Finance Minister Morneau


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

This Economics PhD program is fast becoming one of the most sought-after in the country. Key to this growing reputation is the quality and diversity of our faculty and our research. Our researchers publish in leading academic journals, showcasing expertise in climate change, international trade, energy policy and more. Our curriculum is on par with leading economics graduate programs in Canada, but our smaller program size (accepting six to 12 applicants a year) means our students get a greater level of guidance and support from faculty members, unprecedented access to guest lecturers and experts, and more opportunities to pursue their research interests. The placement record of our recent PhDs is undeniable evidence of how strong this program has become.

Our department is committed to the sharing of fresh ideas, sponsoring conferences and workshops, a weekly seminar series, and the newly established Dr. Frank Anton Distinguished Lecture Series in Economics. We are also home to a federal data centre, so students can apply directly for their own research agendas.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Two courses each in econometrics, microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory.
  • Candidacy: Students must submit a second-year research paper, complete comprehensive exams and submit a thesis proposal.
  • Additional Courses: May include international trade, energy, labour, regulatory, financial or public economics, research methods, other topics.
  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.


Regulatory agencies, central banks, international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, financial services industry, universities.

A PhD in economics is usually considered a final degree.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


Six core courses and six electives

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Five years full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

Explore the University of Calgary (UCalgary) from anywhere. Experience all that UCalgary has to offer for your graduate student journey without physically being on campus. Discover the buildings, student services and available programs all from your preferred device.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Aidan Hollis

    Aidan Hollis

    Industrial Organization
  2. Arvind Magesan

    Arvind Magesan

    Accepting Inquiries
    Structural Econometrics, Political Economy, Empirical Microeconomics
  3. Placeholder Profile Image

    Rob Oxoby

    Accepting Inquiries
    Behavioural and Experimental Economics, Political Economy
  4. Profile Picture

    Aamir Rafique Hashmi

    Accepting Inquiries
  5. Photo of Blake Shaffer

    Blake Shaffer

    Accepting Inquiries
    Electricity markets, energy transition, climate policy
  6. Trevor Tombe

    Trevor Tombe

    Accepting Inquiries
  7. Placeholder Profile Image

    Jean-Francois Wen

    Public Economics
  8. Alexander Whalley

    Alexander Whalley

    Accepting Inquiries
    Labor Economics, Innovation and Productivity, Urban Economics

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

An MA degree in Economics or equivalent, with a high level of proficiency in Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomic Theory, and Econometrics. Students may be required to upgrade their knowledge in those fields if courses were taken more than five years ago.

Work samples



  • The Department of Economics does not require GRE scores for admission purposes. However, the Department of Economics Admissions Committee would encourage students to submit the GRE. To clarify, an offer of admission can go through without a GRE test having been taken, or a score submitted, so long as all other required documents are submitted.

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Economics

Social Sciences Building, Room 454
618 Campus Place NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website

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