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Type of Undergrad: Top 3 Liberal Arts
Undergrad GPA: 3.73
Type of Grad: supplemental math courses
Grad GPA: 4.0
Math Courses: Diff Eq (A-), Linear Algebra (A), Multivariate Calc (A-), Real Analysis (B), Analysis on Manifolds (B+), Discrete (A), Numerical Analysis I/II (A/A), MathStat I/II (A/A), Topology (A)
Econ Courses (grad-level):
Econ Courses (undergrad-level): Intro (Cr), Intermediate Macro (B+), Intermediate Micro (A-), Developmental (A), International (A), Advanced Micro I/II (A/A-), Advanced Macro I/II (A-/A-), Behavioral Econ I/II (B+/A), Econometrics I (A-)
Other Courses: Some psych courses, random humanities courses and intro physics
Letters of Recommendation: one from my undergrad advanced micro prof, two from research economists at a regional Fed (one junior economist, one sernior), both should be strong letters highlighting my research ability.
Research Experience: 2.5 years as an RA at a regional Fed. Two minor publications, with a third in progress. Research mostly in macro-labor, consumer finance and macro.
Teaching Experience: Some tutoring in college. Nothing really worth mentioning.
Research Interests: macro-labor, macro, search and matching
SOP: Discussed my research experience with the Fed, how my experience as an RA shaped my research interests. Highlighted the research skills I acquired over the course of the job
Concerns: B/B+ in my real analysis courses. Hoping my A in topology will help make up for these low-ish grades.
Other: Second year applying to PhD programs. Aimed very high last year and missed (was wait listed at UMN). Hoping that another year of research experience, an A in topology, applying to the NSF and an improved letter of recommendation will get me into the top 20.
Applying to: Yale, Northwestern, UPenn, Minnesota, Wisconsin-Madison, Penn State, Rochester, Ohio State, Georgetown, Arizona State, Western Ontario, Carnegie Mellon, Pitt, Boston University
Acceptances: UW-Madison($), Ohio State ($), ASU($), Pitt($)
WL: UPenn (withdrawn), Minnesota (withdrawn), Penn State (withdrawn)
Rejections: Yale, NWU, Rochester, Georgetown, CMU, BU
Pending: Western Ontario
Attending: UW-Madison Econ/Finance joint PhD
Comments: Very happy to be attending UW-Madison. Great fit for me and a very strong program. I owe a lot to my letter writers who really went to bat for me.
What would you have done differently? I had no idea that I wanted to pursue an econ PhD during my undergrad and as a result, my RA grades were not as good as they could have been. I partially offset this with an A in topology at a lower ranked institution, but the damage was done. I think that if I had A's in RA1 and RA2 I could have cracked the top 10. I also would have studied for the AW of the GRE. I naively assumed that, being a native English speaker and a pretty good writer, I would ace this section. Turns out they are looking for something very specific in your essays, which I apparently did not have.
In (Funding):OSU ($), Pitt ($), ASU($), UWM E/F ($) Out:Yale, Rochester, NWU, BU, Gtown, CMU WL: UPenn, UMN, PSU