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Re: Evaluation: PhD Economics, next steps before applying in fall 2019
DO NOT REACH OUT TO PROSPECTIVE THESIS ADVISORS.
Economics programs do not accept students to work with individual faculty.
You should be focusing on
(1) Getting a higher GRE: at least 167 for places like Stanford or Columbia.
(2) Talking to the people who will be writing you letters. Where have people from Rutgers-Newark gone before?
(3) Considering a two year RA position after graduation rather than going directly to graduate school.
(4) Maybe some more math, depending somewhat what was in the courses you've already had.