Mathematics and Economics

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

This combined major will give you a solid foundation in mathematics and an understanding of key economics principles. You'll examine subjects such as microeconomics, empirical economics, differential calculus, mathematical proof, and more.

Why this program?

  • Study at one of the top-ranked universities in mathematics and economics in Canada and the world.
  • Attend lectures in the beautiful Iona Building, home to the Vancouver School of Economics.
  • Develop critical statistical reasoning, computational, mathematical, and communication skills.
  • Choose courses to prepare for work in finance, accounting, actuarial science, and beyond.
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours Yes
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

Mathematics is about revealing and explaining patterns – from an electrical impulse in an animal’s nervous system to a fluctuation in stock market prices. Being able to simplify complex situations through abstraction and systematic reasoning is a great asset for any scientist.

Both UBC’s School of Economics and Department of Mathematics are very highly regarded internationally. The combined Major of Mathematics and Economics is available either through the Faculty of Science towards a BSc degree, or the Faculty of Arts towards a BA degree, and each allowing a large selection of courses in various areas of pure and applied mathematics. This is one of a wide range of options in honours, major, combined major, or minor programs for focused mathematics or combined with other subjects.

Experiential learning and research

The Department of Mathematics is associated with many institutes, such as the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS), the Institute of Applied Mathematics, and MITACS. The Mathematics Library, Math Club, Mathematics Undergraduate Computer Lab and Mathematics Learning Centre are resources for available to undergraduate students in their mathematical studies.

Campus features

The Vancouver School of Economics at UBC is ranked top in Canada, and in the top 20 such departments in the world. UBC economics alumnus Robert Mundell won the 1999 Nobel Prize for Economics, following his groundbreaking analysis of exchange rates and monetary policy.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

The beautiful and historic Iona Building was built in 1927 and renovated in 2014 to accommodate the Vancouver School of Economics. The stone-faced, castle-like Iona Building is one of the most architecturally elegant buildings on campus, and boasts stunning views of Burrard Inlet and beyond, a Maltese Labyrinth, and a fine gallery of stained glass.

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Your future

As a Mathematics and Economics student, you’ll use knowledge of economic data, mathematical models, and statistical techniques to develop skills in problem solving and analysis. Analyzing the relationship between economic, cultural, and political issues in order to forecast and explain economic trends, understand policies, markets and development are skills that employers from diverse industries value.

Program graduates

  • Manager, RBC Royal Bank
  • Manager of Financial Reporting, Goldcorp Inc.
  • Senior actuarial analyst, Willis Towers Watson
  • Data analyst, Fulcrum Management Solutions Ltd.
  • PhD candidate in Finance, University of Toronto

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

IB Diploma Programme

  • Completed IB Diploma, including at least three Higher Level courses.

IB Certificate Courses

  • IB Certificate courses (Standard and Higher Level) may be used in an admissions average if you are graduating from a recognized high school curriculum that can be used as your basis of admission.
  • Students who complete the IB Diploma in English are required to achieve a minimum score of 3 in an IB Group 1 English course at either Standard or Higher Level. (If you are an international student with a score of less than 3, you may be eligible for UBC Vantage One programs.)
  • IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, do not satisfy the math requirement for admission to UBC’s science-based programs, the Faculty of Management, the UBC Sauder School of Business, or the Vancouver School of Economics.

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Math Analysis and Approaches SL or HL, or IB Math Applications and Interpretations HL. (IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, are not acceptable.)
  • One of IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Chemistry, and
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Physics (may be waived with grades of 5 in IB Chemistry and in your IB Mathematics course)

Note: Grade 11 Chemistry and Physics requirements listed are only relevant to students who are not completing the equivalent IB Diploma Chemistry and/or Physics courses.

For students studying outside of Canada, some examples of courses that may be accepted as Grade 11 equivalents are junior-level courses for American students, and IGCSE and O Level for those following British-patterned curricula.

Related courses

The following subject categories are particularly relevant for this degree. Consider taking courses in these areas in your junior year and senior year.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics and Computation
  • Sciences
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