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Honours Bachelors of Arts in Economics

The BA in Honours Economics program is a four-level program that offers the challenge of more advanced work in economics.

Hons.B.A.Honours Bachelors of Arts in Economics

The BA in Honours Economics program is a four-level program that offers the challenge of more advanced work in economics.

The honours program provides excellent preparation for graduate work in applied economics, economic policy, business, law, public administration, urban planning and other professional disciplines. For example, students planning a career in business or the public sector often select the honours economics degree followed by the MBA or MPA degree. Such programs typically expect an Honours B.A. but do not require the advanced courses in economic theory. Other requirements for admission vary substantially among programs and universities.


  1. Alternate admission: For students enrolled in a program beyond Level I, admission to Levels II, III and IV of Honours Economics programs requires an average of at least 5.0 in ECON 2G03, 2GG3 (or 2Z03, 2ZZ3) 2H03 and 2HH3, in addition to the required Grade Point Average (GPA) as stated in the Minimum Requirement for Entering and Continuing in a Program Beyond Level I in the Faculty of Social Sciences Academic Regulations. Students enrolled in Levels II, III and IV cannot gain admission to Honours Economics programs by upgrading ECON 1B03 (or 1BX3) or 1BB3 (or 1BA3).
  2. COMMERCE 2FA3 may be substituted for ECON 2I03 and COMMERCE 2QA3 may be substituted for ECON 2B03.
  3. Students with prior credit in a statistics course recognized as an alternative to ECON 2B03 are exempt from this requirement. Those students can take ECON 3EE3 (formerly 3U03) only if they achieved a grade of at least B+ in an alternative statistics course. There is no such grade requirement for ECON 3E03 (formerly 3WW3). See ECON 3EE3 (formerly 3U03) in the Course Listings section of this Calendar for a list of recognized alternative statistics courses.
  4. Students interested in an M.A. in Economics should take ECON 3EE3 (formerly 3U03) and consider the Specialist Option.
  5. MATH 1M03 is required for any student planning to transfer into Commerce and strongly recommended for any student with a minor in Business or Finance. MATH 1M03 is required for ECON 3G03 and is strongly recommended for students planning any graduate study in economics.
  6. Students must complete STATS 1L03 before taking ECON 3EE3 (formerly 3U03) or ECON 3E03 (formerly 3WW3).


120 units total (Levels I to IV), of which 48 units may be Level I

30 units


  • the Level I program completed prior to admission to the program. (See Admission above.)

3 units


3 units


36 units

  • Electives. The number of units of Economics courses above Level I (excluding ECON 2B033E03 and 3EE3) must not exceed 60.

* If requirement was completed in Level I or with Grade 12 U courses, these units will be taken as electives.

Students start in the Social Sciences Level 1 program or the Economics 1 program and apply to the Economics Honours BA Program at the end of their first year. Students must complete the requirements of a Level 1 program including two Level 1 Economics courses.

Completion of any Level 1 program with a Grade Point Average of 5.0 (C) including an average of at least  5.0 (C) in ECON 1B03 and 1BA3/1BB3.

For continuation in the program, see the section on Minimum Requirements for Entering and Continuing in a Program Beyond Level I.

If a student misses the cut-off for enrolling in Level 2 Honours, he or she can enrol in the BA program for level II. The student can transfer to Honours when entering Level 3 if the GPA is at least 5.0 and the student has an average of at least 5.0 in the four intermediate theory courses ECON 2G03, 2GG3 (or 2Z03, 2ZZ3), 2H03 and 2HH3.  The student can transfer to Honours-Specialist Option when entering Level 3 if the GPA is at least 5.0 and the student has an average of at least 6.0 in the four intermediate theory courses ECON 2G03, 2GG3 (or 2Z03, 2ZZ3), 2H03 and 2HH3 with a grade of at least C in each of ECON 2GG3 (or 2ZZ3) and 2HH3.

To remain in programs beyond Level 2, and to graduate from them, students must maintain a GPA of at least 5.0 for the Honours B.A.

Undergraduate Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards

All undergraduate students accepted for admission to McMaster University are automatically considered for a McMaster University entrance award. Additional entrance awards, in-course scholarships, bursaries and other forms of financial assistance is available to you at various stages of their undergraduate careers.

Each scholarship, bursary, Government Aid or Work Study Program a has its own unique application process and requirements. More information on financial aid visit the Student Financial Aid & Scholarship (SFAS) Office.

Economics students are eligible for more than fifteen Scholarships and Awards.

Academic Counseling

Please e-mail Prof. O’Shaughnessy at or our Undergraduate Administrative Assistant at for support. 

Academic Advising

The Academic Advising office is run through the Office of the Associate Dean. The primary goal of the Advising Office is to provide all Social Sciences undergraduate students with the information and guidance they need to succeed in their academic careers.

Advisors can help you make the right academic decisions by explaining policies and regulations as well as presenting different options and supports available in your studies.

An academic advisor can assist you with:

  • Course requirements, dropping and adding courses
  • Program selection, application and changes
  • Studying abroad
  • Transfer credits
  • Petitions for missed term work, deferred examinations and special consideration
  • Appeals procedures
  • Referral to other campus services

Learn more about Academic Advising in the Social Sciences.

   •  ECON 1B03 - Introductory Microeconomics
   •  ECON 1BB3 - Introductory Macroeconomics
   •  ECON 2A03 - Economics of Labour-Market Issues
   •  ECON 2B03 - Analysis of Economic Data
   •  ECON 2CC3 - Health Economics and its Application to Health Policy
   •  ECON 2D03 - Economic Issues
   •  ECON 2GG3 - Intermediate Microeconomics II
   •  ECON 2H03 - Intermediate Macroeconomics I
   •  ECON 2HH3 - Intermediate Macroeconomics II
   •  ECON 2I03 - Financial Economics
   •  ECON 2J03 - Environmental Economics
   •  ECON 2K03 - Economic History of Canada
   •  ECON 2N03 - Public Policy Toward Business
   •  ECON 2P03 - Economics of Professional Sports
   •  ECON 2Q03 - Economics of Bad Behaviour
   •  ECON 2T03 - Economics of Trade Unionism and Labour
   •  ECON 2Z03 - Intermediate Microeconomics I
   •  ECON 2ZZ3 - Intermediate Microeconomics II
   •  ECON 3B03 - Public Sector Economics: Expenditures
   •  ECON 3BE3 - Behavioural Economics
   •  ECON 3C03 - Public Sector Economics: Taxation
   •  ECON 3D03 - Labour Economics
   •  ECON 3E03 - Applied Econometrics
   •  ECON 3EE3 - Econometrics I
   •  ECON 3G03 - Introduction to Advanced Economic Theory
   •  ECON 3H03 - International Monetary Economics
   •  ECON 3HH3 - International Trade
   •  ECON 3K03 - Monetary Economics
   •  ECON 3M03 - Introduction to Game Theory
   •  ECON 3Q03 - The Economics of Aging
   •  ECON 3S03 - Industrial Organization
   •  ECON 3T03 - Economic Development
   •  ECON 3W03 - Natural Resources
   •  ECON 3Y03 - Selected Topics
   •  ECON 3Z03 - Health Economics
   •  ECON 4A03 - Honours Economic Analysis
   •  ECON 4AA3 - Economic Specialist Seminar
   •  ECON 4B03 - Selected Topics
   •  ECON 4F03 - Methods of Inquiry in Economics
   •  ECON 4FF3 - Research Methods in Economics
   •  ECON 4G03 - Econometrics II
   •  ECON 4M06 A/B S - Directed Research I
   •  ECON 4N03 - Directed Research II
   •  ECON 4T03 - Advanced Economic Theory I
   •  ECON 4TT3 - Advanced Economic Theory II
2020/2021 Undergraduate Calendar Internships & Experiential Education McMaster / Mohawk Affiliated Certificates Soc Sci Courses Apply Now
For more information:
Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Undergraduate Program
KTH 426
905-525-9140 ext. 22765
4 Years
Required Credential:
Completion of any Level 1 program with a Grade Point Average of 5.0 (C) including an average of at least 5.0 (C) in ECON 1B03/1BX3 and 1BA3/1BB3
Program Type:
Course based
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry:
Current Deadline: