The economics curriculum is highly structured because economics is a theoretical science. As a consequence, higher level courses build on knowledge and skills developed in lower level courses. The course progression is carefully structured to ensure students have the opportunity to achieve the expectations the Department has for its majors upon graduation.

The structure of the program and the requirements for graduation can be understood by grouping the required courses in economics into five clusters. The first two clusters introduce and develop the theory tool kit required for economic analysis. The third cluster introduces and develops the statistical and econometric tool kit required to test and measure economic responses. The fourth and fifth clusters involve the application of the economists' tool kit to applied problems, developing a student's ability to think like an economist, providing opportunities and instruction in student research, and exposure to the knowledge base expected of a graduate.

These clusters are as follows:

1. Principles Courses (Economics 201 and 203)

In Economics 201 and 203 students are introduced to the economic way of thinking, emphasizing key concepts, ideas, and institutions. Key concepts include the notions of self-interest, incentives, opportunity cost, scarcity, profits, substitution, competition, efficiency and equity, and comparative advantage. The institutions of a market economy considered include the role of private property, governments, international trade agreements and organizations, contracts, firms, money, markets and the role of prices. A discussion of the role of government introduces students to current policy issues and the relative roles of analysis and values.

2. Economic Theory and Calculus

(Economics 301, 303, 357, and 359 and Math 249 or 251)

At the intermediate level, there are two courses in microeconomics and two courses in macroeconomics. These courses are the core of the theory sequence in the undergraduate Major program and they provide the foundation for the field courses at the 400 and 500 level. The emphasis of the intermediate microeconomics courses is on building the basic theoretical tool kit of an economist, and involves extending and formalizing the concepts and ideas introduced in the principles courses. Of particular importance are (i) understanding the distinction between positive analysis (explaining why or what will happen) and normative analysis (arguing what resource allocation should be); (ii) understanding when and why markets work well and when they do not; and (iii) understanding the role of government in wealth creation and redistribution. Macroeconomic theory is concerned with the behaviour of aggregate data and relationships, for instance the determinants of unemployment, the rate of inflation, or the rate of economic growth. The emphasis of the intermediate macroeconomics courses is on the major macroeconomic models and learning how these models can be applied to real world macroeconomic problems, with a particular emphasis on assessing different government policies and their appropriateness.The importance of marginal analysis—thinking about the marginal benefits and costs of an activity—and the use of logic to deduce conclusions means that calculus is a natural language of economics. As a consequence both Econ 357 and 359 have a calculus prerequisite and Math 249 or 251 is a graduation requirement.

3. Statistics and Econometrics (Stats 213 or 205 and Econ 395)

In these courses students develop familiarity with the statistical and econometric techniques required to assess theory and to estimate the magnitude of the sensitivity of behaviour of individuals and organizations to changes in incentives.

4. Application Courses at the 300 Level

In these courses students are introduced to different applications of economic theory. The applications are typically defined by area of interest or field. The 300-level field courses apply basic economic concepts, and introduce both majors and non-majors to the economic perspective on a range of real world problems. The emphasis in 300-level courses is typically on facts, institutions, and policy issues.

5. Application Courses at the 400 and 500 Level

These courses use intermediate economic theory and the emphasis is less on facts and institutions and more on analysis grounded in economic theory as well as testing that analysis for its applicability. The application of intermediate theory allows a more sophisticated analysis of economic policy and the student is expected to develop some expertise and understanding of the issues (economic and policy) in the field. In these courses students typically are expected to master the art of research and become engaged in their own research projects.

**Sequencing of Courses **

The logic of the program means that students are strongly encouraged to complete the theory and statistics/econometric tool kit clusters as soon as practically possible. Ideally, students would complete Econ 201 and 203, Stats 213, and Math 249 or 251 in their first year; Econ 301, 303, 357, and 359 in their second year; and Econ 395 in their third year. 7.2 Fields in Economics

The Department offers a wide range of courses in various fields of economics. Nearly all fields have courses available at the 300 level, so students can become familiar with the institutional factors and general ideas in a field before encountering a more in depth treatment at the 400 and 500 level. The choice of field courses is open. Students are likely to have different preferences: some may simply take courses in areas they find interesting, others may diversify by sampling across many different fields, and yet others may develop considerable expertise and depth by focusing on only one or two areas.