Your four-year plan for the economics major

The courses and activities below are a recommended plan to help you achieve success in the economics major program. For more specific inquiries, please contact the Undergraduate Advisor.

First year

0 - 30 units: Your first semester may feel like a giant leap! You could take all or some of these courses in one semester. If you are unsure, contact an SFU academic advisor


ECON lower-division requirements:

  • ECON 103 - Principles of Microeconomics (4)
  • ECON 105 - Principles of Macroeconomics (4) 
  • MATH 157 - Calculus I for the Social Sciences (3)      

Additional ECON courses you could take:

  • ECON 102 - The World Economy (3)     
  • ECON 104 - Economics and Government (3)
  • ECON 182 - Selected Topics in Economics (3)

Other courses you might take are your Breadth requirements, where you can choose from a variety of disciplines. You may find another program that interests you, and you may take courses that lead to a minor, certificate, or a joint major. 


There are many on-campus activities for you to participate in. Here are some suggestions: 

Second year

30 - 60 units: In your second year, you will be able to declare your major in economics. Contact an undergraduate advisor to declare your economics program.

After you have completed ECON 201 with at least a C- grade, completed 30 units, and met the minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and the minimum ECON GPA, you may declare your economics program.  

You can declare your economics program at any time during your degree.


ECON lower-division requirements:

  • ECON 201 - Microeconomic Theory I: Competitive Behavior (4)
  • ECON 233 - Introduction to Economics Data and Statistics (4) OR BUS 232 - Data and Decisions I (4)
  • ECON 220W - Communication in Economics (4)
  • One additional 200-level ECON course, such as:
    • ECON 260 - Environmental Economics (3);
    • ECON 282 - Selected Topics in Economics (3);
    • ECON 290 - Canadian Microeconomic Policy (3); or
    • ECON 291 - Canadian Macroeconomic Policy (3)

This is a great time to think about a possible minor or certificate to enhance your degree.

Tip: You can take more than one 200-level ECON course!


With ECON 220W - Communication in Economics, you will develop the written and oral communication skills required to professionally present your economics knowledge. This interdisciplinary course will help improve your analytical skills through techniques and strategies for effective reading comprehension, writing, and oral communication skills. 


This is a great time to consider Co-op or an international exchange while exploring options that have been listed previously.

  • Want to get work experience during your degree and stand out fromt the crowd? Check out Co-op.
  • Wanted to live in another country? You can study abroad through an international exchange program. Explore universities in England, Germany, Korea, and more.
  • Want to improve your grades? The Student Learning Commons offers workshops on common challenges such as exam preparation, time management, writing, and learning English as an additional language.
  • The Economics Student Society organizes events every semester. Join them and meet fellow economics students outside of class.

Third year

60 - 90 units: As you start taking upper-division courses, you will build on the theories that you have learned in your lower-division courses. Your core upper-division courses will give you the foundation to explore topics in your elective courses.

This is a great time to check in with an undergraduate advisor to make sure you are on the path to success. 

Students in their third and fourth year will be focusing on building their experience and exploring career options.


It is not a requirement to take all core courses in one term, and you can spread out the courses in your third and fourth year. Look out for prerequisite courses. 

ECON upper-division requirements:

At least 30 upper-division units in economics is required, including:

  • ECON 333 - Statistical Analysis of Economic Data (4)
  • ECON 302 - Microeconomic Theory II: Strategic Behavior (4)
  • ECON 305 - Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (4)      

Electives can include any 300-level courses such as: 

* The university requires you to take one upper-division W course from within your major. ECON 355W fufills this university requirement, or you can wait and take an ECON 400-level W course. 


Take advantage of the Department's free drop-in Writing Workshops available to you every semester. These workshops provide one-on-one support and constructive feedback on how you can improve your writing assignments. 


Throughout your time at SFU, join us for exclusive economics student events, including:

  • Career workshops: exploring career paths with an economics degree,
  • LinkedIn workshops: exploring how to network with economics alumni
  • A professional photoshoot: free, professionally-taken headshots for your online portfolio and/or LinkedIn profile
  • Alumni Speakers: we invite recent graduates to talk about their careers and to answer any questions that current students have. Past sessions have included alumni from the Canada Revenue Agency, Big Five chartered banks, Bank of Canada, and many more.

Fourth year

90 - 120 units: During your final year, you will be finishing up course requirements and thinking of your future.


ECON upper-division courses:

  • At least one 400-level ECON course (excluding ECON 402, 403, 431, and 435).

To enhance your experience in ECON, you may want to take more than one 400-level seminar course while completing your degree.


Take advantage of the Department's free drop-in Writing Workshops available to you every semester. These workshops provide one-on-one support and constructive feedback on how you can improve your writing assignments. 


During your last year, we want to make sure that you are prepared for the next stage of your life. Participate in our career events as well as our alumni socials

We bring alumni and graduating students together for a night of networking and socializing. This allows both alumni and graduating students to engage, exchange ideas, and network in a fun, inclusive environment.