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Here are answers to the questions we're asked most.

Submitted by Erin Booker on Fri, 08/17/2018 - 1:36pm

If you don't see what you're looking for, don't hesitate to ask — contact us for undergraduate advising by phone (at 403.220.5857) or by email.

Why can't I register in a class?

Submitted by Erin Booker on Fri, 08/17/2018 - 1:35pm

It could be for a number of reasons — here are a few of the most common:

Are you sure you satisfy the prerequisites?

Most often, pre-reqs are the issue when students have trouble registering.

1: Have you achieved at least a C- in the prerequisite course(s)?

If not, you won't be able to proceed and will need to repeat the prerequisite course(s) if you want to continue.

More info on repeating courses in a section below.

2: Is the class is full?

More info on what to do in a section below.

Did you complete your prerequisites at another institution?

If you took your prerequisite courses at another institution, you'll likely be assigned transfer credit for completing them. In order for that to happen, our Admissions office will need to receive a copy of your transcript from that institution.

Transfer credits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so it can take a bit of time for them to be assessed. If term is fast approaching and your transfer credits haven't appeared in your Student Centre yet, email for help.

Please include: 

  • your UCalgary student ID
  • a PDF copy of your transcript(s)
  • a list of the courses you are requesting to be registered in (please include terms)

Are you a visiting international exchange student?

You'll probably need a bit of help registering for your courses—no worries, we're happy to help.

Since you are on short-term exchange, we do not require you to prove that you have the pre-requisites for the courses you are requesting to take. Simply send us an email with the following: 

  • Your UCalgary student number
  • A list of the courses you are requesting to take (including the terms in which you’re requesting to take them)

Please note that the responsibility rests with you to determine if you have the required background necessary to succeed in the economics courses you want to take at UCalgary. You should review the relevant course outlines to assess if you will be able to handle the content:

Have you already taken the course twice?

Sometimes things happen and you don't do as well in a class as you would have liked. Second chances are important, which is why we allow students to take a class for a second time.

Needing to repeat courses more than once is often indicative of a larger issue, which is why third-attempt requests need to be reviewed and approved by the department.

These requests are only granted in exceptional circumstances, which means they're pretty rare. (Failing to study or underestimating how difficult a course would be doesn't count for a third attempt.)

If you'd like to request permission to attempt a class for the third time, you will need to submit a formal request to the department via email. Please be sure to include:

  • your UCalgary student ID
  • an overview of the exceptional circumstances involved in your case
  • resources you will access to ensure you will be successful in your third attempt

Course and registration information

Submitted by Erin Booker on Fri, 08/17/2018 - 3:48pm

I'm on a waiting list — what do I need to do now?

  • Make sure you satisfy the course prereqs
  • Make sure you don't have a time conflict

The waiting list runs every hour, and students will be automatically enrolled in order, unless they don't satisfy the prereqs or they have a time conflict.

You can check your position on the waiting list in your Student Centre.

It can be a bit nerve wracking to have to just wait and see, but when classes are full, that's all we can do.


Remember —

The waiting list will clear prior to the last day to add classes to give everyone a chance to make their final registration decisions. You'll want to pay attention to the registration system in the lead up to that deadline.

(Not sure when that is? Check out the registration section of the Registar's website.)

If you're getting hourly emails from the online registration system letting you know your status on the list, consider creating a new folder and rule in your email to filter these emails to keep your inbox clean.

The class I want is full — is there something you can do?

Unfortunately, we can't overload our courses — if your class doesn't have a waiting list or the waiting list is full, keep checking to see if a spot opens up.

It can be stressful to see that a class you want is full, but there's typically a fair amount of registration movement at the start of term. Keep checking back, and it's a good idea to attend all of the classes you are hoping to take during the first week of term until your registration is finalized so you don't fall behind in case you are able to register. 


Remember — 

There's always about a week between the start of classes and the last days to add and drop classes — check out the schedule in the academic calendar to find out when those dates are.

I want to take a course but I haven't done the prerequisite course — can I still take it?

Probably not, unfortunately. You'll notice "or consent of the department" on a lot of our prerequisite listings, but in almost all cases, the prerequisites are mandatory.

If you'd like to take a course but don't meet the prerequisite, you'll need to put forward a case to the undergraduate director. Please send your request via email to

I've completed a course that I think satisfies one of my economics degree requirements — what should I do?

If you think you've taken a course that satisfies one of your economics requirements, send us an email (along with your student number) and we'll investigate for you. This is relatively common for students pursuing a combined degree — here are some common course substitutions:

  • MATH 275 in lieu of MATH 249
  • POLI 399 in lieu of STAT 213
  • ENGG 319 in lieu of STAT 213
  • BIOL 315 in lieu of STAT 213

I'm in open studies — can I take economics courses?

Absolutely. If you'd like to take ECON 201, you should be able to register yourself in the course. If you've completed economics courses at another institution and want to register in ECON 203 or above, send an email to to request permission to register. You'll want to be sure to include:

  • Your UCalgary student ID
  • A PDF copy of your transcript from you previous institution
  • A copy of the syllabi for all of the economics courses you've previously completed

Can I audit a course?

Possibly — audit requests are evaluated by the undergraduate director on a case-by-case basis.

Audit requests can be made by submitting a completed registration exemption form to undergraduate advisor Justin Pyke via email or in person in SS 454. 

Can I take ECON classes online?

No, unfortunately — all of our courses are held on campus, and our selection of evening courses is limited.

There are a number of economics courses offered at Athabasca University that transfer back to UCalgary. If you decide to take classes at another university, you'll want to consult the Alberta Transfer Guide and talk with an advisor in the Arts Students' Centre.

Remember — 

For degrees in the Faculty of Arts, you can typically transfer up to 60 units (or 20 classes) from another institution; of those, 24 units (or 8 classes) can be in your major field of study.

There's a course I'm interested in but it's not listed on the schedule — when will it be offered?

While many of our courses are offered at least once per year, we can't make guarantees until the schedule has been finalized and published.

The spring and summer schedules are typically released in early January, and the fall and winter schedules are released on March 1. You can view published courses via your Student Centre or on the courses section of our website.

Admission and transferring

Submitted by Erin Booker on Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:13pm

I'm not an economics major — can I still take ECON courses and/or pursue and economics degree?

Absolutely — many of the students taking economics courses are actually studying in different degree programs or considering transferring into economics, and ECON 201 and 203 are either required or elective to many degree programs across the university.


Remember —

You're allowed to take up to 36 units (12 courses) in a discipline outside of the program you've been admitted to — any more than that is considered an unauthorized concentration and the Faculty of Arts will put a block on your account preventing you from registering in more ECON courses. (This is a bit different if you're studying business — if you're a BComm student, you'll want to check in with the Haskayne advisors for more info.)

You can complete a minor in economics by taking between 30 and 36 units in ECON, with at least 18 at the 300 level or above. If you'd like to to take more than 36 units in ECON, you can apply to either the major or the honours program.

Don't forget that the window to make changes to your program (including applying to honoursdouble majors [scroll down for details] and combined degree programs) is between October 1 and February 1 for next fall term. 

I'm an open studies student — can I take ECON courses?

Yes — you're welcome to take ECON courses as an open studies student, though you may run into issues with prerequisites.

If you're unable to register yourself in a course and you'd like to use a course you've taken at another institution, please email us, and be sure to include the following information:

  • Your UCalgary student ID
  • A copy of your transcript showing your grade for the course(s) you'd like to use as a prerequisite
  • A copy of the syllabus of the course(s) you'd like to use as a prerequisite
  • A list of the courses you would like to be registered in, including the term 


Learn more about open studies or reach out to an open studies advisor

I'm in Haskayne and I'd like to take ECON courses, and maybe do a minor in or a combined degree in economics — what do I need to know?

A number of our students pursue combined degrees in economics and business — to find out exactly which courses you'll need to take, you should speak with the advisors in Haskayne and the advisors in the Arts Students' Centre

BComm students can also complete a minor in economics.

I'm currently in economics, but I'd like to transfer to business next year — what do I need to know?

There are 6 courses that students are required to take in order to be eligible to transfer into the BComm program — learn more here, or reach out to one of the advisors in Haskayne.

Don't forget to apply between October 1 and February 1 — you can do this through your Student Centre. For more information on how to make changes to your program, including switching degrees, check out this link.

Advising tip —

Economics students may pursue the minor in management and society, which is the only business program available to non-Haskayne students.

I'm thinking of taking a course at another institution, like Athabasca — can I do that?

This is a great question for the advisors in the Arts Students' Centre — they'll be the ones to actually grant you permission to study at another institution. 

If you'd like to discuss how an ECON course might transfer back, send us an email and we'll let you know.

Studying abroad

Submitted by Erin Booker on Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:19pm

I'm a UCalgary student thinking of studying abroad — where do I start?

Your first step will be to explore the Study Abroad website, attend an info session or workshop, or speak with one of the advisors in the Study Abroad office. They’ll be able to walk you through the application process, tell you about deadlines, and answer questions you have about next steps and the experience of studying abroad.

Next, you’ll want to meet with advisors in the Arts Students’ Centre (and your home faculty, if you're doing a combined degree) to do what’s called a degree audit — basically, they’ll look at the courses you’ve completed and still need to complete, and will give you a sense of the kinds of courses you should think about taking on exchange.

Once you’ve been accepted to a host university, it’ll be time to start selecting courses. At that point, you’ll send us the syllabi for the courses you'd like to take on exchange, and we'll let you know how they’ll transfer back. Send us an email and be sure to include the following:

  • Your student number
  • All of the syllabi for the courses you'd like to take — be sure that they include prerequisites and the textbook that will be used. You can send us the most recent syllabi that are available — if you can't find outlines for the term you'll be on exchange, we can review the most recent that have been published.

Keep in mind that prerequisites are essential — if you're wanting to complete a few of your ECON options courses while studying abroad, you'll want to be sure that the courses have at least the equivalents of ECON 201 and 203 as prerequisites.

Completing upper-level ECON requirements while on exchange is trickier, as we're quite strict about the rigor necessary to satisfy these requirements. When in doubt, it's best to check in with us to be sure.

I'm a UCalgary student who studied abroard — now I'm home, and I think one of my courses didn't transfer properly.

When your transcript comes back to us from your host institution, Admissions will assign transfer credit for the courses you've completed.

If you think you should have been assigned different transfer credit for the ECON courses you took abroad, you're welcome to request that we re-assess the course for transfer credit. Please send us an email with the following information:

  • Your UCalgary student number
  • A PDF copy of your transcript from your host institution
  • A copy of the syllabi for the economics course(s) you'd like to have reassessed (please ensure that your textbooks are listed)
  • A brief rationale detailing what credit you believe you should have received

Thinking about honours?

Submitted by Erin Booker on Fri, 08/17/2018 - 11:54pm

What's the difference between the major and honours program?

The traditional major requires fewer courses than the honours program (a minimum of 14 courses vs. 20 courses), and doesn't require students to study linear algebra (MATH 211).

The honours program contains a 6-course capstone that will enable students to strengthen their data fluency skills (in both mathematical economics and econometrics) and deepen their knowledge of economic theory. It will also prepare students to go on to do graduate work in economics. The honours capstone courses are not restricted to students in the honours program, and students who are not in the honours program can use these courses to fulfill their major degree requirements.

Students are welcome to pursue the Concentration in Applied Energy Economics in either the major or honours degree.

Learn more about our degree requirements.

Will it take me longer to finish an honours degree?

It shouldn't, because you'll be completing the same number of credits to earn your Bachelor of Arts degree (at least 120 credits or 40 classes in total).

Because economics is such a sequential degree, however, you may need to take additional time to complete the necessary prerequisites.

Do I need to take honours to get into graduate school?

Not necessarily, but you'll at least want to take the honours capstone courses.

We've designed our honours capstone courses to give our students a competitive advantage in graduate school. Not only will these classes better prepare you for master's level coursework, they are familiar to graduate admissions committees and will signal your preparedness for and commitment to graduate school.

I don't want to go to grad school — should I still think about the honours program?

It depends on your career goals — the honours program will enable you to deepen your data fluency skills (in mathematical economics and econometrics), knowledge of economic theory, and research skills and ability. The honours designation on your parchment and transcript will also signal the strength of your academic performance and abilities to future employers and academic institutions.

Connect with our honours advisor for more information.

How and when should I apply to the honours program?

Apply via your Student Centre between October 1 and February 1 in order to be admitted to the program for the coming fall term.

Learn more

Should I apply?

If you've achieved an A- or above in ECON 301, 303, 357, and/or 359, you may be a good fit for the honours program. 

If you're passionate about economics and want to deepen your knowledge of economic theory, strengthen your data fluency skills, and take more economics courses, the honours program might be for you. 

Connect with our honours advisor to discuss the program in more detail, and meet with Justin Pyke, our undergraduate advisor, to talk about your path to the honours program.

Career planning

Submitted by Erin Booker on Sat, 08/18/2018 - 12:36am

What can I do with a degree in economics?

Tons of things — depending on the courses you take and your academic performance, you could go on to do a Master's of Arts in economics, an MBA, MPP, or JD, or you could go on to work in many diverse fields and industries.

Learn more

How much money could I make?

In September 2017, we reached out to our alumni and found that the average salary one year after graduation was $56,000; after 5 years, students were making an average of $77,000

Can I start working in economics before I graduate?

There are a few ways you can start gaining experience before you graduate — here are a few:

What kinds of jobs could I get right out of university with an economics degree?

There are tons of opportunities for economics majors — in September 2017, we asked our recent grads what their job titles were, and here's a sample of what they told us:

  • Business development analyst
  • Commodity program analyst
  • Consultant
  • Data analyst
  • Data manager
  • Economic analyst
  • Energy market analyst
  • Financial advisor
  • Foreign exchange analyst
  • Investment banking analyst
  • Investor relations associate
  • Personal insurance advisor
  • Portfolio administrator
  • Project controls analyst
  • Property tax analyst
  • Real estate analyst
  • Regulatory analyst
  • Research analyst
  • Revenue and pricing analyst
  • Risk management analyst
  • Supply chain/procurement coordinator
  • Underwriter

Learn more

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