Graduate Student Spotlight - Harsh Gupta

Harsh Gupta

"The Economics Department creates an environment where rigorous academic research is done with an emphasis on well-being.  I am learning the skills necessary to become a better researcher through classes, seminars, advice from leading scholars, and discussions with peers. Equally importantly, I am thoroughly enjoying the process because of an amazing network of friends and mentors."

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Why Stanford?

When you’re looking at top-notch grad schools, we all have a lot in common. Prominent faculty. Prestigious institutions. Path-breaking research. Yes, you will acquire the background and skills necessary for careers as research economists, university teachers, and as practitioners of economics. But how that happens is what makes Stanford stand out.

  • How will you collaborate with peers and faculty?
  • How will you transition from student to researcher?
  • What will your daily experience be like?  

We have spent the last several years refining our programs, listening and iterating to focus on what will create the very best student experience. We eliminated Comprehensive Exams because they were causing more stress than success. We created a First Year Seminar Series to connect students with faculty from day one, and to give them constant exposure to current research instead of just tools and methods. We carefully cultivated a supportive and welcoming culture that emphasizes teamwork and collaboration. And, in the spirit of Silicon Valley innovation, we never stop looking for ways to improve.

The Stanford Difference


Open and encouraging, less stressful and more cooperative. Your mental health and academic health are equally important here. And, whether you pursue an academic or industry career, you have our support—unconditionally.


Group work is highly encouraged—with peers and faculty alike. We make important decisions affecting our students only after consultation and discussion. We value student input. And there are no research fiefdoms – you can move freely between advisors and subfields.

Cross Disciplinary

Economics is increasingly a cross-disciplinary field. The beauty of studying here is that you can take courses, collaborate, and research with faculty from equally top-notch departments across the university, including Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Psychology, and Political Science, as well as groups within the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Business, the School of Education, and the Law School.


Our program is intentionally designed to foster student connections—with each other, our faculty, and even tech firms in nearby Silicon Valley. Programs like the First Year Seminar Series, Second Year RA Match, and Third Year Seminars where students present their work-in-progress and papers to peers and faculty, can lead to co-authorships and lifelong collaborations. 


Never underestimate the power of sunshine and fresh air. That’s what you’ll experience almost every day you’re here.