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Graduate Programs

MA Program

The MA program is a course-work 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 from the initial enrolment into 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 program of studies can be designed for individuals who wish to become professional economists or economics consultants or wish to work for government agencies, but also to lay the groundwork for a PhD program. (It is not possible to begin our PhD program with only an undergraduate degree.)

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 take ECO1010 and then ECO2060 and/or ECO2408 in their first semester (taking both is very strongly recommended), ECO2061 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

  • ECO1010, an intensive preparatory course in mathematics and statistics for MA General students, which meets daily for three weeks beginning in mid-August
  • ECO2060, a one-semester course in Microeconomic Theory
  • ECO2061, a one-semester course in Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECO2408, 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 with strong economic content offered by another unit. At most two courses offered by other units can be counted toward the five elective courses requirement, and these courses must be approved by the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies. Units that may offer courses that we approve include the math department, statistics department, and Rotman School of Management.

An MA student may be permitted to take one or more PhD level core courses (ECO2020 PhD microeconomics, ECO2021 PhD macroeconomics, or ECO2400 PhD econometrics) instead of the corresponding MA level core courses. 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 will be required to take ECO1011 (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 ECO1011 is considered unsatisfactory.

Students who plan to enter the PhD program are required to apply for admission along with all other applicants. (Direct entry into our PhD program with an undergraduate degree is not possible.) If an MA student is offered admission into our PhD program, PhD core courses successfully completed as part of the program are credited towards the PhD.


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, summer Research Assistantships, Admission 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 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. The details of the consequences of a student's failing a course are available to registered students on the department's Intranet.