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Thread: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

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    Smile Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

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    Type of undergrad- BS - MS dual degree in Mathematics from a reputed science institute in India. Master's thesis project done at Computer science dept in India's top most institute.

    Undergrad GPA- (so far) 9.0 on a 10 point scale.

    GRE - 169 Q, 156 V, 3 AW

    Math Courses- [We have A-B-C-D scoring pattern] Calculus - I,II (A); Linear Algebra(A); Probability and Statistics- I (A), II (B); Analysis - 4 courses (B); Group Theory (B); Point Set topology (B); Graph Theory, Algorithms, Mathematical Biology (A); ODE(A), PDE(B) ; Calculus on Manifolds, Differential Geometry (A); Combinatorics (B); Stochastic Processes (A)

    Economics Courses- None. But I have done a few online courses and took up some related projects

    M-S Thesis Project- Mainly studying economic models using extensive mathematics including Optimization and Game Theory. Should lead to a publication eventually.

    LOR - One from my MS guide who is in CS dept, but has done algorithmic game theory previously, One from a prof who has taught 4 courses and guided for a semester project. Third from my statistics Prof, who taught 2 courses and guided for a semester project.

    Research Experience - Currently doing my MS project which is mostly about forming new theories and computations, which can definitely count as a research experience. Took up one summer project in Game theory. Have worked on 4 semester projects studying Learning theory, complex analysis, Game theory etc. No other formal research experience.

    Teaching Experience- No formal experience. But confident about teaching maths.

    Research interests - Development Economics, Microeconomic Theories, Game Theory.

    I know that I have nothing to show my economics skills, but I have been reading Economics since last three years. I have taken all courses which can help me in doing economics. I have read and studied various parts of Game Theory since last two years. Also, the ongoing project involves a lot of economic understanding and I need to read some research papers for that.

    I aim to apply to various universities in the US for Econ PhD. I'm confused about my odds at getting into one because of formal training in extensive maths. No one from my institute has studied economics further, except a student who took up MS in Finance at Oxford. Could you please give any inputs as to how I should proceed? Also, I won't be able to apply to more than 13-14 universities, so which universities should I be applying to?

    Thank you very much in advance.

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    Students with no formal economics background are at a huge disadvantage in PhD econ admissions. Your background is clearly impressive, and you may get serious consideration at some niche micro-theory programs (e.g. Caltech's Social Science program, Duke's decision sciences PhD, or lower ranked equivalents), but I'm pretty sure most PhD econ programs will reject you. Also, niche theory programs don't usually have development faculty. If you want to do development+theory, it's much better to be in a standard economics program.

    I think the optimal path is to apply for one of the top master degrees in econ in Europe. But it seems like funding is an issue for you so you'll have to think about whether you can fund an additional master's degree.

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    Quote Originally Posted by chateauheart View Post
    Students with no formal economics background are at a huge disadvantage in PhD econ admissions. Your background is clearly impressive, and you may get serious consideration at some niche micro-theory programs (e.g. Caltech's Social Science program, Duke's decision sciences PhD, or lower ranked equivalents), but I'm pretty sure most PhD econ programs will reject you. Also, niche theory programs don't usually have development faculty. If you want to do development+theory, it's much better to be in a standard economics program.

    I think the optimal path is to apply for one of the top master degrees in econ in Europe. But it seems like funding is an issue for you so you'll have to think about whether you can fund an additional master's degree.
    Thank you very much for your reply. I looked at the Caltech Econ program, and I found it interesting. Do you find it possible to apply for MS in the US? Also, It would be of great help if you could give names of a few good universities in Europe. I'm aware of LSE, Oxford and Cambridge.

    Regards.

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    If you are willing to drop your interest in development and concentrate on micro theory and game theory, it might be a good idea to look at B-school PhD programs. In particular I would also suggest you look at top tier B-school programs in Strategy (just to note, some strategy programs are more math/quant and some are more behavioral/sociological), Decisions, Operation Research and Operations Management. Many of these programs have people doing top level micro theory and game theory work, and they would be willing to take an excellent candidate with good math background but with little to no econ background. NWU - Kellogg MECS would be up your alley, but they might prefer someone with more econ background. If I remember correctly, the Duke Decision Science PhD program that chateauheart mentioned is actually run out of the B-school. Columbia Business DRO and Wharton OID might also be good fits. The Strategy PhD program at Harvard Business School draws on some of the Econ Department's game theory and micro-theory faculty. However, B-schools almost never have anyone doing development.

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    Thank you very much for your reply. But actually, I wouldn't be willing to drop development Economics. That is my first choice.
    I would certainly go through your suggestions though.

    Regards

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    If you're committed to development and are from India, consider working for JPAL for a year or two before applying. Its not as great or flexible an option as a masters, but it is far more accessible to you.

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    Hey therealslimkit, thanks! I'm from India and JPAL seems like an interesting option. In case you have worked there before or have more insights into the process of getting there, it would be great if you could share your valuable inputs.
    Thank you.
    Last edited by sylviasolo; 10-26-2018 at 04:58 PM.

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    There have been students accepted at Rice recently with similar backgrounds. By that I mean students with very strong math backgrounds and a strong interest in economics but limited prior economics coursework.
    Attending Rice University

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    Hey, thank you very much for informing.
    Regards

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    Re: Profile evaluation, Fall 2019. Any help appreciated :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Catrina View Post
    There have been students accepted at Rice recently with similar backgrounds. By that I mean students with very strong math backgrounds and a strong interest in economics but limited prior economics coursework.
    I do think OP has a reasonable chance at direct PhD entry below the top 40 programs, but many of the other paths suggested to him here will likely allow him to be competitive for top 15 programs after 1-2 years. Development and micro theory are both somewhat elitist fields, and networking is important in both fields. In my opinion, this is a rare case where the candidate would be justified to invest 1-2 extra years to get into a higher ranked PhD program.

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