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What undergraduate courses are useful for Econ PhD application


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So after over a decade, I am back to this forum. Very surprised that my profile still remains and my password works. I initially found this place and joined back in 2005 (yes you read that right), when I was a junior investment banker, and a year later I started the life changing adventure of getting my Econ PhD. For what it's worth, I want to share the courses I took as an undergrad and also rank (with the advantage of hindsight) how helpful each course was to my PhD pursuit. Perhaps this would help some with their course selection.


In a separate and tangentially related note, the PhD has given me what I wanted out of it and more, but if you managed to read through a lot of my old posts, you would have guessed correctly that what I wanted out of my PhD was quite different from the norm in the first place, but that's a different conversation. I still publish academically for fun, but am not a full time academic. Good luck to all and good to be back.


So below are the courses I have taken as an undergrad, and the numbers next to the course names are my assessment of how useful they were for PhD courses.

5-Must have

4-Good to have

3-If the instructor is influential enough in the field

2-Not that helpful

1-Not useful but had to take it for graduation


First year fall quarter:

Elements of Econ Analysis 1 (intermediate micro I), 4

Philosophical perspectives 1, 1

Calculus-3, 4

Stat Meth and Applications, 5


First year winter quarter:

Elements of Econ Analysis 2 (intermediate micro II), 4

Elements of Econ Analysis 3 (intermediate macro I), 4

Philosophical Perspectives 2, 1

Analysis in Real Numbers 1, 5


First year spring quarter:

Elements of Econ Analysis 4 (intermediate macro II), 4

Econometrics A, 5

Philosophical Perspectives 3, 1

Analysis in Real Numbers 2, 5


Second year fall quarter:

Introductory game theory, 3

Analysis on real numbers 3, 5

Basic Algebra 1 (honors), 2

Power, Identity, Resistance 1, 1


Second year winter quarter:

Colonization/servitude/slavery, 1

International Trade/Economic Growth, 3

Basic Algebra 2 (honors), 2

Power, Identity, Resistance 1, 1


Second year spring quarter:

Introduction to Finance, 3

Basic Complex Variables, 2

Intro to math probability, 5

Power, identity, resistance 3, 1


Third year fall quarter:

Art of China, 1

Theory of Income (PhD level macro), 3

America in Western Civ 1, 1


Third year winter quarter:

America in Western Civ 2, 1

Point Set Topology, 2

Ordinary Differential Equations, 4

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