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Thread: Should I risk lower grades in grad econ courses?

  1. #1
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    Should I risk lower grades in grad econ courses?

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    I'm currently a Junior at a top-60 national university, and have been cleared to take a PhD level micro theory course, but the professor warned me that she has never had an undergraduate receive above a B+ in her graduate course. Should I risk the lower grade and take the course anyway, or should I stick with an undergraduate econ elective and probably get an A?

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    Re: Should I risk lower grades in grad econ courses?

    Preface: I only have a masters and am not a PhD student so perhaps you should take what I say with a grain of salt.

    You said that you are a junior. Does that mean that you will be a junior in the fall or you just finished your junior year (since most schools are done by now, I wasn't entirely sure what you meant)?

    In either case you have a third option of taking the next highest math course that you can take. I think this option is particularly good if you are a junior in the fall and could take grad micro the following year if you wanted to.

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    Re: Should I risk lower grades in grad econ courses?

    I've faced the same situation and risks, and I ended up not taking grad micro. I do think this depends on a case-by-case basis though. I've personally had a couple faculty recommending me to not take grad micro at my school, considering that no undergrad has fared well. Instead, they told me to focus on other aspects of my application (RA position, senior thesis, math grades, etc). The senior thesis is especially important, since this will determine the strength of the recommendation letter you get out of it.

    This is only one data point though, and I'm also an undergrad. So take my advice with a grain of salt

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    Re: Should I risk lower grades in grad econ courses?

    @impliedvol Sorry for being vague , I am a rising Junior, so I have two more years of undergrad. I am double majoring in math and economics, and am taking Real Analysis I and diff eq next semester, so I will be strengthening my math background.

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    Re: Should I risk lower grades in grad econ courses?

    No, I would recommend not taking the course if the highest grade you can achieve is a B+. Are there any math courses you can take instead?

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