MA Economics and Finance

Admission Requirements

Please note as this is a quota program, only 5 new students are accepted each year
  • Equivalent of a baccalaureate degree in Economics with a grade point average of at least 3.5 on the University of Alberta 4-point grading scale in their last 2 years (60 credits) of full time study.
  • The student's undergraduate degree should include advanced courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Applicants who have studied economics up to, but not beyond, the intermediate level may be considered to be admitted as Qualifying Graduate Students.
  • The equivalent of a GPA of at least 3.5 (on the University of Alberta's 4-point grading scale) in all of their economics courses taken. 
  • Applicants must also have completed a course each in calculus and statistics at the introductory level.
  • International students may refer to the Minimum Academic Requirements by Country to determine eligibility.
Students who wish to be considered for either MA program in Economics are to submit only one application and select the Economics and Finance specialization. The Review Committee will determine whether the student is to be admitted to the Economics and Finance program, the MA in Economics program as a qualifying graduate student or not admitted. Decisions of the Review Committee are final.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

International applicants must provide proof of English language proficiency. Applicants must upload the proficiency test results to their application. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test is 92 on the internet-based test. The minimum overall band score on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each band.

The English language proficiency may be waived if the students country or institution is exempt (please refer to ELP Exemptions) or with a letter from the students institution confirming the language of instruction was English.

GRE Requirement

Applicants whose most recent degree is from an institution outside Canada or the USA are required to complete the verbal, quantitative and analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). The examinations should be written early enough for scores to be available to be included in the online application before the application deadline. Both scores and percentages must be posted. The Department requires a minimum score of 80% on the quantitative section of the exam to be considered eligible for our programs. No substitutions for the GRE (such as the GMAT) will be accepted. The GRE requirement will not be waived.

Application Deadline

For consideration for September admission, complete applications must be submitted by midnight (MT), January 31
Complete applications include:
  • All transcripts in original language and official English translation
  • All degree certificates in original language and official English translation (this may be waived if the final degree is shown on the transcript)
  • English language test results as applicable
  • GRE for all international applicants attending institutions outside Canada or the USA
  • CV
  • 3 letters of reference (academic references are preferred)

Course Requirements

Refer to Courses for full course descriptions.

MA Economics and Finance students are required to take:

  • Seven required courses (ECON 503, 581, 598, 599 and 999; FIN 501; and 3 credits from an ACCTG 500 level course).
  • Seven option courses:
    • At least 3 chosen from among the 500 level ECON courses
    • At least 3 from graduate level FIN courses
  • An independent research project, ECON 999, under the supervision of a Faculty member from the Department of Economics or a Faculty member from the Department of Finance and Management Science in which the results are presented and defended in a seminar format. The paper should not normally exceed 50 pages and is taken in the Spring term.
  • Master's students are required to take at least 3 courses per term to maintain full-time status.

Ethics and Professional Development

Graduate students are required to complete 8 hours of ethics. The ethics requirement can be fulfilled by:

  • Completing the online Graduate Ethics Training - 5 hours. Students must provide proof of completion to the Department.
  • Attending ethics seminars during Teaching Week and/or Professional Development Week (1.5 hours each)

The Professional Development requirement is effective for students registered in Fall 2016 and beyond. Details will be provided as they become available.

Time limit for completion

Masters students are required to complete all requirements (course work, ethics and professional development*) within 4 years from the time they first register in the program. Please note this program is typically completed in 2 years.

* Professional development requirement required only for students registered Fall 2016 and beyond.

Please direct further inquiries regarding the graduate program in economics at the University of Alberta to