Preparation for Admission
Prospective students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution with degree standards equivalent to those of the University of California. The degree need not be in economics; a degree in engineering, mathematics, statistics, or another social science may work very well. The student’s cumulative GPA or the equivalent must be 3.0 or higher. In addition, students should have a strong mathematics background including, at a minimum, one year of calculus and courses in linear algebra, statistics and probability. Additional mathematics coursework is desirable. Coursework in economics is also desirable but not necessary. Finally, students must have strong skills in spoken and written English.
Applications to the Ph.D. program in Economics are accepted beginning September 1. Applications must be received by December 1st, late applications will be accepted through December 15th. All students who meet this application deadline will also be considered for financial support, consisting of assistantships and fellowships. The Economics Ph.D. program starts in the fall quarter of each year; consequently, new students are not admitted for the winter or spring quarters.
To apply, go to the UCI Graduate Division website and complete the on-line application for graduate admissions. The application fee is $90 for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents and $110 for all international applicants.
As part of the online application all students must submit an academic statement of purpose detailing their motivations and goals for pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics at UCI. Students who have a strong preference for UCI’s Economics Ph.D. program should credibly signal that preference in their statement of purpose.
The online application also requires that all U.S. citizens and permanent residents provide a personal history statement detailing how their personal background informs their decision to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics. In this statement, students may also discuss how their admission would contribute to social or cultural diversity in UCI’s economics department.
In addition to completing the online application, students must also submit or arrange to have submitted:
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores dated within the last five years. (Test scores from the various GRE subject tests are not required). Request that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) send GRE general test scores directly to UC Irvine using institution code 4859. Recently admitted students to UCI’s Ph.D. program in Economics had mean GRE scores / percentiles as follows: Verbal (159.9 / 84%); Quantitative (165.4 / 90%); Analytical Writing (4.1 / 62%).
- Three letters of recommendation from professionals –preferably academic--who can address the student’s ability to succeed in a rigorous economics Ph.D. program and do original research. These letters can be requested and submitted electronically via the online application system.
- Official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended. These transcripts should be sent directly from the registrar’s office of previous institutions to the UCI Social Sciences Graduate Affairs Office, at this address: Social Sciences Graduate Affairs, Attention: Graduate Admissions (Economics), 3151 Social Science Plaza A, University of California, Irvine, Irvine CA 92697-5100
- TOEFL / IELTS scores, if required –see additional admission procedures for International Applicants below. TOEFL or IELTS test scores should be sent directly to UC Irvine by the testing agency using institution code 4859.
Additional Admissions Procedures for International Applicants (non-U.S. citizens)
UCI's Economics department enthusiastically welcomes applications from students outside the U.S. To be considered for admission and financial support, international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in spoken and written English.
International applicants, including US permanent residents who did not attend for four full years and graduate high school in the United States, can satisfy the English language proficiency requirement by submitting test scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). These test scores must be dated within the last two years.
Applicants taking the internet-based, TOEFL-ibT, must attain a minimum score of 26/30 on the Speaking subsection and a minimum overall score of 80/120 to be considered for admission and financial support. TOEFL scores should be sent directly to UCI by Educational Testing Service using institution code 4859.
Applicants taking the IELTS must attain a minimum speaking sub-score of 8/9, a minimum overall score of 7/9 and no individual module score less than 6/9 to be considered for admission and financial support. IELTS scores should be sent electronically to University of California, Irvine - Graduate Division 120 Aldrich Hall. Irvine, CA 92697.
International applicants who are citizens of certain countries where English is the primary language, (principally, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom) and who have completed all of their educational requirements in those same countries are exempt from this English language proficiency requirement. The complete list of countries where English is considered the primary language can be found on UCI's graduate division website. International applicants who are not citizens of the countries on this list or who did not complete four full years and graduate from a high school in the U.S. must submit English language test scores that meet the minimum requirements stated above in order to be considered for admission and financial support
Admission and financial support decisions are made by the UCI Economics Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee, which bases its judgment on the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, GRE test scores, and tests of English language proficiency (if required).
Letters of acceptance and financial support offers are typically sent out by March 1. Candidates have until April 15 to decide whether to accept such offers.