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, learn more about undergraduate advising.

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 required courses (100 and 200 level courses):

  • 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: Poverty and Inequality (3)

Other courses you might take are your breadth requirements,where you can chose 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 another joint plan. 


There are many activities in which you could participate on campus. Here are some starting suggestions: 

Second year

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

After you complete ECON 201 with at least a C- grade, completed 30 units, and met the minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and the minimum ECON/BUEC GPA, you may apply for admission to a program. 

Program applications for the Economics program are accepted at any time.


ECON lower division requirements:

  • ECON 201 - Microeconomic Theory I: Competitive Behavior (4)
  • ECON 233 - Introduction to Economics Data and Statistics (4)
  • 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: Intro to Game Theory (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!


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.
  • Have you ever 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 SFU Learning Commons offers workshops that helps you with common challenges such as exam preparation, time management, writing, and English as an Additional Language.
  • Your SFU Economics Student Society has 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 third and fourth year. Look out for prerequisite courses.

ECON upper division requirements (300- and 400-level courses)

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: 

  • ECON 310 Money and Banking (3)
  • ECON 342 International Trade (3)
  • ECON 345 International Finance (3)
  • ECON 355W Economic Development (4)*
  • and many more  

* The university requires that you must 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. 


After you declare an economics program, you will have access to exclusive economics workshops, which include:

  • 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 or BUEC 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.


During your last year, we want to make sure that you are prepared for your next steps. We offer these exclusive economics opportunities

Exit Workshop: a workshop in your last term that addresses specific or general career paths, or next steps such as graduate schools. We also connect you with alumni in the fields that interest you. 

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.