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 $100 CDN must be submitted with your application. Apply online through Graduate Studies.

A few days after you complete your online application, you will receive a message asking you 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 official score report for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)


    a)  There is no exemption from submitting GMAT or GRE.
    b)  You must also contact GMAT or ETS (GRE) to provide us with access to your Official Score Report.
  5. TOEFL – if required (see international students 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, 2019

  • 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 $7,518 $20,310
Incidental fees $1,356.63 $1,980.63
Total annual tuition fees $8,874.63 $22,290.63

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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.

Students whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or equivalent. The minimum requirements for TOEFL are as follows:

Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT) Computer-Based TOEFL (CBT) Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) IELTS (academic)


5.0 TWE


5.0 TWE


writing 25; speaking 25


This requirement does not apply to students who have either:

  1. completed at least three years of study at a post-secondary institution where English was the language of instruction, or
  2. been employed for at least three years in a position where the language of business was English.

For more detailed information for international students, please visit

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International degree equivalencies

Applicants from non-Canadian institutions should note that we will assess their educational backgrounds for equivalency with Canadian degrees.

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Contact information

Joyce Tian
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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