Frequently asked questions

Admission to Economics programs

Effective September 2012, a minimum SFU CGPA of 2.6 is required to declare your Economics program. In addition, your Upper Division CGPA as well as Upper Division ECON/BUEC CGPA and Total ECON/BUEC CGPAs must be above or equal to 2.00.

The calendar will inform you of current prerequisite courses and credits.

Economics programs can only be declared from week 3 through week 8 of each semester.


In the Department of Economics you can only take a class two times. There can be no third attempt to take any class.

If you received a poor or incomplete grade due to extenuating circumstances (e.g. illness), you can follow the Withdrawals procedures outlined here. If you are permitted to 'withdraw' from a class, even after receiving your grade, then that class will not count against your two permitted attempts.

Students attempting a course for the first time shall be given the opportunity to register prior to any students who are presently registered in the course or who have passed the course with a C- or better.

Students should see an advisor if they need to re-take a course.

Class withdrawal/deferral

If you have strong compelling reasons why you cannot complete your class you may be able to drop it under extenuating circumstances. Further information.

What to do if you are having academic difficulty with your Economics classes

This site explains the different academic standings, such as Academic Probation, required to Withdraw and Extended Withdrawal. It advises you on what to do if you are finding yourself in difficulty.

You can visit the Student Learning Commons (SLC) which can assist you with issues such as academic writing, study strategies etc.

Grade appeals

To appeal a grade, the first step is to meet with your instructor during their office hours (if you are not sure when your instructor’s office hours are held you should email to find out).

If you are not successful in connecting with your instructor, or are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, you should fill in a “Reconsideration of Grade” form which is available at the front desk in the Department of Economics. This form should be submitted within ten days of receiving your grade.

Please be aware that it is possible that your grade could be lowered if the appeal process identifies that there was an error in your favour.

If you are not satisfied with the instructor’s response to the “Reconsideration of Grade” form you should refer to the policy that covers grade appeals.

If you do not feel you have been treated fairly that you can seek assistance from the Ombuds Office. The mandate of the Ombuds Office is to make sure you are treated fairly not just in terms of grades but in all aspects of your University experience. Further information on the Ombuds Office.

Unit/Credit loads

A student may enroll in 18 units in a term. A student wishing to complete more than 18 units must seek permission for a course overload from the Office of the Dean.

Access to Upper Division electives

Each term Arts Central publishes a list of classes at the upper division with minimal prerequisites. In addition, those classes on the list that will fulfill WQB requirements are identified so this list is very helpful.

Careers in Economics

Economics is an excellent undergraduate degree because it provides a way of analyzing and solving problems. Economics combines well with many disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, engineering, business, psychology, medicine, and mathematics, among others. Undergraduate economics is also a good major for those contemplating post-graduate programs such as law or business.

Numerous careers are open to those with undergraduate degrees in economics, such as:

  • Government policy analyst or researcher
  • Financial analyst, planner or broker
  • Manager in private business or the non-profit sector
  • International trade specialist or diplomat
  • Teacher for high school social studies
  • Urban and regional planner
  • Consultant in the public or private sector
  • Forecaster for banks or other institutions
  • and many more 

To find out about career options please visit Career Services in the Maggie Benston Centre (Room 0300). Call to make an appointment at 778-782-3106.

Co-op education

Co-operative education is an experiential learning program which formally integrates a student’s academic studies with relevant work experience. Employers from industry, government and not-for-profit organizations support and participate in the program. Students alternate full-time study terms with full-time paid work terms of career-related practical experience.

 For information Co-op Education please visit their site.

Study abroad

To find out how you can enrich your academic experience by studying abroad visit the International Office website.

Your degree progress report

To check on your progress toward graduation or to identify any problems, you should request a Degree Progress Report through the Student Information System. More information and how to access your Degree Progress Report.

Deadlines (graduation etc.)

When you are ready to graduate you must apply through the Student Information System. Be sure to check on the date by which you need to apply as there is a late fee if you apply past the deadline. In addition your application to graduate will be cancelled if you do not pay your grad fee on time. You should apply for graduation during the term in which you are completing your last course (the first deadline is around the second week of classes).

PLEASE NOTE: ·  The Department of Economics will not be adding students to classes or swapping tutorials after week one of the semester ( or the last day students have access to add classes on the SIS).

Please view the current SFU deadlines here.

Medical insurance for international students

Advice for applying to a graduate school in economics 

Please see more information on this page