Food and Resource Economics (BSc): Details

What You Need to Know

Highly flexible so that you can focus on your area of greatest interest, the Food and Resource Economics degree (FRE) lets you home in on the global issues you think matter the most, whether they’re in trade, the environment or the management of resources in the food industry. Through preparation in critical and analytical skills, experiential learning, and opportunities to build your competencies through practicums or in overseas study, this program primes you for employment in the expanding field of food and resource economics, or prepares you to take your studies to the next level.

In Food and Resource Economics (FRE), you’ll work with peers, profs and professionals to understand and critically analyze a range of economic and management issues in food supply chains, including the environmental and resource-related impacts of food production. You’ll round out a solid base in economics, business, math and empirical methods with restricted electives (primarily in economics and business) and unrestricted electives, focusing your degree toward the area of food and resource economics that interests you most.

In FRE, you can specialize in one of the following three topic areas:

  • Food Markets and Trade
  • Land, Resources and Environment
  • Food and Resource Management

You can also mix and match between them. If you’re primarily interested in agribusiness and resource management, we suggest you choose the Food and Resource Management stream, or even look into the Master of Management Dual Degree program option. Upon completion of the FRE program, you’ll be well suited to pursue graduate studies in UBC’s Master of Food and Resource Economics, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at UBC, or a variety of applied economics MSc programs outside of UBC.

Please consult the UBC Academic Calendar for the list of required courses and where in your schedule you will be able to choose restricted and unrestricted electives.

In addition to the LFS core series (LFS 100, LFS 250, LFS 252), you will take a broad cross-section of science, mathematics and economics courses throughout your program. Some exciting courses you can look forward to include:

  • FRE 302: Small Business Management in Agri-food Industries
  • FRE 306: Introduction to Global Food Markets
  • FRE 385: Quantitative Methods for Business and Resource Management
  • FRE 460: Economics of Food Consumption
  • ECON 234: Wealth and Poverty of Nations
  • ECON 339: Economics of Technological Change
  • COMM 457: Fundamentals of Financial Accounting

To see the complete list of required courses for this program, please consult the UBC Academic Calendar. You will soon be able to use the ‘Degree Navigator’ tool in your Student Service Centre (SSC) to track your progress.


You may choose to supplement your Food and Resource Economics degree with a minor, which involves taking courses in a subject area outside of your specialization. As an FRE student, you’re eligible to apply for a Minor in Arts, Science, Fermentations or Sustainable Food Systems. Read more about minors, including application timelines, right here.

Dual Degree with Master of Management

If you’re thinking of taking your Food and Resource Economics degree to another level — or into the business arena — you may want to apply for the Bachelor of Science (Food and Resource Economics) – Master of Management Dual Degree. Please note: admission to this program is primarily available to students coming directly out of high school. Depending on enrolment, the UBC Sauder School of Business may release a limited number of spaces on a competitive basis to students who are going into their third year at UBC (or those who are transferring to UBC for their third year). Learn more about this dual-degree program option and the application process in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration section of the UBC Academic Calendar.

This program has topic areas rather than majors. In third and fourth year you will take: (1) FRE Topic Courses; (2) Supporting Topic Courses; and (3) Restricted Electives.

The FRE Topic Courses are the full suite of FRE courses, excluding those which are required in your program. The Supporting Topic Courses are ECON and COMM courses which are related to your program of study in food and resource economics. The Restricted Electives consist of any 300 or 400 level FRE, ECON or COMM course. You will typically choose your Restricted Electives from the list of FRE Topic Courses and Supporting Topic Courses but you are not required to do so.

You are free to choose any course from the list of FRE Topic Courses below to fulfill this program requirement in your third and fourth year (see note 7 of the Degree Requirements in the UBC Calendar. Recommended courses for the three topic areas are listed below.

Similarly, you are free to choose any course from the list of Supporting Topic Courses below to fulfill this program requirment in your third and fourth year (see note 8 of the Degree Requirements in the UBC Calendar. Recommended courses for the three topic areas are listed below.

Restricted electives are described in note 9 of of the Degree Requirements in the UBC Calendar.

Choose any eligible 300 or 400 level course in COMR, ECON and FRE. Students with a strong interest in research should take FRST 399 and consider having a FRE faculty member supervise a directed studies course (FRE 497) and/or a 6 credit thesis (FRE 499).

FRE Topic Courses

Choose from this list:

FRE 302, FRE 340, FRE 374, FRE 420, FRE 460, FRE 490


Food Markets and Development

FRE 340, FRE 460, FRE 490

Land, Resources & Environment

FRE 374, FRE 420

Food and Resource Management

FRE 302 and either FRE 460 or FRE 420

Supporting Topic Courses

Choose from this list:


ECON 302, ECON 339, ECON 352, ECON 355, ECON 356, ECON 365, ECON 370, ECON 371, ECON 407, ECON 441, ECON 442, ECON 451, ECON 465, ECON 471, ECON 472


COMM 329, COMM 398, COMM 457, COMM 458, COMM 465, COMM473, COMM493


Food Markets and Development

ECON 302, ECON 339, ECON 355, ECON 356, ECON 407, ECON 441, ECON 442, ECON 465

Land, Resources & Environment

ECON 352, ECON 365, ECON 370, ECON 371, ECON 451, ECON 471, ECON 472

Food and Resource Management

COMM 329, COMM 398, COMM 457, COMM 458, COMM 465, COMM 473, COMM 493

Course Names

FRE 302 Small Business Management in Agri-food Industries
FRE 340 International Agricultural Development
FRE 374 Land and Resource Economics
FRE 420 The Economics of International Trade and the Environment
FRE 460 Economics of Food Consumption
FRE 490 Current Issues in Food and Resource Economics

ECON 302 Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis I
ECON 339 Economics of Technological Change
ECON 352 Public Sector Economics
ECON 355 Introduction to International Trade
ECON 356 Introduction to International Finance
ECON 365 Topics in Canadian Industrial Organization and Regulation Policy
ECON 370 Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Economics of Project Evaluation
ECON 371 Economics of the Environment
ECON 407 Topics in Macroeconomics
ECON 441 The Process of Economic Development
ECON 442 Issues in Economic Development
ECON 451 Economics of Public Expenditures
ECON 465 Market Structure
ECON 471 Economics of Nonrenewable Resources
ECON 472 Economics of Renewable Resources

COMM 329 Principles of Organizational Behaviour
COMM 398 Introduction to Business Processes and Operations
COMM 457 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
COMM 458 Fundamentals of Managerial Accounting
COMM 465 Marketing Management
COMM 473 Business Finance
COMM 493 Strategic Management in Business

FRE is a second-year entry program, meaning you’ll need to have completed 24 credits before your start date. While not required, if you are interested in applying to the Bachelor of Science in Food and Resource Economics, we strongly encourage you to follow the first-year requirements of the FRE degree.

Most students apply between December and February of their first year so they can begin the FRE program the following September. You can read more about admission requirements and timelines for the FRE program in the UBC Academic Calendar.

Where Can a Degree in Food and Resource Economics Take You?

While we haven’t had any graduates from this new program yet, it was inspired by our successful professional masters program, the Master of Food and Resource Economics. With that in mind, we anticipate graduates will go on to careers in areas like:

  • agribusiness such as agri-finance or management in a food processing firm
  • import/export with knowledge of global food markets and trade
  • non-profit with a focus on local food security, food waste management, etc.
  • consulting in the area of environmental and natural resource management
  • data analytics in wide range of agri-food applications

Get a head start on your career-related work experience while you’re at UBC. Check out our job board for postings that relate to your field of study!

Got Questions?

If you have questions about this program, include questions about transfer credits, please get in touch. One of our academic advisors in LFS Student Services will be glad to help you.

The temporary advisor for this program is Professor James Vercammen ( Please contact him if you have questions that LFS Student Services were not able to answer.

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