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Graduate Registration Guidelines

Newly admitted students can register themselves for courses on the Student hub. Returning students can register themselves without additional advising each term. All students should follow the rules and guidelines set out in the appropriate section of this page. Questions regarding which courses to take and other academic matters should be addressed to the Graduate Program Director in person or by email. All other questions regarding registration should be directed to the Graduate Program Assistant

Important notes:

  • Students who need to take the ConCEPT test should do so prior to the start of their studies, since ESL qualifying courses must be taken during the first year. It is possible to take ESL courses concurrently to ECON courses. Please consult this page for further information on the ConCEPT test and the ESL courses.
  • New students are required to fill out the Academic Success and Integrity Module (ASIM) online prior to or during the first term.
  • Returning students who have not paid their fees, are in failed academic standing due to low GPA or failing grades, or are missing required admission documents, will not be permitted to register. Please contact the Graduate Program Assistant for further information if you have a registration block.
  • International students with an expired CAQ/Study Permit will not be able to register and must contact the International Students Office.
  • Every full-time student should register for and complete a minimum of three courses in each of the Fall and Winter terms, until all the course requirements for the program have been met.

In the following, the word "term" refers only to Fall and Winter terms. Nonetheless, a very limited number of elective courses are also offered in the Summer term, and one compulsory course for the MA (ECON 696) is only offered in the Summer term.

For more information about registration, program structures, deadlines, fees, and professional skills development, please visit the sites listed under Key Resources on this page.

Course selection

Graduate Diploma students are to follow this curriculum (10 courses, 30 credits total):

First term:

  • ECON 501 (compulsory)
  • ECON 503 (compulsory)
  • Any other 500-level course or ESL (if applicable)

Second term:

  • ECON 521
  • ECON 525
  • Any other 500-level course

Third and fourth terms:

  • Any 500-level courses
  • At least two 600-level courses

A maximum of 3 courses is allowed per term for full-time students. It is possible to take 4 courses per term with the permission of the Graduate Program Director but it is not recommended.

Students looking at transferring from the Graduate Diploma into the MA in Economics must take ECON 501, 503, and 521. ECON 525 is also recommended as preparation to MA-level courses, and its completion will be considered favorably by the Graduate Programs Committee.

Graduate Diploma students must obtain a minimum CGPA of 2.70 (over a minimum of 12 credits) and no more than one C grade in order to avoid a registration block. Students may only register for 600-level courses upon approval from the Graduate Program Director

MA students are to follow this curriculum (9 courses, 45 credits total):

First term:

  • Two of the following compulsory courses: ECON 612, 615, and 680
  • One 600-level elective or ESL (if required)

Second term:

  • Compulsory course not taken in the Fall term: ECON 612, 615, or 680
  • Two 600-level electives

Third term:

  • Fourth compulsory course ECON 696 (only offered in Summer)

Fourth term:

  • Any remaining 600-level courses and/or
  • MA Thesis: ECON 705 will be added by the department to the student's record following the completion of the thesis

A maximum of 3 courses is allowed per term for full-time students. It is possible to take 4 courses per term with the permission of the Graduate Program Director but it is not recommended. Students are expected to graduate from the MA program in 2 years.

MA students are not allowed to register for 500-level courses, except for ECON 525. Please register for ECON 525 in your first term if you are required to take the course. Those who are not required to take ECON 525 may also opt to take it as their 9th course (there is no extra tuition fee).

MA students must obtain a minimum CGPA of 2.70 (over a minimum of 12 credits) and no more than one C grade in order to avoid a registration block.

Graduate students in economics may be permitted to register for a limited number of courses listed in the Finance, Management, Marketing, and Administration MSc (MSCA) Courses section of the Calendar. In all such cases, prior permission of the Department of Economics and the John Molson School of Business is required.

As a program requirement, one field of specialization has to be completed. A field of specialization means two courses in the same field, not counting compulsory courses.

Fields for MA students (not a complete list, and subject to the approval of the Graduate Program Director):

EC: Econometrics: any two of 681, 682, 683

ET: Macroeconomics: any two of 616, 618, 624, 662, 695: Computational Economics, Labour Market Dynamics, Health Economics

ET: Microeconomics: any two of 613, 614, 658, 673, 695: Experimental Economics, Urban Economics, Environmental Modeling in Economics and Ecology, Empirical Industrial Organization, Political Economics

EDP: Economic Development: 623 and 624

IO: Industrial Organization/Industrial Economics: 673 and 695: Empirical Industrial Organization

LE: Labour Economics: any two of 677, 678, 695: Labour Economics, 695: Economics of Education and Human Capital

IE: International Economics: any two of 618, 661, 662, 695: International Economic Integration: Trade & Finance

FE: Financial Economics: any two of 642, 643, 662, 695: Risk Management, and permitted JMSB courses

ET: Game Theory: any two of 613, 614, 695: Economic Design, 695: Political Economics, 695: Auctions and Markets

PE: Environmental Economics: 658 and 695: Environmental Economics, Environmental Modeling in Economics and Ecology

PhD students are to follow this curriculum (10 courses, 90 credits total):

First term:

  • ECON 612 (compulsory)
  • ECON 615 (compulsory)
  • ECON 680 (compulsory)

Second term:

  • ECON 613 (compulsory)
  • ECON 616 (compulsory)
  • ECON 681 (compulsory)

Summer term:

  • Pass the comprehensive exam in Macroeconomics (based on ECON 615 and ECON 616)
  • Pass the comprehensive exam in Microeconomics (based on ECON 612 and ECON 613)

Third and fourth terms:

  • Four 600-level electives

Subsequent terms:

  • Thesis research and defence, including the Doctoral Thesis Proposal Seminar in the fifth term, and the Doctoral Paper and Research Seminar in the 7th term.

Students are expected to graduate in 5 years or less, and can take at most 6 years to graduate.

PhD students are not allowed to register for 500-level courses, except for ECON 525. PhD students must obtain a minimum CGPA of 3.00 (over a minimum of 12 credits) in order to avoid a registration block. PhD students may receive at most one C grade, and a course with a C grade must be repeated if compulsory, or may be replaced by a different course if it is an elective.  

As a program requirement, two fields of specialization have to be completed. A field of specialization means two courses in the same field, not counting ECON 612, 615 and 680.

Fields for PhD students (not a complete list, and subject to the approval of the Graduate Program Director):

EC: Econometrics: any two of 681, 682, 683

ET: Macroeconomics: any two of 616, 618, 695: Computational Economics, 695: Labour Market Dynamics, Health Economics

ET: Microeconomics: any two of 613, 614, 658, 673, 695: Experimental Economics, Urban Economics, Environmental Modeling in Economics and Ecology, Empirical Industrial Organization

EDP: Economic Development: 623 and 624

IO: Industrial Organization/Industrial Economics: 673 and 695: Empirical Industrial Organization

LE: Labour Economics: any two of 677, 678, 695: Labour Economics, 695: Economics of Education and Human Capital

IE: International Economics: any two of 618, 661, 662, 695: International Economic Integration: Trade & Finance

FE: Financial Economics: any two of 642, 643, 695: Risk Management

ET: Game Theory: any two of 614, 695: Economic Design, 695: Political Economics, 695: Auctions and Markets

PE: Environmental Economics: 658 and 695: Environmental Economics, Environmental Modeling in Economics and Ecology

The PhD Research Proposal is a presentation held in front of the Graduate Program Director, committee, and PhD students. This step happens once the student has successfully completed ECON 805 Doctoral Comprehensive Exams.

Preparation: to-do list

  1. Contact the Graduate Program Director (GPD) Graduate Program Assistant (GPA) to notify them of your suggested date and time for your proposal.
  2. Once the GPD and GPA have confirmed the date of your research proposal, start preparing your presentation and responses to questions you might receive during the Q&A.
  3. Make sure to book an appointment with your supervisor as soon as you confirm the date to go over your proposal and presentation.
  4. The GPA will send an invitation to the Economics faculty members and PhD students.

On the day of the presentation:

  1. You should plan for one hour: 20-30 minutes for your presentation, plus a Q&A and deliberations by the committee.
  2. Be ready to discuss your planned research for your main paper, including what you expect to do next.
  3. Once you are done, the faculty members will retire to discuss the viability of your research project. This is done in your absence; the audience will not attend the deliberations either.

You will be officially notified of the GPD and committee’s decision at the end of the presentation.

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