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Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Economics ECON
Economics - ECON
Contact Information

Location: Social Sciences Building, Room 454
Program number: 403.220.6064
Fax: 403.282.5262
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based and course-based

There is a requirement of full-time study for the course-based and thesis-based Master of Arts and doctoral programs.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires:

Master of Arts

a) A minimum of 24 units (4.0 full-course equivalents) of economics courses. These must include the following University of Calgary courses or their equivalents: Economics 395/495/497 (econometrics), Economics 387/389 (mathematics for economists), Economics 557 (senior microeconomics), and Economics 559 (senior macroeconomics), with at least a “B” average in senior economics courses.

b) International students must hold a four-year degree from a recognized institution. If you received your degree from a university outside Canada, please refer to the country-specific degree requirements:

c) Three reference letters.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) The requirements listed above for the Master of Arts program. Doctoral candidates may require greater proficiency in Mathematics.

b) A Master of Arts degree in Economics or its equivalent, with a high level of proficiency in Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomic Theory, and Econometrics. If courses have been taken more than five years ago, students may be required to upgrade their knowledge in these fields.

c) Three reference letters.

3. Application Deadline

Deadline for submission of complete applications is January 15 for September admission.

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires:

Master of Arts (thesis-based)

a) For students holding an Honours Economics degree with credits in Economics 387, 389, 395, 495, 497, 557, and 559 or their equivalents, the completion of 18 units (3.0 full-course equivalents) of graduate-level Economics courses. Such students may be able to complete the degree in one year. In special cases the Department may allow students to substitute a maximum of 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) from a related discipline for one of the elective graduate courses in Economics.

b) For students without an Honours Economics degree or students whose Honours degree in Economics does not include the undergraduate courses specified in (a) or their equivalents, the completion of such courses as are required to raise their competence to the appropriate level. Graduate course requirements for such students are the same as in (a). Such students may be able to complete the degree in two years.

c) The completion of Economics 615, 657, and 659 unless one or more of them is explicitly exempted by the graduate program director.

Students, with the approval of the graduate program director, may replace Economics 657 and 659 with Economics 707/757 and 709/759 respectively

d) Successful completion and examination of the MA thesis (in accord with examination procedures of the Faculty of Graduate Studies).

Master of Arts (course-based)

The departmental academic requirements for the course-based Master of Arts degree are comparable to those for the thesis-based Master of Arts specified above. The differences in the course-based program are:

a) The thesis requirement is replaced by additional 12 units (2.0 full-course equivalents) of graduate courses (making a total of 30 units or 5.0 full-course equivalents).

b) The maximal number of courses from a related discipline is increased to 9 units (1.5 full-course equivalents) of the elective graduate courses in Economics.

c) A research paper. The topic may be a limited empirical research project, a critical review of the literature in a particular area, or a critical analysis of a theoretical or important policy problem. This paper is completed through Economics 695 and 697.

d) An exit requirement consisting of a research defence in an open conference (at the end of Economics 697) and if unsuccessful a comprehensive written examination.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Department of Economics requires that doctoral students take 36 units (6.0 full-course equivalents). Required courses include two courses each in econometrics, Economics 615 and 715, microeconomic theory, Economics 707 and 757, and macroeconomic theory, Economics 709 and 759. In addition, students must take 18 units (3.0 full-course equivalents) in “field” areas. Doctoral students must also write and pass a second-year research paper prior to scheduling the Thesis Proposal Oral Examination. For further information see the website:

Students are also recommended to take a non-credit one-week course in the Fall Session Block Week (the week prior to the start of classes) of the first year in Mathematical Economics.

The Department allows for the possibility that master's-level courses and course work taken at other institutions may be substituted for some of the required doctoral courses. Decisions concerning course substitutions and the transferability of graduate courses from other institutions are made on a case-by-case basis. Students are advised that the field of study exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics, which are required of all doctoral students, include material from the core courses listed above.

6. Additional Requirements


7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Credit is not given for undergraduate courses.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time for students studying on a full-time basis is two years for the Master of Arts thesis-based and one year course-based, and five years for the Doctor of Philosophy. Maximum completion time is four years for the Master of Arts (thesis-based and course-based) and six years for the Doctor of Philosophy.

9. Supervisory Assignments

The process by which students are matched with supervisors is an informal one, based on mutual research interest.

10. Required Examinations

Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the Department requires:


Candidacy must be completed within 28 months from the program start date.
Admission to candidacy is an acknowledgement that a student is fully prepared to devote their full attention to the thesis research.

To enter into candidacy, students must: (1) successfully complete all required courses, (2) pass the microeconomics and macroeconomics comprehensive field of study exams, (3) pass the second-year paper requirement, and (4) have their thesis proposal approved by the Supervisory Committee. For further information, please consult the Department of Economics website:

Students who do not pass their candidacy requirements by the twenty-eighth month of their program may be required to withdraw from the program. A full description of all candidacy requirements is available at:

Thesis Examination

Scheduling of the Examination

All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee

The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

Information on research proposals is available from the interim advisor/grant mentor/supervisor.

12. Special Registration Information

Not applicable.

13. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to qualified students. Departmental funding is determined at the time of admission. See the Department of Economics Funding Opportunities website:

For information on awards, please see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar. Students applying for scholarships must submit their applications to the Department by January 15.

To be eligible for funding beyond the first year, a student must pass field of study exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics by the beginning of classes of their second year. To be eligible for funding beyond the Fall Term of the third year, a student must receive a passing grade on their second-year research paper and their oral thesis proposal by the beginning of Winter Term in their third year.

14. Other Information

Graduate students must obtain a grade standing of “B” or better in graduate course work. A grade of “B-“ or less will trigger a departmental review of the student’s suitability for the graduate program and may result in a loss of funding

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

The active research interests of the current faculty can be found at: