From piggybanks to the World Bank, explore what makes economies tick

A globe on a desk.

How do you turn a poor country into a rich country? What can government do to stimulate new industries like biotechnology and green energy? Economists make sense of the world.

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.

Program highlights

  • 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.

What will you learn?  

First-year courses

During your first year, you'll take two introductory Economics courses. Plus, you'll have electives to explore an additional major of your choosing.

In upper years, 40% of the classes you'll take will be Economics courses.

Learn about courses you'll take for your Economics degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your major 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.


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

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)

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements for Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business.

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Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?

Please contact our Faculty of Arts recruitment team who can answer any questions you have.