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Enhancing your degree

Submitted by dfto on Wed, 07/11/2007 - 2:04pm

8.1 Honours Degree

The Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics is an undergraduate degree that provides you with an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the discipline. It has more demanding theory and quantitative requirements. If you excel in your first two years of study with an overall GPA of 3.3 or better, you should seriously consider the Honours stream. In addition to the extra prestige of an Honours degree and the associated job-market benefits, this degree opens the option of completing a Masters degree quickly—usually within one calendar year—and then pursuing a career as a professional economist. To complete the Honours degree in an orderly fashion, you should normally apply to enter the program after your first or second year. The admission requirement is completion of at least five full-course equivalents with a GPA of at least 3.3 over the most recent five full-course equivalents and a GPA of at least 3.30 over all courses at the University of Calgary and courses at other institutions that are applicable to degree requirements. Application are normally made at the time of Fall Session registration. The Honours Advisor can provide additional information and guidance and assist you with your application.

Program Requirements: Department of Economics

To obtain an honours degree in Economics, students are required to complete a minimum of 10.0 full course equivalents (FCE's) and a maximum of 12.0 FCE's in Economics. Of these the following courses are required:

1. Principles Courses 
Econ 201 Principles of Microeconomics
Econ 203 Principles of Macroeconomics

2. Intermediate Theory 
Econ 301 Intermediate Economic Theory—Microeconomics I
Econ 303 Intermediate Economic Theory—Macroeconomics I
Econ 357 Intermediate Economic Theory—Microeconomics II
Econ 359 Intermediate Economic Theory—Macroeconomics II

3. Econometrics
Econ 395 Use of Statistics in Economics
Econ 495/497 Econometrics I/Econometrics II

4. Mathematical Economics
Econ 387 Introduction to Mathematical Economics I
Econ 389 Introduction to Mathematical Economics II

5. Applications
1.5 FCE's at the 400 or 500 level with Economics 301, 303, 357 or 359 as prerequisites.

6. Advanced Theory
Econ 557 Topics in Economic Theory I
Econ 559 Topics in Economic Theory II

7. Additional

2-4 additional FCE's economics courses at the 300 level or above.


Program Requirements: Departmental External Requirements

External requirements required by the Faculty of Arts for an honours degree are the same as for the Major (see Section 6.2 for details). The external requirements required by the Department of Economics for an honours degree in Economics are:

1. Mathematics
Math 249 Introductory Calculus or Math 265 Calculus I
Math 211 Linear Methods I

2. Statistics 
Stats 213 Introduction to Statistics I or Stat 205 Introduction to Statistical Theory

Courses required in the Honours stream, but not the Major, are shown in bold-faced type. At advanced levels of economic analysis, mathematics becomes an important tool for systematic modeling. Mathematics 211 is a linear algebra course that leads to an understanding of how systems of equations can be solved simultaneously, which is important for both theoretical modelling and econometrics. Economics 387 and 389 form a two-course sequence in mathematical economics where you will combine your algebra and calculus skills with economic analysis. Math 211 and Math 249 or 251 are prerequisites for Economics 387, while Economics 301 and 303 are co-requisites. Economics 387 is in turn required for Economics 389. Economics 495/497, 557 and 559 provide capstone experiences in econometrics, microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory, which will deepen your ability to understand and analyze economic questions. Economics 301, 303 and 395 plus Math 211 are prerequisites for Economics 495/497; Economics 357 and 389 are prerequisites for Economics 557; and Economics 395, 359 and 389 are prerequisites for Economics 559. Students interested in the Honours degree should note that Econ 557 and Econ 559 are normally done in the fourth year of study and that this requires that Econ 387 and 389 be completed in the third year of study. Moreover, it is not recommended that Honours students take any of their required economics courses in Spring/Summer. Table 5 illustrates the degree requirements and recommended sequencing for an Honours degree in Economics.

In addition to the specific courses listed previously, the Honours program requires that you complete three half-course equivalents at the 400 level or above having Economics 301, 303, 357 or 359 as a prerequisite. It is recommended that you include Economics 471 in your program because this course includes material on game theory and market structure that is valuable if you decide to pursue a Masters degree. You would normally complete five additional half-course economics electives for a total of 20 half-course equivalents in economics. You may, however, elect to complete up to a maximum of 24 half-course equivalents in economics, or you may receive approval for a program with as few as 16 half-course equivalents if you pursue an acceptable minor or a concentration of at least 6 half courses in a related field.

A minimum GPA of 3.3 must be maintained over all courses and all economics courses. A 3.3 GPA must also be maintained year by year. Not more than 2 half-course equivalent D or D+ grades in Economics are allowed. Unlike the Major, some time limits apply to the completion of Honours Degrees in the Faculty of Arts (see the University of Calgary Calendar for details).

8.2 Economics and Society

This program is no longer offered by the Department of Economics. No new students will be admitted into the program. Students currently in the program will be permitted to complete the program, however, some revisions will be required. In particular Econ 309 and Econ 313 are no longer offered and students will instead take Econ 301, 303, 357 and 359.

The Major in Economics and Society is intended for students who would like a basic understanding of economic analysis, economic institutions, the rationale and effects of government policy, and an understanding of the economy. It is intended for students interested in pursuing post-graduate degrees in other disciplines, like law, business, international relations or public administration.

The Major in Economics and Society Major provides students with an overview of analytical concepts in economics and their application, with an emphasis on the role of economics in public policy debates. This option provides a solid grounding in economic reasoning, but is differentiated from the Major in Economics. The primary difference is significant decreases in the exposure and level of mastery in (i) theory, (ii) mathematics, and (iii) quantitative methods. Instead of requiring students to complete four half courses in intermediate theory, two of which have a calculus prerequisite, the requirement of the Major in Economics and Society is two half courses. There is no university level calculus requirement (Math 251) for the Major in Economics and Society. Instead of a required course in econometrics (Econ 395), there is an option to substitute Stats 217, a difference which reduces the level of rigor and breadth of coverage in favour of an introduction to the use and understanding of statistics. Finally, reflecting the difference in perspective, the Major in Economics and Society does not have upper level course requirements which build on intermediate theory.

The reduction in requirements for graduation means that students in the Major in Economics an Society will have considerable flexibility in putting together programmes which suit their particular interests and requirements. The reduction in required courses provides the opportunity for students to take more courses in other disciplines and have more flexibility in their choices within Economics.

Course Requirements

Students majoring in Economics and Society must take 7 to 10 full-course equivalents in Economics. Of these the following are required:

1. Principles Courses

Economics 201 Principles of Microeconomics
Economics 203 Principles of Macroeconomics

2. Intermediate Theory

Prior to Fall 2006:
Economics 309 Microeconomics for Economics and Society 
Economics 313 Macroeconomics for Economics and Society

From Fall 2006:
Economics 301 Intermediate Economic Theory - Microeconomics I 
Economics 303 Intermediate Economic Theory - Macroeconomics I
Economics 357 Intermediate Economic Theory - Microeconomics II
Economics 539 Intermediate Economic Theory - Macroeconomics II

3. Econometrics
Econ 395 Use of Statistics in Economics

8.3 Co-operative Education in Economics

If I become an economist, what will I actually be doing in my job? The Co-op program in Economics helps you experience the answer to this question while you are earning your degree. And you earn money at the same time!

The Economics Co-op program is available for students majoring in Economics as well as those in the Honours program. Co-op students must complete all of the usual requirements for their degrees in addition to a 3-4 month work term.

For more information regarding admission, deadlines and program requirements please visit the Arts Advising Co-op website: You are advised to meet with one of the Co-op Coordinators in the Arts Students’ Centre to discuss and navigate your options.

8.4 Concentration in Applied Energy Economics

Link: Concentration in Applied Energy Economics 

 Economics students can apply to be admitted to the Applied Energy Economics program once they have completed Economics 201 and 203, provided they have maintained a GPA of at least 2.7 over their most recent course work, typically their most recent five full course equivalents.  It is expected that students who graduate with a concentration in Applied Energy Economics will enhance their already strong prospects of finding relevant and rewarding employment in the energy sector.  Further details of the Applied Energy Economics Program are available at

8.5 Summer Internships in Regulatory Economics

The Centre for Regulatory Affairs in the Van Horne Institute offers a summer internship in regulatory economics for students interested in pursuing summer employment opportunities in regulatory economics and industrial organization. The placements are typically full time for four months (May through August). Placements in the past have been with a variety of regulated companies and regulatory institutions, including Enbridge Pipelines Inc, the Alberta Energy Utilities Board, Foothills Pipelines, the Power Pool of Alberta and ENMAX.

The intent of the programme is to provide career related experience for students returning to graduate school in the fall and for students who have finished three years of study to obtain economics related job experience prior to graduation. To be eligible, students must have completed the following courses (or equivalents): Econ 471 (Industrial Organization) and Econ 477 (Regulatory Economics). Completion of Econ 571 (Competition Policy) is a distinct advantage and for some placements it is a requirement. Students must have finished at least three years of study, with a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the required courses and over their last 15 half courses. Preference to students who graduate in June will be given to those who are enrolled in a graduate programme at the University of Calgary in the fall.

8.6 Service to Non-Majors

Students with an interest in economics majoring in another discipline can declare a minor in economics and have it recorded on their transcript.

The requirements for a minor in Economics are completion of between five and six full course equivalents in economics.

A second option is the minor in applied energy economics. The course requirements for a minor in applied energy economics are completion of five full course equivalents in economics: Economics 201, 203, 301, 357, 395, 493; two of Economics 323, 325, 327, 329, 377, 475, 477, 487, and 527.

In addition courses at the 300 level in the Department with their emphasis on facts, institutions, and policy issues usefully introduce fields of economics to both majors and non-majors. There are no restrictions on non-majors taking economics courses, provided they have the necessary prerequisites. The field courses at the 300 level are particularly accessible since they typically have only ECON 201 and 203 as prerequisites.

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