UCI PhD Program

graduate program



why uci economics?

When Nikki Tavasoli was thinking about where she wanted to pursue her graduate degree in economics, UC Irvine was at the top of her list.

“UCI has so many professors who are so esteemed and high ranking in their fields – I wanted to come here and absorb their knowledge and expertise,” she says. “I also chose to come to UCI because of the great funding they provide.”

Ranked #24 among all public economics programs in the country (U.S News & World Report), the UCI graduate program in economics offers admitted students 5 years of guaranteed funding.

Scholars in the department have a proven track record of earning competitive research funding from national agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Army Office of Research, and U.S. Department of Agriculture; from private foundations including the Russell Sage Foundation and Arnold Foundation; and from campus-level fellowships, such as the Public Impact, Fletcher Jones and Chancellor’s Club fellowships.



“UCI excels in economics because of the way it provides students with so many great research opportunities – both within the department and across campus through interdisciplinary work,” Nikki says.

For her, that means getting access to real consumer data for her research on health economics – specifically how nutritional characteristics and pricing schemes impact consumer dietary choices. And she also gets to work with faculty in medicine as well as economics to better understand her field.

“These are unique opportunities that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere,” she says.

And it’s true – the department has achieved national stature by attracting well-known senior scholars to its faculty and through the advancement of a host of young economists who have achieved national prominence for breaking new research ground in exciting fields. And graduate students have incredible opportunities to publish alongside these world-renowned faculty.

The economics department has 28 permanent faculty members with research and teaching interests that span a broad range of fields. In addition to strengths in micro theory, macroeconomics and econometrics (Bayesian and classical), the department has expertise in many applied fields, including:

  • Economic history
  • Industrial organization
  • International economics
  • Labor economics
  • Public choice
  • Public finance
  • Transportation economics
  • Urban economics

UCI economists pursue research with real-world policy impacts in areas including minimum wage debate, California policy toward enterprise zones, regulation of airline alliances, California high-speed rail demand forecasts, and public health. And students have an opportunity to earn a master’s degree while in pursuit of their Ph.D.

For graduate students, there’s also a healthy work-life balance when grad life gets stressful.

“Life as a UCI Ph.D. student is really fun. We go to the beach, hang out with friends, hit any one of the number of different restaurants around town…we find time to work and play here,” Nikki says. It’s easy to do when your school is less than 10 miles from Newport Beach on a 1,500 acre campus with endless running and hiking trails. And not to mention UCI is the #1 university committed to economic diversity and upward mobility (The New York Times College Access Index) and the #9 ranked public university in the U.S.(U.S. News & World Report).

Graduate students from UCI’s economics program have gone on to work in high-tech startups, research consultancy companies, government offices, and in professorial posts around the world. A quick sampling of recent placements:

  • Amazon
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • Clemson University
  • U.S. Federal Reserve
  • Office of the Comptroller of Currency
  • Purdue University
  • SUNY Buffalo
  • Tulane University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury
so what are you waiting for?

If full funding, opportunities to publish and a proven track record of excellence in the field are what you’re looking for in a graduate program, contact us today to learn more about UCI economics.

William Branch, Department Chair
wbranch@uci.edu | 949.824.4221

Dan Bogart, Graduate Director
dbogart@uci.edu | 949.824.3191

John Sommerhauser, Graduate Advisor
jdsommer@uci.edu | 949.824.4074

application deadline:

December 1

Apply today!


Associate Economist (Research Assistant) at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Associate Economist (Research Assistant)
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Interactive website:

Job Summary:
Conducts statistical and economic analyses of current macroeconomic, microeconomic, and regional data, andprovides research support for the economists. The level of work required is considered entry-level and staff work under direct supervision. This job has no direct reports. This position is structured as part of a two-year program.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
*Supports the economists in their basic and applied research by following instructions to perform tasks including collecting data, conducting moderately complex statistical analysis, writing statistical software programs, and organizing the presentation of results
*Researches economic topics for economists’ articles; on some of these occasions, the efforts will be substantial enough to constitute collaboration with the economists (or department management), leading to jointly authored articles
*Prepares a variety of charts, tables, and descriptive text for Department management or other staff economists to use in their briefings of the President and the Board of Directors
*Follows instructions to research and organize background materials for presentations to the President;responds to other System-wide directives and requests
*Performs other duties as requested
Education and Experience:
*Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Finance, Business, Mathematics, or related field with emphasis on quantitative and/or analytical skills
Application Requirements:
*To be considered, all applications must include a Cover Letter, Resume, Unofficial Transcripts, and Letter of Recommendation
*Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or hold green cards with the intent to become a U.S. Citizen

RA positions in Stanford and Washington DC for 2017-18 (deadline to apply: March 1)

John Friedman, Nathaniel Hendren, and Raj Chetty are looking to hire several students for their Equality of Opportunity Project pre-doctoral fellows program. These positions will be based either at Stanford or in Washington DC for academic year 2016-17.

They are looking for students to work with them for 1-2 years after they graduate from college (or a Masters program). In addition to working closely with them as research assistants, the pre-doctoral fellows typically co-author papers with other students or faculty. The program thus serves as a good bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in applied microeconomics.

Further details and application instructions are available in the attached document or this website.

They are accepting applications until March 1, 2017.

Columbia Business School – 2017 Summer Internship: Deadline to Apply is March 1, 2017

Columbia Business School (CBS) is seeking outstanding applicants for the 2017 Summer Research Internship program.  The highly selective program provides an intellectually stimulating environment and exposes the students to the world of business research.  Several of the top interns have gone on to leading MS and PhD programs in Economics, Finance, Computer Science and Data Sciences.  Many have been selected to join CBS afterwards as full-time Research Associates.

Under the guidance of Columbia Business School’s leading faculty, interns will take an active role on a research project in one of the following areas: Finance, Economics, Marketing, Management, Decision Sciences, Operations, Accounting, and Data Analytics.

This is a multi-disciplinary program and candidates from all backgrounds, including Business, Statistics, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, the Physical Sciences, and the Social and Behavioral Sciences, are encouraged to apply.

Prospective interns must have the following qualifications:

  • Enthusiasm for research and intellectual curiosity
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Basic knowledge of statistics and/or econometrics
  • Behavioral projects in Marketing or Management require knowledge of SPSS and prior experience in a psychology laboratory
  • Quantitative projects in Accounting, Decision, Risk, & Operations, Finance and Economics, Management, and Marketing require strong programming skills:
    • STATA required for projects in Finance, Economics, and Management
    • Matlab, R or Python required for projects in Marketing or DRO
    • SAS or STATA required for projects in Accounting
    • Experience in Python or C/C++ is a plus

The internship program is designed for undergraduate students in their sophomore or junior year and first-year Masters students.  Exceptional students from other classes are considered on a case-by-case basis.

The program runs from May 30, 2017 – August 4, 2017 (tentative dates).  On-campus housing and a stipend will be provided.

The Application Deadline is 11:59pm EST on March 1, 2017. 

Apply early.  Applications will be reviewed beginning mid-January and positions may be filled on a rolling basis.  The application process is highly competitive. Only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.

To apply, please fill out the application form through the following website: http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty-research/research/job-opportunities/summer-research-internship