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Thread: How bad would a masters in mathematics be?

  1. #11
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    Re: How bad would a masters in mathematics be?

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    lakeside972: I understand your point but as someone who recreationally looks at the CVs of top 10-15 econ PhD students and job market candidates, graduates from cheaper international econ degrees are far more represented than US graduates of master's in math/stats (even among candidates with a US undergrad degree). This may could be because the latter degrees are generally much more expensive and after contracting debt to pay for such a degree, your decision calculus changes.

  2. #12
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    Re: How bad would a masters in mathematics be?

    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside972 View Post
    To semi-hijack this thread: I (an American) have a B.A. in history and wanted to pursue an econ Ph.D. My only econ/math coursework had been a few grad-level econ courses.

    I needed to beef up my application with an M.S., so I was debating between an M.S. in math/stats or econ. The handful of economists I talked with told me that an M.S. in econ would be redundant for econ Ph.D ("they plan to teach you the econ themselves") and that few Ph.D programs respected American econ masters programs. The economists said an M.S. in math/stats would be much better ("they want to make sure you won't fail out the first year").

    Thus, I'm now a year into my math/stats M.S. program. I don't have any regrets. I see most of the courses I'm taking are listed on "recommended math prep" lists at econ Ph.D admissions pages. I thus disagree with mathenomic's claim that "a rigorous economics masters would be better."
    This might turn out to be a good choice for you because of your undergrad degree. But note that OP has already had the equivalent of a math major, and is planning for 1 year of PhD math courses in his senior year of undergrad. A master's on top of that is crazily redundant, not to mention he might be regressing into easier material.

  3. #13
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    Re: How bad would a masters in mathematics be?

    @chateurheart Ah, good point, yes.

    Also, for non-admissions reasons: One reason I opted for a math/stats MS is because in the off-chance I don't complete my econ Ph.D (I'm ~80% sure I'd complete it if I got into a program, but hey, you never know) and drop out to get the consolation econ masters, I wouldn't want a redundant 2nd econ masters degree.

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