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Thread: Profil Eval for PhD in Economics and GRE Retake Advice

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profil Eval for PhD in Economics and GRE Retake Advice

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    Wondering what would be considered a realistic for Econ PhD programs? Looking to see where I relatively hold up. More details about my profile:

    Undergrad GPA: 3.78 Top 50 National University with honors
    Major: Econ major, math minor. I took principles of macro & micro (both As) intermediate macro and micro (both As) econometrics (A-) History of monetary economics (A-) Economic Policy Analysis (A-), Public Economics (A), IO (A-) Senior Capstone, written on a topic in financial economics,(A), Calc 1 (A) Calc 2 (A), Calc 3 (B+), Stats (A-), Linear (A-), intro to proofs (A-) Time series analysis (A)

    Grad GPA: 3.9 (Same university)
    Major: Mathematics
    Real Analysis (A-), Measure Theory (A), Probability (A-), Statistical Inference (A) Algebra 1 (A) Algebra 2 (A) Thesis: Applying methods of topological and symbolic dynamics to complex economic modeling problems (A) I was also a TA for undergraduate Analysis (if that counts for anything)

    GREs: Just took them: 160V 164Q (AWA still waiting on it, though I foresee that to not be a problem)

    Letters: Professors/Colleagues from 1) 12 Economist at Federal Reserve Board 2) Undergraduate Capstone advisor in which I wrote a paper on quantifying reputational losses that are felt by publicly traded firms when they are accused of misconduct. 3) (Grad) Math Thesis advisor. We're in the process of publishing some of the results that came out of my thesis and 2 years of research I did for him.

    Research Experience: I spent 2 years as a graduate research assistant to a professor which involved mathematical modeling of complex systems. Research is funded by a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) grant. My focus was on applying some of the abstract general modeling approaches to concrete economic models. I am currently working at the Federal Reserve Board doing applied macro research on optimal monetary policy at the ZLB. A lot of DSGE modeling and some statistical inferences.

    I'm not entirely sure what to think of my profile and how competitive I am for some of the top schools. I think my research background is good and my letters of rec will be strong as well, but I want to hear what everyone's thoughts are. I'm concerned about my GREs quant. I figured I want to retake it but just how detrimental is a 164, if I cannot bring that up much higher? (Im not a great standardized test taker).

  2. #2
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: Profil Eval for PhD in Economics and GRE Retake Advice

    Your profile seems perfect to me except gre. It is interesting to see too many US graduates who have excellent grades in upper level math courses like algebra and ra, but still they struggle with gre quant which is not above even the middle school math.

  3. #3
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profil Eval for PhD in Economics and GRE Retake Advice

    ^probably because you're being misled by U.S. grade inflation.

    A- is not an excellent grade for U.S. undergrads who want to get a PhD in econ. It's somewhere between acceptable and negative, depending on the course and the institutional quality. And the type of careless mistakes that lead to A-/B+ in a grade inflated course are probably similar to those that lead to lower scores on GRE, mathematical depth aside.

    In response to OP: You have to retake the test, and figure out a way to score higher on it. Some schools do filter out a first batch of applicants by GRE. Your profile is otherwise strong enough to be considered for top 10 or top 20 programs, so you don't want a 2-hour test to diminish your chances.

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