About the Undergraduate Program

The strong mathematical background of UC San Diego undergraduates allows the Department of Economics to offer a rigorous undergraduate program that provides a strong foundation in quantitative data analysis (econometrics), and microeconomic theory to all our majors.


The faculty, whose research has led the Department to be ranked the 14th best department by the most recent US World and News Report, all teach undergraduate courses. Additionally, several faculty have written undergraduate textbooks including Kate Antonovics (with Robert Frank & Ben Bernanke) on the next edition of "Principles of Economics;" James Rauch (with Gerald Meier), "Leading Issues in Economic Development;" Ross Starr, "General Equilibrium Theory: An Introduction;" and Joel Watson, "Strategy."

Why Choose a Top Research Institution as an Undergrad?

Jacqueline Vallon, an undergrad double-majoring in Mathematics and Economics, and president of the Undergraduate Economics Society, shares her reasons for choosing UCSD:

"Three years ago, I was deciding between several colleges that I could potentially go to. Having been a prospective mathematics and economics major with a business minor, one of the most important factors I was considering was the opportunity to gain one-on-one contact with my professors throughout my college experience. This led me to choosing UCSD, and I was definitely not disappointed. Through coffee with professors, office hours, and many honors series offered to students interested in Economics, UCSD offers a wide array of opportunities to get to know one’s professors and gain mentorship and guidance from them. With the many business organizations offered here at UCSD, I quickly joined the Undergraduate Economics Society, of which I am now President of, as well Women in Business. These organizations have helped me pursue my passions for female empowerment and business simultaneously. Through resources and guidance of remarkable math and economic staff members here at UCSD, who I have worked closely with, I have landed amazing internship opportunities, including at the start-up Portfolium, Inc., Porsche Consulting Group in Germany, and Geico. Currently, I am in the process of applying to numerous PhD in Economics Programs, along with Master Programs in Applied Mathematics. My campus involvements along with the conversations I have held with my professors have been very valuable pieces to my experiences at UCSD and in determining what path I want to take in my life!"

Valerie Ramey, a leading researcher in macroeconomics, Chair of the Department (2011-13), and winner of the Chancellors' Associates Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching explains:

"I teach introductory macroeconomics.One of the skills I teach is how to evaluate the current data to see how the economy is doing and where it is expected to go. I am able to do this because of years of research using macroeconomic data. Also, since it usually takes years for the latest research findings to make their way to undergraduate textbooks, I keep students up-to-date on the latest research findings. I also give them insight into why policy-makers are pursuing particular policies. For example, I have known the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke since I was a graduate student and am well-acquainted with his research. Thus, I can explain to students why the Fed responds so vigorously to credit problems. In a nutshell, the advantage of having active researchers teach undergraduates is that they can take the students far 'beyond the textbook'."

Questions? Check out our FAQ page, or our Virtual Advising Center (for currently registered students), or email (prospective students).

Questions about the student experience? Connect with a current student in our Undergraduate Economic Society (UES) by email, at ues.ucsd.edu, or on Facebook.

Want to Do Research?

Let us know!