Application FAQs

Is the PhD-stream MA program course based or thesis based?

The PhD-stream MA program is course based.

Do I need to find a supervisor before applying to the MA program?

No. A supervisor is not required for the PhD-stream MA program.

Do I need to find a supervisor before applying to the PhD program?

No. The first two years of the PhD program is comprised of course work. As you approach the end of year two, you will consider/select a supervisor.

Am I eligible to apply?

Applicants are expected to gather all the relevant information available on our website in order to determine eligibility prior to applying. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications received we are unable to provide pre-assessment.

What are the payment options for my application?

You can pay using a credit card or a money order/bank draft from a Canadian bank. Your application will be processed once payment is received by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Can I have a waiver of the application fee?

No, the application fee cannot be waived.

I'm having technical difficulties with my application/payment. What can I do?

Contact for all technical and payment issues related to the application.

Are there multiple admission/start dates for the Economics Graduate Program?

No, the graduate program has only one start date in September.

Can I study part-time?

No, given the nature and set-up of our program curriculum, part-time studies are not an option.

Is funding available for the graduate program?

Yes, funding packages consisting of scholarships for tuition and fees, and a Teaching Assistant (TA) position for living expenses are available. Funding decisions are made at the time of application review, no separate application is required.

How competitive is the admission process?

The admissions process is competitive. Meeting the minimum standards is not a guarantee of admission to the program.

How many applications are received each year?

We receive approximately 350-400 applications to our program each year.

How large is the first-year class?

Typically, we have a first year class of 15 students.

What documents do I need to include with my application?

All relevant documents must be uploaded to your online application. The required documents are:

Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
Two academic references
Statement of Academic Intent
GRE score
English Language Proficiency Score*

*International students whose first language/language of education is something other than English. Please see accepted forms of English language proficiency here:

What do you look for in the Statement of Academic Intent?

The statement of academic intent should be a maximum of two pages in length. It should state your specific area of academic interest, how prior education and other experiences have prepared you to be successful in the graduate program, what you hope to achieve in the graduate program, and why the program at Western is the best place for you to pursue your interests.

Is it possible to get a waiver of the English language proficiency requirement?

Applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL, IELTS or other test of English proficiency requirement if they a) have been studying for two full-time years toward a degree at an accredited institution in Canada or in an English speaking institution located in a country whose primary language is English or b) hold a degree from a country where the primary language of instruction is English.

The list of eligible countries is as follows: Australia, Barbados, Botswana, Canada, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Please contact the Graduate Coordinator at if you require more information.

I'm from Quebec. Do I need to provide an English Language Proficiency score? 

No. Students from Quebec are exempt from the English Language Proficiency Requirement.

If I submit electronic documents, do I need to send paper copies as well?

No, all required documents should be uploaded with the online application. Paper documents will not be accepted.

Can I submit unofficial transcripts?

Yes, you should upload your unofficial transcripts with your application. If you are admitted, we will ask you for an official transcript (that shows a convocation date and the degree conferred) at a later date.

Is a GRE required?

If your degree has been granted from an institution outside of Canada, a GRE score is required. A GRE score allows the Department to assess your quantitative knowledge.

What scores do you look for on the GRE exam?

We look for a score in the 95th percentile on the quantitative reasoning and in the 75th percentile on the verbal reasoning and analytical writing sections.

Do you accept the GMAT in the place of the GRE?

No, we consider a GRE score to be a better reflection of your knowledge and abilities and as a better predictor of success in our program.

What courses should I take to improve my chances of being admitted?

The core courses in the graduate program are taught using mathematical techniques. Thus, we encourage any prospective student to take as many math courses as possible. This may include multivariate calculus, linear algebra, real analysis, and statistics. Candidates are expected to have, as a minimum, one semester each of university calculus and linear algebra with a minimum B+ level of understanding. It is also helpful to have achieved a B+ standing in an undergraduate econometrics course. Although not required, advanced courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics are also helpful.