Frequently Asked Questions


What graduate programs does the Department of Economics offer?
The UCSB Department of Economics offers two different graduate program tracks: (1) The Ph.D. in Economics, which normally take 5 years to complete, and (2) Ph.D./M.A. in Economics, which primarily is the Ph.D. program but allows a doctoral student to earn an M.A. in Economics upon successful completion of the first year of the Ph.D. program. We no longer offer the terminal one year M.A. degree in Economics.

I am an prospective international applicant. Can I know my chances of getting admission if I provide you with my educational background, grades and test scores?
We do not pre-screen international or domestic applicants for admissions. We won't give you information on your chance of being admitted or not. You will need to make the determination based on the information we put on our graduate program Ph.D. web page, to determine if you think you should apply.

Do you accept International students into your Ph.D. program?
Yes! We regularly admit international students into the Ph.D. and Ph.D./M.A. programs.

What is the difference in applying to the PHD and the PHD/MA options in the online application?
Applicants who apply to the PHD only, if admitted, will be admitted for only that degree objective. Applicants who apply for the combination PHD/MA have the option of being awarded an MA degree in Economics at the end of their first year in the PHD program, based on the coursework and qualifying exams of that first Ph.D. program year.

How much is the application fee and are application fee waiver available?
The non-refundable graduate application fee is $​105.00 for domestic applicants, and $125.00 for international applicants, paid in US dollars. A limited number of fee waivers are available for qualified US citizens and permanent residents only who demonstrate financial need. McNair Scholars and Project 1000 applicants are among those eligible. Fee waivers are not available to international applicants. Further instructions about fee waivers are available on the Graduate Division Admissions website.

May I get get a paper or printed application?
UCSB no longer offers paper or printed versions of the graduate application.

What is the application deadline?
The deadline depends on which Economics graduate program you are applying to. See our Economics Program Information web page for the yearly deadlines. You are strongly advised to submit your online application and all required supporting materials well in advance of the official deadline.

May I apply after the deadline?
No, do not apply after the deadline unless you have advance permission and instructions from the both the Graduate Division and the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Economics. 99.999% of the time we do not accept late applications.

If you do not receive advance permission to apply after the deadline, do not apply. Your application fee will not be refunded, and your application will not be reviewed.

May I apply to more than one program?
No, only one application may be submitted per application quarter. Simultaneous applications are not accepted.

How many student do you plan to enroll in the Ph.D. program in Economics?
Our goal each year is to have between 12-15 new Ph.D. students start in the Fall quarter. We admit normally 2 1/2 to 3 times that amount and then through offers, declines and recruitment efforts, we then achieve our goal.

How many international students do you enroll in the Economics Ph.D. program? Do you enroll students from mainland China?
We regularly admit international students to the Ph.D. program. We do not have a set number (a quota) that we admit each year. Yes we regularly admit students from China.

Do you accept three year degrees from India?
Yes, we accept three degrees from universities and colleges in India as long as they are from accredited institutions.

What is the standard GPA, GRE and TOEFL scores of applicants?
Average GPA, GRE and TOEFL scores are ​listed online at the Ph.D. program website.  Specific information is found in "Admission" information section of the individual websites"

Do you you accept GMAT score instead of GRE score?
No, we do not (never) accept the GMAT, we only accept valid GRE general exam scores.

How can I determine if I will do well on the GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS?
We suggest that you take a practice test before scheduling and taking the required exams. This will allow you to determine how much you need to study before the exam and whether or not you need more time to study and prepare or possibly take a class offered by a private company, such as:
www.testpreppractice.netsuch or

Can I use a letter service such as Interfolio for my Letters of Recommendation?
Yes, however we do not recommend it since a letter service cannot complete the specific online rankings for each student that is normally completed by the letter writer themselves.. The online application section for the letters of recommendation requires you to type in the following for each person that is writing you a reference letter:

1) Recommenders Name
2) Email Address
3) Name of recommenders home university, institution or place of employment.
4) Completion of the waiver section

What address should I use if I need to mail something for my graduate application to the Department of Economics?

UC Santa Barbara Department of Economics
Attn: Graduate Advisor
North Hall 2120
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9210