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Thread: Profile eval 2018- engineer + MPP background

  1. #1
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    Profile eval 2018- engineer + MPP background

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    Hi,
    Long time lurker, first-time poster.
    I want to apply for PhD Economics programs. I am open to pursuing a masters too if that may seem more appropriate.

    International student
    Undergraduate degree: Electrical Engineering
    Undergrad University: (university in top 20 in India- not IIT/IIM/NIT)
    Undergrad CGPA 60/100 (2.88/4 as per WES- helps calculates GPAs but I think its an approximation and depends on how universities calculate it)

    Grad program: Masters in Public Policy
    Grad university: Low ranked state university (+100 rank in public policy, relatively newer program in USA. Has placed students in Indiana, Cornell, UT Austin PhD Policy programs amongst a few)
    Grad GPA- 3.75/4

    Quantitative: Engineering maths (3+ maths subjects with advanced calculus: grades are A, A-and C ) and microeconomics (A-), econometrics (B+), Quantiative methods (regression analysis) A-

    Recommendations:
    University program director (political science), professor at University (economist), boss at federal research lab (Architect & Planner- Oxford)

    Relevant Work Experience (6) (limited economics research, more quantiative policy research):
    -Research work experience in India for about 3 years in a non-profit on climate change, clean energy policy, and implementation- local, national and international (researcher)
    -Full time research work experience in USA for about 2 years in a national research lab on clean energy policy and implementation, looking at markets, local and state policy, utility regulation etc.. published at the lab (research assistant)
    -Part time research work experience at OSU on local clean energy policy issues for 2 years as a professors research assistant

    Research interests:
    Energy/ environmental economics, development economics, behavioral economics

    GRE: 155 v/ 157 q/ 4 analytical (will retake and aim for 165+ in quant to strengthen profile)

    Goals: Interested in a career in research in the policy world/government. I am not aure about academia yet.

    Questions: I am debating between a couple of questions and any insights would be helpful. I have read answers to similar questions on the forum and found them to improve my understanding.



    • If I were to apply for a PhD econ now- what range of programs should I apply to? i.e 50-100 or 75-100?
    • Is my profile suitable for PhD economics? Am I missing some key pre reqs from my coursework? Is it advisable to get a masters before applying for a PhD?
    • If I want to apply for a higher ranked programs what are some key suggestions? With a masters degree with a low ranked university and good grades, what is the range of universities I can aim for?



    Thank you for reading through my profile. I look forward to receiving your comments.

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    Re: Profile eval 2018- engineer + MPP background

    I don't think your profile is suitable for an economics PhD. GRE Q is too low and your math background seems weak to me (what exactly is "advanced calculus"?). Your background and interests seem better suited for a public policy PhD but even then your GRE Q is pretty low.

    I think a lot is riding on how you do on the GRE retake. Having said that, I don't think getting a master's after an MPP is a good look for PhD adcoms. If you are truly interested in policy, then focus on that.

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    Re: Profile eval 2018- engineer + MPP background

    Thanks Bret Hart, for your perspective. Yes, I agree the GRE Q is low so I need to improve it. By advanced Calculus I meant Calculus I,II,III which is how they do it in the U.S. too, I believe. Not sure if advanced is the right word there.

    I do understand a Policy PhD is better suited with my background, however, I was interested in learning more about the economics of policy making, so more on the applied side. Further, I do have a research interest in the subject and was wondering if I may have any options here. And if yes, what ranks of schools they would be. Currently, I am trying to understand my options so that I can make the right choice while selecting the programs I apply to.

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    Re: Profile eval 2018- engineer + MPP background

    Advanced Calculus in the US always means Real Analysis.

    Since Real analysis covers the basically same topics more or less as the calculus sequence, make sure that you're talking about a class focused on solving integrals/derivatives rather than a class focused on using limits and properties of functions and metric spaces.

    By the way, are you interested in academic political economy? Perhaps that is something to look into, if what you meant by the economics of policy making is the economics of implementing policy (i.e. stakeholders etc).

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    Re: Profile eval 2018- engineer + MPP background

    Thanks Spectrum! That is helpful, I did not know. I have taken classes focussed on solving integrals/derivates. Id be happy to share a syllabus and understand if we mean the same thing.

    Thanks for suggesting political economy. I will dig deeper into that. Any school recommendations are most welcome!

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