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Thread: Master's Program Chances

  1. #1
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    Master's Program Chances

    Sponsored Ad:
    Undergrad Institution: University of Failureville - Loser City Satellite Campus (economics program? unknown, you haven't heard of it)
    Major: Economics and Math (Applied Statistics)
    Overall GPA: 3.8
    Economics GPA: 3.9
    Math GPA: 4.0
    Math Courses: Calc Series, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Probability Theory, Discrete Math, Number Theory, Mathematical Statistics (Spring 2018), Stochastic Processes (Spring 2018), Intro to Analysis (Spring 2018)
    Statistics Courses: Statistical Learning (graduate-level)
    Economics Courses: Intermediate Macro/Micro, Econometrics, Industrial Organization, Labor, Money and Banking, Development, International Economics,
    Letter of Recommendation: I've got them and they're solid enough to land me interviews for institutions.
    Other Info:
    I am an "underrepresented minority".

    GRE: 163 Q, 167 V (will retake and I am not worried about this tbh)

    I don't have a lot of money to spam applications - in fact, I will likely have to ration myself to three or four master's applications. I want to apply to, at bare minimum, a safety, a reach and one that's somewhere in between. To maximize my odds, I will be applying to Duke and Tufts - I need the URM status to work in my favor - but I'm unsure if I have even have a shot at both.

    I come here because I want to have a more solid appreciation for which MA programs are good and relatively easy to get into. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to even bother applying to Canadian programs that are the U of T, otherwise I'd probably spam McGill, UBC etc. Spain is very attractive to me (CEMFI, Carlos III, PF) but I can't see myself swinging these programs nor Bocconi.

    I could go and on but my point, really, is as follows: I am not a strong applicant but I don't think I'm weak enough for my application to be tossed out (maybe I am though?). If I had an arbitrarily large sum of money, I'd spam applications to every half-decent MA program in the world. I'm in the unfortunate position of not being able to do this and, thus, need to have a good sense of my odds at MA programs so I can plan accordingly. Unfortunately, my awareness/understanding of MA programs in Europe is limited - I can rattle off names but I have no sense of how competitive they are and I don't know of lesser ranked but still solid ones. Let me know if you have suggestions!

  2. #2
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    Re: Master's Program Chances

    Don't get too down on yourself, deadflag. Keep in mind that the typical master's applicant has some flaws in their profile, otherwise they would be applying to PhD programs- if you have a 4.0 from an Ivy League school with recs from famous professors, why would you waste a year and $25,000 on an MA? Your math and econ marks are near-perfect, and because you are likely the best or one of the best students from your anonymous school, your recommendations are likely to be strong as your professors would love to see a student go onto a famous school.

    I strongly suggest trying to find the cash to apply to another school or two if at all possible. If you are not optimistic about your chances, try Simon Fraser or McMaster in Canada, which are both top 100 worldwide schools with solid programs that are simply less well-known than other Canadian schools, and thus get fewer American applicants. I think you have a strong chance at those programs. Friends of mine who attended those programs have placed into top 30-50 PhDs, Central Banks, strong consulting firms, etc.

    Good luck

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    Re: Master's Program Chances

    You could look into getting fee waivers? I'm not sure how common they are, but if your choice is between not applying to a program or asking them for a fee waiver, it can't hurt.

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    Re: Master's Program Chances

    Rather than Duke or Tufts, if you're truly looking for good training in a masters programme, BGSE's masters is quite rigorous. It isn't terribly hard to get in. I can't comment much on the quality of Bocconi's programme but it is quite easy to get into as well - they accepted me like two weeks after I submitted my application. I got in with stronger grades, but with way less math since I came from an accounting/finance undergrad.

    Of course, the 'gold standard' in EU is CEMFI's programme but its quite hard to get in.

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    Re: Master's Program Chances

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    Rather than Duke or Tufts, if you're truly looking for good training in a masters programme, BGSE's masters is quite rigorous. It isn't terribly hard to get in. I can't comment much on the quality of Bocconi's programme but it is quite easy to get into as well - they accepted me like two weeks after I submitted my application. I got in with stronger grades, but with way less math since I came from an accounting/finance undergrad.

    Of course, the 'gold standard' in EU is CEMFI's programme but its quite hard to get in.
    Afraid that's not true in my experience - both the LSE and Oxford's Master's programmes far exceeds anything on the continent. Ofc, BGSE and CEMFI are up there, but just not quite as good.

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    Re: Master's Program Chances

    Quote Originally Posted by Rohanps View Post
    Afraid that's not true in my experience - both the LSE and Oxford's Master's programmes far exceeds anything on the continent. Ofc, BGSE and CEMFI are up there, but just not quite as good.
    What I meant by that is that you get to do the full 2 years of PhD coursework at CEMFI, which acts as a better signal of ability (assuming you do well). Plus, since it's a two year programme, you'll have ample time to get to know faculty and get strong letters. Getting letters is also significantly easier since the student to faculty ratio is very high as they take in only 20+ students a year.

    All these can't be said for LSE's EME and Oxford's MPhil.

    Plus, the biggest allure is that CEMFI provides tuition waiver + stipend for all the 20 something student it admits; hence, the gold standard.

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    Re: Master's Program Chances

    How bad is the language barrier at programs like these(Bocconi/BGSE)?

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    Re: Master's Program Chances

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    What I meant by that is that you get to do the full 2 years of PhD coursework at CEMFI, which acts as a better signal of ability (assuming you do well). Plus, since it's a two year programme, you'll have ample time to get to know faculty and get strong letters. Getting letters is also significantly easier since the student to faculty ratio is very high as they take in only 20+ students a year.

    All these can't be said for LSE's EME and Oxford's MPhil.

    Plus, the biggest allure is that CEMFI provides tuition waiver + stipend for all the 20 something student it admits; hence, the gold standard.
    That's not quite right - Oxford's MPhil is a two year course, so plenty of time to obtain recommendation letters. Agree wrt the LSE being only one year, but I'd argue the quality and reputation of the faculty there more than make up for that.

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