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Understanding and structuring your degree

Submitted by Erin Booker on Mon, 10/29/2018 - 3:16pm

First year — Establish a foundation

First year is a time for finding your feet and exploring new things. Step into economics scholarship with our principles courses, solidify your data fluency stills by taking calculus and statistics, and start thinking about if you'd like to pursue a minor or a double degree so you can plan your courses strategically.

Here's what you need to take (and when you should take it)

  • ECON 201 — Introduction to microeconomics (fall term)
  • ECON 203 — Introduction to macroeconomics (winter term)
  • MATH 249 — Introductory calculus* (fall or winter term)
  • STAT 213 — Introduction to statistics I (fall term)
  • STAT 217 — Introduction to statistics II (winter term)

Thinking about honours?

  • MATH 211 — Linear algebra (fall or winter term)

MATH 211 isn't required for the traditional major, but is it a requirement for the honours program. If you're considering the honours program, take MATH 211 early in your program—in your first or second year—to keep your options open.

* Did you take Math 31 in high school? Take MATH 265 instead.

Second year — Develop economic intuition

In second year, you'll take on the four intermediate theory courses, which form the theoretical heart of our program. These are important, and help you to establish a bedrock of economic intuition that you'll carry with you throughout the rest of your career.

Here's what you need to take (and when you should take it)

  • ECON 301 — Intermediate microeconomic theory I (Fall term)
  • ECON 303 — Intermediate macroeconomic theory I (Fall term)
  • ECON 357 — Intermediate microeconomic theory II (Winter term)
  • ECON 359 — Intermediate macroeconomic theory II (Winter term)

ECON 395 can be completed in your second or third year; however, there are advantages to completing it sooner rather than later. Not only will it give you a deeper understanding of the application of statistics in economics, it will also open courses to you that have ECON 395 as a prerequisite. The Concentration in Applied Energy Economics capstone courses are a prime example — if you'd like to take ECON 427 in the fall term of your third year, be sure to complete ECON 395 in your second year. ECON 395 is often held in the spring and/or summer terms.


Remember —

It is important to complete ECON 357 and ECON 359 in your second year as they are required for all upper year ECON courses. If you wait until later years to take those two courses it may delay your graduation as you play catch-up with your course sequencing.

Because ECON 357 and ECON 359 are so important and require such intellectual heavy lifting, we don't offer them in the spring and summer terms.

Third year — Explore your options and create opportunities

Third year is a great time to start exploring subfields that you might want to specialize and develop expertise in, which means tucking into your ECON options coursesIf you've completed ECON 357 and ECON 359, you could also start taking upper-level ECON courses, particularly opportunity stream courses (see below for more info). 

If you haven't completed ECON 395 yet, be sure to take it in your third year.

If you'd like to complete the Concentration in Applied Energy Economics capstone courses in your third year, be sure to take ECON 395 prior to the fall semester of your third year, as it is a prerequisite for ECON 427.


Remember —

You can think of the 300-level ECON courses as being for breadth and exploration — they introduce you to fields in economics like money and banking, and the economics of health care.

The 400- and 500-level ECON courses require knowledge and application of intermediate economic theory, so you can think of these as being for depth and application.

Fourth year — Apply and deepen your knowledge

By fourth year, you should be hitting your stride—and your upper-level (400- and 500-level) ECON requirements. This is a great time to pursue opportunity stream courses


Remember — 

Students sometimes put off taking their upper-level ECON requirements until their last year or even term, which can make scheduling (and their course load) really difficult.

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