Please note that the Department of Economics and the University will be closed Thursday, November 28 – Sunday, December 1st, 2019 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. If you have any inquiries regarding the application, we encourage you to email us at phdadmit@econ.ucla.edu no later than Wednesday morning (November 27) to ensure that you receive a response before close of business.

 Application Deadline: December 1, 2019

The Department of Economics offers two degree tracks: a Master of Applied Economics (MAE) and a Ph.D in Economics. This page provides information on the admission process for the doctoral program. Students who are accepted into our doctoral program can earn their Master’s of Arts (MA) in Economics en route to earning their PhD. Note: Based on University policy, students who have already been awarded an academic Master’s in Economics (MA or MS), are unable to be awarded a duplicate degree.

The PhD program does not admit students whose final goal is to earn a Master of Arts in Economics. If you are interested in a Master’s only, please apply to the MAE Program.  They offer a 9-month terminal Master’s degree curriculum designed to prepare students to enter the field of Economics. If you are interested in applying to the MAE program, contact our MAE Graduate Office at mae-office@econ.ucla.edu.

The program only admits students once a year in the fall; we do not have spring or winter admissions. Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year must be submitted by 11:59pm PST on Sunday, December 1, 2019 (2:59am EST on December 2). Recommendation letters are given a 2 week grace period. Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded by Saturday, December 1, and GRE/TOEFL exams must have been taken by December 1 (scores should arrive within 2-3 weeks).

Our application is entirely online.  Students only need to submit unofficial transcripts during the review process.  If admitted, all students will be required to submit official transcripts in order to register.

All applicants must apply online via the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission.

Please do not submit application materials by email or by fax.

For questions about our departmental admissions policies and procedures, you may contact phdadmit@econ.ucla.edu. If you have specific questions about the online UCLA Graduate Division Application system, please email the Graduate Division Admissions office at onlineapphelp@grad.ucla.edu. If you experience technical issues with the online application, please use the Technical Support button found at the top of each page of the application.

Application Materials Checklist

Click here for PDF.

  • Academic Records
    • International applicants: Unofficial Transcripts in original language and English
    • Domestic applicants: Unofficial Transcripts
  • GRE Scores (online and by mail from ETS)
  • TOEFL or IELTS score, if applicable (online and by mail from ETS)
  • Statement of Purpose (online only)
  • Personal Statements (online only; will be used to consider candidates for the Cote-Robles Fellowship)
  • Resume/CV (required; online only)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (online only)
  • Application Fee (online only)

Academic Records

All applicants must upload a copy of all your relevant academic records to the online application. The Department requires that all Economics, Math, and Statistics courses be clearly marked on the uploaded academic transcripts by circling the courses.

Requirements for U.S. Applicants:

Applications will be reviewed based on unofficial copies of your transcripts uploaded as a part of your application.  You are not required to submit an official transcript during the application process.

Applicants who are officially notified of admission: One official copy of your transcript(s) should be sent directly from the Registrar(s) of the academic institution(s) you have attended (beyond secondary school), or you may request official copies and mail them yourself in the sealed envelope. Please note that submitted records become the property of the University and cannot be returned.

If you are a university/college senior, do not risk missing the deadline by waiting for senior-year grades to be posted before submitting your application and transcript.

UCLA undergraduates are exempt from mailing official copies of UCLA transcripts.

Requirements for International Applicants:

Applications will be reviewed based on unofficial copies of your transcripts uploaded as a part of your application.  You are not required to submit an official transcript during the application process.

Please upload unofficial academic records to the online application.

International applicants should submit the transcripts (listing courses and grades) in both the original language and the authorized, complete, and exact English translation certified by the issuing institution. Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions consideration. However, students will need to provide official transcripts upon acceptance to the program. 

Degree and diploma certificates (or other evidence of conferral of all degrees, diplomas, or professional titles) must accompany the transcripts, and must also be submitted in the the original language and in English. This evidence may be in the form of officially certified copies of the actual diploma, or entries on official records or official statements from granting institutions. In all cases, the statement must include (1) the exact, original title of the degree and (2) the date of its formal conferral (month and year).

Any questions about the requirements for official academic records can be directed to phdadmit@econ.ucla.edu.

GRE Scores

Official GRE and TOEFL scores must be sent directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Photocopies of these reports are not considered official documents and cannot be used for admission evaluation. Please provide the ETS with the following codes when requesting your scores:

GRE – UCLA: 4837 / Econ: 1801

Please be advised that all applicants, regardless of their degree or major backgrounds, must submit GRE scores. There are no substitutes for the GRE, including the GMAT.

A GRE score is valid if the examination was given no more than five years prior to the date your application is submitted. If your score has expired, you must re-take the exam no later than December 1, 2019.

Our admitted students have, on average, GRE scores that average in the 80th percentile in the verbal, 94th percentile in the quantitative, and 5.0 or above in the analytical sections. However, there is no minimum score requirement for the GRE.

TOEFL/IELTS Scores

Official TOEFL scores must be sent directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Photocopies of these reports are not considered official documents and cannot be used for admission evaluation. Please provide the ETS with the following codes when requesting your scores:

TOEFL – UCLA: 4837 / Econ: 84

If you have previously taken the TOEFL exam, your score is valid for two years; scores should be valid at the time your application is submitted. If your score has expired, you must re-take the exam no later than December 1, 2019.

A TOEFL score of at least 560 on the paper and pencil test or 220 on the computer based test is the minimum required. For the internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT), applicants must have a minimum total passing score of 87. You do not need to meet the minimum passing scores for each section as long as this minimum overall score of 87 is met.

An IELTS overall band score of at least 7.0 is the minimum required.

Applicants who hold a Bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country, in which English is both the spoken language and the medium of instruction, or who have completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution, are exempt from both the TOEFL/IELTS requirement and the ESLPE. Please be sure to include such information in your application.

Preparation

A Bachelor’s degree in Economics is recommended but not required. However, a strong background in Economics is essential. An applicant should have formal coursework in intermediate Micro- and Macro-Economic Theory and Econometrics.

Mathematical preparation is also essential. This should include a minimum of one year of Probability and Statistics and two years of Calculus. Additional coursework in mathematics and Statistics, especially Linear Algebra, Matrix Algebra, Advanced Probability Theory, Mathematical Statistics and Real Analysis, is highly recommended.

Prior to uploading the academic transcripts to the online application, please circle all Economics, Math, and Statistics courses.

GPA Requirement

The minimum requirement for admission for a U.S. applicant is a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, comparable in standard and content to a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California. A scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better is required or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used.

An international applicant whose post-secondary education is completed outside of the U.S. is expected to hold a degree representing completion of at least four years of study with above average scholarship from a university or university-level institution.

All prospective applicants are eligible to apply if the above conditions are met.

Entering Class

Our entering class is normally from 20 to 25 students. Our admitted students have strong academic records and outstanding letters of recommendation. They also have, on average, GRE scores that average in the 80th percentile in verbal, 94th percentile in quantitative, and 5.0 or above in analytical. However, there is no minimum score requirement for the GRE in order to apply.

Funding

All admitted applicants are considered for Departmental fellowships/funding, and the awards can vary in length and level of support. Some of our students are admitted with funding and others are not. Funding is based on the strength of the entire application for admission and does not require a separate application.

Teaching Assistantships and Readerships are normally offered to all of our students in years two through four, subject to their satisfactory progress in the program.

For comprehensive information about admission to graduate programs at UCLA, please visit the UCLA Graduate Division’s website and our FAQ page.

Contact Us

For further information regarding admissions, you may contact the Economics Graduate Office staff at phdadmit@econ.ucla.edu.