Honours Program

The economics honours program prepares you for a challenging career, and your participation in advanced economics courses will enhance your analytical skills. The honours program also provides a solid foundation for graduate studies in economics – graduates have gone on to high ranking programs in Canada, the United States, and Europe. For more advice about how to prepare for graduate school, click here

Our alumni have gone on to pursue careers in business, government, or academia. Profiles of alumni that work in areas such as public policy, social entrepreneurship, and research can be found on our student profile page.

Required Courses and Sample Enrolment Plans

Starting in Fall 2014, the honours degree will require only 120 units, and students should be able to graduate in four years. To apply to the program, you will need to speak with an academic advisor. The SFU Calendar has a list of requirements that you will need to complete.  

Note to Prospective (2nd year) Honours Students

We strongly recommend for prospective honours students to take MATH 152/158 (semester 2 or 3), followed by STAT 270 in lieu of BUEC 232 (semester 3 or 4).

In order to spread out challenging courses and/or to make room for additional upper-division courses, we recommend that students consider taking some of the following courses during their 2nd year:

  • ECON 302 and/or ECON 305 (for students with a grade of A- or better in ECON 201),
  • BUEC 333 (for students with a grade of A- or better in STAT 270 or BUEC 232), and/or
  • MATH 232/240, MATH 242 and/or MATH 251 (for students intending to pursue the Math Intensive Option below).

Sample Enrolment Plans

Although the honours program can be completed in the same amount of time as the economics major, it is significantly more challenging.  Honours students are given advanced coursework and expected to develop the skills necessary to solve complex issues with the support of an instructor.

To help you progress through the honours program, here are two sample course enrolment plans for students interested in graduate studies in economics:

Notes for both options:

  • “Electives” are assumed to be 3 units each, and at least one of them must satisfy the W requirement.
  • Students intending to apply to graduate programs in economics are encouraged to replace electives with Master’s level courses (4 units each), with permission of the instructor, at any time after completing:
    • ECON 331 (or MATH 232/240 and 251), and
    • the relevant core course(s) (ECON 302, 305 and/or BUEC 333)

1. Basic Option

 

3rd Year

Fall

Spring

Total

ECON or BUEC upper-division courses

302-4
305-4
331-5
333-4
3 electives
402-3
435-5
elective
403-3
499W-6*
elective

 

ECON UD units

26

11

12

  49

Additional upper-division units (any field): 11

*The W designation is effective Spring 2015. 

This enrolment plan can be completed without taking summer courses by spreading the 60 required upper-division units evenly across four semesters. However, using a summer term to spread out the core courses (ECON 302, 305 and BUEC 333) and any math courses may help improve performance.

 Additional math courses are a good idea. We particularly recommend MATH 232 and MATH 242. However, 200-level math courses do not count toward upper-division requirements.

2. Math Intensive Option (recommended for students targeting high ranking Master’s programs or Ph.D. programs)

 

3rd Year

Fall

Spring

Total

ECON or BUEC upper-division courses

302-4
305-4
333-4
3 electives

402-3
435-5
2 electives

 

403-3
499W-6**
elective

 

MATH
(all courses are three units)

232/240*
242
251*

 

308/310

 

ECON UD units

21

14

12+3

  50

Additional upper-division units (any field): 10

*In lieu of ECON 331

***The W designation is effective Spring 2015. 

The 200-level math courses do not count toward upper-division requirements. Therefore, this option requires a summer semester unless the student has completed MATH 232/240/242/251 and/or enough upper-division units in the 2nd year.

Some of the math courses are not offered every semester. Plan ahead by looking at the math course offerings or by searching on go.sfu.ca.

Up to six upper-division MATH units can be counted toward the ECON credit requirement – the above plan includes three such units. Approval must be obtained from the Undergraduate Chair. These units cannot be counted toward another program.

MATH 320 is recommended for students wishing to take additional math.

Students especially interested in econometrics and statistics can also take STAT 330 after completing STAT 270, BUEC 333 and MATH 251, with permission of the Statistics department.

ECON 499W Honours Thesis

ECON 499W-6 is a required course where you will develop an honours paper.  The W designation is effective Spring 2015.  Every year, students with the best paper will be recognized with the Jack Knetsch Award. To see profiles of past award winners and their theses, please view the student awards page.