MA MRP Program Information

MA MRP (Major Research Paper) Option

Choosing a Supervisor for the MRP

Students are required to get approval from the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies before being switched into the MRP option. This needs to happen after the first Fall term. The Associate Chair will look at the student’s grades and discuss what the student would like to research in their MRP and find out if the student has an MRP supervisor in mind.

Students are encouraged to meet informally with faculty members in their first term to discuss possible topics for their MRP. Getting early feedback from potential supervisors can help you get a clearer sense of what your research project will entail and possible topics you would like to explore. A listing of faculty, and their areas of research, can be found on the Department faculty listing webpage.

In addition to a supervisor, you will need a second reader and their signature to complete the MRP Completion form.

  • Milestones:  Milestones are non-course degree requirements (such as the academic integrity workshop, co-op work term report, Master’s Research Paper, etc.) that must be met in order for a student to graduate. Students can keep track of their milestone progress by viewing their unofficial transcript in Quest.
    • Academic Integrity Workshop (completed during Orientation)
    • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
    • Master’s Research Paper
      • The Master’s Research Paper is best thought of as a "mini-Thesis" and is the equivalent of 1 one-term courses (0.5 unit weight). The work is supervised by one faculty member who may ask for corrections and who will jointly decide with the second reader on the grade to be awarded upon completion. No oral examination/defense is required. Once you have acquired both a supervisor and a second reader, please fill out the MRP Supervision Form and submit it to the Graduate Coodinator. When the MRP has been completed, an MRP Completion Form must be filled out and signed and submitted to the Graduate Coordinator. Read the Economics MRP Guidelines for further information and also see below.
  • Courses 
    • All students are required to take 6 mandatory core courses (0.5 unit weight)
      • ECON 600, 601, 602, 606, 621, {622 or 623}
    • All students are required to take 2 ECON elective courses (0.5 unit weight).
    • No more than one elective course may be taken from another department, with the approval of the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.
    • The overall average achieved in the courses must be at least 70%.
  • Link(s) to courses

Students can switch from the MRP option to the Regular MA option, as long as they complete the correct number of elective courses to graduate (3 electives needed for the Regular MA program).

MRP formatting and submission

Front matter
Roman numerals should be used for the Front Matter content. 


Front matter content

Page Number


Title Page

i - page number should not be displayed

see example below

Author’s Declaration


see wording below










Table of Contents    


see details below

List of Figures


if applicable

List of Tables


if applicable

List of Illustrations


if applicable

List of Abbreviations  


if applicable

Table of Contents

Everything after the Table of Contents page needs to be listed on the Table of Contents. The Introduction begins on page 1 (bottom centre pagination).

Cover page must read as follows:

Title of MRP


Full name of author (name must appear as it does on Quest)

A Master's Research Paper

presented to the University of Waterloo

in fulfilment of the

MRP requirement for the degree of

Master of Arts



Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, year

© Name of author year

*Please note text should be centered on your page.

Author’s Declaration must read as follows: I hereby declare that I am the sole author of this Master’s Research Paper (MRP). This is a true copy of the MRP, including any required final revisions, as accepted by my examiners.

How to finish your MRP on time

Once a supervisor and second reader are chosen and approved, the student should send regular reports to their supervisor. The frequency will be arranged by your supervisor. Talking to your supervisor regularly and agreeing on a firm timeline to submit drafts will also help prevent last minute scrambling and possibly missing term or convocation deadlines.

Both faculty members evaluating the MRP (the supervisor and second) must be satisfied with the final product, and either can ask for minor or major corrections or reject the MRP outright. Upon completion, the MRP is assigned a grade (passing grade is 75%) by both faculty members.

Guidelines for completing by the end of the third term:

  • Should submit a complete first draft to main supervisor by July 15 (giving 1 week for supervisor to revise).
  • Should submit a revised (second) draft to second reader by August 1 (giving 1 week for reader to revise).
  • The final draft should be submitted to both supervisors for grading no later than August 10 for an August 24 completion date. 

*NOTE: The above timeline is a guideline only. Please discuss dates with your supervisor to set an appropriate completion timetable that works for you.

Final submission

The department requires the final copy of your MRP to be emailed as a PDF to the Graduate Program Coordinator upon completion.