The Bachelor of International Economics (BIE) is the Vancouver School of Economics’ flagship program, transforming some of the world’s best undergraduate students into the next generation of global economic leaders.

BIE is a distinct four-year, cohort-based degree program. Students graduate with a deep understanding of the global economy’s workings and vital technical training that will allow them to enter careers in business, government, and academia.


BIE Advantages

  • Focus on international trade, international finance, and international development
  • Dedicated classrooms, computer lab, and student lounge space
  • A curriculum that combines economic theories and business skills
  • Cohort-based program with small class sizes (app. 100 students per year accepted)
  • Opportunities for internships, exchange programs, research mentorships, and co-op placements
  • Guidance from an academic advisor and development of individual learning plans
  • Dedicated career centre and career counselling built into the program
  • Direct entry into year one of a four-year economics degree program

Cohort Model

The cohort model is central to the BIE learning experience. As a cohort member, you will develop a supportive peer-based learning community through collaborative work on class projects and social interactions. Plus, you will graduate with a strong international professional network already established.

The BIE curriculum is structured to combine a group of required courses taught in a standardized timetable solely to each cohort, with the possibility of a wide range of electives to individualize your BIE program. Classes are taught using a range of different content delivery methods, primarily delivered on campus.

 BIE cohort required coursesOther BIE required coursesRecommended elective credits
Term 1Term 2Term 1Term 2
Year 1ECON 101, WRDS 150ECON 102, COEC 293MATH 104
(or MATH 184)
MATH 10512 credit electives
Year 2ECON 315, ECON 327, ECON 317ECON 316, ECON 309, ECON 328, ECON 2559 credit electives
Year 3
COEC 371, ECON 370

Business fundamentals: three courses from COEC 294, 365, 370, 377, 437, 491, 497, 498

Advanced economics: three courses from ECON 441, 442, 455, 456, COEC 475

One ECON or COEC course at 400-level or approved equivalent
27 credit electives
Year 4ECON 493ECON 494


Program Requirements

BIE cohort-specific required courses

  • ECON 101 - Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 102 - Principles of Macroeconomic
  • COEC 293 - Financial Accounting
  • WRDS 150 - Arts Studies in Writing

Other required courses

  • MATH 104/184 - Differential Calculus with Applications to Commerce and Social Sciences
  • MATH 105 - Integral Calculus with Applications to Commerce and Social Sciences

Recommended elective credits

  • 12 elective credits
  • BIE cohort-specific required courses
  • ECON 315 - Intermediate Microeconomics I
  • ECON 316 - Intermediate Microeconomics II
  • ECON 309 - Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 327 - Introduction to Empirical Economics
  • ECON 328 - Methods of Empirical Research in Economics
  • ECON 255 - Understanding Globalization
  • ECON 317 - Poverty and Inequality

Recommended elective credits

  • 9 elective credits
  • COEC 371 - Investment Theory
  • ECON 370 - Benefit-Cost Analysis and Economics of Project Evaluation
  • ECON 493 - Quantitative Methods for Economics
  • ECON 494 - Seminar in Applied International Economics

3 Courses from business fundamentals

  • COEC 294 - Managerial Accounting
  • COEC 365 - Market Research
  • COEC 370 - Corporate Finance
  • COEC 377 - International Financial Markets and Institutions
  • COEC 437 - Database Technology
  • COEC 491 - Strategic Management
  • COEC 497 - New Enterprise Development
  • COEC 498 - International Business Management

Three courses from advanced economics

  • ECON 441 - Process of Economic Development
  • ECON 442 - Issues in Economic Development
  • ECON 455 - International Trade
  • ECON 456 - International Macroeconomics and Finance
  • COEC 475 - The Economics and Policy of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources

One additional advanced economics or business

  • Any ECON or COEC course at 400-level or approved equivalent

Recommended elective credits

  • 27 elective credits

  1. AP, A-Level or IB Economics cannot be substituted for ECON 101 and 102 in the BIE program.
  2. BIE students are allowed a maximum of 27 credits of COEC courses towards completing their BIE degree but cannot take any other credits in the Sauder School of Business.
  3. Only students in the BIE+MM program are allowed to use the COMM courses required by the MM curriculum as BIE electives. The maximum of 27 credits of business (COEC and COMM) courses applies to B+MM students. If a student drops out of the B+MM program, they are no longer allowed to use the required B+MM courses (i.e. COMM120, 220, 321, and 420) as electives.
  4. A small number of students are selected to complete the academic track. Admission to the academic track is by application only.

**Starting 2017W Session, BIE Program is no longer participating in the B+MM dual degree program. BIE students will have a commerce background comparable to that offered by business undergraduate programs. BIE students who started the B+MM program prior to 2017W are allowed to use the required B+MM courses (i.e. COMM120, 220, 321, and 420) as electives only as long as they are still completing the B+MM option but cannot exceed the maximum of 27 credits of Business (COMM and COEC) courses limit.

Year one

  • Overall average of at least 60%
  • Core average of at least 65% (STT courses)
  • A passing grade in all core required MATH, ECON and COEC courses.

Year two

  • Overall average of at least 60%
  • Core average of at least 65% (STT courses)

Year three and four

  • Overall average of at least 60%

Students may not earn credit for two courses with significant and pre-defined content overlap. Students are fully responsible for their registration and are advised to check the course schedule for course equivalencies and review the science credit exclusion lists to avoid unnecessary registration.

Note that credit exclusion does not imply that courses are interchangeable, and meeting specialization requirements may necessitate completing a specific course. Students registering in courses dealing with probability and statistics should exercise particular caution.

Examples of BIE course exclusions

  • STAT 200, 203, BIOL 300, COMM 291, ECON 325, 327, EPSE 482, 483, FRST 231, GEOG 374, KIN 371, POLI 380, PSYC 218, 278, 366, SOCI 328
  • STAT 306, ECON 326, 328
  • STAT 241, 251, ECON 325, 327, PSYC 366, COMM 290
  • COMM377, COEC 377 and ECON456

Individual Learning Plans

The individual learning plan is your guide to your educational experience, enabling you to develop a theme or focus area for your studies.

For example, you may wish to take electives focusing on a particular geographical region or pursue a minor in a non-economics discipline; developing an individual learning plan will help you outline and take the necessary actions to achieve those goals.

Students may take elective courses for the Bachelor of International Economics from the Faculty of Arts or other faculties at UBC (except for commerce courses).

You are strongly advised to take 6 credits of additional upper-level economics courses as electives to gain a more profound knowledge of a particular area of economics.

If you are a new BIE student, you should contact the BIE academic advisor during your first term of study for assistance to start developing your individual learning plan.

Academic Track

This stream aims to allow students who would like to pursue graduate studies in economics to tailor their undergraduate curriculum to be more competitive in the graduate school application process.

First Requirement:

Students in the regular track are required to take three courses among business fundamentals. In the academic track, this requirement is substituted by:

  • ECON 306 - Honours Microeconomics
  • ECON 307 - Honours Macroeconomics
  • ECON 425 - Introduction to Econometrics

If ECON 425 is not offered in any given year, the program director shall designate an equivalent course to satisfy the academic track requirement.

Second Requirement:

Students in the BIE academic track are required to complete two courses among MATH 200, MATH 220, and MATH 221 (you shall determine the specific choice of courses in consultation with your program director and the academic advisor).

Third Requirement (same as in the regular track):

Students in the academic track are still required to take COEC 371 and three courses from the advanced economics requirement.

  • Students that have completed the second year of the BIE program are eligible to apply to the BIE academic track.
  • Admission to the academic track is by application only and subject to minimum academic performance standards and capacity constraints. It is expected that academic track enrollees will be among the top students in their cohort. Enrollment in the academic track will be limited to a maximum of five students per cohort.

Academic Track FAQs

If you do not complete the academic track requirements after having been admitted, you will need to meet the regular BIE program requirements to graduate.

There will be no specific Academic Track designation on your transcript. Your transcript will reflect any courses you take.

No. If you do not enroll in the academic track, you may still apply to graduate programs, just as BIE students have done until now. You will continue to receive the full support of the program's faculty and staff towards this end.