The converse is true as well:

Also, in many ways, our theoretical 400 level economics courses (described below) are a better direct technical preparation, and are much more useful for getting letter writers. Taking math classes should be done in addition to those courses, not instead of them. With that said, for **many fields** you will find the tools of advanced mathematics classes, and the rigor of doing proofs, **directly useful**.

### Ordered Course Selection (for students interested in a PhD)

### Real Variables (for those directly considering a PhD, and already taking 400-level econ courses)

At UBC, the analysis course is **MATH 320:** Real Variables I
### Risks in Taking MATH 320

### Advanced Economics Courses

To plan for getting into a top PhD program directly out of your undergrad, you could (1) try to get real analysis/variables is on your transcript (or a number of other courses from the Math department), and (2) use it as an indicator *to yourself* of whether you are well suited to graduate economics or finance. This will require some early planning in your course selection

**MATH 200:**Calculus 3

**MATH 220:**Mathematical Proofs- Need >80% in the class. Math department curving means you need to work hard.

**MATH 221:**Linear Algebra- While not a pre-requisite for Real Variables, strongly consider it prior to MATH 320 to build more mathematical sophistication, and because the tools are very useful in economics.

**(Optional) MATH 302:**Introduction to Probability

- Another class to consider prior to starting Real Variables for math practice and to learn some useful tools.

- While you could only do MATH 200 and MATH 220 to get into this class, it is strongly advised to do MATH221, MATH302, or both. You are far better off getting a good mark in 221 and 302 with no 320 than no 221 or 302 and a mediocre mark in 320.
- The math department curves grades and uses this class as its own filter for graduate school, so you need to work very hard to keep in the upper proportion of the class. Ensure your other workload isn't excessive.
- The class average is usually around 68-70%

The upside of getting a decent mark in MATH320 is that it is a strong signal to graduate schools of your technical rigor and intelligence. The downside risk is that you could get a terrible mark in the class, which both hurts your GPA and may serve as a bad signal on your ability to handle difficult material. **For all but the most technical students, the downside risks outweigh the potential upside.** Also, to repeat an important point: MATH320 is helpful, but is not a substitute for doing well in upper-year economics courses and getting good letters.

If you do very well in 220, 221, and 302, then it is probably worth the risk to take it for credit on your transcript.

Math courses have their own focus on theory and proofs. You should also learn more on how to use these tools, which can be a very different experience. Economics courses are suitable to bridge the gap between math and how we actually use it in graduate program and beyond. In particular, for your 4th year economics courses make sure to take (in order of importance, but you should take all if offereed)

**ECON 420**: Optimization and Economic Theory**ECON 421**: Introduction to Game Theory and Applications**ECON 425**: Introduction to Econometrics

These should be taken even if you don't think you are interested in doing theory or microeconomics, as they will help you with graduate school much more than any field course.

An alternative strategy for most people to taking real variables may be to ensure that you do well in **ECON 402, ECON 421, ECON 425, MATH 301, MATH 220, MATH 221, and MATH 302**. But you are better off doing all of these as well as **MATH 320** (which you would likely be well prepared for after taking those courses).