BIE Admissions

The Bachelor of International Economics (BIE) program at UBC is a first-year direct-entry program with a limited number of available seats per cohort. A small number of seats are available for Year 2 transfer students.

Admissions to the Bachelor of International Economics

The Bachelor of International Economics (BIE) program at UBC is a first-year direct-entry program with one hundred available seats per cohort. The BIE program has a broad-based admission policy that incorporates a number of factors including performance in specific high school courses, evidence of relevant learning and achievements both in and out of school, and other indicators of suitability for the program. The BIE curriculum emphasizes international aspects of economics and thus will admit an internationally diverse cohort of students, with admissions balanced between domestic and international applicants.

Vancouver School of Economics Tours for prospective students (by appointment)

The Bachelor of International Economics (BIE) is the flagship undergraduate program of the Vancouver School of Economics, situated in the beautiful heritage Iona building on UBC campus. 

Join us at Iona for a guided walking tour with a BIE Peer Academic Advisor (a current BIE student) to explore BIE learning and community spaces. During the tour, the Advisor will be available to answer your questions about the program, the kinds of experiences you’ll have as a BIE student, career opportunities, and more! Virtual tours over Zoom are also available.

Prospective BIE students who are entering directly from high school or transferring from a postsecondary program can schedule a tour of Iona and learn all about the BIE program. Book your tour here.

BC Secondary School Applicants (or Equivalent)

To be admitted, applicants must successfully meet the UBC general admission requirements, as well as the degree-specific requirements. Please visit the UBC Admissions Requirements website to determine the requirements per region and curriculum.

Applicants must have established eligibility to take MATH 100 at UBC. For details on requirements, see First Year Calculus Options on the Department of Mathematics website.

While not a factor in the admissions decision, many students find that taking a secondary school calculus course helps them succeed in our first-year math course; it is strongly recommended.

UBC’s admission process is competitive and comparative. Keep in mind that your application will be evaluated against all of the others we have received this year for the same degree. Although we do not admit students solely based on grades, academic performance is extremely important. Only applicants with competitive grades are eligible to be considered for admission. Please note that the course grades used in the calculation of your average and what is considered competitive will depend on where you are currently attending secondary school and the grading scale used by your school.

You can find information on how we will evaluate your applications on the relevant UBC Admissions page.

College and University Transfer Students

Admission into the second year of the program is limited. Transfer application to the second year is accepted only if space is available in the program. Evaluation for second-year transfer applications will start in May. Transfer applicants are NOT admitted into the first, third and fourth years of the program.

All admitted Year 2 transfer students are required to take the BIE year two Standard Timetable (STT) and the missing year one core courses (ECON227, COEC 293, and WRDS150) in the Winter Session they are admitted. Deferrals are not accepted. If you cannot start the BIE STT as required, offers will be rescinded. You can apply again in the next winter session when you are ready to take the BIE year two STT. ECON226 is equivalent to and can be used in place of ECON227.

There are two separate processes for non-UBCV (including UBCO) students and current UBCV students. Please refer to more details below.

Applicants must be in good academic standing and meet a minimum overall average of 60% calculated on the last 27 to 30 credits* of coursework and a minimum score average of 65% calculated on the required Math course, all Economics and English Writing courses. All attempts at core courses are used in the calculation of your core average.

However, meeting the minimum average does not guarantee admission into the BIE program. Due to the extreme competitiveness of transfer admission to the BIE Program, outstanding performance in the core courses mentioned above is required.

To be eligible for admission to the Year 2 of the BIE program, students must have completed the following UBC courses (or their equivalences at a recognized post-secondary institution*):

  • ECON 101 and 102 (high school transfer credits are NOT accepted)
  • MATH 100 and 101
  • If available, one of WRDS 150, WRDS350, ENGL 100, Arts One, ASTU 100, or ASTU101 (CAP) with a minimum grade of 60%. ENGL 112 may be substituted in calculating the admission average for students transferring from other faculties but admitted transfer students should note that they must subsequently complete a Writing Component course in the Winter Session they are admitted. Exceptions can be made if an equivalent course is not available at the applicant's attending institution.

*UBCO students should refer to transferring to the Vancouver campus for information on accepted campus equivalencies of BIE prerequisites.

We will only assess transfer credit after you've formally applied for admission to the program, and we will assess each case individually.

*If you are missing the English writing component or a total of 27 credits, please contact BIE Academic Advisor. ECON226 is equivalent to and can be used in place of ECON227.

If you transfer from another institution, including UBC Okanagan, you must apply via UBC Admissions online portal and indicate the BIE program as the first or second choice program.

Students currently registered in a bachelor's degree program at UBCV should apply to the Vancouver School of Economics directly to transfer to the BIE Program. Please do not apply on SSC.

We will make admission decisions throughout the summer until we fill all with  competitive candidates.

To apply, you need to fill out the transfer application form and complete the statement essay. Evaluation for second-year transfer applications will start in May of each year. Admitted students will receive their offer via email.

Applications from current UBC Vancouver students should be submitted electronically through our online application.

Please contact BIE Academic Advisor for any questions.

The September 2024 BIE Year 2 Transfer Application for Current UBCV Students is now open. 

Note: if you choose the Save and continue later option on this application, the uploaded form will not save attachments in your application. Please upload the attachment before you submit your application.

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