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Graduate School

  • Learn what you can do with a Graduate degree in Economics.
  • Visit the American Economics Association website for a complete list of accredited Economics Masters and Ph.D. programs.
  • Read UC San Diego Economics Prof. Yixiao Sun's guide to compiling a successful application.
  • Resources:
  • Entrance Exams: graduate programs typically require students to take a certain standardized test for admission. Students should research what is on the tests, and think about coursework that might assist in those areas.
    • M.A. and Ph.D. Programs generally require the GRE
    • M.B.A. Programs generally require the GMAT
    • J.D. Programs generally require the LSAT
    • M.D. Programs generally require the MCAT
  • Letters of Recommendation (see below)


    Letters from faculty members who know you well are the most useful letters for gaining admission to top 20 PhD programs.  How do you get to know your Professors?

    • Go to office hours and ask questions in class.  Do your best to get to talk with your Professors when you are taking their classes!
    • Consider taking our small Honors classes (100AH-BH-CH, 120AH-BH-CH, or 110AH-BH) and small Topics classes (109T, 165T)
    • Consider becoming a Undergraduate Instructional Assistant or a PSET Tutor/Coordinator

    For Masters programs and PhD programs out of the top 20, it is less clear how important it is to have letters of recommendation from faculty members.  It is still important to find letter writers who know you well!

    How do you get letters of recommendation from your instructors in economics?

    1. If you earned an A+/ A / A- grade in a UC San Diego Economics class and have an e-mail address use the Letter of Recommendation (LOR) System to ask your economics instructors for letters of recommendation. 
  1. 2. If you earned a B+ or lower in a UC San Diego Economics class or you are one of our graduates who no longer has access to their UC San Diego e-mail, please only use the LOR System if the faculty member instructed you to do so.

    • Be sure to let your instructor know why you are not using the Economics LOR System in your e-mail.
    • Please include the following statement in your e-mail, "I consent to the release of personal and educational information about me in the letter of recommendation that I have requested from you. This authorization allows you to release all information about me, within the University’s possession, to the educational institutions I ask you to submit a letter of recommendation to and any centralized application processing services (list by name if possible). This authorization shall remain valid unless and until it is rescinded in writing.”
    • Please note: If you have already graduated, you will need to reactivate your account.
Please see below for a helpful LOR Flowchart: