Admissions and support

To assist you in finding the information you need quickly, please use the quick links below:


Supervisors are arranged after successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination near the end of the second year of study.  Please do not contact faculty members prior to admission to ask for supervision.

International Applicants please note due to funding restrictions it would be a positive factor in admissions decisions if an international student would come with funding in hand.


A non-refundable application fee of $125 CDN must be submitted with your application. Apply online through Graduate Studies.

One or two business days after you complete your online application, you will receive an email with instructions to upload your materials to Applicant Quest (Waterloo’s self-service application system).

The following materials must be uploaded for your application to be complete:

  1. Transcripts
    Transcripts and awarding of degrees from each institution attended.
  2. References (3)
    Your application package will be stronger if you choose referees who can comment on your academic/research ability.  Your references will be sent an e-mail with instructions
    about uploading their letters.
  3. Supplementary information
    A statement of interest (one page or less) indicating why you wish to take a PhD in accounting and what you hope to accomplish.
  4. Test scores
    Official score report on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT); or up load a copy of your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) report.


    a)  There is no exemption from submitting GMAT or GRE.
    b)  You must also contact GMAT to provide us with access to your Official Score Report.
  5. English Language Proficiency Certification – if required (see below)
  6. Up-to-date curriculum vitae or resume (1-2 pages)


  • Your application materials must be uploaded using Applicant Quest by the required deadline of January 15, 2020

  • If you are not able to upload your application materials on Applicant Quest, please review the Graduate Application Help website.

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Tuition fees

Tuition fees are approximately $8,875 per year for Canadian citizens and permanent residents and $22,300 per year for holders of student visas.

“Fees listed below are based on the Fall 2018 term fees.  Tuition amounts have been approved; incidental fees are subject to change pending approval of the Board of Governors”.

  Domestic students International students
Academic fee $6762.00 $20,916
Incidental fees $1,412.70 $2,048.70
Total annual tuition fees $8,174.70 $22,964.70

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Financial support

We provide students admitted into our program with four years of funding at $25,500 per year. Funding is conditional on meeting minimum academic and program requirements, including working 10 hours per week as a research assistant or teaching assistant. We do not require students to teach courses while they are in the program, but try to accommodate students wishing to gain teaching experience.

Visa students are eligible for additional scholarship funding lasting three years, the University of Waterloo International Graduate Student Awards.

We encourage students to apply for additional sources of external funding, some of which have fall deadlines.

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Admission requirements

We encourage students from various backgrounds, including economics, mathematics, statistics, behavioural science, and related disciplines, to apply. Admissions will not be confined to those with a background in accounting, commerce, or business administration. We will consider applicants who have successfully completed a master's or honours bachelor's degree, with at least an 80% average.

Read more detailed information about the PhD program degree requirements.

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Math background

Due to the emphasis on social science methodology in our PhD program, we prefer that applicants have satisfactorily completed at least one university-level course in calculus and one university-level course in linear algebra. These should be courses for science or math students rather than business students since the training in mathematical logic and proofs found in the former type of courses is important to success in our program.

We may offer conditional acceptance into the program for students without these math courses. Students take the needed courses in the spring term (May to August) preceding entrance into the program. We recommend University of Waterloo courses Mathematics (MATH) 106 and MATH 127, available either in class or by distance education, as suitable options.

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International students

Due to funding restrictions it would be a positive factor in admissions decisions if an international student would come with funding in hand.

English language proficiency

The official language of instruction at the University of Waterloo is English. It is the responsibility of the University to ensure that its graduate students have sufficient English language skills to be successful with the demands of the academic environment.

You are exempt from submitting an English language proficiency examination score if any one of the following conditions is true: 

  • You have completed three or more years of post-secondary education or completed a graduate degree at a Canadian institution or university
  • You have completed three or more years of post-secondary education or completed a graduate degree at a university at which English was the primary language of instruction, as indicated on our ELP exemption list*
  • You have been employed for at least three years in a position in which English was the language of business in a country listed on our ELP exemption list* 

*Information on approved ELP exempted countries and institutions is available on the Discover Graduate Studies website.

Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time the application is submitted. Tests that do not appear on this chart are not accepted for admission consideration. The University of Waterloo reserves the right to request an English language test result from any applicant.







writing 26;
speaking 26

writing 7.0;
speaking 7.0

80 per section;
speaking 3

60 per band;
70 writing;
70 speaking

writing 65;
speaking 65

overall in level 400 with at least 75% in writing, oral and academic skills

For more detailed information including international admission equivalencies, please visit

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Contact information

Brad Pomeroy
Acting Director, PhD Program
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 31088

Jenny Rothwell
Administrative Coordinator, PhD Program
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 32770

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