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Thread: Profile evaluation for econ phd

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Red face Profile evaluation for econ phd

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    Hi everyone

    I'm finding it difficult to guess where I stand in terms of application strength as my background might be a bit disadvantageous when it comes to applying for PhDs in economics since I didn't have room in my degree to do any foundational economics units. Would like to know what sort of schools I should be applying for. I don't think my profile is strong enough for US top 15, maybe top 50? Should I consider doing a masters in economics first?

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad: Pure maths, with some bioinformatics and philosophy from an Australian university. I guess top tier but we don't really care about that much down here.
    Undergrad GPA: 6.71/7 (about a 3.8), 1st Class Honours in Mathematics (this is comparable to summa cum laude but with a research thesis)
    GRE: Q 166, V 168, AWA 5

    Math Courses: 3 semesters of analysis, 1 semester of probability, 6 semesters of algebra/geometry, some applied maths, other random maths courses

    Econ Courses:

    1 reading course on economics

    Other Courses:
    Bioinformatics, philosophy,
    Letters of Recommendation:
    Honours maths thesis supervisor, worked together for a year, thesis was in combinatorial algebra/ solving a problem in linear algebra
    Maths professor I worked with for half a year as a teaching assistant,
    Final letter writer will likely be a professor who knows me fairly well but also in maths!
    Research Experience:
    Honours thesis in algebra: 1 year
    4 research courses I did in my undergrad: each one lasted a semester. none of these are in economics.
    Teaching Experience:
    Got a job as a tutor for a first year course in my second year of uni. I've been doing that for three years.
    Research Interests:
    Development economics, mathematical economics
    Concerns:
    I reckon my lack of a strong econ background definitely sets me back. Is there anything I can do about this at this stage? Looking to apply this year. Thank you for any advice
    Last edited by tryingforecon; 10-12-2017 at 11:44 AM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
    economist
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    Re: Profile evaluation for econ phd

    You have a quite strong math background, although the quant GRE stands out a bit of an anomoly. But what makes you want a PhD in economics? Or, put better, how much do you know about what getting a PhD in economics entails?

  3. #3
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: Profile evaluation for econ phd

    Would it be better to retake the GREs? I've heard that as long as you're past the 90th percentile most schools will look at your application?

    I want to get a PhD in economics so I can pursue a high impact career in development eg as a researcher for JPAL (I did some of their online courses). Honestly as much as I love proving theorems about cohomology it just doesn't feel like valuable work for me whereas economics might be a better fit. Well I guess I don't know what getting a PhD in economics entails but it's probably not that different from a PhD in maths, which I was fully prepared to do at one point

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