...top of page

MA and PhD Programs

Application information and instructions

These instructions are for applicants to the Department of Economics (MA) Master of Arts and (PhD) Doctoral Programs.

Deadlines

  1. Applications for admission in September 2022 will open by early December. (There is NO January admission for any economics graduate program.)
  2. The final date you will have access to complete your application and make your application payment is January 18, 2022. The final deadline for all supporting documents to be received is January 25, 2022. These final deadlines are strict. We do not accept late applications regardless of the reasons for their lateness.

    Please note that the document deadline applies to the following documents:
    • transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether or not a degree was obtained), with grading scales, which are scanned and uploaded in PDF format following the SGS online application instructions,
    • curriculum vitae,
    • GRE and English language proficiency test scores (if applicable), which are scanned and uploaded in PDF format following the SGS online application instructions,
    • all reference letters, and,
    • the departmental supplementary application (for which you will receive an access link from the department via email within 10 days of completing your application and paying the application fee).
  3. If you are applying to the PhD program and wish to be considered for certain prestigious awards, such as the Connaught and Trillium scholarships your application and all documents must be received by January 18, 2022.

Processing times

During peak times we process a large volume of application documents, and it takes us some time to note the receipt of documents in the online system. We review and assess application documents only after all personal and academic information has been entered in the online application, the application fee has been paid, and our supplementary application form has been completed. Please allow a minimum of four weeks (excluding holidays) after you have completed all these steps for the online status of your application to change from "Documents Pending" to "Under Review".

Before you start your SGS online admission application, please read…

  • the relevant pages on this website, regarding admission, GRE, and English language proficiency requirements, and the FAQ for the relevant program (MA FAQ, PhD FAQ), and
  • the following instructions. (If you have applied in the past, please note that there are some changes this year.)

Planning

To take into account unexpected delays which may be beyond your control, please start submitting requests for all required official documents (transcripts and GRE and TOEFL test scores if applicable) well in advance of the application deadline of January 18, 2022. Note that we do not send electronic invitations with a request to your referees to complete a reference form until the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) has received your application fee.

If you have a degree from a Canadian university for which the language of instruction is French, you are not required to submit English translations of official transcripts in the French language. Otherwise, English translations from a recognized translation service must accompany all non-Canadian documents (e.g., transcripts) not written in English. Your obtaining translations may take time, so plan ahead in order to meet our deadline of January 25, 2022 for the receipt of all documents.

After you access the SGS admission application and enter your contact information, an applicant identification number and a password will be emailed to you. You can leave and return to your application at any point until you move to the payment stage. Once the payment is made you will be able to check on the status of your application. You may check the online application system periodically to confirm the receipt of documents and your application status (see processing time above).

As you progress through the SGS online application, you will notice links to "instructions". Click on these links to access instruction details and links to important resources you need to help complete your application correctly. Please ensure that you read all such instructions carefully and follow them exactly.

If the first and last name on the English language proficiency test or GRE are not the same as the first and last name you enter in the online application, considerable time can be lost in processing your application because your test scores will not be matched to your application. Make sure that the names match. (If the names do not match, notify MA | PhD Graduate Admissions of any differences and provide us with your applicant number, full name, and the program to which you are applying.)

How to apply

  1. Assuming you have already read the relevant pages on this website, next, read the following instructions thoroughly BEFORE you start your SGS online admission application.
  2. Contact people who are willing to complete online reference forms for you. If you are applying to the MA program, you need two references; if you are applying to the PhD program, you need three references. If a referee doesn't have an institutional email address as required on the application form, leave the email address field blank on the form and submit a message to MA | PhD Graduate Admissions giving your name, the program you have applied to, your application number, your referee's name, telephone number, and relationship to you (e.g., instructor, supervisor), institutional affiliation, and your referee's email address. In such a case, once you have paid the application fee and your application has the status "Documents Pending", we will enter the email address for you and an electronic invitation will be sent to the email address you provide for your referee.
  3. To start your application, go to the SGS Online Admissions Application page. For each question, there is a link to instructions. Click on each link and read the instructions carefully before answering the question.
  4. Provide the biographical and education information for all post-secondary education institutions attended, regardless of whether a degree was obtained.
  5. Submit contact information for your referees. Once you have completed the application and paid the application fee, the referees will be contacted by email, with a link to our reference form. It is the responsibility of the applicant to remind their referees of document deadlines and ensure they are met. On this topic, on occasion an electronic invitation will end up in the spam folder of your referee. If your referee has not received the email notification, suggest that s/he search their spam folder to see if the email invitation arrived there. Note that we do NOT accept hard copy letters of recommendation or letters of recommendation sent by email. You MUST supply an email address for each of your referees when you complete your application (even though the system does not require you to do so).
  6. Submit your payment (online payment is preferred but mail-in payment is possible). You must make this payment by January 11, 2022 to meet the application deadline.
  7. Once your payment is received, within 10 days you will receive an email message from the Department of Economics with a link to a supplemental form. Completion of this form is required for your application to be considered. As part of the supplemental form, applicants to the PhD program have the option to upload a research statement/statement of purpose in PDF format (maximum 2 pages). A research statement is required if you wish to be considered for certain prestigious awards, such as the Connaught or Trillium scholarship.
  8. Scan and upload your transcript(s)—which must include the respective institutional grading scale(s)—in PDF format for all post-secondary institutions attended, following the SGS online admission application instructions. Ensure that each page is fully legible. If you have a degree from a Canadian university for which the language of instruction is French, you are not required to submit English translations of official transcripts in the French language. Otherwise, English translations from a recognized translation service must accompany all foreign documents (including transcripts) not written in English.
  9. Upload a Curriculum Vitae (CV) in PDF format. Your CV must have an "Education" section that clearly indicates all past and current post-secondary enrolments (undergraduate or graduate) and any post-secondary degrees obtained or underway. Failure to report any such enrolments or degrees may result in an offer of admission being withdrawn.
  10. If applicable, you must upload a scanned file in PDF format of an unofficial record of all GRE® General Test Score results following the online admission application instructions. (Your GRE test score document will not be checked off as received in the SGS online admission application system until the official GRE test score document is received and recorded.)
  11. If applicable, you must upload a scanned file in PDF format of your English language proficiency test score results following the online admission application instructions. (Your English language proficiency test score(s) document will not be checked off as received in the SGS online admission application system until the official English language proficiency test score is received and recorded.)
  12. Ensure that official GRE scores (if applicable) are submitted. When requesting that scores be reported, use both our institution code 0982 and our department code 1801 (to ensure that your results are correctly directed to us).
  13. Ensure that official English language proficiency test scores (if applicable) are submitted. You choose the institutions to which to send your TOEFL score from a drop-down list, and do not need to know our "institution code." But in case you are interested, the TOEFL Institution Code for graduate studies at the University of Toronto is 0982-00 and the specific code for the Department of Economics is 0982-84.
  14. When you have completed the SGS online admission application, paid the application fee, and completed the department's supplementary form, and all official test scores (if applicable) have been received, we will start evaluating your application.
  15. If, because of the date your fall term grades are released, you are not able to provide them by the document deadline in January, then, as soon as they become available, email your updated grades to MA | PhD Graduate Admissions, including your application number, full name, and program applied to.
  16. All application documents must be received before a decision will be made on an application.
  17. NOTE: successful applicants will be asked to arrange to have one OFFICIAL copy of each transcript (in the original language) from each postsecondary institution you have attended sent to the department. If you have a degree from a Canadian university for which the language of instruction is French, you are not required to submit English translations of official transcripts in the French language. Otherwise, official English translations must accompany all foreign documents not written in English. Transcripts must be enclosed in an envelope provided by the issuing institution(s) and sealed or signed across the back of the envelope by an official of the issuing office. See the SGS webpage on transcripts for additional information.
  18. NOTE: Do not send us any additional documents (e.g., research papers, theses, etc.). They will be discarded.
  19. If you experience a technical problem with the SGS online application, you may write to SGS Admissions for assistance using a subject heading that includes "OAA Technical Problem". Be sure to include your first and last names, the program you are applying to, your applicant number, and a clear explanation of the technical problem. Do not email SGS with questions that are specific to Economics.
  20. Conversely, if you have uploaded an incorrect/incomplete document to the SGS online application, do not contact SGS Admissions (as this is not a technical problem). Rather, please contact Economics Graduate Admissions for assistance using a subject heading that includes “Request document upload assistance”. Be sure to include your first and last names, the program you are applying to, your applicant number, and a clear explanation of the issue and the assistance you are seeking.

Applying to the Law and Economics combined program

If you are applying to the Law and Economics MA or PhD combined program, you must read the instructions on this page and in addition review the application procedures of the Faculty of Law and ensure that all required documents have been received by the Department of Economics and the Faculty of Law. Note that the application deadlines of the Faculty of Law may differ from ours.

Applying to be a Special Non-degree Student

In special circumstances, an applicant with a postsecondary degree may wish to apply to be a non-degree special student (part-time or full-time) to take economics graduate courses. Note that, in most cases, students from other fields looking to enhance their background in economics in order to apply to economics graduate programs are better off taking undergraduate courses as a non-degree special student, not graduate courses. Non-degree special students are not registered in a program of study that may lead to a degree.

A non-degree special student applicant must meet the minimum SGS requirements, as well as the Economics MA minimum requirements, and must submit a new application for admission for each academic year of study. As each case is unique, it is strongly recommended that you contact the Graduate Administrator prior to initiating an application. Please note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an offer of admission since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a result, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated.

Full-time special students pay the full-time academic fee. Special students enrolling on a part-time basis pay for each course or half-course. Refund dates are different for part-time special students; check the Student Accounts website for details. Tuition fees paid as a special student cannot be transferred to a subsequent degree program.

See the SGS website, www.sgs.utoronto.ca/resources-supports/visiting-exchange-opportunities/non-degree-special-students, for further information.

Contact information

For information on topics on the SGS application system and admission process not provided on the website please ensure that you read thoroughly the information on our contact page and use the correct email address.

The application assessment process

The files of applicants who meet the minimum requirements, submit all the required documents and complete the department supplementary form by the deadline will be reviewed by the Department of Economics Admissions Committee. Note: The meeting of these requirements is only a necessary condition, not a sufficient condition, for acceptance into the program. The Admissions Committee normally starts to make first round offers from mid-March through early April and may continue with subsequent rounds of offers until June. All applicants will be notified either with an offer of admission or rejection of their application by the end of June.

School of Graduate Studies (SGS)

For further information, see the university's pages on frequently asked questions, the School of Graduate Studies admissions guide, getting started as a new student, how to apply, admissions, wellness portal, graduate wellness services at SGS, Accessibility Services, graduate housing, fee information, fee schedules, sessional dates, awards, and the Centre for International Experience. The website of the School of Graduate Studies, www.sgs.utoronto.ca, will also have critical information you need to know on topics such as COVID-19.