Application FAQ

We encourage applicants to review the following frequently asked questions prior to contacting us

Application Process FAQ

When is the application deadline?

Application Deadline: Canadians and International Applicants


*Applications are NOT accepted past these deadlines

Outstanding required documents received after these deadlines, which complete an application file, may be accepted; however, there is no guarantee that the application file will be processed and evaluated in time for a decision for the desired entry point or to obtain a student visa.

Further, if an application file is not complete by the application deadline (meaning all required unofficial documents have been submitted along with the completed application), the applicant may not be considered for financial assistance.

Thus, PLEASE PLAN AHEAD! It may take several weeks for your transcripts and assessment reports to be prepared by your university and your references. Make sure to start your application early and submit all required unofficial documents well before the deadline.

When is the next intake date?

September. Admission to our graduate programs is offered only in the Fall Term (September) of each year. We do not have a Spring (January) intake date.

How do I apply?

See our How to Apply page for information on how to apply to the graduate program.

I'm interested in applying to the PhD program, but would be open to starting with the MA option. Is this permitted?

PhD applicants can be admitted to the PhD program only if they have a supervisor. We recognize that finding a supervisor can be challenging; therefore, we offer the option to PhD applicants to also apply to the Master's program. They will end up taking similar courses in their first year, and will have the option to transfer to the PhD program when they find a supervisor.

When are offers of admission made?

We usually make offers of admission throughout the months of February and March for a given intake year.

What makes a complete application?

If your application package does not contain all required unofficial documents, your file will not be ready for evaluation.

A file will be considered complete and ready for evaluation once Graduate Admissions and Records has received unofficial copies of all of the following (if applicable):

  • Transcripts
  • Two assessment reports
  • GRE scores
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Statement of Research interests (PhD Applicants only)
  • Resume/CV (PhD and MA Applicants)
  • Sample of writing (PhD Applicants only)

How do I identify a potential supervisor for my application?

Only PhD applicants are required to identify potential supervisors during the admission process. MA students do not select a supervisor until September of their second year in the program. PhD applicants are asked to follow the steps below:

1. Review the PhD supervisor list and review the faculty profiles and areas of specialization that closely match your research interests.

2. Review faculty websites, reading their CVs or bios and perhaps some of their papers and publications.

3. Identify 2 or 3 faculty members you wish to have as your supervisor.

4. Write in your statement of research interests who those individuals are and why you think they would be good choices. This should be motivated by your research interests and ideas. 

Contacting the respective faculty members at this stage is not advised as faculty members are not permitted to agree to supervise an applicant without reviewing and assessing application packages in their entirety for all those applying to the Doctoral program.

Please do not send test results or other pertinent documents to faculty members as they will not be reviewed nor evaluated prior to the admissions process.

How do I check the status of my application?

With your original application login ID and PIN, you can use the My UVic application feature to access your application online.

Using My UVic application, you can confirm whether the submission of your application and fee payment was successful. You will also be able to track any documents still required to complete your application. This system is directly linked to the system used by Graduate Admissions and Records to process your application. Any changes made to the status of your application are immediately updated and reflected on your My UVic application page.

Please note: During peak times, updates to the information within My UVic application regarding dates received may be impacted by processing delays. Your documents will be stamped on the date they are received by GARO, however it may take several weeks for this date to be reflected on your My UVic application page.

The tracking information for documents sent by courier will indicate the date they are received by GARO, but it still may take some time for that date to appear on your My UVic application page.

If you notice a discrepancy in your record, GARO recommends that you check back in a week for updates. If you’ve identified a problem with your submission, please contact Graduate Admissions and Records for assistance.

My status reads "incomplete" due to outstanding items/requirements that I'm exempt from. What should I do?

If you are exempt from taking the GRE or providing proof of English language proficiency, your status will show as "incomplete" until your file/transcripts have been processed by Graduate Admissions and Records (GARO).

If you meet the conditions that exempt you from either of these requirements based on the evaluation of your file, your status will change from "incomplete" to "complete" and will be forwarded to our department for review.

I have applied. What next?

Within a few days of completing your application online, you will receive your UVic student number (starting with "V00") by email. Please include this number in all further correspondence with the university.

After preliminary processing, you will be sent instructions on how to track your application status online using My UVic application. To do so, use the applicant ID (A-number) that was generated at the start of the UVic online application, along with the PIN you created.

Once your application is complete and an admission decision made, you will be notified by email. Please note that your file must be complete, including all official documents, to receive a full offer of admission.

Detailed application status instructions are on the Faculty of Graduate Studies' website.

When are offers of admission made?

Offers of admission are sent in the form of an email by our department, usually between mid-February through April. If you receive an offer of admission from us, the Graduate Admissions and Records Office (GARO) will also send you an admissions letter via email stating the details of your provisional admission.

If you accept our offer, a formal offer of admission letter along with an acceptance package will be mailed to you. Offers of admission are time-sensitive and therefore we must receive a reply from you by the date stated in your offer letter to remain valid.

Do I need a study permit?

If you are an international student then yes, you need a study permit to study at the University of Victoria. International applicants must contact the Government of Canada regarding the details and application process for a study permit.

Study permit procedures can take up to six months or more in some countries, so it is essential that you apply for admission well before the posted deadlines for your entry point.

For further information and assistance about being an international student at UVic, contact International Student Services.

What additional steps do I need to take?

If you are considering living on campus, apply for housing early. For on-campus listings, click on the "Future Residents" tab or the "Family housing" tab as applicable. Off-campus listings are accessible through the "Off-Campus Housing" site.

I have been accepted. What next?

STEP 1: Read department offer letter carefully

STEP 2: Accept or decline offer

Please respond to the  via email stating your decision (accept or decline) prior to the deadline as stated in your provisional offer letter. If you do not send a response by the stated deadline, your offer will be withdrawn and cancelled.

STEP 3: Pay deposit

If you have accepted our provisional offer of admission, you are required to pay a non-refundable $250 deposit to confirm your spot in the program. Please follow the necessary instructions outlined in your provisional offer of admission to make payment.

STEP 4: INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ONLY – Apply for study permit

Contact the Government of Canada to initiate the application process for a study permit. Study permit application procedures may take up to six months or more in some countries. Apply well before the posted deadlines for your entry point. 

For more information and assistance about being an international student at UVic, contact International Student Services.

STEP 5: Read graduate admissions offer letter carefully & follow instructions

Accepted students to the ECON Graduate program will receive an offer letter from our department along with an offer letter from the Graduate Admissions and Records Office (GARO). It is imperative that you follow the necessary instructions outlined in both of these letters to confirm your spot in the program.

STEP 6: Submit official documents

  • If offered provisional admission, mail all official documents to GARO. Please include your full legal name with your document package; otherwise, delays may occur.
  • Do not send official documents until all course work is completed and your degree is conferred.
  • Official documents are not returned and will become property of the University of Victoria. If your originals are irreplaceable, you should submit copies for evaluation purposes and be able to provide the originals for comparison.

STEP 7: Set up a netLink ID, UVic email account

If you have your UVic student number (i.e. V00#), you can register for a NetLink account.

Your NetLink ID gives you access to a range of UVic computer systems and services. You will use your NetLink ID throughout your university career to log in to computers on campus and to access UVic’s central email system.

When you register for your NetLink ID, create your UVic email account at the same time. You will use your NetLink ID to access the My Page portal where you can access your student record; make changes to your personal information; and register for courses.

STEP 8: Update contact information

Please inform the graduate program assistant via email any time your contact information (i.e. address, email, and/or telephone number) changes as the graduate program assistant will be contacting you with important information throughout the summer months.

STEP 9: Housing

If you are considering living on campus, apply for housing early. It is your responsibility to find housing.

STEP 10: Employment/funding

Apply for a Teaching Assistantship (TA) position prior to the deadline. See the Employment page for TA information and application form.

STEP 11: Register for courses

The graduate program assistant will provide information on registering for courses in June via an Information Package. Registration for the winter session (September - April) opens at the end of June.

STEP 12: Pay tuition fees

Consult the Graduate Academic Calendar for the break-down of tuition and fees.

Tuition fee deadlines:

Fall term: September 30
Spring term: January 31
Summer term: May 31

I have been refused entry to the grad program. Why is this?

We sincerely appreciate your disappointment in not being made an offer to our graduate program. Selection is highly competitive, based upon academic performance and training in previous degrees, written and verbal communication in the English language, research statements (for PhD applicants), and (if relevant) GRE results.

We receive a large volume of applications, of which the majority meet these basic requirements. However, our department generally only admits 15-20 MA students and 1-3 PhD students each intake year. As such, when the Admissions Committee selects applications, they consider not only the above stated requirements, but equality and diversity as well. Should you be intent on attending UVic, you are most welcome to apply for the MA or PhD program again next academic entry year.

Please note that due to the large volume of applications we receive each year, the department is unable to provide detailed explanations of its admissions decisions to each individual applicant. 

Admission Documents FAQ

How do I submit outstanding documents if I've already submitted my application?

Please choose only one of the two methods below for submitting all documentation — not both:

  1. Enclose all documents in one complete package and mail to the Graduate Admissions and Records Office. Please include your full legal name with your document package; without this information, delays will occur.
  2. You may upload/submit any outstanding unofficial documents to Graduate Admissions and Records after submission of your application.  Simply log back into your MY UVic Application, go to your application checklist, and click on the "upload" link next to the outstanding document. The uploaded item will post in the uploaded documents section of the application. Uploading unofficial documents electronically will significantly improve the processing time for your file. 

What makes a document official?

An official document must bear an original university seal or stamp and be received in an unopened envelope that has been clearly sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution. Documents which are not stamped and sealed, have been opened, or are received electronically will be considered unofficial.

Assessment reports and transcripts have specific information regarding their official submission. Please see How to Apply.

I have applied before. Do I need to submit new documents when I re-apply?

Documentation from applicants who are not admitted or do not take up an offer of admission will be kept on file with Graduate Records for one year.

Documents from students who have attended the University of Victoria will be kept on file for three years with Graduate Records after their last date of attendance. Each application you complete online will require you to upload a new set of documents before you will be able to submit. Therefore, you must still submit unofficial documents from all institutes attended; if accepted, you will not be required to submit new official copies.  

May I submit my documents after the application deadline?

We encourage applicants to have all application materials (online application, unofficial documents and application fee) submitted to Graduate Admissions and Records by or before the application deadline.

Outstanding documents may come in past the application deadline; however, if received well after the application deadline, the applicant's file may not be processed in time for the desired entry point or in time to obtain a student visa, nor will the applicant be considered for fellowships and awards.

What are the institutional codes for sending the GRE and TOEFL exams?

Institutional code 0989
Department code for GRE 1801
Department code for TOEFL 84

Admission Requirements FAQ

May I receive a pre-evaluation?

Unfortunately, we simply do not have the resources to do pre-evaluations. To be considered for the MA or PhD program, you must apply and go through the formal admissions process.

Note: Please be advised that it will not give you an advantage to email your education history and other credentials to our department, as they will not be taken into consideration unless you apply for admission.

What are the minimum requirements for entry into the graduate program?

See our Prospective Students page for more details. In short, you must:

  1. Hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent from a recognized institution, with at least a "B" (5.0) average in the last two years (or equivalent of 30 UVic units) leading to the degree.
  2. Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, indicating any graded coursework completed and any degrees awarded and the date they were conferred.
  3. Submit GRE scores (if applicable), and IELTS/MET/TOEFL scores (if applicable).
  4. Have two assessment reports submitted from persons qualified to assess your ability to do graduate work.
  5. Submit a statement of research interests (PhD applicants ONLY).
  6. Submit a current Resume/CV (PhD and MA applicants) providing an overview of experiences and other qualifications.
  7. Submit a writing sample (PhD applicants ONLY) in the form of one recent research paper.
  8. Be sufficiently well prepared in mathematics and statistics as well as written and verbal communication.

Who is required to submit GRE or English language proficiency scores?

Applicants with an undergraduate degree from a Canadian or U.S. university are ordinarily not required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), although it may be an advantage to do so. All other students must take the GRE. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and/or the Graduate Adviser may require any student to complete this aptitude exam.

Applicants for admission whose first language is not English, who are not holding a recognized degree from a country where English is an official language, and who have not resided in Canada or other English speaking countries for at least three consecutive years immediately prior to the session applied for, must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement for admission.

Is an undergraduate degree in economics required in order to apply to the MA program?

No, an undergraduate degree in economics is not required, although without this background you are unlikely to be competitive in the admission process.

Normally, a student should have completed a BA in Economics prior to entering the MA Program, yet Bachelor's students who have undertaken a significant amount of work in Economics, but have graduated with another degree are highly considered.

Is my undergraduate background competitive enough?

Our typical successful applicant has completed an Economics major (preferable B.Sc.; however, we often accept B.A.) with mostly A's and has shown strong performance in mathematics and statistics courses.

The Admissions Committee focuses most of its attention on grades in core technical courses such as Intermediate Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, Advances Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, Mathematics for Economics, Probability and Statistics, Econometrics, Calculus (including multivariate), and Linear Algebra. You do not need all these courses to be considered for admission; however, they are expected to have taken many of them and an ideal candidate will have taken most. You should have received mostly A's in many if not most of these courses for us to seriously consider your application.

If you are uncertain as to whether your undergraduate economics degree is adequate, you may find it helpful to compare your background with our recommended course list for our undergraduate students wishing to proceed to graduate school:

MATH 100 Calculus I
MATH 101 Calculus II
ECON 203 Intermediate Microeconomics I
ECON 204 Intermediate Macroeconomics
MATH 211 Linear Algebra
ECON 245 Descriptive Statistics and Probability
ECON 246 Statistical Inference
ECOn 313 Intermediate Microeconomics II
ECON 345 Econometrics
ECON 350 Mathematical Economics I: An Introduction to Static Methods
ECON 351 Mathematical Economics II: An Introduction to Dynamic Methods
ECON 365 Econometrics: Part I
ECON 366 Econometrics: Part II
ECON 400 Advanced Topics in Microeconomic Theory
ECON 401 Advanced Topics in Macroeconomic Theory
Visit the Academic Calendar for detailed information about these courses.

We will consider your application if your training includes intermediate microeconomics (comparable with ECON 313), intermediate macroeconomics (comparable with ECON 204), and an applied econometrics course (comparable with ECON 345).

If you have a degree in Business or Accounting, this by itself does not prepare you to do a graduate degree in Economics. Applicants with degrees in Business or Accounting (or majors other than Economics) will only be seriously considered if they have A's in several key Economics and Mathematics/Statistics courses (see above) on their transcript. Students without sufficient background in Economics and Mathematics/Statistics can boost their chances of acceptance into our program by completing additional university courses in related courses before applying.

Mathematics/Statistics/Engineering students with little Economics background should at the very least successfully complete Intermediate Microeconomics to demonstrate an ability to think like an economist.

Note: In such cases, you need to ensure that you have adequate mathematics training (e.g. one or more courses comparable with UVic’s MATH 208).

We do not examine whether your transcript meets this recommended background prior to the application process. We suggest that you carefully compare your undergraduate background with the above recommended courses.

What will make me competitive for a spot in the program?

Admission into the graduate program is highly competitive, and places are limited. Admission is offered only in the Fall Term (September) of each year.

Normally, a student should have completed a B.A. in Economics before entering the MA Program and an MA in Economics before entering the PhD program. Yet Bachelors or Master's students who have undertaken a significant amount of work in Economics, but have graduated with another degree are highly considered.

Being competitive in the admission process for a spot in the program generally requires the following:

Competitive MA Requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree in economics, with a first class A- (7.0) average in the last two years leading to the degree.
  • A solid background in upper level economic theory and econometrics
  • Training in mathematics & statistics
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in the English language. Our department puts great emphasis on writing and speaking in English. All aspects of each application are considered in this context and affect the admission decision.

Competitive PhD Requirements:

  • A Master's degree in economics, with a first class A- (7.0) average in the last two years leading to the degree.
  • A solid background in upper level economic theory and econometrics
  • Training in mathematics & statistics
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in the English language. Our department puts great emphasis on writing and speaking in English. All aspects of each application are considered in this context and affect the admission decision.
  • A strong statement of research interests
  • An available supervisor matching your research interests

Is a master's degree in economics required to apply to the PhD program?

Strictly speaking, no, but similar to the MA comments above, we expect incoming PhD students to have a strong background in economic theory and econometrics. Applicants without this background are unlikely to be competitive in the admission process.

Master's students who have undertaken a significant amount of work in Economics, but have graduated with another degree are highly considered.

What are the minimum GRE score requirements and can the GMAT substitute for the GRE?

There are no minimum scores for the GRE, though most students who have been admitted to our program have achieved scores at or above the 80th-90th percentile in all three parts of the GRE (verbal, quantitative, analytical).

Selection of students to the graduate program is competitive based upon undergraduate performance, nature of academic training, cumulative GPA and, if need be, GRE results. Thus, all three parts of the GRE are important and are considered when applicants are closely matched in all other aspects.

The GMAT cannot be substituted for the GRE.

How can I independently upgrade to be competitive in the admission process?

If you are planning on independently upgrading at UVic, meaning you are looking to take some ECON courses at UVic but not an entire degree or diploma, you will need to apply to Undergraduate Admissions and Records as a non-degree (unclassified) student. Once you are admitted as a non-degree student, you may register for courses on your assigned registration date.

Please note that you may need permission from our department to register for courses if your previous academic history is not linked to the registration system. To obtain permission, please complete a Pre-requisite Waiver Form for each course you wish to take, stating that you are a non-degree student upgrading to apply for the MA program.

We will then be able to assess your transcripts to ensure that you have the appropriate background to register in each course. After you receive permission from us, you may register for courses on your assigned registration date (ticket time).

Financial Matters FAQ

Will I be considered for financial assistance?

Students admitted to the Economics Graduate Program are automatically considered for financial support, with the amount of support determined on a competitive basis. 

The principal financial sources for students admitted to the program are:

  • FGS Funding (graduate awards and fellowships)
  • Teaching assistantships and/or research assistantships
  • Donor Awards

Please note, to be eligible and considered for graduate awards, scholarships and/or fellowships you must have a minimum admissions GPA of 7.0 (A- or above) and international students must have a first class GPA standing.

MA students are usually funded for one year and PhD students typically receive three years of funding.

The Department offers the following departmental scholarships for which you may be eligible:

Phillips, Hager and North:

The Phillips, Hager and North scholarships are awarded each year to outstanding students in either the MA or PhD programs who are pursuing (or plan to pursue) a thesis or extended essay in the areas of environmental or resource economics. To be considered for an award you must submit a one-page research proposal (PDF file) by February 1st. The proposal must outline the main question to be examined, how the research fits into current research in the topic area, and the general approach to be used. Applications will be evaluated based on academic achievement and the merits of the research proposal. Interested applicants are to upload their one-page proposal as an additional document to the application. This may be done during the application process or uploaded at a later date prior to the February 1st deadline.

Women in Economics and Cynthia Johnston Economics Graduate Scholarships:

Two or more scholarships are awarded to academically outstanding women graduate students in the first year of a graduate degree in the Department of Economics. To be considered for these scholarships, applicants must upload a one-page report (PDF file) outlining community service and/or demonstrated leadership inside and outside of the classroom as an additional document to the application by February 1st, prior to September entry. This may be done during the application process or uploaded at a later date prior to the February 1st deadline. Selection will be made by the Graduate Awards Committee upon the recommendation of the Department of Economics.  


Additional funding:

We also encourage students to apply for additional funding in the form of provincial, federal and external funding, namely:

Visit the Student Awards and Financial Aid  office for information on

How much will the program cost?

Unlike undergraduate programs, students in the graduate program do not pay tuition on a per course basis, but rather on a program basis that is broken into fee installments.

The MA degree program consists of a minimum of 5 full fee installments and the PhD program consists of a minimum of 7.5 full fee installments. An installment plus ancillary fees are assessed for each term in which a student is registered full-time. If students require additional time to complete their degrees, further fees are assessed.

For fee regulations and a current tuition fee breakdown, please see the Graduate Academic calendar.

Economics Graduate Program FAQ

How many students are admitted to the graduate program each year?

We aim to admit 2-3 new PhD students and 15-20 new MA students each year.

How can I learn more about the Economics Graduate Program?

The Economics Graduate Handbook is designed to guide students through all aspect the Economics graduate program including curriculum, program timelines, registration, co-op education, supervision, progress reviews, oral examinations, and funding.

Can the MA program be completed in one year?

Although it is possible to complete the MA program, whether you choose the essay or thesis option, within one full academic year (i.e. 12 consecutive months), it is not the standard.

Typically, MA economics students take anywhere from 20 to 24 months to complete the degree, as many students choose to incorporate the co-operative education option in their degree, take a maximum of three courses per term, and spend several hours working on their research towards the defense of their extended essay or thesis.

We also caution students looking to complete their MA degree within one academic year, as often supervisors are not available during the summer months (May-August) to attend oral exams.

May I take an ECON graduate course if I am not admitted to the program?

If you want to take courses in the Faculty of Graduate Studies for credit, but not towards a degree at the University of Victoria, you may be admitted as a non-degree student. You must meet the same entrance requirements and follow the same application procedure as degree-seeking applicants.

Before applying, you need to determine which UVic courses you wish to take as a non-degree student. You must indicate the department code and course number for these classes on your application (i.e., ECON 500).

Fees for courses taken as a non-degree student will be charged on a per-unit basis as outlined under fees for non-degree students. Any fees paid as a non-degree student may not be later applied to a graduate degree.

To apply, complete the online My UVic Application.

If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact the at .

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.