Ph.D. Degree Program Requirements

Applicants to the doctoral program must have an honours bachelor's degree and a master's degree in economics. Applicants whose previous degree is not from a Canadian or U.S. university are required to submit the GRE.

The requirements of the Ph.D. program, including the thesis, normally take at least four years of full-time study to complete, and must be completed satisfactorily within seven years of initial registration in the program.

The doctoral program comprises course work, including preparation in economic theory and areas of specialization, writing comprehensive examinations in micro- and macro-theory, and writing a doctoral thesis under the supervision of one or more faculty members.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The minimum course requirements consist of nine graduate half-courses in the Department of Economics.  Students must complete four graduate courses in economic theory (ECON-811, ECON-813, ECON-816, and ECON-817); two graduate courses in quantitative methods (ECON-850 and ECON-851); and three 900-level courses with an ECON course code prefix.   Students must take a minimum of three half-courses in their first term and three half-courses in their second term of the program.

 

Mathematics Requirement

The Department of Economics requires that all incoming graduate students have adequate preparation in calculus and linear algebra.

A Graduate Methods Review Course is offered at the beginning of the Fall Term. All Ph.D. students and M.A. Program III students are required to attend the course and satisfy all course requirements. All Ph.D. students must pass the Graduate Methods Review course before writing comprehensive examinations.

Foreign Language Requirement

There are no foreign language requirements.

Minimum Average Grade

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher must be maintained in all primary courses taken towards the Ph.D. degree. A student's cumulative average will be computed on each anniversary of the student's first registration. This requirement is in addition to any imposed by the School of Graduate Studies and Research. A student who fails to maintain the minimum average will normally be required to withdraw from the program on academic grounds. In calculating the cumulative average of a student who has failed a course, C+ will be used in place of the grade for the failed course until the student has redeemed the failure.

Comprehensive Examinations

All eligible Economics Ph.D. students are required to take both the Microeconomics and Macroeconomics comprehensive examinations no later than September of their second year in the program. All eligible Economics Ph.D. students are required to pass both the Microeconomics and the Macroeconomics comprehensive examinations by June of their second year in the program. The comprehensive examinations are normally offered twice each year; once in May and once August. For more details go to the Aims of and Procedures for Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations.

All eligible Economics Ph.D. students are also required to submit a research paper that demonstrates readiness to carry out research on a topic on the scale of a Ph.D. dissertation. This paper must be submitted by October of their third year in the program, and all eligible Economics Ph.D. students are required to obtain a Pass on the research paper by February of their third year in the program.

 
Paper requirements section:

All Economics Ph.D. students will be required to submit a research paper that demonstrates readiness to carry out research on a topic on the scale of a Ph.D. dissertation. Work on this paper will begin in the second year and is intended to enable students to transition more quickly to the research phase of the Ph.D. program..

1.  A proposal for the paper must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator by July 15th of the second year.

2.  The final draft must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator by October 1st of the third year.

3.  The paper will be evaluated by a committee consisting of two faculty members chosen by the Graduate coordinator in consultation with the student, and will be marked as either Pass or Fail.

4.  Those that obtain a Fail have the opportunity to resubmit once, with the deadline for doing so being February 1st of their third year.

5.  After resubmitting, the paper will be evaluated and the grade will be either changed to a Pass or it remains a Fail. If the student fails to obtain a Pass, the student will normally be required to withdraw from the program. Like all academic decisions, this decision would be subject to the School of Graduate Studies’ academic appeal process.

POST-COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENTS

1. Ph.D. Thesis Seminars (ECON-999)
All Ph.D. students who have passed the comprehensive examinations are required to attend the Ph.D. thesis seminars. These seminars are held weekly and are organized by at least two faculty members. Students who have completed all their course work are required to make presentations of their research ideas in the seminars. These seminars are designed to provide helpful feedback from faculty and other students regarding a student's thesis topic and research.
 
2. Ph.D. Thesis Progress
All post-comprehensive Ph.D. students are required to meet individually with the Graduate Coordinator in the Spring-Summer term of their second, third, fourth and subsequent years in the Ph.D. program to report on their Ph.D. thesis progress. By the end of the Winter term of their second year in the Ph.D. program, all post-comprehensive Ph.D. students are expected to have begun actively developing their Ph.D. thesis research program by consulting with faculty members in the Department. By the end of the Winter Term of their third year in the Ph.D. program, students are normally expected to have formulated a detailed research plan and to have obtained the consent of one (or more) faculty member(s) in the Department to serve as their thesis supervisor (or co-supervisors). Failure to meet these thesis progress benchmarks may be taken as evidence of unsatisfactory academic progress in the awarding of graduate financial support for the ensuing academic year.
 
3. Workshops
Post-comprehensive students are required to attend one of the workshops (microeconomics, macroeconomics, quantitative, public economics or history) on a regular basis. Students are encouraged to present completed work from their Ph.D. thesis in the appropriate workshop if they wish. The Workshops calendar is available online.