Frequently Asked Questions

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BA (Hons) and BIE are both rigorous and challenging undergraduate programs and the admission standards for each will be higher than for BA (Majors). The BIE curriculum includes a few business courses (e.g., accounting, finance, strategic management) that, in addition to making a student very employable immediately after graduation, leave open a wide avenue of opportunities such as professional degrees (business, law) without precluding the possibility of graduate school in economics. The BIE is also a direct-entry program, with a required career-preparation component built into the curriculum.

As a BIE student you will take courses offered by the Sauder School of Business; however, the BIE program is an economics degree in the Faculty of Arts, not a business degree.  BIE students will learn the tools of economics – theoretical skills and empirical skills – and will learn how to use those tools to analyze the operation of the complex global economy in which we all live and work. Through opportunities as an undergraduate research assistant, or through international service learning, co-op or as an exchange student – and especially in your graduating paper – you will have the opportunity to put into practice the skills that you have learned to become an economist.

Yes. As the BIE program is within the Faculty of Arts, BIE students need to meet the Faculty of Arts Degree Requirements. Information regarding these requirements can be found at

*Writing and Research: WRDS150 fulfills the Writing requirement. BIE required course ECON494 fulfills the Research requirement.

*Science: BIE required courses, MATH184/104 and 105 will fulfill the Science requirement.

The Faculty of Arts has a regulation on Promotion Requirements: “Students who have completed 27 credits are promoted to second year. Students who have completed 54 credits are promoted to third year. Students who have completed 84 credits are promoted to fourth year.”

To be eligible for a scholarship or award, student should:

  • be registered in at least 24 percentage-graded credits
  • attain a standing in the top 10% of your year and faculty, or an average of 75% or higher
  • receive a passing grade in all any courses
  • complete all courses (e.g., no missing grades or standing deferred courses)

Applications are competitive, and there is no guarantee that you will receive a scholarship, award, or prize by meeting the minimum award requirements.

Students are required to be registered in at least 24 credits to keep scholarship or award funding they have been offered in that academic year. Credits from summer courses are NOT counted towards minimum credit load requirements. Only courses and grades earned during the Winter Session are considered.

For more information please refer to regulations at,299,0,0.

Starting September 2014, it may be possible for a number of students to transfer into the BIE program as second-year students, if space is available in the program. Transfer into any other year of the BIE program is not accepted.

More information on transfer admission to the BIE program can be found on our admissions page.

Transfer credits will be automatically applied towards your degree requirements. Transfer credits cannot be applied towards the BIE Cohort Required Courses such as ECON101 and ECON102. COMM credits are not accepted as electives towards the BIE degree.

MATH100/101/104/184/105 transfer credits can be applied towards the MATH104/105 requirement. However, it is recommended that BIE students consider taking MATH104 and 105 at UBC as a solid foundation in MATH is crucial  for studying Economics.

At least half (50%) of the following must be completed while registered as a Faculty of Arts student at UBC:

  • total degree credits
  • total upper-level requirement (300 and 400-level courses)
  • total upper-level requirement (300 and 400 level courses) for your specialization(s) (major/minor)

No. Elective courses for the Bachelor of International Economics may be taken from the Faculty of Arts or other faculties at UBC (with the exception of the Faculty of Commerce).

B.I.E. students are allowed a maximum of 27 credits of COEC courses towards the completion of their B.I.E. degree but cannot take any other credits in the Sauder School of Business.

Only students who are currently in the B.I.E+MM program are allowed to use the COMM courses required by the MM curriculum as B.I.E electives. The maximum of 27 credits of Business (COEC and COMM) courses applies to B+MM students as well.

**Starting 2017W Session, B.I.E. Program is no longer participating in the B+MM Dual Degree Program because BIE students will have a commerce background that is comparable to that offered by business undergraduate programs. B.I.E. students who are currently in the B+MM program are allowed to use the required B+MM courses (i.e. COMM120, 220, 321, and 420) as electives but cannot exceed the maximum of 27 credits of Business (COMM and COEC) courses limit.

Students may construct their BIE program to include a minor in a subject (discipline) or field of specialization other than the major. At least 24 of the 120 credits required for the degree must be in subjects or fields other than those of the major and minor. A maximum of 6 university-level credits numbered 300 and higher may be shared between a major and minor. See Double-Counting.

Minor in Arts

To complete a minor, a student must include in the 120 credits required for the degree at least 30 credits and no more than 42 credits in a single subject (discipline) or field of specialization other than that of the major, including any courses specified as required for a minor in the discipline or field of specialization. At least 18 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above. Some interdisciplinary minors are defined as 18-21 credits in specified courses numbered 300 or above, and their prerequisites.

Students may apply to have completion of the requirements for a minor in the Faculty of Arts noted on their transcript. Students are encouraged to consult with the BIE Academic Advisor and also see a departmental advisor in Arts, preferably before taking the necessary courses. The general provisions regarding the definition of subjects and cross-listed courses in the major apply to the minor (see Major Program).

Minor in Science

BIE students may also complete a Minor in Science. An acceptable program must comprise courses recognized for credit in the Faculty of Science and acceptable for a science major in the proposed subject area or field. The Minor in Science must consist of at least 18 credits numbered 300 or higher in a single subject or field of specialization, together with any necessary prerequisites. Students should design a coherent and academically sound course of studies for their proposed Minor.

Minor in Commerce

The option of completing a Minor in Commerce is NOT offered.

Fourth-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 at

To graduate with the BIE degree, a student must include in the 120 credits required for the degree at least 60 credits but no more than 72 credits in the fields of Economics and Commerce. You may take more than 72 ECON and COMM credits but they will not count towards the 120 total credits required to graduate.

UBC's degree audit system, Degree Navigator, is designed to help you make informed decisions regarding your academic program.  If you have ever wondered, "How many courses do I have left?" or "Does that geography course meet the science requirement?" - this is the tool you need!

To get started with Degree Navigator, log into the Student Service Centre and locate "Registration." Scroll down the list to "Degree Navigator - Vancouver."

For more information on Degree Navigator, please visit

The BIE program has a partnership with UBC’s Community Learning Initiative (CLI) and International Service Learning (ISL) programs to offer exclusive opportunities for BIE students which will provide volunteer experience opportunities directly related to your academic studies.

CLI and ISL programs differ from other opportunities like internships, co-ops or placements that are solely based around volunteering. The BIE-CLI/SLI programs facilitate opportunities where you will engage in a continuous cycle of learning, acting and critical reflection.

Bring Academic Learning to Life

  • Understand academic concepts better by applying them to real-world projects
  • Learn to question assumptions and to reflect on alternative perspectives
  • Consider solutions in the context of relevant community issues

Make a Positive Difference in the Community

  • Gain awareness of an individual's potential to effect change
  • Understand the complexity of community issues and choices and begin to address them
  • Engage with issues of social justice such as economic inequality and homelessness
  • Explore the multiple facets of sustainability—economic, social, and environmental

Better Understand Your Career Options

  • Experience new learning environments and develop transferable skills
  • Articulate and refine career goals while further developing leadership, organizational, and communications skills
  • Discover what work is most rewarding personally and most useful in the community
  • Gain a deeper understanding of diversity by meeting people from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds