Economics

Why should you study Economics? At its core, the social science of economics is concerned with the material well-being of human societies. It will help you understand the world in which you live and work. It will equip you to succeed in an increasingly knowledge-based and interdependent global economy. It will allow you to identify, describe and improve the strategies and incentives used by individuals, businesses and governments.

Economics will arm you with the tools to face a surprisingly wide range of problems that affect our everyday lives. Students in economics will learn how to document and value risk, study labour markets and global trade, design and assess government policies, and describe the operation of international currency markets. But there are so many other questions economists can ask. What determines the prices of goods and services? Why do stock and bond prices rise and fall? Why do some people earn so much, while others earn so little? Can carbon taxes slow global warming? How much should you spend or save? Where should you invest your savings? Should you buy a house? How does the tax system affect you, your family and the businesses in your neighbourhood? By showing you how to systematically address these questions and many, many more, economics will help you make better decisions in your personal life, in business and as a global citizen.

See our Major Map to learn more

Location: 
Dunning Hall
Room number: 
221
Telephone: 
Department Head: 
Huw Lloyd-Ellis
Undergraduate Studies Chair: 
Ian Keay
Graduate Studies Coordinator: 
Thorsten Koeppl

Degree Options

 
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Specializaton in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPEC)
Learn more about this new Plan option

Major in Applied Economics or Economics
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in Economics
A dual course of study in Economics and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Economics
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

Internship option available

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Graduate Degree Options

Economics - PhD
Economics - MA
Combined MA (Economics)/JD Program

NEW Risk Policy and Regulation Diploma

The global financial crisis has emphasized serious gaps in our knowledge in a range of areas related to risk management, the banking system, risk regulation, and the interaction of all of these with the real economy. The RPRD has been designed to produce graduates who have the latest ideas and techniques to deal with risk management policy and regulation in the financial sector. This program is unique to Canada.

The graduate Risk Policy and Regulation Diploma (RPRD) is a unique program in Canada, specializing in providing you with training in the issues surrounding risk management and regulation. This program has been created in partnership with the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services. The program brings together courses in risk management theory and implementation, banking theory and practice, financial regulation, and advanced topics in risk management and regulation. In addition, relevant material from financial management and accounting and behavioural economics will be integrated. As much as possible, there will be integration of the material across courses. All courses will have a heavy reliance on the integration of recent empirical, policy, descriptive, and theoretical literature. This will include empirical evidence on the causes of various types of financial crises, financial network model implementation and stress tests, macro-prudential policy (including the relevant theory and empirical evidence), credit models (exploring limitations of existing models and proposed new approaches), credit and market liquidity modeling and their limitations, regulation and banking practice, and financial institution governance interacting with regulatory regimes.

The graduate Risk Policy and Regulation Diploma (RPRD) is a four-month program. The program is open to students who already have a Master’s degree in Economics with a specialization in financial economics (MA), or a Master’s in Financial Economics (MFE), and provides a strong emphasis on regulation, systemic risk, macroeconomics and macroeconomic policies (including macro-prudential policy). The program is particularly well-suited to those wishing to pursue careers in the public sector, and also provides a broad perspective for those wishing to pursue careers in the private sector.

For further information, please see our Program Details.

Job and Career Opportunities for Economics Grads

Queen's economics students acquire a diverse portfolio of analytical, quantitative, computational and communications skills that provide excellent preparation for a wide range of post-graduation educational and career opportunities. An undergraduate degree in economics provides an excellent background for further studies in law, business, and many other areas. Some of our graduates pursue advanced studies in economics at the master's and doctoral levels, while others undertake professional programs such as finance, business administration, public administration, law, industrial relations, information technology, and resource management.

Where could Economics students go after graduation?

  • Accounting
  • Actuarial science
  • Auditing
  • Banking
  • Business Administration
  • Central banking
  • Credit management
  • Demography
  • Enviormental policy
  • Finance
  • Graduate studies
  • Human resources
  • Immigration services
  • Insurance
  • International development
  • Investment analysis
  • Labour and industrial relations
  • Law
  • Management consulting
  • Medicine
  • Monetary/fiscal policy
  • Natural rescource managemnt
  • Public administration
  • Quality control
  • Real estate
  • Risk management
  • Sales analyst
  • Securities investment and trade
  • Strategic planning
  • Teaching
  • Urban and regional planning

Note: Some of these careers may require additional training.

Alumni Profile

David Card, a world-renowned economist, earned his BAH in Economics from Queen’s University. He has made fundamental research contributions on the impacts of immigration on labour market wages, unemployment, job training and inequality. Currently the director at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Professor in California, Card was the co-recipient of the IZA Prize in Labor Economics in 2006 as well as a recipient of the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark Prize.

Undergraduate Course Highlights

Courses in Economics look at both micro and macro environments, from local to international markets. Courses such as Macroeconomic Policy, International Trade Policy, and Law and Economics are for those interested in policy development.  Courses in Canadian Labour Relations, Labour Markets and Gender Differences, and Income Distribution and Problems of Inequality allow students to focus on areas related to equity and workforce issues. If you are more interested in how economics relates to specific industries, then courses in Natural Resource Economics or the Economics of Health Care are for you.

Undergraduate Admission for Economics

Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities' Application Centre) website (ouac.on.ca). Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements. Visit queensu.ca/admission for additional information redarging requirements and admission to Queen's.

Graduate Studies

"The Queen's Economic Department is a fantastic place to be a graduate student. The coursework is challenging and the professors are approachable. Queen's not only offers one of the top ranked PhD programs in the country, it also provides a very collegial environment for learning. The department hosts regular workshops in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics and provides grad students with the opportunity to meet and engage with visiting researchers. Grad students also regularly interact with each other in seminars, courses and reading groups. All of these factors have enriched my graduate school experience and helped me grow as a researcher. I should also mention there is a weekly doughnut hour with faculty!" Kevin Andrew (PhD Candidate)

There are many compelling reasons for students who want a high-quality graduate degree in Economics to study at Queen's:
  • We are widely recognized as one of the leading Economics departments in Canada.
  • The M.A. program is challenging, rigorous, and of moderate size. We aim for about 40 students per year. Read more about the advantages of the M.A. program.
  • The Ph.D. program is small, and there is a great deal of interaction between faculty and students. 
  • Read more about the advantages of the Ph.D. program.
  • Graduates of both programs have had great success in initial job placements and in their subsequent careers.
  • All students are assigned an office with a phone and a computer to provide network access. There are usually either four M.A. or two Ph.D. students to an office.

Financial assistance for all full-time graduate students in the Department of Economics may consist of a scholarship (varying amounts) and a two-term teaching assistantship, or a two-term teaching assistantship only. All master's students are eligible for the first year, and doctoral students for the first four years, of their respective programs. All applicants will be considered for financial assistance if it has been requested on the application. Queen's University has established a minimum guarantee of funding for doctoral students of $18.000 . In 2013-2014, the minimum level of funding for doctoral students within the department was $23,000.

Coordinator of Graduate Studies

Sumon Majumdar
Dunning 204
Department of Economics
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2256