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.

A globe on a desk.

Our graduate and undergraduate programs cover exciting real-world developments and equip students with contemporary analytic skills.

Academic and social support

Whether it’s the mentorship program, a professor-student social, 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.


icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor


Admission requirements

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

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

We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


Get tips from Waterloo students

Sign up for insider advice that can help you now and in the future. Topics include

  • tips for a successful senior year of high school,
  • how to choose a university program,
  • differences between high school and university, and more.

First-year 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

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


icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

Graduation capEarn 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
  • 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

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
  • Econometrics

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 an economics degree?

Waterloo Economics graduates commonly pursue careers in government, finance, investment, and consulting. They often work in government agencies, financial companies, consulting firms, and more.

Recent graduates

  • 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

Learn about the future of careers in business.

Ready to learn more?