Major

Gain a deep understanding of the economy and examine the social, cross-cultural, and ethical dimensions of economic decision-making, majoring in economics or other combined majors.

Program Requirements

All Bachelor of Arts Majors in Economics or Combined Majors take a common sequence of courses after admission to the major to prepare them for advanced electives and their capstone research seminar:

  • Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON 301)
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECON 302)
  • Introduction to Empirical Econometrics (ECON 325)
  • Methods of Empirical Research in Economics (ECON 326)

After completing these courses, students will be allowed to take their capstone course: Seminar in Applied Economics.

Students will also take a variety of 300 and 400 level courses in Economics and other fields, based on their interests. See further graduation requirements in the accordion tab below.

Here is an outline of a typical BA; electives are noted in brackets, with ECON-specific electives indicated with their year level (e.g. 4XX for a 400-level course).

Year 3Year 4
Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4
ECON 301ECON 302(4)ECON 490
ECON 325ECON 326(5)(6)
ECON 3/4XXECON 3/4XXECON 4XXECON 4XX
ECON 3/4XX(1)(7)(8)
(2)(3)(9)(10)

Economics course requirements to get a BA with a Major in Economics

  • Principles of Economics (101 and 102 or equivalent) – 6 credits
  • Intermediate Microeconomics (301) – 3 credits
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics (302) – 3 credits
  • Empirical Economics: Introduction (325) – 3 credits
  • Empirical Economics: Methods (326) – 3 credits
  • Applied Economics (490) – 3 credits
  • Additional Economic courses at the 4xx level – 6 credits
  • Total Economics 3xx and 4xx credits required – 30
  • Total Economics credits required- 42

Students should note the prerequisites for senior courses and plan their programs accordingly. Students should pay particular attention to the prerequisites for ECON 490: ECON 325 and 326 (or their equivalent) must successfully complete them before enrolling in ECON 490. ECON 490 is restricted to economics majors and combined majors in economics in their final academic session.

A signature of the Vancouver School of Economics experience is participation in a senior capstone research course. All students, regardless of their major or degree who graduate from the VSE, will participate in a research seminar. For BA students, this course is ECON 490: Seminar in Applied Economics. If you require assistance with ECON490 course registration, please email Undergraduate Student Support (vse.undergrad@ubc.ca).


Course Descriptions Updated: May 30, 2022


Course Planning


Frequently Asked Questions

Application

Admission to the 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 19.

An online application for admission to the Honours/Majors/Combined Majors program should be submitted by May 19, prior to registering for the final 60 credits, to ensure that the student will be considered for admission. Click here to go to the application form. Note:  We will not accept LATE applications after this deadline.  There are no exceptions.

Sorry, we will not accept LATE applications after this deadline for any of the programs listed above.  There are no exceptions.

To be admitted students must submit a formal application online. The requirements for application/admission include the following:

  1. The student must be registered at UBC.
  2. The student must be registered in the Faculty of Arts.
  3. The student must have completed at least 54 credits of coursework that counts towards a BA degree.
  4. The student must have completed:
    (i) 6 credits of Principles of Economics (equivalent to UBC Econ 101 and Econ 102);
    (ii) 6 credits of University-level Calculus (equivalent to UBC Math 104 and Math 105);
    (iii) 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);
    (iv) 3 credits of Introductory Statistics (equivalent to UBC ECON 325).
    (v) 3 credits of second-year or third year Economics (courses in this category are not acceptable unless they require Principles of Economics as a prerequisite);Courses required under (i)-(v) cannot be taken on a Credit/D/Fail basis.

Because there are a limited number of places, about 35% or more of students who satisfy the requirements are not admitted each year.

Timing is very important. The online application is due by May 19. It must be submitted on time. We do not reserve places for late applicants. If you do not have all the requirements listed above by May 19, but you expect to have completed them all by August 31, then apply on May 19, and include on your online form a statement of what requirements you are missing and how you plan to make them up. If you show a clear plan to complete the missing requirement(s) by August 31 then your application will be considered on a provisional basis. It is your responsibility to inform us when you have completed missing requirements.

For example, most College transfer students will not have been accepted to UBC by May 19. If you have applied to come to UBC in Winter 2023/2024 then apply to Economics by May 19, and tell us on the application form that you are waiting to hear about UBC admission. We will then deal with your application on a provisional basis, until you inform us that you have been admitted to UBC. Likewise if you do not have the required courses you must make them up in Summer, either in College or at UBC.

Many College transfers study Commerce (in the Sauder Business School) courses and then try to switch to Economics when they are denied admission to UBC Sauder Business School. Be aware that we do not accept COMM courses for any purpose in Economics. They do not count as Econ Principles or as Econ second-year and third-year courses for application purposes. If you wish to study Economics in UBC then prepare yourself by studying Econ and Math courses, rather than COMM courses, in College. In particular, courses that transfer to UBC as Math 1st are not acceptable as satisfying the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC Math 104 and UBC Math 105 requirements.

Your application must be accompanied by official transcripts covering all post-secondary courses taken other than UBC, must be submitted to be considered for admission.
If you are not accepted to Economics on first application then you will likely not be accepted ever. Please move on to another major immediately. Many more students are intent on majoring in Economics than the Vancouver School of Economics can possibly accommodate. Our programs are heavily oversubscribed and, unfortunately, each year we are forced to turn away about 35% or more of all applicants because we do not have sufficient spaces to accommodate all demand. If you are not in the top 250 applicants in one year, it is highly unlikely that you would be in the top 250 in any other year, when there is a whole new panel of applicants to be considered.

Please see the other question/answers in this FAQ file for further information on these topics.

Majors Program

  • Registration in a Majors Program in Economics is restricted and subject to quota. Candidates for admission are required to submit online an application. See the application form online for majors programs. Not all candidates will be accepted.
  • Prerequisites: A minimum of 54 credits towards the BA degree at UBC. These credits must include
    (i) 6 credits of Principles of Economics (equivalent to UBC Econ 101 and Econ 102);
    (ii) 6 credits of University-level Calculus (equivalent to UBC Math 104 and Math 105);
    (iii) 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);
    (iv) 3 credits of ECON 325 (or an Introductory Statistics course equivalent to ECON 325);
    (v) 3 credits of second-year or third year Economics (courses in this category are not acceptable unless they require Principles of Economics as a prerequisite; NOTE: UBC ECON 310 and 311 DO NOT SATISFY THIS REQUIREMENT);
    Courses required under (i)-(v) cannot be taken on a Credit/D/Fail basis.
  • Applicants missing any of these course requirements at the time of application (May 19) must make them up before August 31. Please see below for further information on provisional admission.
  • Applicants must have completed all requirements of the Faculty of Arts for First and Second Year (see the current UBC Calendar, 'Faculty of Arts' section, B.A. Degree Faculty Requirements.).
  • No application will be considered from a student who has 75 or more credits towards a BA degree unless that student is enrolled in a major (other than Economics) on the Student Services Centre.

An important note for first year students: Economics has recently added ECON 325 to the required courses list. Students interested in applying for economics after their second year should ensure they complete calculus (e.g. MATH 100 and 101) prior to their second year, as they are pre-requisites for ECON 325 (or equivalent). Students who take MATH 100/101 in their second year will need to take ECON 325 during summer and will only be eligible to apply for provisional admission status.

The Majors code can only be entered by the Vancouver School of Economics if you are accepted into the programs.

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

Yes, students wishing to pursue a Major in Economics and another subject will take at least 42 credits and no more than 48 credits in Economics, and at least 42 and no more than 48 credits in their other discipline. (Students pursuing a double major in Economics and International Relations should note that some Economics courses can count towards both majors. They must check with the Faculty of Arts Advising office to make sure they satisfy these ceiling restrictions.) At least 30 credits in each discipline/field of specialization must be in courses numbered 300 or above. (See the current UBC Calendar, 'Faculty of Arts' section 'B.A. Degree Program Requirements').

Advising

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 their Major program; and (ii) all Faculty of Arts/Faculty of Science/Faculty of Applied Science requirements for graduation. The student may consult with a school advisor in formulating their program of studies if they have any difficulty. The student must independently seek verification from the Faculty of Arts Advising Office/Faculty of Science Advising Office/Faculty of Applied Science Advising Office as to whether their program satisfies Faculty requirements for graduation.

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, Undergraduate Student Support (604) 822-9699 or send an email to vse.undergrad@ubc.ca to book an advising appointment to see if the economic program requirements for graduation have been satisfied.

The Faculty of Arts has a ruling that to graduate with a Major, a student must include in the 120 credits required for the degree at least 42 credits but no more than 60 credits in one subject (discipline) or field of specialization. You may take more than 60 Economic credits but they won’t be used in the 120 total credits required to graduate.

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