So I've been viewing these forums for a long while now, and would love to get some advice on what I should do/where to apply.
Type of Undergrad: BA Economics, fairly well known Southern LA college
Undergrad GPA: 3.73/4.0, Econ 4.0 (bad first year, just one B after)
Type of Grad: N/A
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: 800Q,620V, 4.0
Math Courses: Calc 1,2,3, (B,A,A), Discrete Math, Linear Algebra, Diff Eq, Advanced Calculus I (All A's), Advanced Calculus II (in progress)
Econ Courses: A lot, all A's
Grad Courses: In progress: Regression Analysis I (STAT), PDE, Complex Analysis I
Letters of Recommendation: 2 from Econ professors, both know me personally and should be good, but not top 10 PhD grads or anything. One is highly published, the other fresh from PhD. 1 from ACal math professor.
Research Experience: Senior thesis
Teaching Experience: N/A
Research Interests: Behavioral economics, possibly econometrics/development economics
SOP: Looking for advice for Fall 2012!!
Concerns: Extremely many.
So, I graduated from my LA college in May 2011 (that's my 3.73), Distinction in Economics, Cum Laude. However, I realized after graduating that I would also like to pursue a PhD in Economics, etc., so I got a full time job (not economics related) but have also been full time at my state's flagship university. I had only had Cal I during my UG (B, terrible), but over summer took Cal II, Lin. Alg. (A,A), and in the fall took Honors. Cal. III, ACal I, Discrete, Diff Eq. (All A). I am currently in ACal II, Complex, PDE, Regression Analysis (all but ACal II grad). These should all be As so far, possibly a B in PDE. At least so far I have all As in mathematics since graduating.
Now, I applied to a few schools this cycle, but nothing good has come from it so far, and I have personal reasons to stay here anyway, so will most likely be applying next cycle. As well, next year I am hoping to take Graduate level Econ courses (Econometrics I, Micro Theory I, Note: this university is PhD granting, but not ranked; top 50 business, but I'm sure that doesn't really matter). I am also looking to take Graduate level Introduction to Probability Theory (STAT) and Grad Reals I.
Apart from classes, I am trying to talk to the department here about getting some type of RA position, but this is difficult since I haven't taken Economics courses at this institution yet, but I will see. Tutoring for economics seems out of the question, again because I haven't taken economics courses here yet. However, I may be able to for mathematics, not sure how hopeful this is. Last, judging from what people have said from this forum, I am hoping to gain more economics LORs (at least one) to replace my mathematics letter of recommendation.
Okay, so I know this was a lot of information, but basically I want to apply for the Fall 2012 cycle. I know it is early to ask for much advice, since I don't have spring grades in yet, not sure about RAing or other opportunities, etc., but I am just wondering where all I should look at applying. I expect that 20-30 would be a very far reach, so probably hoping for 30-50? (Funding definitely preferred). I have the obvious concerns of being out of school for over a year at the time of application (because I was unprepared), so I expect to be at a disadvantage to students applying before their degrees end, ceteris paribus.
I know this has been longwinded, so if you do have any advice, comments or suggestions (about anything, I haven't asked many questions, I know), please feel free to post, I would really appreciate it. And if not, that's cool too!! Thanks!
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