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Thread: European PhD applicant profile

  1. #1
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    European PhD applicant profile

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    Type of Undergrad: European BSc Economics (QS top 50)
    Undergrad GPA: with distinction, comparable to 3.75/4, with A+ for my thesis (12ECTS)

    Type of Grad 1: MSc Economics from the same uni with a field specialization, very applied (no micro and macro) but some Econometrics
    Grad GPA 1: comparable to ~3.7/4 with A for my thesis (16ECTS). It would be 4.0/4 not counting one finance seminar in private equity, which in hindsight was a mistake to take.

    Type of Grad 2: MSc Economics from another European uni (QS top 40) taking phd-level micro/macro/metrics
    Grad GPA 2: No grades yet

    GRE: GRE 153V,165Q,4AW. (I'm not a native English speaker)

    Math Courses: 1 year of Mathematics courses during BSc (covering calculus, optimization, linear algebra, differential equations, statistics). Not great grades (around 3.4/4 average for the math courses) and no real analysis taken but my current program has grad level econ and it is very math heavy with a lot of proofs and real analysis so I think the exams in December might have an impact.

    Econ Courses: 24 ects micro (all A's) and 24 ects macro (mixture A's and B's, mostly B's), lots of field subjects (A's and B's) and taking advanced macro and micro now.

    Letters of Recommendation: My thesis supervisors - one professor and one phd student. The first one doesn't know me that well but he is well known. I am worried about the second one - he knows my research interests and work well but I am worried that he's still a phd student (Oxford graduate though) so I don't know how relevant this might be.

    Research Experience: One small project for one professor (conducting and analyzing an experiment)

    Teaching Experience: None - I applied to be a TA for some courses but I did not know the language of the institution (I was an international student) so I was at a disadvantage.

    Research Interests: Primarily in behavioral economics but micro and metrics are also of my interest too.

    As far as applying for programs in the US I think I won't make it for this year because the grades of my second master won't be out before the deadline. That's the reason why I am considering programs only in Europe. However, given I do well in my current program and apply for next year, do you think I stand a chance in some programs in the US?

    I am worried about my profile for three reasons - my GRE, my math and my lack of serious TA/RA-ships. I also find it difficult to pick which programs to apply for.

    My questions are whether I should retake the GRE and whether I stand a chance in top 50 programs for phd. Also any suggestions for programs in my reach are more than welcome!

    Thanks a lot in advance!
    Last edited by econ299; 10-24-2018 at 10:57 AM.

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    Re: European PhD applicant profile

    Bump... I was wandering if RA would strengthen my profile or there is little to do given my grades and gre
    Last edited by econ299; 10-29-2018 at 08:54 AM.

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    Re: European PhD applicant profile

    Get faculty members to write your letters. Regardless of how strong the letter from the student advisor of yours might be, he has yet to make it in the job market, so his words will carry very little weight. Seems to me that you are lacking good letters, which is a bit strange, considering your profile.

    If you're applying next year, you should re-take the GRE and try to bring the quant score up higher. As for the math grades, if you're getting As for PhD coursework in your current masters, conditional on it being a reputable programme, I'd like to think that it might help ameliorate some of the concerns they might have about your mathematical preparation.

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    Re: European PhD applicant profile

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    Get faculty members to write your letters. Regardless of how strong the letter from the student advisor of yours might be, he has yet to make it in the job market, so his words will carry very little weight. Seems to me that you are lacking good letters, which is a bit strange, considering your profile.

    If you're applying next year, you should re-take the GRE and try to bring the quant score up higher. As for the math grades, if you're getting As for PhD coursework in your current masters, conditional on it being a reputable programme, I'd like to think that it might help ameliorate some of the concerns they might have about your mathematical preparation.
    Thank you for your advice! I guess my worries about the LORs were justified then. Would you say that the following is a good idea - asking professors in subjects that I got good grades for LORs even though they don't know me well? I am just not sure how to approach them. During classes I was the shy guy that didn't ask many questions or give answers so I am sure most of them don't remember me. In this case do you think explaining my situation to them would be worth it? For example sharing my research interests and so on.

    P.S. I was actually worried not to have a LOR from my thesis supervisor. Would not having one be a negative sign?
    Last edited by econ299; 10-30-2018 at 11:34 AM.

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