Hello all! I am a Canadian student pursuing a degree in pure math with little to no econ background. Just recently I've started to get interested in economics and would like to apply to the Canadian masters programs (and the UWO PhD). Below is my profile:
Type of Undergrad: Undergrad in pure mathematics at Waterloo
Undergrad GPA: 83~84% (So a 3.7 GPA by my best guess?)
GRE: TBA (See below)
Math Courses: (A brief list of the ones that may be relevant) Calc I,II,III(A+,A,A+); LA I,II(B,A-), Real analysis(A-); Complex analysis(A); Lebesgue Measure/Fourier Analysis(A-); Topology (A+) (though it was mostly algebraic); Probability(A); Stats(A-); Intro DEs(A); Another probabilty course (A-); Measure Theory(upcoming); Functional Analysis(upcoming); Linear regression(upcoming);
Econ Courses: Into Micro (A-); Intro Macro (B+); Finance I (B); Finance II (A+); Micro Theory III (an undergrad course that is about on the level of Varian's Microeconomic analysis, upcoming); Intermediate Macro (upcoming)
Letters of Recommendation: I have all my LORs set up for applications to math programs, but I'm thinking to only use one these for my econ applications; it would be a very strong (I think) letter from the prof I'm currently doing research with. As for an econ letter of recommendation, I will try to get an letter of recommendation from the prof that is teaching me micro in the fall.
Research Experience: I've done two URAs in math, the most recent one is working on a pretty interesting (but pretty abstract) problem in point-set topology.
Teaching Experience: Full-time TA for a first year computer science course
Research Interests: No idea, but given my background and what I think my interests are it would be in the realm of micro.
SOP: I don't know yet, possibly talking about my research experience in math and how I only recently started discovering what grad. econ was all about.
Concern: Essentially no background in econ at all. I'm not happy with my A- marks in real analysis and lebesgue measure, but I've been told that these courses are not typical RA I/II courses since they are essentially designed uniquely for the pure math majors. Since I'd be curious to know I'll post their course descriptions:
Normed and metric spaces, open sets, continuous mappings, sequence and function spaces, completeness, contraction mappings, compactness of metric spaces, finite-dimensional normed spaces, Arzela-Ascoli theorem, existence of solutions of differential equations, Stone-Weierstrass theorem.
Lebesgue measure on the line, the Lebesgue integral, monotone and dominated convergence theorems, Lp-spaces: completeness and dense subspaces. Separable Hilbert space, orthonormal bases. Fourier analysis on the circle, Dirichlet kernel, Riemann-Lebesgue lemma, Fejer's theorem and convergence of Fourier series.
Applying to: U of T, UBC, UWO, Queen's, SFU(?)
A quick question about GREs: Both U of T and UWO recommend them for some subset of the students that apply. Given my background should I think about taking the GREs?
Thanks for reading!
You bring up a good point; I was thinking that all those programs only required two LORs, but UBC requires three. In that case as it stands right now I don't have have any way to get a second econ letter of recommendation, but as of a few days ago I've decided to take a contract theory course in the fall (if I can get in to it) so I guess there is potential there for my third. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!
Another question: Even if the school says they only require two LORs, is three recommended? Will they even read the third?
Your grades are definitely fine. Being somewhat familiar with both the Canadian and American systems, let me just say that grade inflation is a much more serious problem in the U.S. than in Canada. You'll quite often see some concern about getting an A- in real analysis on this forum, but IMO they're unwarranted even for the American system, and definitely not a matter of concern for a Canadian. As for the course syllabus, the first one seems like a combination of a typical intro analysis/point set topology course mixed with functional analysis, while the second one is a typical grad analysis course in the U.S. (undergrad at some institutions, but nonetheless taken after one or two courses in real analysis). The amount of material covered is quite impressive.
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