PhD

Economics

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 9.28 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 15, 2025
200 place StudyQA ranking:2167 Duration:4 years

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The University of Calgary PhD program is fast becoming one of the most sought after in the country. The progression of our program is attributable to the quality and diversity of our research. We promote student-faculty interaction to ensure students have the best possible chance to excel.

Our PhD program has approximately 45 students currently enrolled and admits between 7 and 15 students every year. Students can expect to complete the program in between 4 and 6 years depending on their academic background.

PhD students are given priority to teaching assistantships and are required to apply for scholarships and funding opportunities applicable to their area of specialization. Our faculty continuously receive funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council as well as other agencies. Some members of our faculty also hold Tier I and II Canada Research Chairs. Given the abundance of awards and financial resources, our PhD students have access to a wide variety of research and funding opportunities.

We actively support our job market candidates. Our faculty conduct mock interviews and candidates are encouraged to present their job market papers multiple times in front of all members of the department. We believe our involvement has increased the success of our candidates. In the last few years, our students have earned positions in North America, Europe and Asia.

Our students have access to a plethora of information pertinent to their research and learning through our libraries which includes textbooks, handbooks and journals in all specializations that we offer.  We are also home to a federal data center that permits students to apply directly for their own research agendas.

We encourage our senior students to participate in a mentoring program for incoming students. If you are anxious about joining our Economics department, coming to the university, or living in Calgary in general, you can request a mentor to help you adjust to the University of Calgary lifestyle.

Our students have access to a number of recreational facilities including a fully equipped gym, swimming pool, and squash courts. Access to such facilities is included with tuition. Our department holds start of semester welcoming parties, Christmas parties and a variety of social events are carried out by our student graduate association.

Students can expect to complete the Economics PhD program in between four and six years depending on their academic background. The first two years of the PhD program focus on formal coursework and associated milestones. Completion of no less than twelve semester long graduate level courses, including core courses in Microeconomics (Econ 707, 757), Macroeconomics (Econ 709, 759) and Econometrics (Econ 615, 715) is required.

Upon completion of the required coursework students are expected to undertake an oral candidacy examination following which the remainder of the program is devoted to original research and the associated production of a formal dissertation.

The typical program and associated milestones are itemized below:

  • Prior to the Fall Semester (first year): Students are encouraged to attend a week long “Block Week” course in mathematical economics. This course is intended to be a combination refresher and primer for formal mathematical techniques used at the graduate level in both core micro and macroeconomics courses. This is a non-credit course and no formal grades are assigned.
  • Fall Semester (first year): Students are required to register in core Microeconomic Theory (Econ 707) and Macroeconomic Theory (Econ 709) courses. Typically, students will also register in a single field course in the fall term.
  • Note: The department suggests that students register for only 3 courses in the first year fall term due to the workload associated with the required core Micro and Macroeconomics theory courses.
  • Winter Semester (first year): Students are required to register in Advanced Microeconomic theory (Econ 757), Advanced Macroeconomics (Econ 759) and Advanced Econometrics (Econ 715).
  • Spring and Summer Semesters (first year): The first year spring term is devoted to preparation for and completion of the required Field of Study Examinations in Micro and Macro Theory. These exams are generally set for in May. Students who fail to pass a comprehensive exam on the first sitting are allowed to re-take one or both comprehensive exams in August.
  • Fall semester (second year): Students are required to register in field courses of their choice. At this stage, students should begin to work on a paper to satisfy the department’s second-year research paper requirement. This involves writing a research paper in their field(s) of specialization.
  • Winter semester (second year): Students typically register in three field courses of their choice, satisfying the remainder of their coursework requirements. (Completion of the required twelve semester long courses must occur before the student can sit for the thesis proposal oral examination described below).
  • Spring and Summer semester (second year):  The spring and summer of the second year are devoted to the research paper requirement. A research proposal for the paper together with a declaration of a supervisor needs to be submitted by May 15th of the second year.
  • Third Year The final version of the second year research paper must be submitted by end of October of the third year.  Following completion of the paper requirement, students must sit for an oral candidacy exam by January of the third year (after 28 months in the program). Students entering the program without prior credit for Econ 657,659 and 615 can apply for an extension, in which case the deadline is 36 months.
  • Post Candidacy Outside an expectation that students will regularly participate in department seminars and workshops, students are left to pursue dissertation related research under supervision. Following completion of the dissertation, students are required to sit for a formal oral defence of the dissertation.

Requirements

  • A Master of Arts degree in Economics or its equivalent, with a high level of proficiency in Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomic Theory and Econometrics.
  • The minimum GPA requirement for the PhD program is 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in the student's completed MA program.
  • Once students have been admitted to a graduate program at the University of Calgary, they must maintain a B average to remain in the program.  Students receiving less than a B-on any course, or more than one mark below a B- may be asked to leave the program. 
  • Three letters of reference.
  • Two original copies of all post-secondary transcripts.
  • Two original copies of your Certificate of Graduation (if your university transcripts do not identify that your degree has been awarded).
  • An application fee of CDN $125 for national students and CDN $145 for international students. 
  • The minimum total score on the new Internet based TOEFL is 80.  The minimum paper based score is 550 and computer based score is 213.  The IELTS will be accepted in lieu of TOEFL. The minimum IELTS requirement is 7.0.

Scholarships

  • Queen Elizabeth II Scholarships
  • Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS)
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