Type of Undergrad: top 40 Research University - Applied Math, Minors in Econ & Poli Sci
Undergrad GPA: 3.5
Type of Grad: N/A
Grad GPA: N/A
Math Courses: Calc I, Calc II, Calc III, Diff EQ, Numerical Analysis, Discrete Math, Abstract Algebra, Linear Algebra, Complex Analysis, Number Theory, Knot Theory, Real Analysis I, Real Analysis II, Crypto, Probability Theory, Math Modelling, Parallel Computing, Couple of research seminars.
Econ Courses (grad-level): N/A
Econ Courses (undergrad-level): Prin of Macro, Prin of Micro, Healthcare Econ, Monetary Econ, International Trade/Finance, Public Finance
Other Courses: Physics through QM & relativity, lots of PoliSci, lots of computer science
Letters of Recommendation: 1 Economist (highly regarded, good relationship with him), 2 Applied Mathematicians (with whom I did research), all from top Universities
Research Experience: Paper on International Trade & Exchange Rates with heavy use of mathematical models & differential equations
Teaching Experience: No classroom experience, but tutored some freshman engineering/math courses, and ran town halls for Healthcare reform, which is kind of similar
Research Interests: Monetary Economics, Public Finance
SOP: Explaining why I want to do Econ with such a varied background, trying to tie in lots of experiences and such to explain why I would both succeed in and be committed to, the program.
Concerns: Not enough econ, especially Intermediate theory courses (I picked up a lot taking advanced courses, but this is a hole in my app), though my Econ recommend-er told me not to worry based on coursework for him. Not the best grades in Probability & Abstract Algebra, overall a pretty low GPA for most of these programs.
Other: Not totally related, but Political Candidate (for State Rep, won my primary!, notsomuch in the general), also 2 years as a financial software engineer for a top/recognizable firm. And lots of Finance/Asset Pricing courses from local profs & traders offered by my company.
Rejections: Boston University, Boston College, Notre Dame, Illinois, Indiana
Comments: in Highlander there could only be one...in econ PhD applying all it takes is one. So I'm happy.
What would you have done differently?
There are a lot of obvious ways that, had I known from day 1 of college I wanted to do a PhD in econ, I could have improved my profile greatly and probably would have gotten into higher ranked schools. There are plenty of places on this forum and elsewhere to have those items laid out so I won't belabor the point. Personally I wouldn't have done anything differently, I am happy with my results and am sure that my experiences (however unrelated to what adcoms want to see) will serve me well going forward.