Learn about Graduate Program admission requirements, the minimum acceptable GRE score, and submission of GRE test results.

Admission requirements

What are the admission requirements?

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in economics. Students who did not major in economics should have taken at least intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, and two additional upper-division economics courses. Because of the quantitative nature of the first-year theory sequence, prior completion of at least one year of calculus is essential, and a course in linear algebra is highly desirable. Similarly, at least two courses in statistics, including an upper-division course, are very important as preparation for the econometrics courses. Also see the FAQ section about GRE requirements.

Minimum GPA requirement

Does the Graduate Program have a minimum GPA requirement for admission?

Yes. The minimum overall GPA required for admission is 3.25 (on a 4-point scale).

Is an M.A. a prerequisite?

Must applicants have an M.A. degree before applying to the Ph.D. program?

No, applicants can apply to the Ph.D. program if they have a bachelor's degree and if they meet the other admission requirements

Is an M.A. advantageous?

Are applicants who have already earned an M.A. degree favored for admission over applicants who have only a bachelor’s degree?

Not necessarily. What matters is how well the applicant’s application materials meet the admission requirements.

Computer-based GRE score

Are computer-based GRE scores acceptable?


Minimum GRE score

Does the Graduate Program have a minimum GRE score requirement for admission consideration?

Yes. Applicants with GRE verbal scores below the 60th percentile (30th percentile for non-native speakers of English), GRE quantitative scores below the 70th percentile, or a TOEFL score below 80 (counting all four sections of the iBT TOEFL exam) or below 600 (if paper-based TOEFL exam) will not be considered for admission.

GRE code for UC Davis

What are the institution and department codes for arranging for ETS to send GRE scores to the Economics Department at UC Davis?

The GRE institution code for UC Davis is 4834 (a separate department code is no longer required).

GMAT instead of GRE?

Can GMAT scores be submitted instead of GRE scores?

No, GMAT scores are not acceptable as a substitute for the GRE exam.

Credit for work experience?

Does work experience count in the admission process?

Typically not, since it is not relevant to the pursuit of the Ph.D. in Economics.

Can prereqs be skipped?

If I haven’t taken the required math or economics courses listed in the Admission Requirements, above, can I still be considered for admission?

No. Prerequisites must be fulfilled.

Can prereqs be postponed?

Can I take prerequisite courses when beginning the Graduate Program instead of before applying?

No. These courses must be completed and the grades for them should be included on your transcripts when you apply for admission. UC Davis offers no "conditional admission."

Is GRE exam required?

Is the GRE exam required?

The general GRE exam is firmly required of all applicants, even those who have already earned an M.A. degree. The subject GRE exam, however, is not required.

Where to take GRE exam

How can I get information about taking the GRE exam?

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement your undergraduate records, recommendation letters and other qualifications for graduate-level study. The GRE exam is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the website of which contains information about the GRE.

How long GRE scores remain valid

For how long after taking the GRE will my scores remain valid and acceptable?

If your GRE scores are less than five years old, they are still acceptable. If your GRE scores are five years old, or older, you must retake the GRE.

Submit GRE electronically

How do I arrange for ETS to submit my GRE scores electronically?

If you have contacted ETS and arranged for your test scores to be sent to the UC Davis institution code, that is all you need to do. Although submission of GRE scores electronically is preferred, official scores on paper printouts also are acceptable.

What are my chances?

What are my chances for admission and/or financial aid?

Chances for selection depend on how each applicant's records compare with those of a great many other applicants. We cannot estimate an individual’s chances until all applications have been received and examined.