David Sunding

David Sunding

Studying at UC Berkeley's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

The University of California, Berkeley offers the world's premier graduate program in the field of agricultural and resource economics. Our objective is a graduate program that produces outstanding researchers in applied economics and policy, specializing in problems of agriculture, natural resources, international development, energy and the environment, both domestically and internationally.

Why should you apply?

First, we provide outstanding training for our graduate students. Our faculty members are committed to teaching and working closely with our students. Our classes are small, and we have a strong tradition of one-on-one mentoring of each student. Our teaching stresses state-of-the-art theory and econometrics coupled with knowledge of the key policy issues of the day.

Our department is ranked by the National Research Council as first in the nation in the field of agricultural and resource economics (with a 95% confidence interval of [1,1]). The department is top-ranked among programs in the field in terms of academic reputation, faculty research productivity, and student satisfaction.

Second, students in our department can take advantage of outstanding courses offered throughout UC Berkeley, including the Department of Economics and the Haas School of Business. Some students attain a master's degree in Berkeley's Department of Statistics while they work on their PhD in our department.

Berkeley enjoys great strength throughout the range of its graduate programs. In the latest National Research Council ranking of graduate programs, Berkeley had the highest number of top-ranked doctoral programs (including ours) in the nation. Over the past decade, more NSF Fellowship recipients chose Berkeley than any other graduate school. The 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, compiled by the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, rates UC Berkeley as number three in the world (after Harvard and Stanford but before MIT, Princeton, Columbia and Chicago).

Third, our department has the best placement history of any agricultural and resource economics department in the world. Our graduates work in a number of top departments of agricultural and resource economics, public policy, economics and business. Others of our graduates work in government agencies, nonprofit agencies, and business.

Fourth, much of the research work in the department is done collaboratively with students. Many papers are co-authored by students and faculty every year.

Fifth, there's no finer place to live than the San Francisco Bay Area. Berkeley itself offers the lively background of one of America's most culturally diverse and politically adventurous small cities. The natural environment is spectacular, and the climate is attractive year-round. Local recreational opportunities abound, and many national parks are only hours away.

Because we can admit only a small number of candidates to the Ph.D. degree program, we are able to select some of the most outstanding minds from around the world. We strive for a talented and diverse class to enhance the student body on which the excellence of our teaching and research programs very much depends.

Thanks to resources the Department derives from the University of California, the Giannini Foundation, endowed chairs and ongoing research grants, we are able to provide financial support to most of our students. Please examine our website to learn more about the structure of our graduate program, our faculty, and our ongoing research activities.

Prof. David Sunding

Thomas J. Graff Professor of Natural Resource Economics
Chair, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics