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Thread: Profile Evaluation - Aim for Top 20?

  1. #1
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    Profile Evaluation - Aim for Top 20?

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    I've used Urch to guide my decisions about subjects and research so far, and now I'm getting a bit closer to application season I want to narrow down my choices for applications. My friend from the year above was accepted in the 5-15 range, she had more math but less research, so I'm not really sure where I fit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


    PROFILE:

    Type of Undergrad: BEcon Honours from Go8 Aus University that usually ranks in Top 50 on Repec
    Undergrad GPA: ~90/100 . Not sure of conversion to 0-4 GPA.
    Type of Grad: -
    Grad GPA: -
    GRE: 168Q, 165V
    Math Courses: Mathematical Analysis (90), Probability (90), Linear Algebra (94), Statistics (88), 2 Semesters of Calc (83, 81)
    Econ Courses: Microeconomics I-IV (82,86,96,91), Macroeconomics I-IV (78,80,93,91), Econometrics I-IV (!62!,81,88,98), Microeconometrics (98), Industrial Organization (86), Math Econ (99), Game Theory (83), Labour Economics (84)
    Other Courses: Nothing relevant
    Letters of Recommendation:


    (1-2) Two younger professors in the Econ department, I have RA'd for both of them and taken a class that I did well in from one of them. Neither are superstars but both have PhDs from top institutions and publish relatively well. They know me well and expecting them to be helpful.


    (3) The last letter will likely come from my Department Chair who doesn't know me as well as the other two, but knows me indirectly through the other two professors and is also involved closely with the honours program, so can probably compare me to past honours students who have gone onto U.S. PhD programs.


    Research Experience: Honours thesis which is a solo R&R at a good field journal. Co-author on a paper with one of letter writers where I started out as RA, has been submitted. Contributed to a couple of other papers while an RA, some have been published.
    Teaching Experience: Tutor for undergraduate micro and econometrics classes.


    Concerns: Half-baked mathematics major. I enjoy maths and do well but wasn't finding the higher level classes rewarding or helpful with my economics classes so dropped the major and decided to continue just with Econ. Worried this will send a bad signal.


    GRE could be a little better and I have the chance to take it again with some more preparation.


    Mediocre marks in my first year Econ subjects, including a 62 in Econometrics I. I hope the improvements in the more advanced versions of Macro and Econometrics in particular will make up for that.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Aim for Top 20?

    You have decent profile, but I'm not sure whether Top5 based on the GRE scores and math. it may put you in the bottom of those who have a shot there. No harm in trying though. Maybe apply to some safety schools around Top 20-30 as well. good luck!

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Aim for Top 20?

    Since when have TOP20-TOP30 schools become safety schools????

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Aim for Top 20?

    I think top 20 is definitely realistic, and you should try for schools in the top 10 as well. Don't worry at all about your GRE. It's used as an initial screen to thin the pile of applications, and 168 is comfortably high enough to make it past the screen.

    I think the fact that you've shown significant improvement in all econ subjects works in your favour - I've been told that having one or two low marks is generally fine as long as they're early on and you've shown that you're capable of doing better. Perhaps more senior posters can comment on this.

    You're right that your math background is a bit light - it's not horrible but it's probably the weakest part of your profile. If you still have time in your degree, I'd recommend taking real analysis and/or some PhD econ courses to show that you have the quantitative skills for a PhD program. If you do well in those I think you're a super competitive candidate.

    Also, having a solo R&R at a top field journal is very impressive for an undergrad, especially if it turns into a publication! At a lot of schools, a pub like that is a significant step towards tenure. Definitely have your references emphasize this paper in their letters, since that's probably the part of your application the committee will read most closely.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - Aim for Top 20?

    Quote Originally Posted by kayny View Post
    Since when have TOP20-TOP30 schools become safety schools????
    For the thread poster, #20-#30 is an accurate suggestion for safety schools. In case you don't realize, his marks are pretty damn good for an Australian program.

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