Application information

SFU operates on a continuous trimester system (Fall, Spring and Summer). The MA and PhD programs in the Department of Economics normally begin in September (Fall term). Occasionally, a PhD student may be allowed to begin in January (Spring term), however, due to the sequence of the required courses, all MA students begin in September.

Contact Information

If you have questions after reading this webpage, please contact the Graduate Secretary at econ-grad-sec@sfu.ca

Admissions standards

MA Program

The usual prerequisite for admission into the MA Program is a Bachelor's degree in economics from a recognized institution. The minimum cumulative grade point average required for admission is 3.0. Qualified students with a Master’s degree in another discipline may also be admitted. Students with strong background in disciplines other than economics may be admitted as qualifying students to give them an opportunity to strengthen their economics background.

PhD Program

The usual prerequisite for admission into the PhD Program is a Master's degree in economics from a recognized institution. The minimum cumulative grade point average required for admission is 3.5. Exceptionally qualified students with a Bachelor’s degree in economics or with a Master’s degree in another discipline may also be admitted. Students with very strong academic performance in our MA program can apply to be transferred to the PhD program after two completed semesters.

All applications for graduate program admission are made online.

Full details on SFU’s graduate admissions policies are available here.

If you have technical problems or require changes to your application entries, please contact Graduate Studies.

Required documentation

1. Reference Letters

Three (3) academic letters of reference. The letters of reference should comment specifically on the student's academic preparation and ability to undertake graduate coursework. Applicants to the PhD program should also ask the referees to comment on their ability to undertake research and on their prospects to successfully complete a doctoral thesis.

The referees will be emailed a link to upload their reference letters after the applicant has submitted an online application.

All applicants are responsible for uploading the following documents (2-6) through the university online application system.

2. Transcripts*

Copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. Only applicants admitted into the graduate program will be required to forward official transcripts to the Dean of Graduate Studies office.

*The application system will request an official transcript. However, our department DOES NOT require it until after you are admitted into a graduate program.

3. GRE

Applicants who have completed or are currently completing their post-secondary studies at an institution outside of Canada are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test. A copy of unofficial GRE scores is required (the application checklist usually updates later when official scores have been received). There is no formal minimum score requirement. GMAT cannot be substituted for the GRE. Please send the official test results to Simon Fraser University using Institution Code 0999 and Department Code 1801. 

4. TOEFL / IELTS

Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if they have completed their degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination is not English or in a country where English is not the primary language. A copy of unofficial scores is required (the application checklist usually updates later when official scores have been received). Please refer to the Dean of Graduate Studies website for the minimum university requirements for TOEFL and IELTS and for the list of exempt countries. Please send the official test results to Simon Fraser University using Institution Code 0999 and Department Code 84.

Detailed information regarding GRE and TOEFL may be obtained from ETS.

Please note: GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores must not be older than 2 years.

5. Statement of Interest

All applicants should provide a written Statement of Interest as part of their application.

6. CV and Writing Sample

Only PhD applicants are required to submit a CV and writing sample (no page limit) as part of their application.

Deadline and fees

Online application for the MA and PhD programs starting in Fall 2019 opens on October 15, 2018. The deadline to apply online is January 15, 2019. The deadline for receipt of all required documents is February 1, 2019. Applicants will no longer have access to upload, complete or replace any documents after the February 1 deadline.

An application fee must be paid before applicants can upload the required documents: 

Fee for applicants with Domestic transcripts: $90 CDN

Fee for applicants with International transcripts: $125 CDN

If you cannot pay the application fee by credit card via the SFU online application system, please click here to view other methods of payment. The application fee is waived for current students in our MA program applying for PhD admission.

Tuition and ancillary fees: all students (both domestic and international) are assessed the same full-time research program tuition and ancillary fees. For complete details please visit the university Tuition and Fees website.

Application assessment

All complete applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee after the February 1 documentation deadline. Applicants are formally notified after the Committee has made a decision. Applications recommended for admission are forwarded to the SFU Senate Graduate Studies Committee for consideration and final approval. A formal letter of acceptance issued by the Dean of Graduate Studies is emailed to all approved applicants.

Please wait to be contacted as your current application status will not be reflected on your applicant account.