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Thread: Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

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    Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

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    Hey everybody,

    I know that my profile is an unusual one for a PhD application in the US. Thus, there are almost no reference profiles in previous years out where I could compare myself to. I know my profile has some weaknesses, however, I would like to know your impressions and thoughts about my chances to end up in which range. Could it be top 10-20 or rather top 30-50? Just be honest as I have no real clue :-)


    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad:
    Top 5 German University in Econ, BA Economics with minor in Business
    Undergrad GPA: 3.65
    Type of Grad: Top 3 German University in Econ, MA Economics (Research focus)
    Grad GPA: ~ 3.65
    GRE: not taken yet; probably 150V; 165Q; 3.5W or better
    TOEFL: 112

    Math Courses:
    Undergrad: Mix of Calc, Diff Eq, Linear Algebra and Analysis: Math for Economists I (A-), Math for Economists II (A) Statistics & Prob I (A-), Statistics & Prob II (A), Operations Research (A)
    Grad: Mix of Proofs: Mathematics for Economists (B+)
    Econ Courses:
    Undergrad: Intro Econ/Econ History (A-), Micro I (A-), Micro II (A-), Macro I (A-), Macro II (A-), Econometrics (A-), Development Economics (B+), Applied Causal Analysis (A), International Trade (A), Intro Game Theory (A-), Economic History (A-), Intro to Political Economy (A), Behavioral Economics (A)
    Grad: Micro (A), Macro (A-), Econometrics (A-), Behavioral Economics (B+), Development Economics (A-), Seminar Development Economics (A), PhD Seminar Applied Micro I (A-), PhD Seminar Applied Micro II (A), PhD Seminar Applied Econometrics I (A), PhD Seminar Applied Econometrics II (A)
    Other courses: two law (A-), several business classes (A-), two public policy (B+), two sociology (A)

    Letters of Recommendation: 1) Professor I took Seminar from (Top 5% Ideas/Repec), should be good but not too informative. 2/3) Unsure as I haven't really worked for Professors yet. Most likely one of the Professors who support me on my own research project, which will hopefully end up in a joint working paper or even more (Top 6% Ideas/Repec or enthusiastic not well-known assistant or internationally very well-known public-policy related Professor). Furthermore, I will ask Professors from my home university, but they just can judge me on the basis of classes/seminars I took with them, so they will not be too informative either. (All Professors are Economists.)
    Research Experience: Half year of RA experience in a well-known institute in its field worldwide, however, no intensive research-related work for one specific researcher; Bachelor's thesis; most likely a co-authored working paper by time of application
    Teaching Experience: NA
    Research Interests: Behavioral Economics, Development Economics, Blockchain Technologies and its economic implications
    Other:
    1. In Undergrad: semester abroad at Top 20 US Econ, GPA: 3.55/4 due to public policy courses, Econ 4/4
    2. In Grad: semester abroad at a Top 4 French School, grade system not comparable
    3. In Grad: semester abroad at a Top 4 Japanese University, GPA: to be determined, prob around 4/4

    Concerns:
    1. It seems that I suffer from a weakness in Math, however, these are the standard courses every BA and then Master Econ graduate in Germany has to pass. Moreover, my current university is known to require the hardest math-training of all German universities within its Master program. Even though it is only one course of pure Math, even Math BA graduates struggled. However, I doubt that any ad coms in US have decent knowledge about that...
    2. As you can see I used my time as a student a lot to live at different places and to get to know different cultures around the globe. I would never regret having done so and will build on those experiences in my SOPs. However, I don't know how it could be seen by ad coms.
    3. Little research experience & okay LORs & okay grades

    Questions:
    1. Range to target with this profile
    2. Suggestions for profile improvements and potential target range if following those
    3. Simply your honest opinion!

    PS: If there is somebody out who has questions about Master programs in Germany or France, feel free to contact me I know people at several universities ;-)
    Last edited by ChasingTheMoon; 05-30-2018 at 09:17 AM.

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

    Do you know your percentile/ranking in your master's program?

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

    Hey, there's no publicly accessible overview for the "current cohort", but after graduation each student will receive his/her percentile rank. Thus, at the moment I can only guess, but I think that I will fall in the range between the Top30 and Top20 percentiles at time of application.

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    Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD in Economics

    It's very hard to tell without GRE. Generally, for international students GRE is much more important since much less emphasis is placed on your GPA. It's much harder to judge interational grading so it's usually heavily discounted. Make sure to have a great GRE.

    Other than that, do everything in your power to publish something. Your international experience is really nice but having a research paper would really make your application "pop". Adcoms simply care about whether you'll have a strong research output. Writing papers is the best thing you can do to prove that.

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