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Thread: Profile Evaluation PhD Economics (coming from Europe)

  1. #1
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    Question Profile Evaluation PhD Economics (coming from Europe)

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    Hey everyone, looking for some advice

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad: Top European Business School, Economics B.A.
    Undergrad GPA: 5.34/6 (3.56 when linearly converted)
    Type of Grad:Top European Business School, Quantitative Economics M.A.
    Grad GPA: 5.34/6 (3.55 when linearly converted)
    GRE: Q 170, V 170, AWA 5

    Math Courses:
    BA level: Statistics (4.5/6)MA level: Statistics (5.5/6), Mathematics (5.5/6), Adv. Math and Statistics (4/6), Dynamic Programming (6/6)

    Econ Courses:

    BA level: Micro 1&2 (5.5/6, 5/6), Macro 1&2 (5/6, 5.5/6), Metrics (5/6), Game Theory (5/6), Behavioral Econ (6/6), Trade (5.5/6), Economic Growth (5/6), Labor Economics (5/6), Environmental Economics (6/6)

    MA level: Adv. Macro 2 (5.5/6), Adv. Micro 2 (5.5/6), Finance (5.5/6), Metrics 1&2 (5.5/6, 5.5/6), Industrial Organization (5.5/6), Central Banking (5.5/6), Microeconometrics (5.5/6), Time Series Metrics (5/6)

    Other Courses:
    Programming (R), Business and Law classes (BA), some compulsory humanities classes
    Letters of Recommendation:
    MA thesis advisor, also RA'd for him 3 months, and had two classes with him. Very well
    Professor I'm currently RA/TA'ing for, also had a class with him, close personal contact
    Third letter writer will probably be a professor I had for a class with a research project.
    Research Experience:
    BA thesis, good grade (5.75/6)
    3 months RA, mainly data collection.
    5 months RA (different prof), helping on various projects, also focused on data work.
    Teaching Experience:
    None direct, prepared a lot of teaching materials (slides, exercise sheets) over last few months.

    Research Interests:
    Applied Micro, possibly Theory
    SOP:
    None yet

    Concerns:
    Lack of math courses (can't really be helped, at my university). Even though I've had to use a lot of Calculus, linear algebra, a little real analysis, haven't had classes specifically on these.
    Rather small and unknown school for Economics (very well regarded in Management though). The professors do have a decent amount of contact with the US though.

    I'm wondering if I have a shot at Top 20 US. Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Re: Profile Evaluation PhD Economics (coming from Europe)

    I'm sure the better equipped seniors here will offer better advice, but the first thing to look at, with regards to non-US/top tier schools (myself included), is whether does your school send its graduates into Top XX PhD programmes. That will give you a sense of your relative standing, compared to someone who came from the same school (with same grading system, more or less similar letters, etc).

    So, if your school sends some of its candidates to UIUC or UMD, for example, at the very least, you stand a chance of obtaining similar placement results, provided you score as well or better than said student. But if the highest placement is only GWU (not trying to disparage GWU), then you shouldn't realistically be aiming for T20.

    For me, the place I'm doing my masters is relatively unknown in the US, but sends its undergrads to schools as high as Columbia and Northwestern. At the very least, given that I'll be taking PhD coursework and they didn't, I at least have a rough gauge of where to shoot for (contingent on getting good LoRs, having good math grades and decent RA experience). If your school sends sufficiently enough students US PhD programmes, best gauge is the median placement, unless you're absolutely certain you're part of the top 1% of your cohort.

  3. #3
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    Re: Profile Evaluation PhD Economics (coming from Europe)

    Thanks for the advice! I will try to dig around to see where others have gone to. Unfortunately, it seems only very few students generally are interested in pursuing a PhD in the US from here (including my current cohort), so it's a bit difficult to get data on this question.

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