Doctor of Philosophy (Thesis Based)

Course Requirements

  • Seven required courses (ECON 503, 505, 581, 582, 591, 598 and 599)
  • Five graduate level (500 and 600) field courses – 2 graduate economics courses in each of 2 fields are required (Econometrics required 3 courses)
  • Students who have completed an MA in Economics at the University of Alberta are granted credit for the 4 required courses (ECON 503, 581, 598, 599)
  • Refer to our Course Catalogue for full course descriptions. 
  • Graduate students are required to take at least 3 courses or THES (9 credits) per term to maintain full-time status. 

Comprehensive Examinations

PhD students are required to successfully write the Micro and Macro Economics comprehensive exams after their 1st year in the program.  The first writing will be the 1st and 2nd Wednesday of June.  Rewrites will be held the 1st and 2nd Wednesday of August.

Students must pass each of the Micro and Macro comprehensive exams.  If a student fails one or both in the first sitting in June, they will be able to take a rewrite in August of the exam(s) they failed.  If a student is unsuccessful in the rewrite, the Department will recommend a) the student consider switching to the MA program (if applicable) or b) voluntary withdrawal from the PhD program.  Deferral of a comprehensive examination will only be made in exceptional circumstances and is at the discretion of the Associate Chair.  

Professional Development and Academic Integrity and Ethics Requirements

Students must complete 8 hours of ethics training, 8 hours of professional development, and an Individual Development Plan.  Refer to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research website under Professional Development.

Time Limit for Completion

Students in our PhD program typically complete within 6 years. The following deadlines apply to PhD students:
Individual Development Plan – to be completed within 18 months of program start
Ethics, Professional Development, Course Work and Candidacy – to be completed within 3 years of program start.
Doctoral students are required to complete all requirements (candidacy, course work, ethics and professional development*) within 6 years from the time they first register in the program.   Students must complete all course work ethics and professional development requirements to be eligible to convocate.

Please direct inquiries regarding the graduate program in Economics to  Students are reminded to include their 7 digit ID in all correspondence.