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About the Department

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The Department of Economics was founded in 1964, the same year that UC San Diego admitted its first undergraduates. The Department admitted its first Ph.D. students in 1965 and graduated its first bachelor degree students in 1968.

Since its inception, the faculty and programs of the Department of Economics have grown in number and stature. As of 2013, the Department of Economics has 42 faculty and two research professors (one Nobel Laureate). Four faculty members are Guggenheim Fellows, six are Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 10 are Fellows of the Econometric Society, and 15 are researchers with the National Bureau of Economic Research. The Department is well-known as a powerhouse in econometric theory and microeconomic theory, and now also boasts top groups in macroeconomics, international economics, and several applied-microeconomic fields.

Over the years, the faculty has been committed to a rigorous analytical approach to both teaching and research. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs were initially designed to provide students with a strong foundation in economic theory and econometrics. This was based on the belief that even students with interests in applied fields or policy areas would benefit from having a deep understanding of the principles and methods that are the basis of modern economic analysis.

Public Ivy, UC San Diego is ranked among the top eight public universities for undergraduate education in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and it is ranked 38th among all universities in the United States by the same publication (2013 edition). Approximately 10% of UC San Diego seniors graduate in one of the Department's three undergraduate majors: EconomicsManagement Science, and Joint Mathematics-Economics.

According to the most recent (2017) U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate programs, the UC San Diego Department of Economics is ranked as the 12th best Ph.D. program in the field; and Econometrics, a sub discipline of Economics, is ranked 4th in the nation; Public Finance is ranked 8th, and Development Economics is ranked 10th. The Department's graduate program is strictly a doctoral program, and reflecting the orientation of the faculty, is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in economic theory and econometric methods. Approximately 20-25 graduate students matriculate in the Department each fall, and take approximately five years to complete the Ph.D. degree.

The Department has many strong research groups. Additionally, we have established Research Centers in Applied Economics and Environmental Economics. By selecting one of the research groups, you will find a description of the group and a list of the relevant faculty, including those who are associated with the Department but whose main appointments are elsewhere on campus.  The Economics community at UC San Diego spans the Department, the School of Global Policy and StrategyScripps Institution of Oceanography, the Department of Political Science, the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Rady School of Management.  The faculties of these units, and others on-campus and off, collaborate vigorously on research and instructional programs.