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Graduate Programs

PhD program admission requirements

Degree and course requirements

Applicants must have completed, or be in the process of completing a master's degree in economics or a related field with an average of at least B+, or have completed, or be in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree in economics or a related field with an average of at least A- in the final two years of study.

We offer both regular-entry and direct-entry PhD programs. The regular-entry program is open only to students who will have completed the requirements for a master’s degree in economics or a related field by September of the year for which they are applying. Students who do not expect to satisfy this condition should apply to the direct-entry program. In particular, applicants currently in the final year of a bachelor’s program should apply for the direct-entry PhD. Under no circumstances should you apply to both the regular-entry and the direct-entry PhD program. Applicants to the direct-entry program will be asked whether they wish to be considered for the Economics MA program should their PhD application be unsuccessful.

Applicants educated in a country other than Canada should check the equivalent qualifications table prior to starting the online admission application (not all bachelor’s or master's degrees are equivalent to the corresponding degree from the University of Toronto). The PhD is a full-time program. It is not possible to pursue a PhD on a part-time basis. Candidates are required to remain in full-time attendance for the first three years of the program. There is one admission date, in September. There is no January admission.

Applicants must have a strong preparation in advanced mathematics, statistics, and economics, including courses in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics or statistics.

Please note that meeting these minimum requirements does not imply automatic acceptance into the program. (See the PhD FAQ for the typical profile of a successful applicant.)

The admission process

Please read in full the application information and instructions prior to starting the university's online application to ensure you have informed yourself on essential information including: application deadlines, application processing time, planning for your application submission, how to apply, contact information and the application assessment process.


Once the university's online application form has been completed and the application fee paid (final deadline January 19, 2024), applicants will receive an email message from the Department of Economics with a link to a supplementary form. When this form is completed and the Economics Graduate Office has received all required supporting documentation (final deadline January 19, 2024), the department will begin to review and assess the application. To avoid any issues, we strongly advise applicants to complete their application and supplementary form well in advance of the deadline. To be considered for certain prestigious scholarships, such as the Connaught or Trillium scholarship, the application must be completed by January 19, 2024, including all required supporting documentation.

The application assessment process

The files of applicants who meet the minimum requirements, submit all the required documents 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.

Please also see our PhD FAQ page for the answers to commonly asked questions.