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Thread: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

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    Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

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    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad: BA Math, Economics, at a top 30 private US university
    Undergrad GPA: 3.7 (3.8 Econ, 3.6 Math)
    Type of Grad: n/a
    Grad GPA: n/a
    GRE: n/a (Will take in September)

    Math Courses: Calculus I-III(A,A,B+), Linear Algebra (A), ODE (A-), Theory of Probability (A), Honors Real Analysis (B), Honors Real Analysis II (??B+), Mathematical Statistics (A), Honors Fourier Analysis (Fall 2017)

    Econ Courses (undergrad-level): Intro micro and macro (placed out), Intermediate Macro (rigorous track) (A), Intermediate Micro (rigorous track)
    (A), Econometrics I (A-), Econometrics II (A-), Econometrics III (A-), Advanced Financial Economics (A-) , Advanced Micro Theory (A-), Game Theory (rigorous track) (Fall 2017)

    Other Courses:B+ in Computer Science (as part of math major)

    Letters of Recommendation: One from a well known microeconomics and one from RA. The last I am unsure of.

    Research Experience: Will be doing a Regional Fed summer research internship

    Research Interests: Development, Political Economy (& Game Theory), Econometrics

    Applying to: (Top) NYU, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Stanford, Chicago, UC San Diego, UCLA
    (Masters) U Toronto (doctoral) , UBC, LSE, Oxford
    (Other schools of Interest) UW-Seattle, U Rochester, USC, UC Irvine, ...

    I had a few speed bumps to put it lightly and a streak of A- that I would rather like to take back but can do nothing about. I worked exceptionally hard on my honors analysis course. Analysis II grade has not been released but I am guessing average or better (did get an A- on the midterm). The course is very difficult and the second course in the sequence is at the level of my institution's graduate analysis (Used Royden). And in my statement of purpose I believe I can make a good case that I rushed the math due to the fact that I switched from business major where I never completed more than single variable calculus.

    With this largely mediocre profile I am unsure of the range of schools to apply to. I have some masters listed because I believe now I am "competitive" with my peers and so will be able to do well when given a chance to just focus on new content and thus will have a better chance at top schools. Irregardless, can anyone recommend a range of schools to apply or a particular school which would be a good fit. Also, for the masters programs, what are my chances?

    Thanks



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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    Bumping

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    If this is the end of your junior year then you didn't really "rush" your math. You also have a pretty consistent string of average grades in other rigorous courses. B is probably below average for an advanced math course in a top 30 private university - and that's compared to an undergrad demographic, 98% of whom will not end up in a quantitative PhD program. And you worked "exceptionally hard". All of this just means you aren't that competitive in pure math compared to a typical tier-1 PhD econ admit. No need to keep pushing yourself on that front.

    Focus on getting research experience and aim to be an applied micro / development student by the time you apply. It's *much* easier as an American student to do applied micro, even ignoring your grades for a bit. International competition is just much tougher for theory.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    Thanks for the reply chateuheart.

    I quickly learned that I am not destined for pure theory work last semester. With what you said about focusing on the applied fields I wonder if if you have a good idea of what rank of US schools I should apply to. From the profiles and results I can't really find comparable profiles (i.e. ones with similar scores in analysis) without RA experience or master's in europe/canada.

    More generally are schools I mentioned worth applying too or are all of them a stretch.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    If you focus on empirical micro, your profile will look more like the one by econ girl, although she has a slightly higher GPA:
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ml#post1003486

    Judging from her results, the top 15 range seems possible. You should also consider the lower ranked schools she was accepted to or waitlisted at. Based on my own results as a non-US applicant with a worse profile, I say consider also BC, MSU, UIUC at the top 25-30 range. UC Irvine is definitely a good safety in the top 50.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    I want to second Chateau's comment on prioritizing experience over math right now, especially if you are interested in applied topics. Majoring in math with about an A- average shows that you are not likely to be one of those who just doesn't get it. This will be a plus for your application, but you're going to need to appeal to applied faculty if you are to sell yourself as having such interests. And that kind of appeal usually comes from experience with a thesis or a research project of some sort where you get your hands dirty and work with data. The summer internship should help with that.

    And regarding your concern about not finding people with similar profiles who didn't do something after graduation, I think it is becoming increasingly rare to come straight from undergrad if you don't have an already very competitive profile. In my cohort, there's only a few who didn't do masters or RA work.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    Quote Originally Posted by bottlerack View Post
    If you focus on empirical micro, your profile will look more like the one by econ girl, although she has a slightly higher GPA:
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ml#post1003486

    Judging from her results, the top 15 range seems possible. You should also consider the lower ranked schools she was accepted to or waitlisted at. Based on my own results as a non-US applicant with a worse profile, I say consider also BC, MSU, UIUC at the top 25-30 range. UC Irvine is definitely a good safety in the top 50.
    This is inaccurate advice. That profile is an exception, not the rule. There are plenty more profiles that look exactly the same and fail to get into a top 50 PhD program. Her own post mentioned a few good reasons for why her application and letters might have stood out from the rest. It's not clear if OP has any such distinguishing quality, considering that his/her own post on here is focused on addressing his own poor performance in math courses, a tactic that won't garner any sympathy from adcoms.

    OP, the reason you don't observe many profiles similar to yours in the results thread, is that most U.S. profiles similar to yours are not successful in their PhD applications. Failed applicants don't usually post their profiles. I'm not saying you can't get into a top 50 PhD program if you want, but you're unlikely to be competitive for any school close to the target range you listed. You should most likely be looking for a RA job if you want the optimal path to a PhD. If you insist on applying this cycle, don't waste time on applications to the top 15.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    Thanks chateauheart and Food4Thought for the replies.

    I have gotten some variance in responses lately (online and in real life). I'll likely pursue masters, RAships, and some PhDs. I'll see by October if the quality of my letter writers are any good and decide which programs/jobs to prioritize.

    I should comment that I think I can make at least a portion of the top 40-50 programs (by US News). Some post GPAs and I'll surpass that average and have decent coverage and come from an institution that is very good in economics and math. I may be out of line because I haven't been through the process but that was impression.

    Lastly, (this is my last question) what are my chances at the masters programs. Particularly Oxford, Toronto Doctoral Stream (actually from Toronto), and Duke MAPE?

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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlosCostanza View Post
    Thanks chateauheart and Food4Thought for the replies.

    I have gotten some variance in responses lately (online and in real life). I'll likely pursue masters, RAships, and some PhDs. I'll see by October if the quality of my letter writers are any good and decide which programs/jobs to prioritize.

    I should comment that I think I can make at least a portion of the top 40-50 programs (by US News). Some post GPAs and I'll surpass that average and have decent coverage and come from an institution that is very good in economics and math. I may be out of line because I haven't been through the process but that was impression.

    Lastly, (this is my last question) what are my chances at the masters programs. Particularly Oxford, Toronto Doctoral Stream (actually from Toronto), and Duke MAPE?
    Hi there, I think we have quite similar profile shapes, just want to tell you how it was. I graduated from one of public school in the US top 30 with econ and math major. My GPA was 3.76.

    In the last cycle, I got rejected from Oxford and Toronto Doctoral. I guess that was due to poor GRE score, so if you have a great GRE score, you will have a shot. I accepted other master programs in the US, like Wisconsin, Tufts and Utexas, including some tuition waiver and scholarship offers. Though this is my pure guessing, I felt like US grad schools are more open to the student from US institution. So, yes. I would tell you that chance for the Duke is quite high, and for the Oxford and Toronto, good GRE score will benefit you. (especially, if you have Canadian Citizenship, it does help to get in the Toronto)

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    Re: Profile Evaluation (Where to apply?)

    I'd like to add on to this post for a profile evaluation. I will be taking the GRE this August and I am looking to apply for a PhD Economics or PhD Finance for fall 2018. Considering my profile, I'd like to ask your evaluation regarding what schools to target and what GRE is necessary. I have a thorough education in econ with substantial research and publication experience, yet I fear that the lack of maths courses taken at uni might be an issue.

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad: BSc Economics @ UK Top 15, World Top 200
    Undergrad GPA: 3.5/4.0
    Type of Grad 1: MSc Economics/Econometrics @ UK Top 5, World Top 50
    Grad GPA: 4.0/4.0
    Type of Grad 2: MSc Finance @ UK Top 5, World Top 10
    Grad GPA: TBA

    Math Courses: Calculus (A), Linear Algebra (A), Mathematics for Finance & Economics (B), Statistics (A), Further Statistics (A), Stochastic Processes(A); PhD: Quantitative Methods for Finance, Forecasting Time Series, PG thesis 2 is in econometrics
    Econ Courses: PhD: Macro I (A*), Micro I,II (A) and Metrics I (A*). Other: Monetary Economics (A*), International Economics (A) + specialised metrics courses (A*)
    Other Courses: Online course in Real Analysis
    Scholarships: full scholar promoting excellence in economic and financial research
    Letters of Recommendation: One from research, two from dissertation supervisors (both with Oxford PhD credentials)
    Research Experience: One year as RA at LSE with 2 publications. 17/18 research analyst at the ECB, expected to publish. UG thesis (Top 5%), PG thesis 1 (Top 1%), PG thesis 2 (in process)
    Teaching Experience: just a little bit of tutoring
    Research Interests: Macro/Monetary/Financial Economics

    Thanks in advance!

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