Graduate Division

Economics Ph.D.

Section 1


  • UCI’s Economics PhD program trains the next generation of economists for careers in academia, government and the private sector.
  • In the first year, students complete core PhD coursework in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.
  • In the second year, students specialize in two research fields including Econometrics, Economic History, Experimental Economics, Game Theory and Mechanism Design, Industrial Organization, International Economics, Labor Economics, Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Political Economy, Public Economics, Transportation and Urban Economics.
  • Over the next three years, students engage with faculty advisors, to research, write and present original, cutting-edge papers culminating in the PhD dissertation.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Prospective students may apply to PhD concentrations in Monetary Policy and Central Banking, Political Economy/Public Choice and Transportation Economics
  • UCI’s Department of Economics has achieved national and international stature by attracting well-known senior scholars and through the advancement of a host of young economic scholars.
  • The department ranks among the top 40 North American Economics Departments and among the top 50 Economics Departments World-Wide [Source: RePEc].
  • All of the major fields of economics are covered with notable strengths in Applied Microeconomics, Labor Economics, Econometrics, Economic History, Experimental Economics, Game Theory and Decision Theory, Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics,  Political Economy, Public Economics, and Urban and Transportation Economics.
  • The department offers a friendly and engaging environment for PhD students with an exceptional degree of faculty-student interaction:
    • A low PhD student to faculty ratio of approximately 3:1.
    • Most faculty and students live on campus and can walk/bike to class.
    • Weekly lunch workshops in many fields give students an opportunity to repeatedly present and refine their research papers.
    • Weekly seminars in Econometrics, Macroeconomics, Labor and Public Economics, Theory History and Development and Urban and Transportation Economics enable students to learn about research frontiers from UCI faculty and visitors from other Economics Departments.
  • Interdisciplinary research opportunities with faculty in other UCI departments including business and finance, cognitive science, psychology, logic and philosophy of science, social ecology, computer science and mathematics.
  • Excellent record of preparing and placing students in top positions in academia, government and the private sector. See the graduate placement list for details.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

5 years

Capstone Type


Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution with degree standards equivalent to those of the University of California. The degree need not be in economics; a degree in engineering, mathematics, statistics, or another social science may work very well. The student’s cumulative GPA or the equivalent must be 3.0 or higher. In addition, students should have a strong mathematics background including, at a minimum, one year of calculus and courses in linear algebra, statistics and probability. Additional mathematics coursework is desirable. Coursework in economics is also desirable but not necessary. Finally, students must have strong skills in spoken and written English.

Admissions Procedures

Applications to the Ph.D. program in Economics are accepted beginning September 4.  Applications must be received by December 1st, late applications will be accepted through December 15th. All students who meet this application deadline will also be considered for financial support, consisting of assistantships and fellowships. The Economics Ph.D. program starts in the fall quarter of each year; consequently, new students are not admitted for the winter or spring quarters.

To apply, go to the UCI Graduate Division website and complete the online application for graduate admissions

As part of the online application all students must submit an academic statement of purpose detailing their motivations and goals for pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics at UCI. Students who have a strong preference for UCI’s Economics Ph.D. program should credibly signal that preference in their statement of purpose.

The online application also requires that all U.S. citizens and permanent residents provide a personal history statement detailing how their personal background informs their decision to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics. In this statement, students may also discuss how their admission would contribute to social or cultural diversity in UCI’s economics department.

In addition to completing the online application, students must also submit or arrange to have submitted:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores dated within the last five years.  (Test scores from the various GRE subject tests are not required).  Request that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) send GRE general test scores directly to UC Irvine using institution code 4859.  Recently admitted students to UCI’s Ph.D. program in Economics had mean GRE scores / percentiles as follows:  Verbal (159.9 / 84%); Quantitative (165.4 / 90%); Analytical Writing (4.1 / 62%).
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals –preferably academic--who can address the student’s ability to succeed in a rigorous economics Ph.D. program and do original research. These letters can be requested and submitted electronically via the online application system.
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended.
  • TOEFL / IELTS scores, if required –see additional admission procedures for International Applicants below. TOEFL or IELTS test scores should be sent directly to UC Irvine by the testing agency using institution code 4859.

Additional Admissions Procedures for International Applicants (non-U.S. citizens)

UCI's Economics department enthusiastically welcomes applications from students outside the U.S. To be considered for admission and financial support, international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in spoken and written English.

International applicants, including US permanent residents who did not attend for four full years and graduate high school in the United States, can satisfy the English language proficiency requirement by submitting test scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). These test scores must be dated within the last two years.

Applicants taking the internet-based, TOEFL-ibT, must attain a minimum score of 26/30 on the Speaking subsection and a minimum overall score of 80/120 to be considered for admission and financial support. TOEFL scores should be sent directly to UCI by Educational Testing Service using institution code 4859.

Applicants taking the IELTS must attain a minimum speaking sub-score of 8/9, a minimum overall score of 7/9 and no individual module score less than 6/9 to be considered for admission and financial support. IELTS scores should be sent electronically to University of California, Irvine - Graduate Division 120 Aldrich Hall. Irvine, CA 92697.

International applicants who are citizens of certain countries where English is the primary language, (principally, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom) and who have completed all of their educational requirements in those same countries are exempt from this English language proficiency requirement. The complete list of countries where English is considered the primary language can be found on UCI's graduate division website. International applicants who are not citizens of the countries on this list or who did not complete four full years and graduate from a high school in the U.S. must submit English language test scores that meet the minimum requirements stated above in order to be considered for admission and financial support.

Admission Decisions

Admission and financial support decisions are made by the UCI Economics Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee, which bases its judgment on the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, GRE test scores, and tests of English language proficiency (if required).

Letters of acceptance and financial support offers are typically sent out by March 1. Candidates have until April 15 to decide whether to accept such offers.

Financial Support

Fellowships are awarded to a number of outstanding students. These awards may include an academic year stipend, all required student fees and nonresident tuition, if applicable. A supplemental teaching or research assistantship may be provided by the academic unit. IMBS, ITS, and GPACS also provide fellowships and research assistantships for Economics graduate students participating in their programs.

Graduate students may work as Teaching Assistants for a maximum of 12 quarters before advancing to candidacy for the PhD, and no more than 18 quarters over the duration of the doctoral program. Students often are able to work as research assistants to acquire research skills and experience firsthand the nature of current research at the frontiers of economic knowledge. Research assistantships are arranged individually with faculty members. Students may apply to Financial Aid and Scholarships for need-based financial aid in the form of loans.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2018-19

  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 137.88 137.88 137.87 413.63
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
eTech Fee * 60.00 60.00 60.00 180.00
Document Fee † 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,348.00 1,347.00 1,347.00 4,042.00
Total California Resident $5,795.88 $5,794.88 $5,794.87 $17,385.63
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $10,829.88 $10,828.88 $10,828.87 $32,487.63

Posted 10 August 2018 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

The non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible fee.

† The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Neerja Aggarwal, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Economics

D. Bell, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor Emeritus of Economics

Daniel E. Bogart, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Economics

William A. Branch, Ph.D. University of Oregon, Department Chair and UCI Chancellor's Fellow and Professor of Economics

David Brownstone, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor Emeritus of Economics

Jan K. Brueckner, Ph.D. Stanford University, UCI Chancellor's Professor of Economics; Urban Planning and Public Policy

Jean-Paul Carvalho, Ph.D. Oxford University, Associate Professor of Economics; Logic and Philosophy of Science

Debapriya Chakraborty, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Economics

Jiawei Chen, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of Economics

Natalia Chernyshoff, Ph.D. University of California, Davis, Lecturer of Economics

Damon Clark, Ph.D. Oxford University, Associate Professor of Economics; Urban Planning and Public Policy

Arthur S. De Vany, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Professor Emeritus of Economics

Yingying Dong, Ph.D. Boston College, Associate Professor of Economics

John Duffy, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Professor of Economics

Gordon J. Fielding, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Professor Emeritus of Economics

Matthew Freedman, Ph.D. University of Maryland-College Park, Associate Professor of Economics

Michelle Garfinkel, Ph.D. Brown University, Professor of Economics

Amihai Glazer, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of Economics

Matthew Harding, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Associate Professor of Economics; Statistics

Ivan G. Jeliazkov, Ph.D. Washington University, Associate Professor of Economics; Statistics

Brian C. Jenkins, Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment of Economics

Linda Cohen Jennings, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Professor of School of Law; Economics

Lai Jiang, Ph.D. New York University, Lecturer of Economics

Igor Kopylov, Ph.D. University of Rochester, Associate Professor of Economics

Ying-Ying Lee, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Assistant Professor of Economics

Raffaele Mari, M.A. San Diego State University, Lecturer of Economics

Michael T. McBride, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of Economics; Logic and Philosophy of Science; Religious Studies

Martin C. McGuire, Ph.D. Harvard University, UCI Endowed Chair and Professor Emeritus of Economics

Fabio Milani, Ph.D. Princeton University, Professor of Economics

David Neumark, Ph.D. Harvard University, UCI Chancellor's Professor of Economics; Paul Merage School of Business

Dale J. Poirier, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor Emeritus of Economics; Statistics

Priya Ranjan, Ph.D. Columbia University, Professor of Economics

Gary Richardson, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, UCI Chancellor's Fellow and Professor of Economics; European Languages and Studies; Religious Studies

Guillaume Rocheteau, Ph.D. University of Paris, UCI Chancellor's Fellow and Professor of Economics

Jose Antonio Rodriguez Lopez, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of Economics

Donald G. Saari, Ph.D. Purdue University, UCI Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics; Logic and Philosophy of Science; Mathematics

George Sarraf, Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University, Lecturer of Economics

Nilopa Shah, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Economics

Paul R. Shirey, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Social Sciences; Economics

Stergios Skaperdas, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Clifford S. Heinz Chair and Professor of Economics; Political Science

Kenneth A. Small, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor Emeritus of Economics

Eric Swanson, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor of Economics

Wilima Wadhwa, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Economics

Academic Data

academic data

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Career Outcomes

Coming soon.