UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara


Division of Social Sciences
North Hall 2127
Telephone: (805) 893-7309

Undergraduate Office: (805) 893-2981
Graduate Office: (805) 893-2205
Undergraduate e-mail: ugrad@econ.ucsb.edu
Graduate e-mail:  grad@econ.ucsb.edu
Website: www.econ.ucsb.edu
Department Chair: Peter Rupert

Graduate Program

Applicants must fulfill University requirements for admission to graduate status described in the section “Graduate Education at UCSB” in addition to the departmental requirements for admission detailed below.

Doctor of Philosophy—Economics (Requirements - PDF)
Master of Arts—Economics (Requirements - PDF) (Based on successful completion of first year Ph.D. program requirements)


Admissions to the terminal Master’s program are currently suspended. No applications are being accepted at this time.

Admissions decisions are made by the departmental Graduate Admissions Committee, which is chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies. Admission to the program is based on intellectual potential and scholarly promise, academic achievement, programmatic fit, and available space. A bachelor's degree is required, though not necessarily with a major in economics. The department does require that specific courses, particularly economic theory (Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics), be passed with distinction.
Prospective students are advised to take as much statistics and mathematics courses as possible. We require and will screen applicants to have taken advanced courses in calculus, mathematical statistics, matrix and linear algebra, and real analysis.

Although the minimum undergraduate grade point average requirement for admission to graduate school at UC Santa Barbara is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, on average the for those admitted and starting the program is normally much higher. Meeting the minimum requirement does not guarantee admission; the actual standard for admission is set by the current pool of applicants, and is generally much higher. The average undergraduate GPA for all applicants who were admitted for Fall 2016 was 3.83 on a 4.0 scale.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants to the graduate program. We do not accept GMAT scores instead of GRE scores. Applicants, whose native language is not English, are required to take either the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The minimum TOEFL score for consideration is 600 when taking the paper-based test (PBT) or 100 when taking the internet-based test (IBT). Successful applicants typically score above 106 (or above on average) when taking the internet-based test. The minimum IELTS score for consideration is an Overall Band Score of 7 or higher. TOEFL or IELTS scores can be no more than two years old at the time of application to UCSB.

Average GRE scores for students admitted to the Ph.D. program in Fall 2016 were:
GRE Verbal 158 / 79%
GRE Quantitative 166 / 92%
GRE Analytical Writing 4 / 56%

Optional Interdisciplinary Emphases

Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Economics may petition to add the following Optional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphases: Economics and Environmental Science (EES), Demography. Requirement sheets for each emphasis may be found on this page.