Timeline Details

Ph.D. Course Requirements

Students are required to enroll in at least 18 credits of course work in the first year. The standard first year course program is:

  • Term 1 (September to December) – ECON 600 Microeconomics I, ECON 602 Macroeconomics I, ECON 626 Econometrics I
  • Term 2 (January to April) – ECON 601 Microeconomics II, ECON 603 Macroeconomics II, ECON 627 Econometrics II (three credits each)
  • Comprehensive Exams in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory are written in June

In second year, students typically take ECON 628 Topics in Applied Econometrics (three credits) plus an additional 21 credits of economics courses at the 500- and 600-level; of these 21 credits, six may be taken for audit. By the end of the second year, students are to have completed 42 credits of coursework.

In the third year of the program, students must take ECON 640 Ph.D. Research Seminar (three credits) and ECON 690 Workshops in Economics (six credits).

Course Offerings

For a complete list of graduate courses offered by the School, click here.

Summer Research Paper

The purposes of the summer paper are to familiarize students with the research process and to aid and foster the transition to independent research. A written proposal for the summer research paper is due on March 15, during the second year of the Ph.D. program. The summer after completion of second year course work is spent working on the paper.

A first draft of the paper is due at the start of the third year on September 1. After receiving final suggestions for revision from faculty, a final version of the research paper is due on October 1.

Period of Residence

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree who hold a Master’s degree are required to spend a minimum of two academic sessions (two years) in residence at UBC before taking the final examination for the Ph.D. degree. For students admitted to the Ph.D. program with a Bachelor’s degree, the minimum period of residence is three academic sessions.

Admission to Candidacy

Students are normally admitted to candidacy when they have completed their period of residence, completed all required course work, passed the comprehensive examinations, submitted the summer research paper, and, most importantly, have their dissertation prospectus approved by their research supervisor. A student who is not admitted to candidacy within a period of three years from the date of initial registration is required to withdraw from the program. Extension of this period may be permitted by the Dean under exceptional circumstances.

The Dissertation

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must submit an acceptable dissertation. The dissertation represents a substantial piece of original research and constitutes a contribution to knowledge in the field of the subject chosen.

The candidate’s dissertation topic is selected in consultation with a dissertation committee. Before the research has progressed too far, the candidate presents a detailed dissertation prospectus in a seminar setting; at this point, the prospectus is either formally accepted or rejected by the Dissertation Committee. Research is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member who serves as chairperson of the Committee.

When the dissertation is completed, the candidate is given an oral examination by faculty members of the School, and is then asked to defend the dissertation in an oral examination administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Financial Support

All applicants and students in the School are automatically considered for financial assistance and awards. For a list of funding sources, click here.

Faculty Research

For a list of research profiles for our faculty members, click here.