly, imperfect competition. Externalities, property rights. Economics of public policy in environment/health/safety. Public goods, tax policy.

Class size limit: 27

Sample Syllabus
Policy Brief Syllabus (Option 1)
Mock Trial Syllabus (Option 2)

Student Qualifications

APEC 1101 is an intensive U of M course that requires substantial reading, math, and critical thinking. Students enrolling in APEC 1101 must be juniors or seniors who meet at least ONE of the following additional qualifications:

  • Have earned a B or better in a rigorous high school algebra 2 course, OR
  • Have a cumulative GPA that exceeds a 3.25, OR
  • Are in the top 20% of their high school class, OR
  • Have teacher and faculty coordinator approval.

Ninth- and tenth-grade students are not eligible to participate in this course.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

Teachers who teach this course every other year are required to attend U of M-sponsored professional development events for their cohort during their nonteaching years as well as during years when they teach the U of M course.

View the Instructor Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps. 


There are several options for required textbooks:

Option A: Economics: Principles and Policy (for APEC 1101 and APEC 1102), 11th edition, by Baumol and Blinder. South-Western College Publishing, 2008. (Cost is approximately $210.00 on Amazon.com in 2012.)

Option B: Principles of Microeconomics (for APEC 1101- approximately $100.00 on Amazon.com in 2012) and Principles of Macroeconomics (for APEC 1102 – approximately $125 on Amazon.com in 2012), 4th edition, by Frank and Bernanke. McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009.

Option C: Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies (for APEC  1101 and APEC 1102), 16th edition, by McConnell and Brue. Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2004. (Approximately $75.00 on Amazon.com in 2012.)

Option D: Microeconomics (for APEC 1101) and Macroeconomics (for APEC 1102). 1st edition, by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells. Worth Publishers, 2004. (Approximately $170 for both books on Amazon.com in 2012.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the curriculum specified or mandated by the University of Minnesota? If not, what are the choices?
The Applied Economics Department has approved lessons and teaching resources for APEC 1101 and APEC 1102 that all CIS instructors use to ensure students are offered a consistent introduction to the foundational concepts in economics.

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
There are several common assignments in each course and more may be added, as time allows. Common assignments are typically developed with CIS instructors and approved by the faculty coordinator. Other assignments are created by individual teachers.

Who creates the exams?
Teachers are expected to test students on all topics covered in the lessons provided by the department. Teachers contribute to and draw from a bank of test questions approved by the faculty coordinator.

How does the course satisfy U of M Global Perspectives Theme?
Through the course, teachers are expected to expose students to topics that are relevant to their understanding of the global economic system. Additionally, teachers are required to engage students in at least one mock trial project that addresses a current global microeconomic issue. See Mock Trial syllabus for more details.

Is there a mentoring system for new CIS economics teachers?
Yes. When you begin teaching a U of M course through CIS you will be joining a group of high school teachers who share ideas and materials with each other through email and teacher workshops. New teachers also benefit from an orientation to College in the Schools that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS as well as prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades. Veteran teachers also play an active part in daily mentoring for new teachers.

High school class schedules vary; can a teacher in the block system teach economics?
All courses offered through CIS have the same minimum number of contact hours as the on-campus sections. Teachers adapt the University schedule to fit the schedules at their high schools.

What happens at typical teacher workshops?
Typical activities at CIS workshops include meeting University faculty and hearing about their recent research in the discipline; reviewing and/or developing student assessment tools; sharing instructional materials; discussing particular content, pedagogy, or assessment of the University course; and receiving updates on CIS program policies and practices.

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to meet their peers, practice skills they have learned in class, and explore the Twin Cities campus. The applied economics student field day involves the use of citizen juries. Students become informed about an identified economic issue through reading background material before the field day and through listening to testimony from experts on several sides of the issue during the field day. After hearing the experts, students adjourn into much smaller groups to conduct a jury discussion. The students discuss and debate the assigned issue, and then take a vote and issue a majority report on their agreements and disagreements. Then a larger discussion takes place among all students, and they attempt to formulate a consensual position on that issue. Finally, once that is done, they present their recommendation to an elected official who listens to and comments on their recommendations. The public official then conducts a general discussion of the issues involved.

High Schools Offering This Course

Albany Senior High School
Blaine High School
The Blake School
Burnsville High School
Champlin Park High School
Forest Lake Area High School
Hastings High School
Richfield High School
Shakopee High School
South High School
Spectrum High School
Ubah Medical Academy
Watertown-Mayer High School