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University & Department Requirements for Ph.D. Students:

Thank you for inquiring about the program requirements for doctoral students in the Department of Economics at UC San Diego. Specific information on the doctoral program course and requirements can be found in the corresponding pages on the left. Please review all resources thoroughly, including the Graduate Division FAQ, and should you have additional questions, please email us at

While matriculating through the program, it is expected that a doctoral student or candidate in good standing will:

  • maintain full time status (12 units) to be eligible for financial support
  • complete a minimum of 6 quarters in residence
  • pass the qualifying examinations
  • complete a computation course (ECON 280)
  • complete an empirical project (as part of ECON 220F)
  • maintain at least a 3.0 GPA
  • complete the elective requirements
  • successfully complete an oral qualifying examination
  • complete a second year Spring written project
  • complete a third-year original paper
  • complete and successfully defend a dissertation
  • must complete Graduate Research Workshop (Econ 286) at least one time to maximum of four times

Notes: There is no foreign language requirement. The typical program matriculation time is 5 years. Program requirements are subject to change.

Typical Program

A math review course (ECON 205) is offered prior to fall quarter. This is an intensive review of analysis, single and multi-variable calculus, and optimization and is designed to prepare entering students for their first year of study.  Entering students with confidence in their mathematical skills are not required to take the course.  However, all students are required to pass the final exam in this class.

Throughout the duration of the program each student is required to maintain full-time enrollment status, at least 12 units, to be eligible for any form of financial support. Excellent supplements to the schedule of core and elective courses to ensure full-time enrollment status are: ECON 291, ECON 297, ECON 299 and ECON 500A-B-C.

All core and elective courses taken to fulfill program requirements must be taken for a letter grade (unless otherwise specified below). Economics course titles and descriptions are online.

Note: F-1 students, with an EN75 and EN77 major, are eligible to apply for STEM OPT and extend the employment authorization benefits (approved April 2019). Current F-1 regulations allow for 12 months of OPT and an additional 24 months (total of 36 months) of OPT for those in STEM qualified fields. Visit the UC San Diego International Students &  Programs Office (ISPO) OPT website for details and updates.  EN75 and EN77 falls under the category of Econometrics and Quantitative Economics.

Typical Progression

1st Year: Core Courses
Fall Quarter
  • ECON 200A: Microeconomics
  • ECON 210A: Macroeconomics
  • ECON 220A: Introductory Econometrics
  • ECON 280: Computing
Winter Quarter
  • ECON 200B: Microeconomics
  • ECON 210B: Macroeconomics
  • ECON 220B: Introductory Econometrics
Spring Quarter
  • ECON 200C: Microeconomics
  • ECON 210C: Macroeconomics
  • ECON 220C: Introductory Econometrics
2nd Year: Core Courses and Electives
Fall Quarter
  • ECON 220D: Econometrics Course
  • Elective Courses
Winter Quarter
  • ECON 220E: Econometrics Course
  • Elective Courses
Spring Quarter
  • ECON 220F: Econometrics Course
  • Elective Courses
3rd Year
Fall Quarter
  • ECON 285: Pre-Candidacy Presentation*
  • ECON 296: Original Research Paper****
  • Elective Courses
Winter Quarter
  • Complete electives
  • OPTIONAL- ECON 291: Advanced Field Advising and/or ECON 297: Independent Study**
Spring Quarter
  • ECON 285: Pre-Candidacy Presentation*
  • ECON 296: Original Research Paper****
  • Econ 286: Graduate Research Presentation Workshop***

* ECON 285 is recommended to be taken for S/U grading option.

** Econ 291 & 297 require Instructor approval in advance of registration. See a Graduate Program Coordinator for details.

***ECON 286 must be taken for S/U grading option at least one time and a maximum of four times.

**** ECON 296 course units range from 1 to 12; it should be taken for a maximum of 6 units each of the two quarters.