The VSE’s Honours program provides intensive, small group instruction for academically outstanding students who commit to a more in-depth and extensive study of Economics.

Honours graduates have found success after graduation in pre-doc research assistant positions and top graduate programs worldwide, at places like the London School of Economics, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School. In recent years, students have also been admitted to top PhD programs at MIT, Princeton, and Stanford.

Honours Program at a Glance

  • Dedicated Honours intermediate theory courses taught by research faculty
  • Honours applied economics seminar taught by the Honours Faculty Advisor (Econ 495)
  • Students can be part of a cohort that take the same classes together
  • A year-long independent thesis project under the direction of a personal faculty research advisor

Program Requirements

The following is a list of the Economic course requirements to obtain a BA with a Honours in Economics:

  • Principles of Economics (101 and 102 or equivalent) – 6 credits
  • Econ 200-level or 300-level courses – 6 credits
  • Honours Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis (304) – 3 credits
  • Honours Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis (305) – 3 credits
  • Intermediate Microeconomics II (306) – 3 credits (with at least a 68% average)
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics II (307) – 3 credits (with at least a 68% average)
  • Empirical Economics: Introduction (325) – 3 credits
  • Empirical Economics: Methods (326) – 3 credits
  • Honours Seminar (495) – 3 credits
  • Honours Paper (499) – 6 credits
  • Additional Economics courses (300/400-level) – 9 credits
  • Additional Economics courses (400-level) – 12 credits

  • Total Econ 300-level and 400-level credits required – 48
  • Total Econ credits required – 60
  • A cumulative average of at least 78% in ECON courses numbered 300 and above
  • No more than two ECON courses (6 credits) at the ECON 300/400 with a grade below 68%


Application Information & Admission Prerequisites

  • Admission to the Honours Program is by application online only.
  • Application into the fourth year of the program is not recommended.
  • Applications must be accompanied by official transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions attended. Students should make every effort to have their applications submitted to the Vancouver School of Economics by May 5.

Students entering their third year with a minimum of 54 credits with a minimum of 75% or better on all credits attempted, including those completed during summer terms.  In addition, students should have taken:

  • 6 credits of Principles of Economics (equivalent to UBC Econ 101 and 102)
  • 6 credits of University-level Calculus (equivalent to UBC Math 104 and 105)
  • 3 credits that satisfy the Writing component of the Faculty of Arts Writing and Research Requirement (ASTU 150, WRDS 150, CAP, Arts One, English 100 or an approved equivalent)
  • 6 credits of 2nd or 3rd year level courses in Economics (courses in this category are not acceptable unless they require Principles of Economics as a prerequisite)

Courses required under the above cannot be taken on a Credit/D/Fail basis.

Note: Students taking courses Credit/D/Fail in 2019T2 will be eligible to apply for the honours program but may receive offers of admissions that are conditional on maintaining a minimum GPA in the core 3rd year economics courses (i.e. Econ 304/305/325/326).  Similar requirements may apply to all students admitted on a provisional basis.

Selection for admission is based solely on the student’s academic record. We admit the applicants with the strongest transcripts until the available positions are filled. Due to the small number of students involved, we do not release any information about the GPAs of admitted students.

NOTE:  Students who wish to be considered for the Honours program should enrol in ECON 304 and ECON 305 rather than ECON 301 and ECON 302.

Course Planning

Poster Session

Each year, Honours students present their capstone research projects to faculty, staff, alumni, and fellow students. Each project makes use of the empirical, data science and analytical tools our students have developed over their studies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission to the Honours/Majors/Combined Majors program in Economics is not automatic. To be admitted students must submit a formal application online. Because there are a limited number of places some students who satisfy the minimum prerequisites may not be admitted.

The application will be available on the Vancouver School of Economics website March 15 and the deadline is May 5.

An online application for admission to the Honours Program should be submitted by May 5, prior to registering for the final 60 credits, to ensure that the student will be considered for admission.

Yes, the Vancouver School of Economics will use IB, AP and A-Levels transfer-credit courses granted by UBCV admissions in the GPA computation for the Economic Combined Majors/Majors/Honours Application.

Registration in the Honours Program in Economics is restricted and subject to quota. All students who apply are ranked by GPA (and admission requirements (prerequisites)) and students are admitted by the highest GPA until the quota is filled. The GPA for the last student admitted varies widely from year to year. The only thing we can predict with a high degree of accuracy is if your GPA average is A+ or above you are guaranteed admission. If your GPA average is in the range of B+ to A range we cannot predict whether or not you will be admitted until all applications are submitted and reviewed.

Yes, students wishing to pursue another Honours subject besides Economics should consult the Honours Advisor.

The honours, majors and combined majors code can only be entered by the Vancouver School of Economics if you are accepted into the programs. The minor code can be entered by you (Faculty of Arts Students only) on the Student Services Centre as long as you have a major. The Minor code for Economics is: 3006.

You can come to the Vancouver School of Economics Office located in the Iona Building (6000 Iona Drive), call Undergraduate Student Support at (604) 822-9699 or send an email to: vse.undergrad@ubc.ca and the specialization code will be re-entered.


It is essential for students to plan their program of studies over their final two years to ensure that they complete (i) all requirements for the Honours program; and (ii) all Faculty of Arts/Faculty of Science requirements for graduation. Economics Honour students are required to obtain Vancouver School of Economics approval of the Economics Honours section of their program. The Vancouver School of Economics will verify whether the student’s proposed program satisfies all Economics Honours requirements. The student must independently seek verification from the Faculty of Arts Advising Services Office/Faculty of Science Advising Office as to whether their program satisfies Faculty requirements for graduation.


4th Year students registered in their last degree required courses must apply for graduation through the Student Service Centre. Students who are not registered in the Winter Session must contact Enrolment Services for assistance with their graduation applications.

More graduation information can be found on-line at http://www.students.ubc.ca/

Please call the Vancouver School of Economics (604) 822-9699 to book an advising appointment to see if the economic program requirements for graduation have been satisfied.