Commencement 2015

The Departmental Scholar Program (DSP) for Economics allows exceptional juniors and seniors to pursue their bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously.

Nomination to be a Department Scholar is an honor that carries practical benefits – the graduate school application process is simplified, access is opened to graduate level classes as well as the opportunity to do graduate level research under direct supervision of UCLA’s distinguished Economics faculty.

If interested in this program – please consult with the staff in the Economics Graduate Advising Office for further information, and to get an application.  The Department of Economics Graduate Advisors are located in Room 8292 Bunche Hall.  The office phone number is 310-206-1413.

The Faculty Liaison for the Departmental Scholar Program is Professor Ichiro Obara.  Students that are interested in DSP, or in graduate school in general, are encouraged to email Professor Obara to arrange a meeting.  He can be reached at

When To Apply

The student applies to the Economics Department for DSP during the Spring quarter of his/her junior year.

The Department of Economics nominates the student to the Dean of the Division of Honors and the Dean of Graduate Division. Upon their approval, the student is formally admitted to the DSP.

New DSP students begin the program September 1 with the Economics 200 course.

Eligibility For Admission

Students seeking nomination to the Departmental Scholar Program must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Completion of 24 courses (96 quarter units) at UCLA or a similar institution
  • A 3.5 UCLA GPA
  • A 3.5 GPA in the upper division classes of the major
  • Officially declared in a major
  • Three letters of recommendation from tenure-track faculty and an additional reference from an Economics Department faculty who can attest to your academic abilities. Two of the three tenure-track faculty must be from Economics Department. The third must be from another department, preferably Math.
  • For transfer students, completion of at least a year of undergraduate coursework at UCLA
  • Completion of the Writing II requirement

Please Note: There is no major restriction to participate in the Departmental Scholar Program.

In addition, you must complete the following courses with a minimum 3.6 GPA before applying:

  • Econ 1, 2, 11, 41, 101, 102 and 103/103L
  • Math 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B, 115A and 131A

*For Math/Econ Majors: Math 170E&S, Math 170A, and Stat 100A may be taken to satisfy the Econ 41 prerequisite.

To apply, please access our application here.  Applications and letters of recommendation are due to the Graduate Office by June 27th.  Email all materials to Chiara Paz at:

Additional Information

  • Latin Honors: Latin Honors are calculated on the basis of all University of California coursework. Because courses applied on the Master’s will be posted on the undergraduate transcript, these grade points and units are included when calculating Latin Honors upon graduation.
  • Time Commitment: Generally, graduate courses meet for four hours a week, with two hours of tutorial. Courses usually require problem sets, midterms and finals. Because this is approximately double the amount of undergraduate work, recommend that you take no more than one graduate course per quarter in the first year of the program.
  • Individual graduate programs are created for each student in counseling sessions with the Department’s graduate and undergraduate advisors.
  • Enrollment in Graduate Level Courses: Because all graduate level courses are restricted to graduate students, Departmental Scholars will need to obtain enrollment permission from the Economics Graduate Advisor.
  • Library Privileges: Departmental Scholars are eligible for graduate library borrowing privileges at the Young Research Library. Students should retain the acceptance letter from Graduate Admission as verification of Departmental Scholar status.
  • Graduate Record Exam: Departmental Scholars are not required to take the GRE. However, students planning to apply to other programs or universities or the PhD program are required to take the GRE general test.

Master’s Degree Requirements

  • Areas of Study: Economics Theory; econometrics; information and uncertainty; mathematical economics; monetary theory; economic history; public finance; labor economics; industrial organization; international economics; development economics and asset pricing.
  • Course Requirements: The department requires nine upper division and graduate-level courses in economics completed while in graduate status at UCLA. At least seven of the nine courses must be graduate level courses in the Economics Department, one of which must be Economics 207, 241 or 242. Each course must be completed with a grade of B or better.
  • Comprehensive Examination Plan: In addition to the course requirements, candidates for the Masters of Arts degree must satisfactorily complete a written comprehensive examination requirement that involves passing two examinations.  Time to Degree: It normally takes six quarters to earn the degree.
    • Consult with the staff in the Economics Graduate Advising Office for further information, and to get an application. The Graduate Advisors are located in Room 8292 Bunche Hall.  The office phone number is 310-206-1413.
    • Unit requirements for both degrees must be completed (e.g., 180 units for the bachelor’s degree and 36 units for the master’s degree for a total of 216 units).
    • To exceed the maximum unit limit to fulfill the master’s degree, a blue petition may be filed with the Honors Program.
    • No course may be used to fulfill requirements for both degrees.
  • Summer session course enrollment: Since the comprehensive examinations are administered in June/July after the conclusion of spring quarter, DSP students who are slated to graduate must enroll in 4 units of summer coursework in order to be conferred the Master of Arts degree in the summer. These 4 units could be an independent study course.

Prior to the second week of the quarter of graduation, students must file a “Petition for Advancement to Candidacy” for the M.A. with the Economics Graduate Advisors.