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In alignment with the campus directives regarding precautions surrounding COVID-19, the Economics, History and Advising Center is now physically closed. Our advisors remain available remotely and will be offering academic advising appointments to students through phone or Zoom. Once you have scheduled your appointment in the online appointment system, your advisor will reach out to you via email with instructions on how to connect with them. 

Ph.D in Economics

Ph.D. students do course work for the first two or so years before moving to the thesis. If you don't go on to the thesis, you can usually get a master's degree as a consolation prize. A thesis takes a long time, and five years is a quick time to complete the Ph.D.

If you want to pursue a Ph.D. degree and are well prepared coming out of UC Davis, then apply for admission to a Ph.D. program and not a master's degree program. Admission to the better Ph.D. programs comes with four years of funding sufficient to cover tuition and living expenses, in return for working 20 hours a week as a teaching assistant (TA) or resident advisor (RA).

Economics Ph.D. programs are oriented to people seeking careers in academia or the government. The American Economic Association website is a good reference for Ph.D. study in economics.

Graduate programs in economics are very mathematical by comparison to undergraduate programs, and lack of mathematical ability is a key indicator of failure. The economics section of the GRE is much less important. Consequently, another admission criterion is what math classes you have taken.

A minimum preparation is:
Stat 13, Math 21A-21D (or 16A-16C with very high grades), Math 67 and Econ 140
To be fully prepared for a top-ten program, you also should take:
Statistics: Stat 131A-B or 130A-B. Mathematics: Math 25 and then Math 125A-B.
Ability to demonstrate research ability through Econ 194H can be very beneficial.