Economics: Economics PhD

​Doctor of Philosophy

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Economics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Minimum B+ standing in an MA program in economics. Admission is competitive, so accepted applicants will normally have achieved a standing considerably higher than the minimum B+.

  • A strong preparation in advanced mathematics, statistics, and economics, including successful completion of MA-level microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics.

  • All applicants who do not hold a degree from a Canadian university must submit an official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test score. Applicants who hold a degree from a Canadian university are strongly encouraged to submit an official GRE General Test score. See the website for details.

Program Requirements

  • The PhD is a full-time program. Applicants must be registered as full-time students for a minimum period of three years.

  • Students must maintain a minimum average of B+ throughout their coursework.

    • Year 1: normally two half-courses in each area (3.0 full-course equivalents [FCEs]), as follows:

      • Microeconomics (ECO 2020H and ECO 2030H)

      • Macroeconomics (ECO 2021H and ECO 2031H)

      • Econometrics (ECO 2400H and ECO 2401H)

    • Year 2: six half-courses (3.0 FCEs), including the required courses for a major field of specialization and a minor field of specialization.

      • Second-year and third-year students must also participate in the full-year ECO 4060Y0 Graduate Research Seminar (1.0 FCE).

      • Suitable PhD-level courses taken by a student in the MA program in the Department of Economics may fulfil some of the course requirements of the PhD program.

    • Year 3:

      • An original paper must be written in Year 2 and presented in the relevant workshop in the fall of Year 3,

      • A proposal must be submitted to a formal dissertation committee by the spring.

  • A thesis based on original research.​

  • General examinations

    • Successful completion of theory comprehensive examinations. Students are required to take two comprehensive examinations in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory after the end of the Winter session (usually June) in Year 1 of their program. Performance on these exams is evaluated on a distinction/pass/fail basis. If a theory comprehensive examination is failed on the first attempt, it must be re-taken later in the Summer (usually in August) of the same year.

    • All students who did not obtain a minimum grade of A in every course required for their major field of specialization, or took some of the required courses during their MA in Economics program at the University of Toronto, are required to take a field comprehensive examination in their major field of specialization after the end of the Winter session in Year 2 (usually June). If the exam is failed, it must be re-taken later in the Summer (usually in August) of the same year. The major fields of specialization offered regularly are:

      • ​​​​Econometrics

      • Economic Development

      • Financial Economics

      • Industrial Organization

      • International Economics

      • Labour Economics

      • Macroeconomics

      • Microeconomic Theory

      • Public Economics​

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years​