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Masters in Economics in Canada: Top Universities, Admission Process, Tuition Fees, Scholarships & Jobs

Bhavya Rawal Bhavya Rawal
Study Abroad Expert

Masters in Economics in Canada is a 1 to 2-year program available as either full-time or part-time. The postgraduate program is available as a course-work or thesis-based degree costing around 20,000-50,000 USD (all expenses included) annually. Postgraduates in Economics can plan on pursuing their Ph.D. from Canada as various top-ranking Canadian universities offer Economics at the doctorate level. 

Available to graduates with economic theory, microEconomics, econometrics, or mathematics as a part of their course-work, Masters in Economics in Canada is available at more than 20 universities. Specializations within the stream are available at more than 10 Canadian Universities. 

Key features

  • The universities in Canada are ranked within World’s top 500 for masters in Economics. 
  • Many Canadian universities offer specific scholarships to Economics postgraduate students. 
  • Employment of economists is projected to grow by 14% by the year 2022. 
  • The expected annual demand growth rate for economic graduates in British Columbia is 1.3%. 
  • The average salary of an entry-level economist in Canada is around 86,000 USD/annum. 

Masters in Economics in Canada: Course Details

MA Economics is a program involving independent research using complex statistical data in a broad spectrum of majors including Resource and Environmental, Financial & Labour Economics, Public Finance, Development Economics, International Economics, Law and Economics, and Industrial Organization. 

Although the curriculum of Masters in Economics in Canada differs by the school, each program integrates aspects of social sciences such as sociology and international studies, with a strong foundation of mathematics and statistics. The standard curriculum structure of most Economics programs is given below:

Course Curriculum for Masters in Economics

Top Canadian Universities Offering Masters in Economics

Many universities in Canada offer Masters in Economics, given below is a table based on the QS World University (2020) Subject-wise Rankings: 

#29University of Toronto
#35McGill University
#51University of British Columbia 
#113University of Alberta
#137Universite De Montreal
#140McMaster University
#173University of Waterloo
#211The University of Western Ontario
#233University of Calgary
#239Queen’s University at Kingston
#280Dalhousie University

Masters in Economics in Canada: Admission Process

Planning to study abroad? You are required to fulfill the following admission requirements and given below is the basic process for securing a seat in Canadian university’s Economics program. 


International applicants are required to apply online through the college website. Applications must be sent to the universities before the application deadlines to ensure enough time for obtaining Canadian study permit

Eligibility Criteria for Masters in Economics in Canada

The eligibility criteria for most universities offering MA Economics in Canada is given below:

  • 16 years of education with a break up of 10+2+4.
  • A 4-year bachelor’s degree in the same field or its equivalents with preference to students holding upper-year courses in advanced economic theory, microEconomics, macroEconomics, econometrics, statistics, and mathematics.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale or a CGPA of 7 to 8 on a scale of 10 is required.
    • This means the minimum percentage should be 78-81% or the grade should be B.
  • GRE scores are mandatory
  • Admission eligibility also depends upon strong academics, analytical and abstract skills to evaluate the costs and benefits associated with any action. 
  • Prior work experience in a related field is an added advantage to secure an admission.

Application Requirements

Your application package must include the following documents supporting your application form: 

  • Transcripts- Official, unofficial or certified copies
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Letters of recommendation/ reference reports with necessary details of academic and professional achievements. Two to three reference letters are required by different universities. 
  • Supporting documents: Statement of interests, personal statements, etc stating your detailed interest in the program and in the specific university.

Language Proficiency

International applicants should demonstrate their proficiency in the English language by meeting the minimum score requirements of TOEFL, IELTS or other tests as specified by the university. The minimum requirements for some of the universities are listed below:

UniversityTOEFL (iBT)IELTSOthers
University of Toronto937.0COPE:76
Academic Preparation Course(U&T): Grade B
McGill University866.5MELAB:85
CAE: Grade B
CPE: Grade C
University of British Columbia936.5N/A
University of Alberta927.0N/A
Universite De MontrealN/AN/AFrench level B2
University of Waterloo907.0MELAB:85
University of Calgary866.0MELAB:80
Queen’s University at Kingston887.0MELAB:80
Dalhousie University927.0PTE:65

Admission Decision

The review and assessment of the application are performed by either graduate school or the department of Economics admissions committee after completion of personal, academic information and supplementary application form (if required) along with the payment of the application fee.

As observed in University of British Columbia 2019 admissions, out of 500 applicants received for masters in Economics, only 50 candidates were granted entry to the program, suggesting a high competition for the course in top-ranking universities.

The status of the student's application can be accessed via the Application Portal on the respective university’s official website. Successful applicants receive an Offer of Admission via the portal. Offers of admission will typically be made within minimum 2 months of the application deadline depending on the acceptance or denial of the admission offered by the university.

Cost of Studying Masters in Economics in Canada

International students planning to study in Canada must have sufficient funding to meet out their pre-arrival costs, tuition fees and cost of living as directed by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Pre-Arrival Costs

The one-time expenses incurred by international students before or along with the admission process for their masters' studies in Canadian universities are as tabulated:-

Type of ExpenseCost (USD)
Program Application Fees113-150*
Study Permit Application Fees235**
Health Insurance10,000
IELTS Fees185-190
TOEFL Fees160-250
GRE Fees205-230

*Depends on the university

**150 USD for a Canadian Study Permit and 85 USD is Biometric fees. 

Tuition Fees for Masters in Economics in Canada

Comparison of the overall tuition fees for the complete masters in Economics is given in the image. The costs are mentioned in USD.

Tuition Fees

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Canada largely depends on the university and program you’ve enrolled in, your lifestyle and the institute’s location. The basic structure of the average living costs for international students in Canada is discussed below:- 

Type of ExpenseCost in USD/year
Books and Material756 – 1510
Food and Beverage 3000 – 4000
Accommodations 4,500 – 15,000

Scholarships for Masters in Economics in Canada

You can apply for various scholarships available for studying in Canada. There are program-specific as well graduate level scholarships offered to students. Scholarships from some of the top universities are given below. You must ensure that you explore through the official website’s funding page for details on the options available. 

UniversityScholarshipDetails (USD)
University of TorontoOntario Graduate Scholarship
H. Stanley Hunnisett Fund
Dorothy J. Powell Graduate Scholarship In International Economics
University of WaterlooOntario Graduate Scholarship11,300/ session
University of British ColumbiaMackenzie King Scholarship
Toptal Scholarships for Women
University of AlbertaAD O’Brien Graduate Scholarship in Public Finance
Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship
9000 (one-time)
Universite De MontrealLise Salvas Foundation Award
Maurice Bouchard Foundation Award
PBEE Merit Scholarships for Graduates

Career Opportunities After Masters in Economics in Canada

With the growing demand for economists in Canada, you can work as consultants, public policy analysts, financial managers, health insurance analysts in diverse fields of research agencies, consultancy firms, economic advisory services of governments, banks, financial institutions, international agencies, universities, multilateral organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

Role of Economists

  • Devise systems for the collection of economic and statistical data regarding utilization, production, and distribution of economic resources.
  • Develop models for projecting economic-related activities
  • Compile, analyze and interpret a wide range of economic data and activity
  • Preparation of reports for policy development 
  • Decision-making in government or business.

The professional scope after completion of masters in Economics in Canada along with their median salaries are listed below:

ProfessionMedian salary (USD)
Financial Market Economist165,000
Economic Development Director86,800
Budget Analyst75,000
Policy Analyst71,000
Research Officer64,000
University Professor69,800

The growing demand for economists is an outcome of the increasing complexity in the global economy, competitive business environment, and additional financial regulations. Hence, Economist, Data analyst/actuary, Securities trader, Financial consultant, Pricing analyst are the high demanding positions in the public and private sector organizations. 

With a variety of sectors needing the skilled personnel from Economics background, postgraduates in Economics can land up with high paying jobs in Canada. The ROI for the course is high with an investment of around 20,000-50,000 USD and returns of around minimum 65,000 USD. 

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