How to Apply


We only admit students for graduate studies that commence in September.

The deadlines listed here refer to the date by which we must receive your Application for Graduate Admission form and All Supporting Documents 

  • For applicants currently residing within Canada: May 15
  • For students currently residing outside Canada, or applicants within Canada applying for a student visa: February 15
  • For applicants from China and Nigeria: January 10  (to allow sufficient time to apply for a student visa). 

Application Procedure:

Step 1:

Check the admission requirements:

MA in Economics
MA in Economics and Finance
PhD in Economics

All of these require, at a minimum, that you will have completed a Bachelor's degree, majoring in Economics, by the time you begin graduate studies. There are also various Grade Point Average (GPA) requirements.

If you do not have the equivalent of an Honors degree in Economics, which includes advanced courses in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics, as well as courses in Mathematical Economics, we may not admit you directly into our MA programs, but will consider admitting you as a Qualifying Graduate Student.  See details here.

If you are concerned that you may not meet the specified requirements, send an email to and explain what part(s) of the requirements you are unsure about whether you satisfy.  We will respond (but it takes time) and you can then decide whether to continue.

Step 2:

Complete and submit the online application.  

Step 3:

Arrange for the following to be sent to the Department of Economics (address below):

  • ALL your official university transcripts.
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least 2, and preferably all 3, should be from academic sources, and ideally from instructors of senior economics courses, where the referee can reasonably assess your likelihood of succeeding in a graduate program in economics).
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (CV)

If you are an International Student, you also need to arrange to have the following documents sent to the Department:

  • TOEFL (or equivalent), unless you hold a baccalaureate degree or its academic equivalent from a recognized institution in which the language of instruction is English in a country where English is deemed to be the principal language.  
  • GRE, unless your most recent degree will be from a university in North America.

If you are applying to the PhD program in economics, you also need to send:

  • A research proposal of no more than two pages.  This can describe a single project that you plan to work on, or a series of projects. 

The mailing address is for all these documents is:

Attention:  Graduate Coordinator

Department of Economics
University of Alberta
Room 8-14 HM Tory Building
Edmonton, AB  T6G 2H4

                           * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Admission Decision:

Applicants are notified by letter (email) sent by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) as soon as possible of the decision regarding their admission.  Note that these emails are sent ONLY to the email address that is set up as part of your application process.  It normally requires 6 weeks to process an application, once the file is complete.  However, it can take longer, especially during peak application periods.

There is no formal process to accept admission once it is offered by FGSR.  However, it is helpful if you send us an email to:, advising us of your decision to attend.  Similarly, if you decide not to attend, an email advising us of this, sent to the same address, will release your spot in the program to someone else, since we generally cannot accept all qualified applicants who apply to us.

Note that your admission offer from FGSR will not include any funding offer.  Such offers are made separately by the Department, and include instructions on how to accept (or reject) the funding offer and a deadline for doing so.  Funds are extremely limited and funding offers are made on a competitive basis to relatively few students.  Funding offers are not made to qualifying graduate students, but such students will be considered for funding once they successfully complete the qualifying program and indicate that they are continuing their studies in one of our graduate programs.  

Next Steps (following admission):

Classes generally start at the beginning of September, but the Department typically offers a free Math Refresher course for economics graduate students for the last 2 weeks of August.  This course is primarily designed to prepare MA students for the mathematics they will encounter, but it is open to all students in our economics graduate programs. There is no charge for this course, and we encourage you to attend if at all possible. Math Refresher classes are held in both the morning and the afternoons, Monday through Friday for this two-week period.  There is no textbook required, no exam, no grade, and the course will not appear on your academic transcript.

Once you are admitted to one of our graduate programs, you will receive information regarding registration from the Office of the Registrar and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.  This is designed to help students find their classes and know when they should begin their registration procedures.  However, courses in graduate programs in the Department of Economics are closed to online registration.  This is to avoid courses being filled up by students who do not end up attending.  You should go online and work out a timetable for both Fall and Winter terms - make sure that you include all the required courses and slot your options in the times that are free after that.  Option classes do get filled up (first come first served), so be sure to have a couple of extra options in case your first picks are full.  Registration is done in person during the same two weeks as the Math Refresher, that is, the last two weeks of August.  Registration cannot be done before this time.

Deferral of Admission:

Sometimes circumstances change and you may wish to defer your admission.  If so, you will need to email us (to: and explain that this is what you wish to do.  We try to accommodate all such requests, but please be aware that the maximum deferral is one year.  After that time you would have to reapply for admission.  If you do not formally request a deferral, and do not attend, you will have to reapply if you wish to attend at any subsequent time.  Also note that if you defer, any funding that you may have been offered is terminated.  We will consider you again for funding in the next year, provided you indicate in the subsequent year (by March 31) that you are planning to attend, but provision of such funding in that year cannot be guaranteed.