The Ph.D. Program in Economics at UCLA prepares students for careers as economists in academia, business and government. The program combines rigorous work in economic theory and careful study of real-world problems and institutions. Graduates from this program work at major universities around the world, national and international government agencies, banks, research centers and in private businesses. Some of our graduates have achieved great prominence, such as William Sharpe, who earned both his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees at UCLA, and was co-recipient of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on the capital asset pricing model.
The department includes internationally recognized scholars in economic theory, econometrics, and all the major applied fields. These outstanding scholars form one of the foremost departments of economics in the world.
The Economics Department is situated within one of the world’s most youthful and vibrant universities. Founded in 1919, UCLA first developed into a major university in the 1950’s. After so short a history, the university was ranked second in the United States among public research universities by the Conference Board of Associated Research Councils in 1982. Thirty-one of its Ph.D. programs are currently ranked in the top 20 in their field–third best in the nation.
The Ph.D. is the degree objective of the graduate program. This degree is awarded to students who demonstrate professional competence by passing written qualifying exams and by completing a major piece of individual research (the Ph.D. dissertation).
Preparation for the qualifying exams through coursework and independent study occupies most student time for the first two years. Thereafter the focus shifts to independent research and finally to the writing of a Ph.D. dissertation. Research in progress by our graduate students as well as our faculty is presented at workshops that meet weekly throughout the academic year. Currently, the Dept. has workshops in Theory and Mathematical Economics, International and Development Economics, Labor and Population Economics, Business Organization and Regulation Economics, Economic History, Econometrics, and Monetary Theory. In addition, many graduate students work as research or teaching assistants for faculty members. The normal time to degree is five years.