FAQ's Undergraduate

Program Specific Questions

What is the difference between Honours and the Major Concentration in economics?

The Honours program requires 42 credits of specific courses, versus 36 credits for the Major Concentration. Most of the courses required for the Honours program are different from those that can be taken for the Major Concentration. Calculus I and II are prerequisites for joining the Honours program, in contrast to the Major Concentration, whose required courses usually only use basic operations in high school algebra. Prior to making a choice between the Honours and Major Concentration, students should consult the departmental handouts on these programs (available on our website, or in hardcopy in the plastic holders outside Leacock 443).

What do I need to do to declare a Major/Minor/Honours program in economics?

You declare your program in economics by specifying it yourself on Minerva. The department does not enter or modify this specification. Before registering for either Honours or a Major Concentration in economics, you should read the department's handouts on these programs, which are listed on our website and are also available in hardcopy in the plastic holders outside Leacock 443. In addition, if you wish to do Honours in economics, you must consult an Honours advisor prior to registration. Note: The Honours program requires a background in Calculus I and II prior to joining the Honours program. MATH 133 (Vectors, Matrices and Geometry) is required for this program and should be taken in U1. A few of the more advanced Honours courses have a recommendation for Calculus 3 (MATH 222).

What do I do if I want to switch from the Honours to the Major Concentration or vice versa?

If you switch from Honours to the Major Concentration, the credits for the Honours courses in economics that you have passed (with a grade of C or better) will be allowed to count towards the Major Concentration. However, if you switch from the Major Concentration to Honours, the Majors courses that you took will not be counted towards the Honours program. You will have to take the courses required for the Honours program; however, you will be able to count the Majors courses for elective credits. See below for the switch between ECON 250 and ECON 230. Also consult the advisor for the program you wish to switch to.

Do ECON 208 and 209 count toward the economics Major or Honours?

ECON 208 and 209 do not count toward the Major Concentration or Honours in economics – they only count towards a Minor Concentration. However, if you later register for the Major Concentration or Honours, the credits you received for ECON 208 and 209 are treated as electives.

Should I do ECON 208 and ECON 209 before doing ECON 230/250 and ECON 330/352?

You may choose to do so, but it is not required. In fact, you should not take ECON 208 and 209 if you are in a three‐year (90 credit) program. However, if you are in the Freshman Year (U0) of a four‐year program, taking them will give you some exposure to ideas and their presentation in economics. These two courses combined satisfy the prerequisites of some other courses in economics, which will allow you to take higher level Econ courses in U1. Note that you cannot take ECON 208 if you have passed, or are registered for ECON 230/250 and cannot take ECON 209 if you have passed, or are registered for ECON 330/352.

Can I take ECON 250 if I have already taken ECON 230?

You can only take ECON 250 after completing ECON 230 if you switch your registration to Honours, provided that an Honours advisor approves this switch. If you do so, you will retain the 6 credits for ECON 230 but they will become elective credits and not be counted towards the Honours in economics.

What do I do if I want to switch from ECON 250 to ECON 230?

During the fall add/drop period you can make the switch on Minerva from ECON 250 to ECON 230 by yourself. Beyond the fall add/drop period, you must register your switch with the Student Affairs Office before their deadline. You will be allowed to switch from ECON 250 to ECON 230 during add/drop starting in the Winter term. Therefore, prior to registering for one of these courses, you should carefully consider your decision on whether you should register for Major Concentration or Honours in economics and should consult your advisor. There are specific regulations on the procedures for switching courses. Please review department's handout on the Honours Programs for these regulations, and then go to Service Point to obtain the appropriate form.

To meet the statistics requirements for the Major Concentration and Honours in economics, do I have to take the statistics courses in the department of economics?

In general, 6 credits of statistics are required for the Major Concentration and Honours in economics. In some cases, they can be taken in a unit other than the department of economics. The specific regulations on statistics courses can be found in Rules on Stats Courses for Economics Students.

Where can I find information about the Minor Concentrations in Management open to Arts students?

You should consult the websites of the Faculties of Arts and of Management for the regulations and courses for these Minor Concentrations. The Faculty of Management has appointed a specific advisor for their various programs.


General Questions

What do I do if the class I want to take is full?

Whether the class you want to take is full or not, the department (your advisor, chairman, instructor etc.) cannot register you in the course. Check Minerva frequently to see if a place has opened up in the course, which does happen frequently during add/drop since some students who registered for it, later withdraw from it. If there is a waitlist for the class, you must register for the waitlist and be patient. However, if you are a graduating student and the class is full when you try to register for it on Minerva, you can then indicate to the instructor your desire and reasons for taking the course, so that the instructor can determine whether the course cap could be raised. In most cases, the cap cannot be increased due to the size of the room and fire regulations.

What do I do if I want to switch between different sections of full‐year courses (e.g., ECON 230, ECON 227, ECON 330)?

You can only switch on Minerva between the different sections of a full‐year course during the add/drop period in the Fall term. You cannot automatically switch between the different sections of courses after this period. Different sections of these courses are normally taught by different instructors, often with different textbooks and approaches, and may not cover the material in the same order. If you need to switch sections between the Fall and Winter terms for class scheduling reasons, check with the instructors in advance to see if they are willing to approve a switch. The instructors decide whether to allow the switch, and how the marks are to be melded into a single grade for the entire course.

How do I get approval and transfer credits for economics courses taken away from McGill?

To get credit for economics courses taken at another university (for example, prior to joining McGill or during an exchange or visit to another university) you should consult the department's document Economics Course Credit on the regulations on transfer credits and then consult the advisor in charge of transfer credits and course equivalency approvals. Prior to or at the time of this consultation, you should provide the name of the university, the courses you want considered, their course descriptions and their reading lists. For complete information see Arts OASIS Study Away website.

What do I have to do to register for and get credit for the Economics Internship course ECON 399?

Prior to registering for ECON 399 you should consult the Economics section of the Faculty of Arts Internship website. Once you have lined up an appropriate job but prior to starting it, you need to have this General Internship Approval Form signed by a faculty member who approves the Internship and is willing to supervise the required term paper. The supervisor will specify the topic of the term paper and any other requirements. Please Note: This course does not count for credit for honours, major or minor programs.


Advising Questions

How can I see an advisor in economics?

The department designates different advisors for the Major/Minor Concentration, the Honours program, and a specific advisor to approve transfer credits for courses taken away from McGill. Their names and advising times are listed under advising and course equivalency as well as on the noticeboards outside Leacock 443. Advising is done by drop in during the designated times.

Who do I see to get advice on a Minor Concentration in Management?

The Faculty of Management appoints an advisor for its Concentrations and programs for students, including those registered in the Faculty of Arts.