Below you can find details about our MA program and about the application process and requirements.
Please note that the deadline for applying for the 2021-22 academic year has now passed.
Why do an MA in Economics at Queen's?
Queen's offers what we believe is the finest Masters program in Economics in Canada. Our program is rigorous and demanding, but it is also challenging and exciting, and it is noted for being highly collegial and congenial. Our program is held in high esteem by its graduates, by its current students, and by professional economists in Canada and throughout the world. The program is designed to prepare students to undertake both applied and theoretical research. It involves a central core of courses in economic theory and quantitative methods, together with some specialization according to interest.
A special feature of the M.A. program is that it offers students the chance to undertake independent research with individual supervision, in the form of either an M.A. Essay or a Master's Thesis. Most students choose the former option, since the essay is designed to be written during the summer after all coursework has been completed. Both of these options enhance the prospects of those seeking employment at the M.A. level and provide excellent preparation for writing a dissertation at the Ph.D. level.
Because most students live near campus, and under normal circumstances we provide office space for all graduate students, there is a great deal of interaction among M.A. students, Ph.D. students, and faculty members. Good students often learn as much from each other as they do from lectures, and Queen's provides an ideal setting for this sort of learning.
Queen's M.A. students have been particularly successful in obtaining employment during the past decade. Recent placements include the Bank of Canada, the Department of Finance, Statistics Canada, Industry Canada, Health Canada, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank of Montreal, Toronto Dominion Bank, Deloitte-Touche, Angus-Reid, Arthur Anderson, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Goldman Sachs.
In addition, Queen's M.A. graduates who have chosen to continue their graduate studies at the Ph.D. level have gained admission to universities such as the University of California Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, Columbia, Harvard, London School of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Rochester, Stanford, the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Wisconsin, Yale, and, of course, Queen's.
Download and listen to our webinar to find out about our programs here.
Applicants to the MA program usually have an honours bachelor degree with major concentration in economics with at least B+ average in core 3rd and 4th year undergraduate courses such as Micro, Macro and Econometrics along with adequate preparation in calculus, linear algebra and quantitative methods, strong reference letters from academic source and GRE is required for students without a Canadian or a US degree. TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB is required for non-native speakers that are not residents of Canada.
The School of Graduate Studies and Research requires at least an upper second class average. Most successful applicants, however, have a strong first class average. The percentage score for first class standing is 80 percent and over, or the letter grade “A”; a second class standing is 65 to 79 percent, or the letter grade “B”. Admission to our programs is highly competitive, with hundreds of applications each year. We are unable to comment on the likelihood of admission based on grades as this depends on the annual pool of applicants.
Apply to the MA program
The online application system is now open.
Deadline information: The February 1 deadline only applies to the submission of the online application; we expect supporting documents to follow as soon as possible (by March 1). We begin evaluating applications as they are completed (after the deadline), so you should make sure that your application is complete as soon as possible. We will continue to allow applications to be submitted until our program is full.
Step 1: Apply to the MA program
All applications for graduate study at Queen's University must be submitted online via the School of Graduate Studies application portal.
Fee: $105 CDN, no-refundable
Step 2: Two Academic References
Reference letters are submitted through the online application portal. Once an application is submitted, referees are notified via email and are provided with the necessary form. Our department requires two academic reference letters in order to consider an application complete. If your referee did not receive this email, please have him/her check their "junk mail" as often this is where they end up. If this is not the case, please email us and we will arrange to have the email re-sent. If your referee requests a hardcopy of this form, please contact us and we will make the necessary arrangements. Referee letters must be received directly from the source and if a hardcopy is sent, it must be in a sealed and signed envelope. Reference letters sent through any other means will not be accepted.
Step 3: Transcripts
Along with your application, you will be required to submit your official transcripts from each of the post-secondary institutions you have attended. Transcripts can now be uploaded directly through the application portal to the School of Graduate Studies. Details regarding submitting your transcript are located here. If your transcript is written in a language besides English or French, it must be accompanied by a translation completed by the issuing university. Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted. Photocopies of transcripts will not be accepted unless they are properly notarized. If your transcript does not indicate the degree you were granted and the date you received it, you will need to submit an official letter from the issuing university providing this information.
Please note: If you are a current or former student of Queen's University, you will not be required to submit your Queen's transcript.
School of Graduate Studies
Gordon Hall Room 425
74 Union Street
Canada K7L 3N6
Fall term marks:
If you have not already completed your degree, we will require fall term marks before evaluating your application. Fall term marks may be submitted after the February 1st application deadline, however, it is best to send them as soon as possible so that your application may be adjudicated in a timely fashion.
Step 4: Graduate Record Examination and English as a Second Language
GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION (GRE):
If your previous degree is not from a Canadian or U.S. university, you will be required to submit a GRE score. There are no exceptions to this rule. There is no minimum GRE score requirement and we are unable to comment of the competitiveness of scores as this depends on the annual pool of applicants. GRE scores must be received directly from the issuing agency. Below you will find the necessary information required to do so:
Institution Code: 0949 Department Code: 1801
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE:
At Queen's, the official language of instruction is English. As such, non-native English speakers will be required to submit an English Language Proficiency test. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are not required to submit proof of English language proficiency. If English is your first language or you have recently attended an academic institution for at least one complete year where English is the official language of instruction, you may be eligible for an exemption. To request an exemption, please submit your request in writing along with your application and address it to the Director, Admissions and Student Services at the School of Graduate Studies. English Proficiency scores must also be sent directly from the issuing agency. Below you will find the necessary information to do so:
TOEFL Institution Code: 0949 TOEFL Department Code: 84
In order to be considered for admission, you must meet or exceed the following English Language Proficiency test score:
TOEFL - 600 paper based, 250 computer based, 88 iBT - Please make sure that you meet the minimum requirements of each section of the TOEFL score as outlined at the check the following link: http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/prospective-students/application-process
IELTS - 7
MELAB - 80
Applying for Scholarships
The Master's program normally requires at least three terms of full-time study to complete, and must be completed satisfactorily within two years of initial registration in the program. Students entering the Master's program with full-time status in the Fall Term must take at least three half-courses in each of the Fall and Winter Terms. The degree may be taken according to one of three program patterns, the requirements for which are detailed below. Program of study and course choice are subject to the review and approval by the Graduate Coordinator.
All three Master's programs are designed to prepare students for subsequent graduate studies at the Ph.D. level. The vast majority of Master's students opt for Program II.
Six half-courses and a Master's Thesis (ECON-899, which is equivalent to one full-course). The courses selected must include ECON-810 Microeconomic Theory or ECON-811 Advanced Microeconomic Theory I; ECON-815 Macroeconomic Theory or ECON-816 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory I; and ECON-852 Quantitative Methods; and three additional graduate courses in Economics.
The Master's Thesis should involve the student in approximately four months' work on a well-chosen topic and is written under the direction of a supervisor. The choice of a manageable topic is critical to the successful completion of the thesis. Guidelines for judging the quality of the Master's Thesis are described under General Regulations, section 8.6 of the Graduate Calendar. The thesis will be examined orally by a committee consisting of the Chairperson of Division V (or delegate), the Supervisor, two other members of the Department, and a member of another department.
Seven half-courses and a Master's Essay (ECON-898, which is equivalent to one full-course). The courses selected must include ECON-810 Microeconomic Theory or ECON-811 Advanced Microeconomic Theory I; ECON-815 Macroeconomic Theory or ECON-816 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory I; ECON-852 Quantitative Methods; and four additional graduate courses in Economics. A GPA of 2.8 will be required in the course work.
The Master's Essay is written under the direction of a supervisor and should be between 7,500 and 12,500 words long. It may consist of a limited empirical research project, a critical review of the literature in a particular area, or a critical analysis of a theoretical or of an important policy problem. The essay is examined and assigned a percentage grade by a committee composed of the supervisor and one other member of the department. The essay will assigned the average of the grades submitted by the two committee members unless the individual grades differ by more than 10 percentage points. In the latter case, the Coordinator of Graduate Studies or his/her delegate will examine the essay and assign a final grade based in part on consultation with the committee members. In the event of a failing grade, revision of the essay or submission of a new essay may be made on the approval of Division V. Full guidelines regarding the Master's Essay are available in the Graduate Office.
Eight half-courses. The courses selected must include one of the following two sequences: (i) ECON-811 Advanced Microeconomic Theory I, ECON-813 Advanced Microeconomic Theory II and ECON-815 Macroeconomic Theory, or (ii) ECON-816 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory I, ECON-817 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory II and ECON-810 Microeconomic Theory; ECON-850 Econometrics I or ECON-852 Quantitative Methods; and four additional graduate half courses in Economics.
A GPA of 2.8 is required in the course work. In addition, students must fulfill a mathematics requirement by attending and passing the Graduate Methods Review course. Students who are admitted to the PhD program after completing Program Pattern III will have advanced standing in the PhD program.
The Department of Economics has joined with Queen’s Law to offer a combined program that allows students to obtain both an MA in Economics and a JD degree in three years. The program provides highly focused interdisciplinary training for students interested in the many areas where law and economic analysis intersect, for example, international trade law and policy, corporate law and policy, competition law and policy, environmental and resource management, and tax law and policy. Students in this program will receive excellent training and gain a strong comparative advantage to pursue careers in specialized legal work that requires knowledge of economic theory and of social science methods, in high-level policy work, and in academia. Learn more.