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Thread: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

  1. #31
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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

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    Then I am curious why adcoms always recommend US undergrads to go straight applying for Phd. Just from my Micro I experience, An econ undergrad can't really compete against people who got Econ MA or switched from other Econ Phd programs unless they are literally outsmarting and outperforming those people mentioned above.

    Thanks for the advice about Micro II, however, after some mental struggles and challenges, I still want to take Micro II to challenge myself. Deep in my mind I don't think I am worse than Phd students. Micro II will probably ruin my last semester in college, but I don't want give up and admit I am not better than Phd students, at least not right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by chateauheart View Post
    ^This is not a unique issue. Many European students will have encountered more than half of these materials in their master's courses; some European/Asian students will even have seen them in advanced undergrad courses. Every American undergrad is disadvantaged.

    In my alma mater, I'd say about 10 students per year are in the intersection of undergraduates who got an A in the honors real analysis sequence, and students who got an A in the most difficult undergrad micro theory course. About 5 of them try to take grad micro I every year, and afaik, 2 students over a period of five years (/25) got an A, 4 students in total received B or better, and the rest had worse grades or withdrew. Only 1 student continued on to grad micro II.

    Taking grad micro is rarely feasible for American undergrads, unless you're at one of the top UGs where PhD econ programs are known for having a relatively easy first-year curriculum (MIT, Harvard, Chicago, Berkeley). It's also why it's a very strong signal if you do well, and applicants directly graduating from #30-#60 programs almost always need grad econ courses to jump straight to top 10-15 PhD programs. But 99% of students from your starting position didn't have a chance to begin with. This endeavor is as difficult as getting a position at Goldman Sachs while coming from a school they don't recruit at. Getting a B in micro I doesn't hurt you on that front - it's not worse than 99% of your fellow undergrads. Spending too much time on micro II, then getting an average/below-average grade, would probably hurt you. You can try to make your application excel in other aspects with all that time, such as working on a good senior thesis, and getting serious research assistance experience.

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    This thread makes me want to take graduate level micro next year. What does it normally take for professors to allow you to take it? I have great grades in mathematics courses, but while I have a 4.0 in economics, I haven't taken that many courses (I'll have taken the advanced theory courses though and a few others). Also would it ever be possible to take grad micro and grad macro at the same time? I would probably only take them and then a math course. Or is that considered to be outrageous?

    This thread makes it clear to me that it's a risk to take it at all, but like Jayd I tend to be very confident in my own ability, so advice would be nice - thanks.

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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    Professors of grad classes will say yes and talk about the incentive/risk/rationale behind it. Similar to you, I also have a 4.0 GPA in economics and 3.9 GPA in mathematics before I took Micro I. If you you want to take grad classes, work harder than your undergrad classes. I hope this thread will help you because I didn't have the same information as you do back when I enrolled in Micro I. If someone before posted similar things, I would be more informed and thoughtful about Micro I. And be confident about yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
    This thread makes me want to take graduate level micro next year. What does it normally take for professors to allow you to take it? I have great grades in mathematics courses, but while I have a 4.0 in economics, I haven't taken that many courses (I'll have taken the advanced theory courses though and a few others). Also would it ever be possible to take grad micro and grad macro at the same time? I would probably only take them and then a math course. Or is that considered to be outrageous?

    This thread makes it clear to me that it's a risk to take it at all, but like Jayd I tend to be very confident in my own ability, so advice would be nice - thanks.

  4. #34
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    Re: Only got a B in Grad Micro Theory 1

    Hi! I think it's different for each school. I know some places allow undergraduates to take Ph.D. classes with the instructor's permission. At my school, however, the department makes the final call, and there is an application process for it.

    For your second question: It is definitely possible. I have two undergrad friends who took all micro and metrics sequences at the same time last year, and they did better than some of the graduate students. Macro at my school is the easiest sequence of all three. So I think it's possible to take micro and macro at the same time. That being said, it is a lot of work. If you're applying to grad school, take only one sequence and do really well in it. The two friends I mentioned went into industry afterwards.

    As for whether you should take grad classes. If you're considering taking micro (which most peoplel do b/c it sends the strongest signal), then it depends on how good you are at real analysis and topology. If you've done very well in these type of math classes, then you should be fine. Work HARD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
    This thread makes me want to take graduate level micro next year. What does it normally take for professors to allow you to take it? I have great grades in mathematics courses, but while I have a 4.0 in economics, I haven't taken that many courses (I'll have taken the advanced theory courses though and a few others). Also would it ever be possible to take grad micro and grad macro at the same time? I would probably only take them and then a math course. Or is that considered to be outrageous?

    This thread makes it clear to me that it's a risk to take it at all, but like Jayd I tend to be very confident in my own ability, so advice would be nice - thanks.

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