Frequently asked questions

Got a question for the 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 the advisor.

Academic questions

Course-related questions

NOTE: The Department of Economics will not add students to classes or swap tutorials after week one of the term, or the last day students have access to add classes on goSFU.

How many times can I take a class?

In the Department of Economics, you can only enroll in the same 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 attempt to enroll in the same course for a third time. 

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 withdraw under extenuating circumstances (WE). 

Visit the Student Services page on WE guidelines →

I am having academic difficulty. What should I do?

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

This site explains the different academic standings, such as Academic Probation (OAP), Required to Withdraw (RTW) and Extended Withdrawal (EW). 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?

Grade appeals at SFU are governed by University Policy T20.01: Grading and the Reconsideration of Grades.

Basis of an appeal: By University Policy T20.01, “Grades shall reflect demonstrated achievement in meeting course objectives.” Your appeal therefore must be based on grading that is in error or is otherwise inappropriate in reflecting your demonstrated achievement in meeting course objectives. Grades will not be changed on any other basis, including hard work, good intentions, your perception of your own knowledge, or your need for a higher grade.

Prior to seeking formal reconsideration of a final grade, you are expected to raise your concern with the instructor without delay. The reconsideration of a grade may result in the grade being raised, lowered or remaining unchanged.

If after speaking to your instructor, you do not feel that your concerns have been adequately addressed, you may seek a formal reconsideration of a final grade. To obtain the "Request for Reconsideration of Grade" form, please contact the advisor at

* Grade Reconsideration and Appeal Process_ver2022March2.pdf
Detailed step-by-step process of SFU Department of Economics' Grade Reconsideration and Appeal Process

Is ECON 220W required? 

Yes it is. However, starting in Summer 2023, students with a grade of A in English 12/AP English 12/IB English 12, and completed ECON 103 and 105, are eligible to take a challenge test to waive ECON 220W for the ECON major/ECON extended minor program. Please contact the ECON advisor if you are eligible and would like to take the challenge test. Email

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 per term must seek permission for a course overload from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) 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 Access to only upper-division ECON electives for which they have a prerequisite, after the open enrollment period (starting Summer 2022)

How can I check on my progress towards graduation?

You can view your progress towards your degree and identify any potential 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.

Academic Progress Report (APR) →

How can I apply for graduation?

When you are ready to graduate, you must apply through goSFU. 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.

View the current SFU deadlines here →

Non-academic questions

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

I have questions about applying to graduate school.

Make an apppointment to discuss this with the Undergraduate Advisor as they can assist you with your graduate school plan and advise you on the various career paths associated with graduate studies in economics.

Advice on preparing for graduate school →