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Student advising

Degree Planning

First year

Establish a foundation

First year is a time for finding your feet and exploring new things. Step into economics scholarship with our principles courses, solidify your data fluency stills by taking calculus and statistics, and start thinking about if you'd like to pursue a minor or a double degree so you can plan your courses strategically.

Here's what you need to take (and when you should take it)

  • ECON 201 — Introduction to microeconomics (fall term)
  • ECON 203 — Introduction to macroeconomics (winter term)
  • MATH 249 — Introductory calculus* (fall or winter term)
  • STAT 213 — Introduction to statistics I (fall term)
  • STAT 217 — Introduction to statistics II (winter term)

Thinking about honours?

  • MATH 211 — Linear algebra (fall or winter term) - required for honours program only

*If you have Math 31 from high school take MATH 265 instead

Second year

Develop your economic intuition

In second year, you'll take on the four intermediate theory courses, which form the theoretical heart of our program. These are important, and help you to establish a bedrock of economic intuition that you'll carry with you throughout the rest of your career.

Here's what you need to take (and when you should take it)

  • ECON 301 — Intermediate microeconomic theory I (Fall term)
  • ECON 303 — Intermediate macroeconomic theory I (Fall term)
  • ECON 357 — Intermediate microeconomic theory II (Winter term)
  • ECON 359 — Intermediate macroeconomic theory II (Winter term)

It is important to complete ECON 357 and ECON 359 in your second year as they are required for all upper-level ECON courses. If you wait until later years to take those two courses it may delay your graduation as you play catch-up with your course sequencing. Due to the importance and complexity of these courses, they are not offered in the spring or summer terms.

ECON 395 can be completed in your second or third year; however, there are advantages to completing it sooner rather than later. Not only will it give you a deeper understanding of the application of statistics in economics, it will also open courses to you that have ECON 395 as a prerequisite. The Concentration in Applied Energy Economics capstone courses are a prime example — if you'd like to take ECON 427 in the fall term of your third year, be sure to complete ECON 395 in your second year. ECON 395 is often held in the spring and/or summer terms.

Third year

Explore your options and create opportunities

Third year is a great time to start exploring subfields that you might want to specialize and develop expertise in, which means tucking into your ECON options courses. If you've completed ECON 357 and ECON 359, you could also start taking upper-level ECON courses, particularly opportunity stream courses (see below for more info). 

If you haven't completed ECON 395 yet, be sure to take it in your third year.

If you'd like to complete the Concentration in Applied Energy Economics capstone courses in your third year, be sure to take ECON 395 prior to the fall semester of your third year, as it is a prerequisite for ECON 427.


Fourth year

Apply and deepen your knowledge

By fourth year, you should be hitting your stride—and your upper-level (400- and 500-level) ECON requirements. This is a great time to pursue opportunity stream courses.

Students sometimes put off taking all of their upper-level ECON requirements until their last year or even term, which can make scheduling (and their course load) really difficult.

Opportunity streams

As an economics student, you know how important it is to weigh costs and benefits and to maximize the utility of your resources—planning and designing your degree should be no different.

Why are you taking the courses you're taking? 

What will they enable you to do?

Which skills, knowledge, and opportunities will they afford you?

We've created a suite of opportunity streams to help you choose your courses more strategically and effectively. While these won't result in formal designations on your transcript, they will give you specialized expertise that will make you more valuable to prospective employers.


  • ECON 471 — Industrial organization
  • ECON 477 — Regulatory economics
  • ECON 571 — Competition policy


  • ECON 341 — Money and banking
  • ECON 355 — Canadian public finance
  • ECON 443 — The economics of financial markets
  • ECON 541 — Monetary theory


  • Develop expertise in money, banking and finance
  • Become eligible to join the Department of Economics' team for the Bank of Canada's Governor's Challenge


  • ECON 311 — Computer applications in economics
  • ECON 411 — Computational and data methods in economics
  • ECON 453 — Cost-benefit analysis
  • ECON 457 — The economics of business fundamentals
  • ECON 491 — Managerial and decision economics
  • ECON 599.88 — Applied econometrics data


  • Develop expertise in business economics and decision making
  • Gain marketable skills in modelling and forecasting
  • Learn material until recently restricted to students in the Haskayne School of Business


  • ECON 355 — Canadian public finance
  • ECON 401 — Public sector economics: expenditures
  • ECON 403 — Public sector economics: taxation
  • ECON 405 — Political economy of public policy
  • ECON 431 — Labour economics
  • ECON 453 — Cost-benefit analysis


  • Develop expertise in public economics


  • ECON 377 — Economics and the environment
  • ECON 475 — Economics of natural resources
  • ECON 487 — Environmental economics


  • Develop expertise in the economics of the environment and natural resources


  • ECON 373 — Game theory and strategic thinking
  • ECON 479 — Experimental economics
  • ECON 481 — Behavioural economics


  • Develop expertise in the field of behavioural economics


  • ECON 387 — Introduction to mathematical economics I
  • ECON 389 — Introduction to mathematical economics II
  • ECON 495 — Intermediate econometrics
  • ECON 497 — Advanced econometrics
  • ECON 557 — Advanced microeconomic theory
  • ECON 559 — Advanced macroeconomics


  • Deepen your data fluency skills and theoretical knowledge
  • Shadow the honours program to strength your application and gain a competitive advantage for graduate school

Remember — 

You don't need to be in the honours program to take these courses — just be sure to have completed ECON 301 (and preferably ECON 357) and MATH 211 before taking ECON 389.

Students typically take ECON 387 and 389 in their third year, and the four remaining capstone courses in their fourth year.


  • ECON 427 — Energy economics and policy
  • ECON 493 — Empirical energy economics


  • Gain real-world skills and knowledge that will make you stand out in energy-orientated job interviews
  • Deepen your knowledge of energy economics without pursuing the full concentration

Open to all ECON Students, required if doing the Concentration in Applied Energy Economics program.

Registration issues

Why you might be having trouble registering for a course.

Prerequisite from another institution

Did you take your prerequisite courses at another institution on a letter of permission and want to take the follow-on courses here? Our Admissions office needs to receive a copy of your transcript from that institution so they can assign the transfer credit. This credit must be officially posted to your file no later than the start of the term you want to take the follow-on courses in. If the prerequisite credit is not officially posted by that date, you will be removed from the follow-on courses.

Seeking permission to register in follow-on courses while you complete the prerequisites at another institution on a letter of permission?

The Arts Students' Centre has a form for students looking to request a prerequisite waiver. Please note the conditions of the request and the deadlines for submission.

Please include:

  • Your UCalgary student number
  • Proof of registration in the prerequisite courses (i.e. unofficial transcript)
  • A list of the courses you are requesting permission to register in, including the terms

Arts Undergraduate forms

Exchange and visiting students

Since you are on short-term exchange or are a visiting student, we don’t need you to prove that you have the prerequisites for the courses you are requesting to take. Fill out the form below.

You should review the relevant course outlines to assess if you have the skills and knowledge to successfully complete the course.

Permission request for exchange and visiting students

Multiple attempts

Sometimes things happen and you don’t do as well in a course as you would have liked. Second chances are important, which is why we allow students to take a course for a second time. However, third attempts require a review and approval from the department. If you would like to request permission to attempt a class for the third time, complete the form below.

Please carefully read the policy at the top of the form before proceeding.

Third attempt request form

Course and registration information

Full classes

Unfortunately, we can't overload our courses. If your class doesn't have a waiting list or the waiting list is full, keep checking to see if a spot opens up.

It can be stressful to see that a class you want is full, but there's typically a fair amount of registration movement at the start of term. Keep checking back. It's a good idea to attend all the classes you're hoping to take during the first week of term until your registration is finalized so you don't fall behind in case you are able to register.

Taking courses without prerequisites

The Arts Students' Centre has a form for students looking to request a prerequisite waiver. Please note the conditions of the request and the deadlines for submission.

Arts Undergraduate forms

Investigating if a course satisfies a degree requirement

If you think you have taken a course that satisfies one of your economics requirements, please email and we will investigate for you. A few common course substitutions are as follows:

  • MATH 275 in lieu of MATH 249
  • ENGG 319 in lieu of STAT 213/217
  • STAT 321/323 in lieu of STAT 213/217

Open studies students registering for economics courses

This is permitted. If you would like to take ECON 201, you should be able to register yourself in the course. If you have completed economics courses at another institution and want to register in ECON 203 or above, please fill out the prerequisite waiver form below.

Make sure to attach course outlines and transcripts to demonstrate that you meet the prerequisites.

Arts Undergraduate forms

Auditing courses

The Undergraduate Program Director evaluates audit requests on a case-by-case basis. Please register in the course you would like to audit and submit a registration exception form to

Online courses

There are a number of economics courses offered at Athabasca University that transfer back to UCalgary. If you decide to take classes at another university, you'll want to consult the Alberta Transfer Guide and talk with an advisor in the Arts Students' Centre.

Courses aren't always offered every term

While we offer many of our courses at least once per year, we can't make guarantees until the schedule has been finalized and published.

The spring and summer schedules are typically released in early January, and the fall and winter schedules are released on March 1. You can view published courses via your Student Centre or on the courses section of our website.

Studying abroad and course evaluations

Where to start for studying abroad

First explore the Study Abroad website, and then meet with advisors in the Arts Students’ Centre. They will give you a sense of the kinds of courses you should think about taking on exchange. Once this is done, you should submit a course evaluation request for any relevant economics courses you plan on taking.

Please note that attempting to complete any of the second year economics core courses (ECON 301, 303, 357, 359, and 395) while studying abroad is very difficult due to a lack of direct equivalencies at other institutions and is therefore not recommended. It can also prove difficult to find equivalencies to 400-level or higher ECON courses.

Learn more ways to internationalize your degree

Requesting a course evaluation

A course evaluation request must be done when you have any economics courses completed at another postsecondary institution without an existing transfer rule. This most commonly occurs when you want to take economics courses while studying abroad, but can also happen when you attempt to transfer in economics courses from a Canadian institution. The department must evaluate the courses for content and assign either specific (e.g. ECON 373) or generic (e.g. ECON 9XX) credit. Fill out the form below, providing as much detail as you can.

Please carefully read the policy at the top of the form before proceeding.

Arts Undergraduate forms

Honours Degree

The difference between ECON major and the ECON honours program

The traditional major requires fewer courses than the honours program (a minimum of 14 courses vs. 20 courses), and doesn't require you to study linear algebra (MATH 211).

The honours program contains a 6-course capstone that will enable you to strengthen your data fluency skills (in both mathematical economics and econometrics) and deepen your knowledge of economic theory. It will also prepare you to go on to do graduate work in economics.

Students are welcome to pursue the Concentration in Applied Energy Economics in either the major or honours degree.

Length of degree

An honours degree should take the same amount of time to complete as a regular ECON major as they both require the same number of units. However, delays are possible if you decide on honours late in your program and need to catch up on the requirements.

Going on to a graduate degree

You don't have to do the honours program to go on to a graduate degree, but we do recommend that you take the honours capstone courses.

We've designed our honours capstone courses to give our students a competitive advantage in graduate school. These classes will better prepare your for master's level coursework. They're also familiar to graduate admissions committees. They signal your preparedness for and commitment to graduate school.

Honours degree as a final degree

You can still consider doing an honours degree if you don't plan on going to grad school. The honours program will enable you to deepen your:

  • data fluency skills (in mathematical economics and econometrics)
  • knowledge of economic theory
  • research skills and ability

The honours designation on your parchment and transcript signals the strength of your academic performance and abilities to future employers and academic institutions.

Knowing if you should apply for the honours program

If you've achieved an A- or above in ECON 301, 303, 357, and/or 359, you may be a good fit for the honours program. 

If you're passionate about economics and want to deepen your knowledge of economic theory, strengthen your data fluency skills, and take more economics courses, the honours program might be for you. 

Connect with the Arts Students' Centre to learn about the honours program in more detail and to see if you are eligible.

Arts Students' Centre

Applying for the honours program

Apply via your Student Centre between October 1 and February 1 in order to be admitted to the program for the coming fall term.

Learn more

Career planning

Average salary coming out of the degree

In September 2017, we reached out to our alumni and found that the average salary one year after graduation was $56,000; after 5 years, students were making an average of $77,000

Getting work experience before graduating

There are a few ways you can start gaining experience before you graduate — here are a few:

Jobs you could get with an Economics degree

Our alumni have gone on to do a variety of different jobs in different industries. There are a lot of job possibilities as an economics major. To see what some options are, see what our alumni have gone on to do!

See what you can do with your economics degree

Career Services Degree Guide

This degree profile looks at potential jobs, key skills & attributes, associations and professional development, and great books which relate to your degree and its potential career path.

Explore the economics degree guide


Have questions about undergraduate program information?

Undergraduate Program Director

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Dr. Lucia Vojtassak

Arts Student Centre

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General Inquiries

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