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Thread: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

  1. #1
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    Question Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

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    Hi guys! Thanks so much for your help, I really appreciate any advice I could get

    PROFILE
    Type of Undergrad: Econ & Math, Top 30 public school

    GPA: 3.95/4.0
    GRE: going to take soon.

    Math Courses: Calculus1-3 (AAA) Discrete (A) Intro to differential (A), Linear Algebra (A), Probability (A), Real Analysis (A), Number Theory (A), Complex (A).
    Plan to take numerical analysis, differential, and a grad level real analysis next semester, don't know if courses in next semester are gonna help??

    Econ Courses (undergrad): up to advanced micro and macro, money and banking, labor economics, advanced international economics, game theory, econometrics, labor economics (All A except labor got A-)

    Research experience: Honor thesis (already finished), and a summer research fellowship this semester. My advisor (coauthor) feel like the paper has a good chance to get published on a decent journal, but I'm not sure if we could get it published before Dec. I wonder if the committee would take time to read my paper.


    Teaching experience: None

    I specifically have 2 concerns. First, I'm a transfer student from an HK university, where I used to learn finance. Because I spent a lot of time on extra curriculum activities, I got a B and B+ on math courses in sophomore year. I retook them in my current school, but I don't know if that's gonna hurt my chance of getting into top schools. Second, My GPA in HK was 3.75. I was actually rank 1 in the entire finance department (a professor checked for me), but my school does not provide such kind of official rank on the transcript. I'm worried that 3.75 does not really look good enough.

    I have one more question about recommendation letter. Do you think I should get a letter from a professor in math department? Even if I only took his class and got good grades? I did pretty well on real analysis class. Usually, the average was like 50/100 (questions were hard), and I got 98-100 on tests. I don't know if he remembers me since I was very quite.

    I feel like I got a shot for top 10 schools, but still very unsure. I guess my application looks strong but not like the strongest.

    Thanks so much in advance

  2. #2
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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    thanks guys anything would be helpful

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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    You are at a top 30 school. Go ask the people who are going to write letters for you. You almost certainly should get letters from economists rather than a math professor, unless either the math professor can say you were one of the best students in many years or unless you just don't have a third economist who can write a letter.

    There is no chance whatsoever of the paper being published before December. It would be a near miracle for it to be accepted by then. Nor does that matter much. The fact that you are a coauthor of an article sent to a decent journal will already be very helpful.

    From what you have said, you are a good candidate for a top 10. But it depends critically on what your recommendations say.

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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    Thanks that's really good advice, and yes you are right about the publication

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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    You should plan to take grad econ, not grad analysis, next semester. In fact, any more math course will have low marginal value. I suggest you take two grad econ courses next semester, micro + macro/metrics.

    You'll be able to send those grades before adcoms review your applications. Assuming they're A- or better, I'd say you have a good chance at the top 20, with a small chance at the top 5.

    It's very unlikely that you'll be able to publish the paper before Dec, but if you manage to get an R&R, that will still help tremendously.

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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    Thanks for your suggestion, I think I will be able to fit a grad micro to my schedule. This might be a stupid question, what is R&R you mentioned? recommendation and research?

    Is there anything else I could do to increase my chance into top 10?

    Again, thanks so much I really appreciate your help

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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    R&R stands for "Revise & Resubmit". It is a stage where the journal editor have looked through your paper and think it is worth publishing but there are some points still need to be fixed. This is a clear signal that your work is valuable for publication.

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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    If you are serious that you must get into top 10 programs then, upon graduation, you should be looking for full-time RA position for some famous professor for a couple years before applying to PhD programs. They will be the one evaluating you and write you a strong letter of recommendation if you performed well.

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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    yeah I agree. I guess unless my recommendation is really impressive, my chance of getting in top 10 is slim. Anyway I'll definitely consider RA for a year or two.

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    Re: Econ PhD Profile Evaluation-looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by flightzeros View Post
    yeah I agree. I guess unless my recommendation is really impressive, my chance of getting in top 10 is slim. Anyway I'll definitely consider RA for a year or two.
    Nearly everyone's chance of getting into a top 10 is slim. But your record (assuming you do well on the GRE) looks quite good. The unknown is the strength of the recommendations. If you have strong recommendations, spending a couple of years as an RA is unnecessary, although likely beneficial. Something like half (maybe a touch more) of students at top ten programs have been RAs between college and grad school.

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