Doctor of Philosophy (Thesis Based)

Course Requirements

  • Seven required courses (ECON 591, 598, 599, 604, 605, 681 and 682)
  • Five graduate level (500 and 600) field courses
  • In their second year, students will take Econ 591 and 5 graduate elective course in their area of interest. Please refer to our Field Course Guide to guide course selection.
  • 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

Students are required to successfully write the macroeconomic and microeconomic 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 macroeconomic and microeconomic 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 Citizenship and Ethics Requirements

Students must complete Int D 710: Ethics and Academic Citizenship and Int D 720: Advanced Ethics and Academic Citizenship in their first semester. Int D 710 and 720 are online, self-paced courses. Students will automatically be enrolled in Int D 710.  Upcon completion, they must contact to request enrollment in Int D 720.  For more information, students can refer to FGSR Ethics and Academic Citizenship

Students must complete 8 hours of professional development activities - and an Individual Development Plan. For more information and materials refer to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Professional Development Activities and Individual Development Plan.  The Individual Development Plan is to be completed within 18 months of program start and the Professional Development activities must be completed within three years of program start. 


Students are required to complete their Academic Citizenship and professional development requirements prior to their candidacy exam. The candidacy exam must be completed by the end the third year. In preparation for the candidacy exam the student will prepare a paper answering a set of questions related to the thesis topic and methodology.  This will require students to have completed sufficient preliminary analysis to demonstrate that the proposed thesis answers an interesting set of questions, the outlines methodology is sound, and the student has the skills and understanding to undertake the research. The candidacy exam includes a presentation of a student’s research and questions from the examination committee.

Time Limit for Completion

Doctoral students are required to complete all requirements (thesis, candidacy, course work, Academic Citizenship and professional development) within 6 years from the time they first register in the program. Students must complete all course work, academic citizenship 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.