PhD program


Continuous full-time registration in two or more courses (3 units), from the time of admission until degree requirements are met, is required. Register or apply for one of the following each term:

  • Course credit
  • Personal leave
  • Parental, Compassionate or Medical leave of absence - Graduate Academic Concession form
  • Co-op work term
  • Formally withdraw from the program

Failure to not register in one of the above options means abondonment of your program. You will be withdrawn from the university and your program terminated. Your academic records will be notated "Withdrawn without Permission".

Course requirements

Successful completion (grade B or above) of the following courses:
Core courses* Unit value
ECON 500 Microeconomic Analysis 1.5
ECON 501 Macroeconomic Analysis 1.5
ECON 545 Econometric Analysis 1.5
ECON 546 Themes in Econometrics 1.5
ECON 551 Information & Incentives 1.5
ECON 552 Macroeconomic Issues 1.5
Total 9
Field courses** Unit value
ECON 500 level courses  1.5
ECON 500 level courses  1.5
ECON 500 level courses  1.5
Total 7.5
Candidacy Unit value
ECON 693 Candidacy examinations  3.0
Total 3.0
Dissertation Unit value
ECON 693 Candidacy examinations  21.0 - 33.0
Total 21.0 - 33.0
Program unit total 37.5

*Students may receive a waiver for a maximum 12 units of required course work, depending on the nature of the courses they completed as part of their MA program. Read the Graduate Academic Calendar for more information.

**The PhD program focuses on five field areas: econometrics; environmental and resource economics; labour economics; industrial organization; and development and growth. You are required to take three field courses as determined by your supervisory committee. 

Co-operative education

Co-op education requirements

  • Must maintain a B (5.0) average to be eligible
  • Normally complete ECON 693 Candidacy prior to first work term
  • ECON 516 is recommended to be included in your program
  • Co-op designation requires three work terms
  • Work experience designation requires two work terms


General Regulations: Graduate Co-op
Learn more about our co-op placements
Careers in Economics

International students on co-op

  • Valid study/work permit is required
  • Valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required
  • Not eligible for Canadian Federal Government positions
  • Eligible for most other positions in provincial, private, and public sectors

Co-op office contacts

Office: David Turpin Building A204
Co-op Advisor: Natasha Jamal
Phone: 250-721-8969 

Co-op assistant: Linda Marley
Phone: 250-721-8689

ECON 699 Dissertation information

After successful completion of required coursework and candidacy examinations (ECON 693), you are to register in the PhD dissertation ECON 699. The PhD dissertation is a substantial piece of original research work written at a publishable level. You determine the research topic in consultation with your supervisory committee. Length of the dissertation will depend with the nature of the work. Technical dissertations are generally shorter than those that are more literary in scope. While completion times vary, within five years of enrollment completion of the PhD program is expected.

Read the Faculty of Graduate Studies dissertation guidelines for everything you need to know from start to finish about writing your dissertation.

Check out these links for more information

Completed PhD dissertations

For a listing of completed PhD dissertations, please see the link below.

Supervisory Committee

PhD supervisory committees consist of three members: a supervisor, second member, who may be a co-supervisor or a committee member, and a third committee member. The supervisory committee also appoints an external examiner to examine the dissertation and the oral defense.

Structure of a PhD supervisory committee:

Supervisor Home department
Co-supervisor or Member Home or outside department
Member Home or outside department
External examiner Outside department

PhD supervisory committee declaration

Supervisors are determined during the graduate program application process. Declare your co-supervisors, as applicable and other members of your committee by submitting the PhD Research/Supervisory Committee Declaration form to the graduate program assistant.


Department of Economics Graduate Student Handbook
Faculty of Graduate Studies Graduate Supervision Policy
Supervision and advising

Candidacy Examinations

After successful completion (Grade B or above) of required course work and field courses, you are to enrol in ECON 693.

Candidacy examinations (ECON 693) consist of the following:

1. Two written comprehensive examinations selected from microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics
2. Oral examination of the dissertation proposal

Keep in mind:

  • Your supervisory committee determines the comprehensive exams you will take
  • Comprehensive exams cannot be taken more than twice
  • Must be completed within 30 months of enrolment

Read our candidacy requirements for further information. Ready for your oral examination of your dissertation proposal? Be sure to submit the oral examination of the dissertation proposal form to the .

Oral examination

The culminating component of your program is to defend your dissertation in a final oral examination known as a “defense”.

Plan ahead! Timely preparation for a PhD defense is crucial. The graduate secretary needs to know at least 35 - 45 working days prior to your actual defense date. Read our PhD Oral Defense Procedures/Checklist for detailed instructions on scheduling and preparing for your defense.

Questions or Ready to defend?

Contact the
Read the Faculty of Graduate Studies Guidelines for oral examinations

PhD student FAQs

What is the Oral Examination of the Dissertation Proposal and when do I need to complete it?

The Oral Examination of the Dissertation Proposal consists of a written proposal that clearly lays out the intended research of the dissertation and the oral defense of the written proposal. For more details see the Oral Examination of the Dissertation Proposal form. The timing of the examination will be determine by the supervisory committee in consultation with the student. Typically, however, the examination occurs after students have completed comprehensive exams.  

I intend to defend, how far in advance do I need to notify the graduate program assistant?

The graduate program assistant will need to know at least 34-45 working days prior to your tentative defense date. The defense date must allow at least 30 working days for the graduate program assistant to submit the Request for Oral Examination form to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. 

I have reached the max time limit of seven years for my PhD program but I need more time to complete. Can I extend my program?

Yes, with approval from your supervisor/s and the graduate advisor, you may apply to extend your program by completing the Request for Program Extension form. Complete and return the form to the graduate program assistant. The form will be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for final approval. There is no guarantee extension requests will be granted. 

What are my options for taking a leave of absence from the program? 

There are three types of Leave of Absence with Permission: 

  • Medical: a student is suffering from illness or injury
  • Compassionate: a student is suffering personal or family affliction
  • Parental: a student is expecting a child, and/or has primary responsibility for the care of a child immediately prior to or following birth or an adoption 

Leave of absences with permission require completion of the Graduate Academic Concession form. Please submit the form and supporting documentation to the graduate program assistant. Time taken on a Leave of Absence with Permission is not included in the time limit for completion of the degree and will be adjusted accordingly.  

Personal leave of absence is another option and is normally arranged through the UVic MyPage portal before the course add deadline. If after the add deadline a Graduate Academic Concession form will need to be submitted to the graduate program assistant. Personal leave of absences will be counted towards your time limit for completion. 

Can I take courses outside my PhD program?

In general, field courses are selected by your supervisory committee; however, if you wish to take a course outside your graduate program, with approval from your supervisor and graduate advisor, you may be able to do so. Completion of a Graduate Registration form is required. Please submit the form to the graduate program assistant.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, prospective students are urged to consult the latest University of Victoria Calendar, or contact the in the Department of Economics.