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.

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 for students in the Department of Economics.

Build an awesome résumé

Choose the co-op system of study and graduate with 20 months of relevant experience on top of your academic learning.


About the Economics program

briefcase Available as a co-op and regular program

Graduation cap Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Economics

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor


Economics admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 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
  • Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
  • An Admission Information Form is recommended.

How to apply

Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Economics as your major at the end of first year.

First-year Economics courses

September to December

ECON 101 - Introduction to Microeconomics
Arts First requirement 1*
3 additional courses

January to April

ECON 102 - Introduction to Macroeconomics
Arts First requirement 2*
3 additional courses


*The Arts First requirement consists of 2 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.

Sample upper-year courses

Choose from courses that span social sciences, international economic development, public policy, and political science.

ECON 206 – Money and Banking I
ECON 254 – Economics of Sport
ECON 332 – International Finance
ECON 451 – Law and Economics

Customize your Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics degree

You can choose one of three Economics specializations: Financial Economics, Public Policy, or Econometrics. You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor or option as part of your degree.

Gain relevant work experience through co-op

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore careers and types of employers in Economics as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Information technology/finance support
  • Economist/statistician
  • 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
  • Buytopia
  • Lug

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.

Recent graduates

  • Economist – Statistics Canada
  • Financial Analyst – BlackBerry
  • Supervisor Entitlements – RBC Investor Services
  • Commercial Analyst – Meridian Credit Union
  • Senior Risk Manager – TD Securities
  • Payroll Supervisor - Bell Canada
  • Trader - Gordon Capital Corporation

Learn more about Economics