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Student Life

Little Big Game Volleyball Team

The Department of Economics brings together a unique, diverse mix of people and resources to empower students in crafting their graduate experiences.  

The feel of a typical week as a graduate student depends on the student’s stage in the program. At first, students dive into coursework, working together on problem sets and learning from one another. As students progress, they shift their time towards their own research. At that point, seminars and workshops become the backbone of the schedule. In seminars, students interact with and learn from invited speakers. Workshops provide an opportunity for students to present their works in progress to faculty and to one another. All the while, collaboration is encouraged, and students often co-author with both faculty and one another.

The Department schedules several events each year to promote esprit de corps. Most popular is the annual skit party, which features faculty and student skits. In November, the economics departments of Stanford and UC Berkeley compete against each other in soccer, football and other sporting events in the traditional "Little Big Game". Numerous less formal happy hours, holiday parties and gatherings take place throughout the year.  

Student Organizations, Committees, and Positions

  • EGSA (Social Chairs)

The Economics Graduate Student Association coordinates the annual cube draw, organizing the 2nd year mentor program, numerous social events (eg. happy hours) throughout the year, and activities for the Little Big Game against Cal Berkeley.  The social chairs are volunteers and usually consist of all second year students.

2023-24 Social Chairs:  Elena Vollmer, Edwin Song, Janet Stefanov, Kyra Frye, Sarah Boegl, and Thibault Ingrand

  • We Rise

WE RISE (We Embrace Radical Inclusivity at Stanford Economics) is a student-led organization wihtin the department that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in the department. In addition to specific resource groups such as our "Women in Econ" and "LGBTQ+ in Econ" groups that host quarterly social activities, WE RISE hosts quarterly town halls where we provide updates about on-going projects and discuss potential new initiatives. These town halls are open to anyone in the department, and we are excited to have seen a diverse group at past events! Some recent initiatives include a department-wide walking dinner, a quarterly newsletter as well as undergrad and pre-doc outreach programs. Our mentorship program with Spelman college, a historically black women's college, is another initiative where any student can become active. If you are interested in learning more or becoming active, please feel to reach out to econ-werise [at] (econ-werise[at]stanford[dot]edu)

2023-24 WE RISE Board: Lea Bottmer, Katja Hofmann and Eva Lestant (Graduate Student Inclusion), Sarah Boegl and Elena Vollmer (Women in Econ), Alexia Olaizola (LGBTQ+ in Econ)

  • Graduate Student Committee on the Quality of the Graduate Program (GSC)

The Committee's purpose is (1) to surface concerns and ideas, prioritize, and discuss the priorities with us, (2) where appropriate, assist with the execution of improvements and solutions, and (3) track initiatives to keep momentum.  There is an application process for these volunteer positions and applicants are vetted by the Department Chair.

2023-24 Committee Members:  Eva Lestant, Gideon Moore, Lea Bottmer, Mohamad Adhami (2 open positions)

  • WINGers

WINGS is a School of H&S program to increase graduate student awareness of campus resources supporting wellness.  Each participating department identifies a graduate student wellness representative (aka WINGer). Functioning as local-level information resources, student representatives leverage their relationships and peer network and work within their program’s pre-existing structures to: • Reinforce the importance of wellbeing and wellness • Promote campus resources and services • Reduce stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental health by normalizing stress, the need for coping skills, and help-seeking • Canvas and share student feedback to different services and programs so that the department, school, and university can better respond to student needs Additionally, they may suggest or coordinate workshops or programs for students in their program.  The Director of Graduate Study selects our student representatives each year by putting out a call for volunteers.

Current WINGers:  Helen Kissel and Alain Pineda Pineda

  • Grad Recruitment

The grad recruitment team consists of 3-4 students who take the lead in organizing student activities for the admissions visit day (Flyout) each spring.  Responsibilities include attending Flyout events, recruiting fellow students to participate, matching penpals, coordinating rides and camps tours, and coordinating off-Flyout meetings with students.   This position is often filled by students from both the social chairs and the GSC with help from many students within the department to attend events and network with applicants.

Student & Faculty Relationships

Professional collaboration between students and faculty is also extensive. It is quite common for advanced graduate students to coauthor research papers with faculty members. Students and faculty participate in and present research at the same weekly workshops and seminars. A number of students participate in academic conferences (e.g., Econometric Society meetings, NBER program meetings, etc.) with the support and cooperation of the faculty.


Stanford makes every effort to provide housing for all graduate students. First year graduate students are guaranteed on-campus housing if they are willing to take whatever housing assignment is given to them.  Graduate students are often housed in apartments, either in Escondido Village or Rains, two large housing complexes on campus. Additional housing is found in the surrounding community, and some advanced year students will commute to campus from as far as San Francisco or San Jose.  More information on housing can be found an the Residential & Dining Services website.

Living in Northern California

Of course, student life extends beyond the walls of the department, and graduate students find time to enjoy the many advantages of life in Northern California. On campus, students come together for happy hours, sports, concerts, cultural events, trivia nights and a wide variety of other activities. Off campus, San Francisco, the Pacific Ocean, and numerous natural preserves are a short drive away. When students are taking a break from the curriculum, whether exploring Bay Area neighborhoods or skiing in Tahoe, they can find plenty of opportunities to explore their passions and discover new ones.