From piggybanks to the World Bank, explore what makes economies tick.
Get ready to wrestle with important and complex questions: How do you turn a poor country into a rich country? How can we avoid another global financial crisis? What’s the best way for governments to stimulate new industries like biotechnology and green energy?
In first year, you’ll cover the fundamentals of micro- and macro-economics. In upper years, you can analyze how those principles play out in a wide range of sectors, including public policy, labour economics, health economics, finance, sport, and more.
Whether you’re aiming to work in the public sector, the private sector, or academia, your Economics degree from Waterloo will give you the skills and knowledge you need, along with co-op experience to back you up.
Admission requirements for economics majors
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of at least 70%)
Mathematics of Data Management is recommended as helpful background for the program.
Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)
How to apply
We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
First-year Economics courses
September to December
- ECON 101 - Introduction to Microeconomics
- Arts First requirement 1*
- Three additional courses
January to April
- ECON 102 - Introduction to Macroeconomics
- Arts First requirement 2*
- Three additional courses
*The Arts First requirement consists of two first-year courses that are capped at 25 students: ARTS 130 - Inquiry and Communication and ARTS 140 - Information and Analysis. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, Arts First courses will have you and your classmates working together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor.
After first year
40% of the classes you’ll take will be Economics courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
Choose from courses that span social sciences, international economic development, public policy, and political science.
Sample upper-year courses
Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore careers and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Information technology/finance support
- Assistant internal auditor
- SAP merchandising/change management
- Project control officer
- Associate business analyst
- Sales operations coordinator
Sample co-op employers
- KPMG LLP Canada
- Sun Life Financial
- The Co-operators
- Human Resources and Social Development Canada
- Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure
International exchanges in 25 countries
Offered by the Faculty of Arts
Available as a major and minor
Customize your Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree
You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the areas of focus in Economics.
- Financial Economics
- Public Policy
Popular areas of focus for Economics students include Financial Economics and Human Resource Management, two of the many minors available to all Waterloo students.
What can you do with a degree in economics?
Waterloo Economics graduates commonly pursue careers in government, finance, investment, and consulting. They often work in government agencies, financial companies, and more.
- Economist – Statistics Canada
- Supervisor Entitlements – RBC Investor Services
- Commercial Analyst – Meridian Credit Union
- Senior Risk Manager – TD Securities
- Financial Analyst – BlackBerry
- Trader - Gordon Capital Corporation
For more information on potential careers, check out our page on careers in business.
Academic and social support
Whether it’s the Econ Study Clinic, a prof mixer, or a games night, Waterloo’s Economics Society organizes supportive social and academic events.
Build an awesome résumé
Choose the co-op program and graduate with 20 months of relevant experience on top of your academic learning.