Frequently asked questions

Got a question for an Undergraduate Advisor? Check out these common questions and you might find the answer you're looking for. If your question is not answered here, please contact an undergraduate advisor directly.

Academic questions

Course-related questions

How many times can I take a class?

In the Department of Economics you can only take a class two times. This includes courses completed at Simon Fraser University for which a student has already received transfer credit from another institution. 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 course 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.

Can I withdraw from a course?

If you have compelling reasons as to why you cannot complete your course, you may be able to drop it under extenuating circumstances. Please click here for further information.

I am having academic difficulty. What should I do?

If you are having academic difficulty, you may contact an Undergraduate Advisor to discuss your situation.

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


Can I appeal my grade in an economics course?

To appeal a grade, the first step is to meet with your instructor during their office hours.

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, please refer to the Grading Policy.

If you do not feel you have been treated fairly, you may seek assistance from the Ombudsperson. The mandate of the Office of the Ombudsperson is to ensure that you are treated fairly, not just in terms of course grades, but in all aspects of your University experience. Please click here for further information on the Office of the Ombudsperson.

Degree-related questions

How many units per term can I take?

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.

When can I access Upper Division Economics courses?

  • Declared Economics major students – access to all upper division ECON courses for which they have a prerequisite
  • Declared Economics minor/extended minor students – access to all upper division ECON courses for which they have a prerequisite but NOT  ECON 302, 305, and 333
  • Student not declared in an Economics program – NO upper division ECON courses

How can I check on my progress towards graduation?

You can view your progress towards your degree and identify any potentail issues using the Academic Progress Report (APR) tool. The Academic Progress Report (APR) is an interactive course mapping tool designed to help current undergraduate students understand their degree and program requirements, as well as provide a starting place for making informed decisions about their academic program.

How can I apply for graduation?

When you are ready to graduate, you must apply through the Student Information System. Be sure to check 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 graduation application fee on time.

You should apply for graduation during the term in which you are completing your last course. The first deadline is usually around the second week of classes.

Please view the current SFU deadlines here.

Please note: The Department of Economics will not be adding students to classes or swapping tutorials after week one of the term, or the last day students have access to add classes on the Student Information System.

Non-academic questions

I am an international student. How do I obtain medical insurance?

For more information on obtaining medical insurance, please click here.

I have questions about applying to economics graduate school.

Click here to get an overview of advice on applying to economics graduate schools. It is recommended that you discuss this in further detail with an Undergraduate Advisor, who can assist you with planning, as well as understanding career paths associated with graduate studies in economics.