About the Department

The Department of Economics at UC Santa Cruz is a leader in research excellence and innovative teaching.  Offering one of the largest and most diverse academic programs at UC Santa Cruz, we offer three undergraduate programs, a minor, two combined programs with other departments, a Ph.D. program, and a professional masters program (with STEM curriculum).

At the undergraduate level, UC Santa Cruz economics majors are among the most popular on campus, serving diverse students with a broad range of interests. We offer programs in economics, business management economics, global economics, and economics combined with mathematics and economics combined with environmental studies. We offer a full suite of quantitative courses that focus on the ever increasing demand for quantitative analysts in industry and research.  

A notable feature of our undergraduate program is the accounting concentration, which prepares students for rewarding, CPA-level careers in accounting.  The curriculum rivals other top accounting programs in northern California, and is very popular and highly coveted by both students and employers such as the Big Four public accounting firms, private industry and other organizations.  The program is unique because of the rich academic foundation provided by renowned faculty, including practitioners with diverse backgrounds who are able to provide cutting edge instruction infused with real-world applications integrated with theory.

We also prepare students for graduate work in economics, business, and other fields. Our masters students study a technical and quantitative STEM curriculum, and  pursue analytical careers in business, data science finance, accounting, consulting and government.  Our Ph.D. students pursue careers in academia, government and research institutions.

Historically known for its research in international economics, the department is a leader in research excellence in a number of fields.  The department is known for three primary research groups, and associated specialties therein: applied microeconomics and trade; macroeconomics and finance; and behavioral, econometrics, and theory. Each has a regular seminar series, and a graduate workshop to facilitate group mentorship of graduate students. Research excellence is deep in all three groups, with frequent publications in top journals, and regular grant support for those fields that require it.  Many of our faculty are members of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and others contribute to other important professional organizations.  A number of faculty have contributed as lead advisors in major organizations, such as the White House Council of Economic Advisors.