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How will new international trade agreements affect jobs and wealth? Does cutting business taxes help spur growth? What is the optimal price to charge for a specific product? How are professional athletes’ salaries determined? Why do individuals make poor health choices, even when they know better?

Examining these important questions are part of studying Economics at McMaster University. After all, economics is the science of choice.

McMaster’s Economics program is one of the best in Canada. Current faculty members lead and take part in international research programs.

Economics graduates are in demand by employers. The analytical and decision-making skills learned apply to a wide range of employment opportunities. Honours degree options include combined majors in mathematics or computer science.

Alumni have successful careers in many areas. Some examples include law, finance, politics, business and academics. Our Alumnus, Dr. Myron Scholes, was the 1997 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences.

photo of Scott O’Donoghue

Scott O’Donoghue

“I enjoy studying Economics because it can be applied to such a wide variety of topics. It combines quantitative analysis, critical thinking and modeling to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. Economics also gives students a unique perspective on how individuals interact within markets and make decisions.”

Economics Degree Options

Beginning in 2019, enroll directly in Economics I.

Entrance requirements to this program for Ontario Students: English and two mathematics courses from Advanced Functions, Calculus & Vectors and Data Management*.

At the end of first year, students who meet the requirements outlined below can pursue one of the following degree options in Economics:

  • Honours B.A.
    Level I Grade Point Average of 5.0 (C) including an average of at least 5.0 (C) in ECON 1B03 and 1BB3.

  • Honours B.A. Specialist
    Level I Grade Point Average of 5.0 (C) including an average of at least 5.0 (C) in ECON 1B03 and 1BB3.
  • Combined Honours B.A. in Economics & Another Subject
    Level I Grade Point Average of 5.0 (C) including an average of at least 5.0 (C) in ECON 1B03 and 1BB3. Satisfaction of admission requirements for the Honours program in the other B.A. subject.

  • Combined Honours B.A. in Economics & Computer Science
    Level I Grade Point Average of 5.0 (C), including an average of 5.0 (C) in ECON 1B03 and 1BB3, and a weighted average of 5.0 (C) in ECON 1B03, 1BB3, COMP SCI 1MD3 and 1JC3; MATH 1A03, 1AA3 and 1B03. MATH 1B03 may be postponed until Level II.
  • Combined Honours B.A. in Economics & Mathematics
    Level I Grade Point Average of 5.0 (C) including MATH 1A03 (or 1X03) an average of 5.0 (C) in ECON 1B03 and 1BB3 and a grade of 6 (C+)in each of MATH 1AA3 (or 1XX3) and 1B03.
  • B.A.
    Level I Grade Point Average of 3.5 including an average of at least 4.0 in one of ECON 1B03 and 1BB3.

*Please note that students will be required to take MATH 1F03 (if MCV4U was not completed) or Stats 1L03 (if MDM4U was not completed).


  • Economics

Economics Program Details

Research Initiatives

Members of the Department of Economics participate in several major research initiatives at McMaster:


The Economics Department runs weekly seminars where visiting speakers, McMaster Faculty and graduate students share results of their research.


Build Your Skills

See the Story behind the Numbers

Economists approach problems in a logical, rigorous way. Students develop sophisticated problem-solving, numeracy, research, communication and decision-making skills.

Skills in quantitative analysis are of great interest to employers. Graduates gain the ability to analyze data in order to seek solutions to issues at the personal, firm and overall economy levels. 

These competencies are key for career success now and in the future for jobs that do not yet exist.



Critical skills for today’s work environment

Employers are interested in Economics graduates because they possess skills in areas such as quantitative analysis of economic opportunities and problems, economic forecasting, knowledge of economics institutions and policies within Canada and the global community.

  • The ability to apply sophisticated methods of analysis to the problems faced by private sector firms, not-for-profit organizations and government.
  • Strong problem-solving, research, analysis and decision-making skills.
  • The ability to articulate a clear verbal and written presentation of the research findings and evidence.

Our graduates have been successful at finding interesting and rewarding careers in a range of fields in both the public and private sectors

Examples of career paths include:

  • Data Scientist
  • Lawyers

  • Managers (government/business)

  • Policy Researchers

  • Economic Analysts

  • Economic Consultants

  • Economic Forecasters

  • Financial Planners

  • Big Data Analyst
  • Statistician

  • Banking / Financial Services

  • Budget Analyst

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