Econ- UCLA vs. UCB

<p>Hey all,</p>

<p>Just got in with honors at UCLA, so I'm going to assume Berkeley will be good news and now I have a choice to make.</p>

<p>I plan to major in economics, and am most interested in environmental economics. After browsing the elective courses at both schools I was much more impressed with Cal's choices. UCLA's seem a bit general, for example "International Finance, Development Economics, etc." Cal's are more like "The Chinese Economy, Economics of Innovation, etc." Cal also has the College of Natural Resources, and the Environmental Economics and Policy Major, which seems like what I want.</p>

<p>I also read somewhere (students review dot com perhaps) about a self-critique done by the econ department, and they admitted themselves that they had too many students, and not enough professors to offer all the courses they would like.</p>

<p>Has anyone heard anything about this? How should I compare the two departments? Thanks for any help!</p>

<p>Both schools have great programs. I would say Cal is slightly better in Econ.</p>


<p>My take on this, as someone who's a bit removed from undergrad.</p>

<p>It doesn't matter a whole lot outside of maybe wanting to do a PhD some point down the line. Nobody really cares (outside of a few i-banks, who aren't so hot these days ;)), and ultimately the programs are both pretty comparable as an undergrad.</p>

<p>Go by fit. It's going to get you a lot farther than worrying about a few course offerings that may or may not exist after you finish the pre-reqs and GEs anyway.</p>

<p>lol, i will speak from experience. don't come here. ucla economics is weak. not much diversity in course selection, and the courses do not go very indepth. i thought that ucla and cal are comparable. they aren't. i listened to a nobel prize winning economist at cal lecture versus buddin, an upper division econ teacher. sure, same stuff. buddin is nice, but he just does not provide teh same insight.</p>

<p>I would choose UCB over UCLA, because then you won't risk taking courses with Prof. Thompson, who is the most unprofessional Economics lecturer I have ever endured. :rolleyes:</p>

<p>Thompson's as bad as I've heard?</p>

<p>And you won't have to endure Hou :p</p>

<p>ugh, agreed. the econ department here is weak. econ can be so interesting, but the classes/professors here are a nightmare. the only one that has any sort of brilliance in it is professor matthew kahn's environmental economic classes. he's in the league with the top dogs in the field... steven levitt (known to the general public as the freakonomics guy), and a bunch of nobel laureates. but more importantly, he's probably the only guy teaching economics here who can impart his brilliance and make the subject really interesting.</p>

<p>anyway, the point is, im willing to bet that berkeley's econ department is better.</p>


<p>I've taken econ at UCLA, UCSD, and have friends who did it at Penn, Cornell, and Cal.</p>

<p>It's the "dismal science" for a reason. You can't make lemonade out of chalk.</p>


Let's just say that he has an axe to grind with Keynesian macroeconomic models. :rolleyes:</p>

<p>I'd go with Cal on this one, just seems like a better overall program.</p>


<p>There's a lot to be said about Keynesian macroeconomic models... but not all of it is good. Not that I think it's the undergrad level where it should be worked on, though.</p>


<p>And if the OP changes majors like so many undergrads, only to find that he/she doesn't like the campus?</p>

<p>Picking your undergrad campus based on one major is like picking the city you live in based on one restaurant.</p>

<p>In general it's not a good idea to pick campuses based on major, I agree, but in this case I'm pretty set. I've read all the books, spoken to the professors, listened to the podcasts, etc. I'm on a gap year, and after living here in China I feel more strongly about it than ever.</p>

<p>Thanks all for the candid feedback. Still another 2 weeks or so until all those decisions come back. It's an exciting time indeed.</p>


<p>Just so you don't do anything you'll regret, I want you to know that I was exactly like you when I started UCLA. I chose the school for specific departments. I lucked out in the fact that I enjoyed the campus, but my career goals shifted a lot after my second year there.</p>

<p>Just be careful. :)</p>