Admission Application to the Department of Economics
As of October 2012, McGill’s formerly paper-based graduate application process has been replaced with a more convenient electronic version. For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents in the new version, please see this webpage.
Application and Required Documents
All supplemental application materials and supporting documents must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system. See this webpage for information and instructions.
Deadline for Receipt of Complete Application is January 15, 2014.
Applications transmitted after the deadline will not be considered by the Committee.
Please note that the Department ONLY accepts an application for September registration. Those applications for Winter and/or Summer will be automatically cancelled.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their file is complete by accessing Minerva as candidates are able to verify and track the progress of their application(s).
All documents submitted to McGill University in support of an application including, but not limited to transcripts, diplomas, letters of reference and test scores, become the property of McGill University and cannot be returned to the applicant or forwarded to another institution under any circumstance.
Financial Assistance. Recommended candidates are considered for financial support. No separate application is required.
Part-time Studies The department offers full-time programs starting every September. Incoming students should plan to be in Montreal by mid-August.
General Inquiries. E-mail us at graduate [dot] economics [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Graduate Economics). This e-mail address is for general inquiries about the programs.
How to Apply
Step 2: Review the department's admissions requirements.
Complete the McGill University Online Application Form accessed on this webpage
, which includes a $100 non-refundable application fee, payable by credit card.
Step 4: Arrange to take the GRE and/or TOEFL tests (or equivalent) prior to the department's posted deadline (if applicable).
Step 5: Prepare and upload your supporting documents. This includes the personal statement.
Step 6: Check Minerva to verify that all documents have been received and uploaded.
Mandatory Supporting Documents
- Your complete record of study from each university-level institution attended to date. Uploaded copies will be considered as unofficial: final, official copies will be required once offered admission.
- Transcripts in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French certified translation.
Letters of Reference
- At least two (2) academic letters of reference are required. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf. Letters can be written in French.
- The e-mail communicating the letter must be uploaded from a valid institutional address. Letters sent from public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Videotron, etc, will not be accepted.
- The letters must be specific as to which program the candidate has applied and include information that would aid an admissions committee in making an informed decision.
- Letters of reference must be dated and not be older than 12 months old.
- The referee must indicate his/her position and full contact information at the institution.
- Uploaded letters sent from a Career Centre or Portfolio Management Company must state that the letters are confidential.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
If your education has been interrupted or if you do not have an undergraduate or graduate degree in Economics from a Canadian university, you must take the Graduate Record Examination
(General Test).The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) cannot be substituted for the GRE. McGill University’s institutional code is 0935. The Department of Economics’ code is 1801. For more information about the GRE please visit this website
. An interruption in education is 3 or more years after graduation, or between degrees.
Proficiency in English
(Department code is 84) Applicants (including Permanent Residents of Canada) whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), are required to submit proof of competency in oral and written in English before the application for admission can be considered. Applications cannot be considered if test results are not available. Options accepted at McGill can be found on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) website for English Proficiency
.The Department of Economics expects applicants to obtain scores well above the minima outlined on the GPS’ website.
You must hold, or reasonably expect to hold by September, a bachelor's degree for entry into the M.A. program or a master’s degree in Economics for entry to the Ph.D. program. The minimum acceptable CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) is 3.0 out of a possible 4.0, which is equivalent to “B” on a letter scale, or at least a 3.2/4.0 over the last two years of study. The University assesses degrees earned outside Canada to determine if they are equivalent to a McGill degree. "International Degree Equivalency" for several countries is listed here
If your degree is not in Economics. An Honours B.A. in Economics is the normal requirement, although students holding an ordinary B.A., whether in economics or another discipline, may also be eligible for admission. Students judged by the admisions committee to have deficiences in their preparation in economics may be admitted to a Qualify Year in which they undertake advanced economics honours-level undergraduate work. Admission to the QY does not imply an exemption from GRE. The minimum preparation is a full year of intermediate macroeconomics, microeconomics, and statistics, two semesters of introductory calculus and one semester of linear algebra.
Math requirements. To enter the MA or PhD programs you must have taken at least the following:
(a) two terms of calculus (differential and integral calculus, including constrained optimization methods, functions of several variables, partial derivatives, constrained optimization using the method of Lagrangian multipliers and Riemann integration);
(b) one term of matrix algebra (rank, inverse, eigenvalues, eigenvectors and quadratic forms);
(c) statistics: a full-year course in statistics from an economics or mathematics department.
To enter the QY you should at a minimum be familiar with functions, limits, continuity, differentiation, and integration. If you enter the QY program without the mathematics background specified under (a) and (b), you must be prepared to take both math and economics courses as part of your QY program.
If you are not a citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada, you must obtain the necessary visa and/or Study Permit before entering Canada. Do not leave home without these documents. It is not possible to change your status from Visitor to Student Authorization once you are in Canada.
Certificate of Acceptance from Quebec (CAQ). Coming to Canada begins with an application for a Certificate of Acceptance from the Government of the Province of Quebec. There is a processing fee for this document.
Study Permit. This document is issued by Canadian immigration through a Canadian embassy or consulate and is subject to a processing fee. Please note that citizens of the United States, Greenland and/or St. Pierre-Miquelon who are in possession of the CAQ may obtain the study permit at a Port of Entry to Canada.
If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you must participate in the health insurance plan administered by the University. All inquiries related to this University policy must be directed to the International Student Services
office (tel. 514-398-6012; email
Cost and Financial Assistance
McGill’s Fee Information Booklet
, fee tables, and other important information are available on the Schedule of Fees
Economics Department. Financial assistance from the Department most often comes in the form of a teaching or research assistantship. Every year a few outstanding applicants are awarded scholarships by the Faculty of Arts or Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Unfortunately, neither the University nor most external granting agencies provide financial support for Qualifying Year students.
The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) provides both master’s and doctoral funding
to Canadian students on a competitive basis. If you are eligible, please apply. The deadline for applications varies depending on your current or most recent university attended but is normally in September. The Fonds de recherche du Québec sur la société et la culture (FQRSC)
provides master’s and doctoral funding
for Québec residents.
For non-Canadians. Non-Canadian students can draw on a wide variety of fellowships and other forms of assistance. Several large, multidisciplinary programs fund study in Canada by students from abroad. These include the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Program; the Government of Canada Awards to Foreign Nationals; and the Technical Assistance Scholarships and Fellowships and Canadian Fellowship Program for French-Speaking Countries, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). You must apply for assistance under these programs through your home country’s government, usually via the Ministry of Education. Applications sent by individuals directly to Canada are not considered.
The Fellowships and Awards Section of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office provides information on many sources of support for Canadian and non-Canadian students, both new to McGill University and continuing. Further information on these and other sources of funding can be found in the Graduate Fellowships and Awards Calendar
and on the GPS
website. GPS can also be reached by email
International fee waiver.
Every year a limited number of students from countries or regions that have signed a tuition fee agreement with the Province of Quebec may be exempted from the higher tuition fees normally required of students from foreign countries. For further information visit the Quebec Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports (MELS) website
. As of 2010, the following countries and regions have an agreement: Algeria, Bavaria, Belgium (some members of the Communauté française and of the Flemish Community), Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Catalonia, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Germany (a certain number of holders of Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst scholarships [DAAD]), France, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, India, Israel, Italy, Korea, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Niger, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, and Vietnam. You must apply to your home country government, usually the Ministry of Education, which makes an official recommendation for students to be exempted from higher fees.
More about financial assistance available to international graduate students can be found on the UNESCO website