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Graduate Programs

MA Program

The MA program is a coursework only program (with no thesis requirement) of approximately 8 months in duration, starting in mid-August. (Note that classes start before the start of regular classes at the University of Toronto). There is one admission date, in August of each year. We do not admit students in January. All program requirements for full-time students must be completed within three years of the initial enrolment in the program. For part-time students this time limit is six years.

Because of the size and diversity of the graduate teaching staff, students can choose among a rich and very broad spectrum of courses. Appropriate programs of studies can be designed for individuals who wish to become professional economists or economics consultants or wish to work for government agencies, and also to lay the groundwork for a PhD program.

Please note: You will be asked on the Department's supplementary application form whether you plan to continue your graduate studies to pursue a PhD in Economics. (See the application information and instructions for details.)

Program Requirements

A student may enter the MA program on either a full-time or a part-time (one or two courses per semester) basis. Full-time students must take at least three courses per semester. Part-time students normally take ECO1010 and then ECO1200 and/or ECO1400 in their first semester (taking both is very strongly recommended), ECO1100 and at most one additional course in their second semester, and at most two courses in each subsequent semester. (Note that graduate courses are not offered in the evenings or on weekends, or in the summer term.)

The requirements for the degree are

  • ECO1010an intensive preparatory course in mathematics and statistics for MA and MFE students, which meets daily for three weeks beginning in mid-August
  • ECO1200, a one-semester course in Microeconomic Theory
  • ECO1100, a one-semester course in Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECO1400, a one-semester course in Econometrics
  • Five one-semester elective courses. These courses may be selected from our current courses or may be graduate courses offered by another unit provided they make a strong contribution to the student's economic training. At most two courses offered by other units can be counted toward the five elective course requirement, and these courses must be approved by the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies. Units that offer courses that we may approve include the math department, the statistics department, and the Rotman School of Management.

An MA student may be permitted to take one or more PhD-level core course sequences (ECO2200 and ECO2201 PhD microeconomics, ECO2100 and ECO2101 PhD macroeconomics, or ECO2400 and ECO2401 PhD econometrics) instead of the corresponding MA-level core course(s). To make this substitution, written permission from the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies is required prior to starting the Mathematics and Statistics course in August. Students who receive permission to take PhD-level core courses are required to take ECO2010 (Mathematics and Statistics for PhD students) instead of ECO1010 (Mathematics and Statistics for MA and MFE students). The Associate Chair, Graduate Studies might revoke a student's permission to take PhD-level core courses if, after consulting with the course instructor, the student's performance in ECO2010 is considered unsatisfactory.

MA students who seek to enter the PhD program are required to apply for admission along with all other applicants. If an MA student is offered admission into our PhD program, PhD core courses successfully completed as part of the program are credited toward the PhD core course requirements.


Students in the MA program are not eligible for University of Toronto fellowship support. However, most admitted MA students are offered some funding, with the amount determined on a competitive/merit basis. Funding offered to MA students comes from multiple sources and might include Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Admission Awards, or other awards. The funding package offered to a student may change if the student receives a major external scholarship (like an OGS or SSHRC scholarship). Students may lose their funding if they fail to maintain good standing in the program.

Collaborative and Combined Programs (length of program varies)

We offer one combined program, the Law (JD) and Economics program. Applicants must be offered admission to the Economics MA program to be considered for admission to the Law and Economics program. Please see the page of this program for details.

Program completion

To complete the program, a student must pass (receive at least a B– in) each course taken. Details about the consequences of a student's failing a course are available to registered students on the department's intranet.