Economics 2+2 students

2+2 students sitting on bench

Two universities. Two degrees.

Welcome to the home of the University of Waterloo, Economics 2+2 Program.

Students complete their first two years of study at their home university, and then complete a further two years of study at Waterloo, receiving a degree from each university.

Hear what our current students have to say about academic and student life at UWaterloo in the video below!

Remote video URL

Qidi Hu - Alumnus

Honours Economics, 2+2 program, 2016-2018

Qidi Hu

Recipient of the Governor General's Silver Medal

"The 2+2 program offered by the Waterloo Economics Department provides a wonderful platform for student development.  They deliver abundant academic resources that help students find good job opportunities, leveraged by the top ranked reputation of the University. Doing an undergraduate in two different cultural environments expands students horizons, develop their internationalization visions and give students an unforgettable lifetime experience. During the two years in the Economics 2+2 program, students will build a strong foundation in economics and the other fields which students are interested in, and they will also improve their communication skills. This transforms students in to competitive candidates upon graduation." - Qidi Hu

Honours programs

Economics 2+2 students studying in the Faculty of Arts can choose from one of two honours programs. Follow the links below for detailed program requirements.

Communication Skills requirement: (NOTE: this differs from the Calendar copy but in this one case what is written here is the correct requirement and the calendar does not apply): A passing grade (>=50%) in any EMLS course. Ideally in the first fall term at Waterloo. Not later than in the second term at Waterloo. This is a “special rule” for Arts 2+2 students.


  • 2+2 Economics and Mathematical Economics students may not pursue a Joint Honours plan with Mathematics;
  • 2+2 Mathematical Economics students may not pursue a Minor in Mathematics.

Applying to the Economics 2+2 Program - Economics or Mathematical Economics

Any questions regarding the Economics program at Waterloo can be forwarded to the Economics Advising Team.

How to apply

Applications for September entry are open until March 1st of the same year.

  1. Carefully complete the online Application for Admission.
  2. Select the Arts/China 2+2 – WAE on the online application and Fall (September) entry term.
  3. Please provide us with a current, valid e-mail address as we will be communicating with you throughout the application process through e-mail. Please do NOT use any e-mail addresses.
  4. The total application fee is $85.00 in Canadian funds. Payable to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre upon completing your online application. Preferred method of payment is Visa, Mastercard or AMEX. You can also arrange to pay by an International Money Order or Bank Draft, in Canadian Funds or Western Union Business Solutions – GlobalPay for Students (Bank-to-Bank Transfer for international payments only).

Required documents at the time of application

Required documents complete the application process, and must be received by Waterloo no later than March 15 of your entrance year. The following documents are required:

  • Your current official university transcript with a certified English language translation mailed directly from your university.
  • If your current transcript does NOT indicate the courses in which you are currently enrolled you will need to include a letter (preferably from your advisor), outlining your current courses.
  • A certified copy of your official Senior High School Graduation Diploma in a signed and sealed envelope
  • Your official Chinese University Entrance Exam (Gaokao).
  • A copy of your language test results: CET/TOEFL/IELTS – when available.
  • A printed copy of your completed and signed application form.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: The transcripts and certified translation must be mailed or given directly to a University of Waterloo representative from your home university in a stamped and sealed envelope. The transcripts and documents cannot pass through your hands.

The required documents must be mailed once you have completed the online application to:

Undergraduate Admissions Registrar’s Office
University of Waterloo/China 2+2 program
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

Important information

  • Transfer credit assessments cannot be finalized until official transcripts are received for ALL course work completed. Please read about transfer credit rules for more information.
  • Shortly after you apply you will receive an e-mail acknowledgement from the University of Waterloo. You will be given your Waterloo ID number (8 digits). Please include this number on all correspondence with Waterloo.
  • Admission decision information will be sent to you via email beginning in March to early April.
  • Any questions regarding the Economics program at Waterloo can be forwarded to the Economics Advising Team

English language exam and interview

Each fall (October to December), Waterloo's Faculty of Arts will send a certified examiner to each partner university to assess the English proficiency of Economics 2+2 applicants with a written test and a personal interview. Admission decisions will be made based on both your English test score and academic standing. 

There are four timed parts to the written test:

Below is a breakdown of the structure of each section:

Part I: Listening comprehension (35 marks)

The listening comprehension test must be administered by a native speaker of English.

  1. Word Recognition: Students identify which word of a choice of four they hear a speaker say. There are 15 items.
  2. Sentence Completion: Students complete a spoken sentence with the word most suitable of four options. There are 10 items.
  3. Sentence Response: Students choose the best of four answers to a question they hear the speaker ask. There are 10 items.

Part II: Reading comprehension (35 marks)

  1. Paraphrase: Of the four sentences in each of 10 items, students choose the one which most accurately repeats the information in the model.

    Example: It took John a long time to find out that he couldn't do the exercise .

    a) John spent a long time working on the exercise before he finished it.
    b) John spent a long time trying to finish the exercise.
    c) John spent a long time on the exercise before realizing that he didn't know how to do it.
    d) John spent a long time working on the exercise before he discovered how to do it.
  2. Sight passage: After reading a 350-word passage, students read 10 statements about it and determine which are true and which are false.
  3. Vocabulary: Each item consists of a word followed by four possible meanings. Students identify the word that is closest in meaning to the test word. There are 15 such items.

    Example: perhaps 

    a) always
    b) maybe
    c) truly
    d) therefore

Part III: Grammar and usage (50 marks)

  1. General grammar questions: Students mark the letter corresponding to the word or phrase which most appropriately completes each of 25 sentences.

    Example: Those towels are. . . . . . . for us to use to dry the dishes.

    a) so wet
    b) too wet
    c) as wet
    d) wet enough
  2. Idioms: Students fill in the blanks in 15 sentences with appropriate prepositions.

    Example: Parents are expected to look _____ their children well.

    Answer: Parents are expected to look after their children well.
  3. Sentence construction: On a separate page, students are asked to write grammatically complete sentences using each of 10 given words meaningfully.

    Example: however 

    Answer: We read the instructions three times; however, we still could not understand it.

Part IV: Writing (50 marks)

On paper provided, students are to write a short essay on their choice of two given general topics. They may write as much as they want; but should aim for at least 300 words. If unsure about the topic, they are allowed to ask for help.

Important: Students must also count their words and put the total at the top of their first page.

Miscellaneous information

Students are expected to complete each section within the allotted time. Students who finish early are to review their answers. They may use pen or pencil, whichever they prefer. They may not use any outside aids such as a dictionary.

The questions in Part I and in Part II: A and B are all multiple choice, and the answers are recorded on the actual test pages. The questions in Part II: C and in Part III are to be completed on paper supplied to the students. When the students are asked to do their own writing on this paper, we insist that they write on every other line.

Transfer Credits

All students admitted to Honours Economics and Honours Mathematical Economics will receive 10.0 full units (equal to 20 half units) of transfer credit for previous studies – this is the maximum allowable. That said, students must complete a minimum of 10.0 additional full units (equal to 20 half units) of graded course work at UWaterloo to complete the degree. NOTE: students may elect to take more than 10.0 units of graded course work at UWaterloo if they wish; in fact, in some instances, Honours Mathematical Economics students may need to do just that depending upon the transfer credits they are awarded.

Common transfer credits to be awarded to all students PROVIDED that appropriate equivalent courses are successfully completed at the home institution within the 10.0 full units allowable are as follows (therefore, students will NOT take these courses at UWaterloo) – please be mindful that some of these transfer credits (and others) may not be officially posted until late September after official final transcripts from the home institution are received:

Honours Economics

  • ECON: 101, 102, 211 and 221 (2.0 full units – equal to four half units);
  • ​MATH: 106 and 127 (1.0 full unit – equal to two half units).

Honours Mathematical Economics

  • ECON: 101, 102 (1.0 full unit – equal to two half units);
  • MATH: 106, 127 and 128 (1.5 full units – equal to three half units);
  • STAT: 221 (0.5 unit).

Additional transfer credits will be assigned to “best advantage” each student with meeting major requirements and overall degree requirements; in particular, awarding course equivalents that serve to satisfy some (or all) of the BA Breadth Requirements is a top priority. That said, the ONLY categories of the BA Breadth Requirements a student MIGHT have left to complete are as follows:

  • The ONE (1) half unit course in any of the subjects designated as being in the Fine, Performing & Communication category;
  • The TWO (2) half unit courses in any of the subjects designated as being in the Languages & Cultures category.

Essentially, depending upon courses completed at the home institution, some students may receive transfer credits that serve to satisfy all the BA Breadth Requirements; some students may need to complete only one more course to satisfy them; some students may need only two more courses to satisfy them; some may need three (which would be the maximum).

IMPORTANT: a great deal of effort is put into assessing transfer credits as accurately as possible with every student’s best interests in mind – therefore, requests to have transfer credits “reassessed” will only be considered in extraordinary circumstances.

ECON 2+2 Course Enrollment Guide

In their first term, all students – Honours Economics and Honours Mathematical Economics – will be enrolled in ECON 290. This will be done by the Economics Department in mid-July prior to newly admitted students being able to start adding courses on their own via the QUEST system in July. Students may NOT drop this course or attempt to switch to a different section. The department will also enroll all students to EMLS 129R, because it is highly recommended that students satisfy the Communication Requirement as soon as possible. It is therefore strongly advised NOT to drop this course. Beginning in July students can begin enrolling in additional courses for their first term of study – students may take a maximum of five half unit courses in a term; to be deemed full-time, a student must take at least three half unit courses in a term.

Instructions on how to add courses on Quest

Students may “Course Select” – ie. Pre-enroll – in the courses they hope to take the Winter term during the course selection period beginning at the end of September. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in “Course Selection” for a future term as it enhances their chances of getting into the courses they hope to take. Students are able to begin finalizing their Winter course selections in November.

Instructions on how to add courses for a future term

Course offering resources

Student resources

UWaterloo Resource Purpose
Important dates Find important dates like fee deadlines, university holiday closures, add/drop dates, and more.
Undergraduate calendar Find an outline of your academic plan, degree requirements, course descriptions, and more.
Schedule of classes Find what dates and times courses are being held, how many spaces available in a course. This resource helps with course selection
Registrar's Office forms Find forms needed to change academic plans, change personal information, petition, graduate, and more.
Quest You will use Quest to add/drop courses, view your schedule, view your terms fees, unofficial transcript, and more.
LEARN This is where your instructor can host any online materials for your course, post assignment grades, midterm grades. Learn can also be used to host fully online courses.
Student Portal Find campus events, campus news, personal class schedule, exam schedule, campus maps, and more


2+2 Lunch (2018)