Following the campus guidelines for Coronavirus all UC Davis classes, lectures, seminars, labs and discussion sections will move to virtual instruction and remain virtual through the end of Summer Session 2021, including final exams. Given this, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions. To contact staff members of the department via e-mail or phone, please go to our administrative staff contact page.  We anticipate a return to campus for Fall 2021.

Yunjia Gan: Graduate Student

"I love the economics courses at UC Davis, students are not learning by just doing problem sets; instead, we learn economics in the context of the real world."

Name: Yunjia Gan

Major: Economics, minor in Mathematics and Statistics

Current position: Graduate Student, MAPSS ECON (Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences with Economics Concentration), University of Chicago

Graduation Year: 2021


How did your UC Davis education prepare you for your graduate school program?

I love the economics courses at UC Davis, students are not learning by just doing problem sets; instead, we learn economics in the context of the real world: professors often refer to the current news when teaching us new economics concepts, which makes the economics lectures enjoyable, thus students can get good grades.

The mathematics and statistics courses are very helpful for my economics study, since theory based economics courses require a strong background in real analysis, and empirical study expects students to do well in statistics.

A diverse GE requirement like writing, winemaking, and art appreciation courses helped me to build my own interest outside of my major, and brought a lot of fun to my learning experience.


Are there any classes or activities from Davis you found particularly helpful?

I am a big fan of Econometrics ECN 140, Energy Economics ECN125, and Macro International Economics ECN160B (but definitely need to do well in ECN101 to begin with.) These courses are very challenging but will also bring you a lot of fun!

I was very lucky working as an Economics Department undergraduate tutor supervised by Cindy Alvarenga for 4 quarters, and this “learning by teaching” experience had built my confidence in pursuing my interest in economics!

I also attended the “Womxn in Economics” during one quarter, which is a seminar meeting biweekly for undergraduate female students majoring in economics, and the seminar consists of many interesting topics like career planning, new ideas in economics, etc.


Do you have any advice for current students?

I always agree that focusing on study is the definite priority. I highly recommend our current students to listen attentively during lectures, and try best to visit professors and TAs’ office hours on a regular basis. In addition, professor Shen, my favorite econometrics professor, always suggests students to start the homework early, and never procrastinate.

It is also important to enjoy college life (and also life, in general.) During my undergraduate years, I visited the UC Davis arboretum every weekend: while listening to my favorite personal growth podcasts, hanging out with my local friends, or just chilling in nature to prepare for the next week’s study. You will see hummingbirds, bunnies, and ducks quite often at the arboretum -- I heard they can bring you luck!