Economics Honours Program

Take your degree one step further — Join the economics honours program. The program is specifically designed to provide you with a solid foundation for graduate studies and make you a competitive candidate in the job market. 

In the honours program, you will join a small cohort of likeminded peers where together you will participate in advanced coursework developing a deeper knowledge of economics and enhancing your quantitative skills. The program offers the best preparation for graduate studies as completion of an honours degree provides a strong indicator of the your academic potential and ability to conduct applied economic research.

Many of our former honours students overwhelmingly express that the chance to work on an original piece of research with a faculty supervisor was the highlight of their undergraduate degree. Not only do you gain in-depth access to a faculty member's research expertise, you also form close relationships as you work one-on-one with them on your honours thesis project, which can lead to strong reference letters for your graduate school applications. 

INTERESTED IN JOINING THE HONOURS PROGRAM?

Contact the academic advisor at econ_advisor@sfu.ca for more information and how the honours program can be good fit for your undergraduate degree. 

"The experience of joining the honours program stands out in my undergraduate life—taking designated classes and working on challenging course work with my cohort has helped me forge long-lasting friendships. The small cohort size encouraged an interactive learning environment, and provided the chance to form close relationships with professors and learn about their field of research."

William Raphael

2020 honours cohort. University of Toronto's Master of Financial Economics.

WHY JOIN THE HONOURS PROGRAM? 

  • Prepares you for success at graduate school and enhances your graduate school application
  • Equips you with job ready skills to be competitive in the job market 
  • Signals to graduate schools and prospective employers of your analytical expertise, critical thinking skills, and ability to conduct research
  • Opportunity to take advanced courses in a small classroom setting with a cohort of likeminded peers 
  • Receive mentorship from faculty members 
  • Collaborate with a faculty member supervisor on a piece of original research of your choosing 

GRADUATE SCHOOL PLACEMENTS

Graduates from our honours program have gone on to join high-ranking graduate programs in Canada, the United States, Europe and many other places across the world. 

  • Carleton University 
  • London School of Economics
  • McGill University 
  • McMaster University
  • Northwestern University 
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Barcelona 
  • University of British Columbia 
  • University of Guelph 
  • Queen's University 
  • University of Toronto 
  • University of Toulouse
  • University of Waterloo 
  • Western University 

"Data analysis is more important than ever in our world. It is not only being able to write and run code; it is also about seeing large and complex datasets and knowing how to approach them and what to do. During my job interviews after graduating, the hiring panel only wanted to talk about my honours thesis and research assistantship. For my thesis, I looked at the relationship between welfare payments and substance use, specifically at the causal effect that the disbursement of social assistance payments has on drug-related crimes and alcohol sales in Vancouver."

Hamza Abdelrahman

2020 Honours cohort. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Economic Analyst. 

What is the difference between the honours program and the major? 

The honours program requires 120 units, and students are still able to graduate within four years. The main difference is the honours program places more emphasis on upper-division ECON electives that will prepare students for success at graduate school. 

This includes advanced microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometric courses as well as an applied research project on a topic of the student's choosing. 

Honours thesis project

ECON 494 and ECON 499W are required courses where you will develop an honours thesis. ECON 494 is a methodology course which will allow you to prepare for your honours research project, e.g. collecting data, obtaining ethics approval, and reviewing the related literature. ECON 499W is where most of the actual writing and presentation of your thesis will take place.

Every year, students with the best paper will be recognized with the Jack Knetsch Award.

How to Apply

Requirements: 

  • Minimum CGPA of 3.0
  • Completed the required ECON lower-division courses with a grade of C- or higher

Interested in joining the honours program?

Contact the academic advisor at econ_advisor@sfu.ca for more information and how the honours program can be good fit for your undergraduate degree. 

Contact the Advisor now

"The honours program pushed the limits of my understanding and knowledge of economics and challenged me to apply economic theory to real-world phenomenon through writing my thesis. Although I've gained a more thorough understanding of economics, I've also realized that there is so much more to the field and so much more to learn. Not to be dramatic but economics really changed the way I think about the world."

Denise Abella

2021 honours cohort. Bank of Canada Research Assistant.