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MFE General Program-Related Questions

What makes the MFE program unique?

The MFE is a program offered in collaboration between Economics, Law, Ivey Business School and Statistical & Actuarial Sciences. The internship component provides valuable work experience and helps build your professional network.

How large is the MFE class?

Target enrollment is 25 students.

How competitive is admission into the MFE program?

Admission to the MFE program is very competitive. Approximately 10% of applicants receive an offer of admission.

How is the MFE program similar to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program?

One way to think about the difference is that the CFA is a professional certification that is both broader and narrower than the material covered in a program such as the MFE. It is broader in the sense that it requires students to cover a broad range of foundational knowledge in financial accounting, economics and finance - whereas programs such as the MFE focus on a subset of these topics. This also means that graduates of programs such as the MFE should have a deeper understanding of the quantitative models underpinning modern finance and financial economics. It is common for our students to have completed CFA Level 1 prior to entry into the MFE program.

Do the MFE and the CFA designation complement one another?

The CFA is a worthwhile certification exercise to complete - with or without an MFE degree - for people committed to a career in finance. However, the MFE does help prepare you for some of the material, so that after completing the MFE you should find it a bit easier to prepare for the CFA.

MFE Timeline

How long is the MFE program?

The MFE is a 16 month (four term) course-based program. It is offered on a full-time basis only with one intake per year (August). Students complete three terms of course work and a one term internship.

Are there various start dates?

No. There is one intake per year which occurs in August. 

How does one progress through the program?

See information on courses and additional requirements.

MFE Summer Internship

Are internships guaranteed?

While 100% of our students have received internship offers, we cannot guarantee an internship. We play a significant role in identifying opportunities and establishing employer relationships; however you have the primary responsibility for securing an internship.

How much do I expect to earn during my internship?

Internship salaries ranger between $10K and $30K with a median salary of $18K. 

Will I be able to graduate if I am not able to secure an internship?

Yes. You may complete a directed research project. 

MFE Funding, Scholarships, Finances

Do you offer financial support or scholarships?

Please see Student Finances for scholarship availability and teaching assistantship (TA) information. 

How do students finance their studies?

Students typically arrange outside financing (either via loans, family support or savings from employment). Tuition is calculated as a total program fee and paid in four installments. 

Fee schedule – domestic students
Fee schedule – international students

When budgeting, please take into consideration the total costs related to program attendance (fees, living expenses, health insurance for international students) in order to have an overview of your financial commitment.

How much do I expect to earn during my internship?

Internship salaries range between $10K and $30K with a median salary of $18K. 

Are there scholarships I can apply for ahead of time?

Accepted students will automatically be considered for all internal MFE program managed scholarships. 

Program applicants may apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) which are available to domestic and international students in all disciplines of graduate study.

Application Related Questions

What is the academic background of successful applicants?

You have completed an honours four-year undergraduate degree in Economics or Finance/Business (B+ level understanding of undergraduate course in econometrics, intermediate to advance level microeconomics and macroeconomics courses)


You have a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative discipline such as mathematics, natural sciences or engineering


You have completed a degree not listed above, with the requisite courses in economics, mathematics and statistics

  • It is helpful to have an excellent academic record in the last two years of the degree completed
  • It is beneficial to have some relevant work experience

If you have not taken any intermediate microeconomics or macroeconomics courses, you are encouraged to take the "knowledge refresher" courses upon commencement of your degree in August.

How do I distinguish myself as an applicant?

  • Possess exceptional quantitative background (advanced level understanding in courses such as Economics, Finance, Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science, etc.)
  • Showcase your professionalism and communication skills – both written and verbal (verbal skills are assessed during phone/skype interview of shortlisted applicants)
  • Complement quantitative and communication skill strengths ideally with work/volunteer experience
  • Provide clear and thoughtful responses to supplementary questions

How do I know whether I need to take the GRE?

If your undergraduate degree is not from a Canadian university, you are required to take the GRE. While we will accept the GMAT as an alternative, we recommend applicants take the GRE.

If you feel that your academic record may not provide an accurate measure of your promise for graduate work in economics, or if you do not have an Honours Economics degree, you will find it beneficial to take the GRE. However, please note that strong GRE performance does not offset a weak academic record.

What else do I need to know about the GRE?

Western’s Institution Code is 0984 and the Department Code is 1801. Students who take the exams when they are offered in October, December, or January will have their scores available in time to be considered by our Department. The deadlines for registering for the exams are about seven weeks before the exams are given. For information and registration forms, write to Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, New Jersey 08541, U.S.A.

I am not sure if I am eligible to apply. Can you pre-assess my application?

Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to offer pre-assessment. Applicants can use the Admission Requirements checklist as a tool to determine their eligibility.

What is the application fee?

The application fee is $100CAD.

How do I access the online application?

Access to the online application.

What is the application timeline?

Mid-October – online application available 

February 1st – application deadline. All supporting documents and application requirements must be submitted by this date to receive full consideration by the Admissions Committee.

Early February - shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an admission interview.

Late February – first round offers extended.

Late March - possible second round of offers extended.

Should I send all the supplemental application-related documents to the MFE office?

No. Please follow the submission instructions provided in the online application. Documents received by the MFE office will not be processed.

FAQs International Students

Why should I consider studying in Canada?

Canada’s approach to multiculturalism creates a very positive and welcoming environment for international students. Canada’s breathtaking natural beauty and the four seasons provide a beautiful backdrop to campus life, on one of the most beautiful university campuses in Canada.

What are your English language proficiency requirements?

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language by a satisfactory* achievement within the last two years in one of the following:

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score is 86, with no individual score below 20 for the internet based version, or 550 for the paper and pencil version, although some programs require a higher minimum score. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) of the British Council. The minimum acceptable score is 6 out of 9. The IELTS is offered in 6 test centres in the US and 3 in Canada.
The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) of the University of Michigan. Students must have at least 80 on each of the sections and an overall score of at least 85. Arrangements to write MELAB may be made online.
The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment). The minimum acceptable score is 60. The CAEL Assessment is offered in several countries throughout the world as well as Canada.
Western English Language Centre. The requirement is successful completion of the High-Advanced level.

CultureWorks. The requirement is successful completion of the High-Advanced level.
Fanshawe College’s ESL Program. The requirement is graduation from Level 5, Advanced Academic Preparation, with a minimum 80% in all components.

Students who are required to present evidence of proficiency in English must make their own arrangements to write the TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB or CAEL and to have the official results sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by the testing agency. Those graduates from CultureWorks or Fanshawe College’s ESL Program must provide official proof of graduation.

Please note, these are the minimum requirements of SGPS and are not reflective of successful MFE applicants. The program places strong emphasis on communication skills – the nature of the program (teamwork, internship component) necessitates excellent language ability and a very high level of proficiency.

Can you waive the English language proficiency requirement?

We may waive the TOEFL requirement if you have been studying for more than two years toward a degree at an accredited institution in Canada, or hold a degree from a country where the primary language is English. Again, we stress the importance of excellent language ability and a very high level of proficiency.

What if my undergraduate degree is from a non-Canadian university?

Applicants are required to submit the GRE or GMAT. Western’s Institution Code is 0984 and the Department Code is 1801.

Will I be able to work in Canada upon graduation from the MFE program?

Current immigration laws allow you to work in Canada for 16 months upon completion of the MFE provided you will be employed in your field of study.

Do I require a special visa in order to complete the internship component?

Yes, you will require a co-op work permit. We advise you to apply for the co-op work permit when you apply for your study permit. You may apply for both in one application, once you have received an offer, or have accepted an offer.

Do you offer financial support or scholarships?

See MFE Funding, Scholarships, Finances above.