Economics

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Study how people, institutions, and nations create and manage scarce resources, make choices by comparing costs and benefits, and act purposefully on those choices.

UBC Okanagan students downtown Kelowna

Why study Economics at UBC’s Okanagan campus?

Career opportunities

Earn a UBC degree respected by employers around the globe. Build a broad foundation and acquire the skills to pursue careers ranging from banking and lobbying to journalism and economic development.

Access to professors

Visit your prof during office hours, volunteer to assist with a research project, or apply to work as a teaching assistant delivering labs, tutorials, and even lectures.

Student networks

Join the economics and political science course unions to build friendships, get involved in advocacy, and gain increased access to career resources.

Co-op experience

Put your classroom learning to the test with Co-op job placements throughout the region and beyond. Co-op helps you to gain beneficial skills such as how to build your resumé, apply for jobs, expand your professional network, and earn money to pay for tuition.

what you need to know

Economics is a social science concerned with choice and trade-offs among competing alternatives given scarce resources. Economics also studies how people interact with each other, how their behaviour reflects the incentives they face, and how they change their behaviour in response to different incentives. Economics has such pervasive influence in our lives that the modern age is often referred to as ‘the age of the economist’.

Majoring in economics will change the way you look at the world, increase your understanding of fundamental human behaviour, and improve your reasoning, problem solving, and decision-making abilities.

At UBC Okanagan, you can complete a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in economics. The BA program offers major, minor, and honours options. The BSc offers major and honours options.

UBC Okanagan’s economics program offers a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that prepare students to improve deductive reasoning, abstract and critical thinking, and build an understanding of the historical, cultural, and social context of economic institutions, policies, and events.

The BSc major in economics emphasizes the mathematical and quantitative nature of modern economic inquiry that is increasingly required for graduate studies in economics or careers in quantitative economic and financial analysis.

Sample courses (BA Major):

  • ECON 260 — Poverty and Inequality
  • ECON 339 — Economics of Technological Change
  • ECON 390 — Economics of Public Choice

Sample courses (BSc Major):

  • ECON 204 — Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 327 — Introduction to Empirical Economics
  • ECON 358 — Competitiveness in the International Economy

Browse economics courses and descriptions.

The following links take you to economics program details in the Okanagan Academic Calendar, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at The University of British Columbia:

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

For your application to be considered, you will need to:

  • meet general requirements (e.g., graduate from secondary school)
  • demonstrate a certain level of English competency
  • meet specific requirements for the degree you’re applying to

Then, UBC will take a closer look at your application. We’ll read your Personal Profile to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve achieved. We’ll also look at all of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses, paying special attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to.

Find your specific requirements at https://you.ubc.ca/

WHEN TO DECLARE YOUR MAJOR

Declaring helps you plan your program more effectively, build your education, and stay connected.

Students are encouraged to declare their major in economics at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for admission requirements.

Application Deadlines

Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at you.ubc.ca.

Tuition Fees

UBC Okanagan’s fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre. See Financial Planning for helpful resources, and add up your first-year costs with our Cost Calculator.

Apply to UBC at you.ubc.ca—there are just five steps in the application process. Soon you could be studying at one of the world’s top universities.

Check out the steps to apply to UBC, and be sure to choose “Okanagan campus.”

Or let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1.877.807.8521.

Your Career Options

Build a broad foundation and great career potential with a UBC degree — respected by employers around the globe. Careers range from banking and brokerage to journalism and economic development.

  • Account manager
  • Actuarial assistant
  • Advertising media planner
  • Benefits administrator
  • Business analyst
  • Claims examiner
  • Collection agent
  • Commodity/property assessor
  • Compensation analyst
  • Construction estimator
  • Credit/loan administrator
  • Economic forecaster
  • Economic development officer
  • Employee benefits officer
  • Energy researcher
  • Financial/budget counsellor
  • Health policy planner
  • Insurance claims adjustors
  • Insurance underwriter trainee
  • Insurance claims adjustors
  • Insurance underwriter trainee
  • Labour economist
  • Labour relations negotiator
  • Land management specialist
  • Lobbyist
  • Legislative aide
  • Market research analyst
  • Media analyst
  • Merchandiser
  • Operations research analyst
  • Policy analyst
  • Public policy analyst
  • Regulatory analyst
  • Research commodity analyst
  • Security analyst
  • Trust administrator
  • Banking, brokerage, financial planning, and investing firms
  • Government departments involved in agriculture, economic development, finance, gaming, labour, liquor control, policy analysis, and transportation
  • Businesses focusing on compensation consulting and enterprise risk management
  • Journalism, manufacturing, trading, energy, and telecommunications
  • Life, property, and casualty insurance companies
  • Public sector organizations such as workers’ compensation boards and health authorities

Learn and earn with Co-op, a paid opportunity for students to enrich their education with work experience. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, sign up for Co-op to:

  • build your resumé with professional experience
  • learn valuable tips on how to successfully apply for jobs
  • expand your network of industry contacts
  • earn money to pay for tuition

Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.

UBC Okanagan offers MA, MSc and PhD degrees in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program, which offers innovative interdisciplinary themes and individualized options in which students can have an economics faculty member as their primary supervisor.

Gain Valuable Experience

Learning experiences beyond the classroom help prepare you for a career and life after university. Expand your horizons while studying abroad, conducting meaningful research, or working in the community with your UBC colleagues.

  • See the world through Go Global, a UBC program for exchange and study with more than 150 international partner institutions. Experience university life abroad as a resident, or earn academic credit while participating in summer group-study courses led by UBC profs.
  • Travel to conferences or competitions with financial assistance made available through the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund, which provides financial support up to $3,500.

Follow your ideas and jump-start your career:

Get a financial boost to start your research experience. Pay for travel and other expenses. Win merit-based cash awards that look impressive on your resumé.

  • Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Awards: Up to $7,500 plus $1,500 for expenses, and for international students, up to $9,000 plus $1,500 for expenses
  • Co-op puts your classroom learning to the test, allowing you to explore career options while earning money. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
  • Learn through doing, create strong connections, and develop professional skills with a campus job arranged by UBC’s Work Study Program.
  • Meet a community need and get practical experience by volunteering for a Community Service Learning project — a life-changing experience.

WELCOME TO UBC’S OKANAGAN CAMPUS

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the economics program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.

  • Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at you.ubc.ca.
  • Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
  • Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
  • Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
    * Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox 

On the first day of university, faculties offer “Meet the Faculty” sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation: CREATE.

Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an aboriginal student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.

  • Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who’ve been there, done that.
  • Navigate your studies with the help of a professor, your Program Advisor.
  • Use the library which offers print, audiovisual and electronic research materials, a leisure-reading collection, and loaner laptops. It also offers research consultations, instruction, and workshops.
  • The library’s Writing and Resource Centre can help you articulate your ideas. Pursue your research in a range of subject areas and scholarly genres, including essay writing, grammar, presentation skills, punctuation, thesis development, and coursework.
  • Familiarize yourself with resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.

Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active — from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.

Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals, and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.

  • Make friends with similar interests and explore career options with the Economics Course Union.
  • Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun by joining various campus clubs.

Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support.

UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.

Find out more about living in residence at you.ubc.ca.

UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people — the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.

A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at you.ubc.ca.