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M.A. in Economics FAQ


What are the minimum academic requirements for admission into the MA program?

  • An honours BA in Economics. The university requires entering Master’s students to have maintained a B+ average in courses (relevant to the Master’s program they are entering) during the final two years of their undergraduate programs.
  • Advanced microeconomics and macroeconomics courses (that is, at least one course in each beyond the full-year intermediate courses)
  • One upper-level (3rd year or above) course in econometrics/statistics 


Do I need to have majored in Economics during my undergraduate studies to be eligible for the MA program?

Successful applicants typically possess a major in Economics. However, a minor in Economics may also be acceptable, as the program is open to students who do not have an economics major but who have sufficient training in economics, mathematics and statistics (e.g., students with a minor in economics).


If I do not possess the Economics background required to be eligible for the MA program, what steps can I take?

Prospective applicants who lack some background in the discipline they wish to enter should consult the Undergraduate Calendar with regard to Continuing Student status. A continuing student is a university graduate who is not currently enrolled in a degree program, but who wishes to take one or more undergraduate classes. More information about this can be found here.

At McMaster, a Continuing Student is defined as a graduate from an undergraduate program, who wishes to take more undergraduate courses, either out of general interest or to upgrade or obtain courses required for future applications to graduate studies or other professional programs. To be eligible to take courses as a Continuing Student you will be expected to have an undergraduate university degree and at least a C average, with no failures, in your final year’s work (or the equivalent, in the case of a degree taken through part-time studies), and academic records which are satisfactory to the Department and the Office of the Associate Dean of the appropriate Faculty.

*Please Note: not all courses are available to Continuing students and course prerequisites for selected courses must be met. Also note that admission as a Continuing student does not guarantee registration in courses of interest to the student. More information about this can be found here.


Can I take a specialization with my MA in Economics (e.g. Health Economics, Health Policy, etc.)?

While the Department of Economics offers courses in many related interdisciplinary fields that you can take while pursuing your MA, we do not offer specialized degrees.  With such a large variety of course options available, you will likely find courses that suit your interests.


What funding is available for each graduate program?

Funding for each graduate program is dependent on the funding made available to the University on an annual basis.  Funding may include a teaching assistantship and/or a graduate scholarship. All applicants and students are encouraged to apply for external bursaries and scholarships.


Is a GRE required?

No, a GRE exam is not required for any of the graduate programs in the Department.


What fees apply for each graduate program?

Fees for the graduate program are set annually by McMaster University; please visit for more information on current domestic and international tuition costs.


What are the online application open/close dates?

Annually, our application system is open November 15th to January 30th, with entry into the program for the upcoming September.  No further extensions are given for international applications.  Transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution will be accepted up to two weeks past the deadline. 


When are admission decisions made?

Offers of admission are normally sent out mid-March to mid-May.


Is part-time study available?

Yes, part-time study is often available for our programs.  However, please note that most courses are taught between working hours (very few courses are available in the evenings) and generally no financial aid is available to part-time students.


If I am applying as an undergraduate student at McMaster University, do I need to submit an official transcript?



My up-to-date transcript/proof of graduation will not be available by my issuing institution at the time of my application. Can I submit an interim transcript?

Applicants must provide one official transcript of academic work completed to date, sent directly from the issuing institution. However, if an official transcript is unavailable, when you submit your application online, you can include a transcript that is up-to-date as of the date you apply. If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to provide an up-to-date, official transcript and proof of graduation.


Does official documentation have to be sent through mail by the issuing institution, or is electronic submission acceptable?

There is now an ‘Upload Documents’ section of the online admissions process, where you can scan your documentation and submit it electronically. Once you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to provide an official transcript, sent directly from the issuing institution in a signed and sealed envelope.


What documents should I be uploading with my online application?

In order for your application to be considered complete, it must include the following items:

  • Application Form and Fee
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Two Letters of Reference
  • Statement of Interest
  • English Proficiency Requirements (if applicable)  


If my official documentation is delayed, will my application still be reviewed?

Applications will not be reviewed until they are complete and all official documentation has been received by the Department.


Is it possible to postpone or carry applications from one admissions period to the next?

The Department of Economics does not postpone or carry forward applications.


If I am applying for more than one graduate program, can I use the same reference letters?

While reference letters can be used to supplement referee information, all referees will also be asked to complete a form online and may include questions specific to individual graduate programs.


How long is my statement of interest supposed to be?

All applicants must provide a one-page statement (12pt font, single-space, 1-inch margins) explaining why you would like to pursue the MA degree.


Can I email inquiries about whether I am eligible for a graduate program before applying?
The Department of Economics does not pre-screen potential applicants.


What address should I send official documentation to?

Graduate Program,

Department of Economics (KTH-426),

McMaster University

1280 Main St. W.

Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4