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Thread: Florida State University

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    Click My Avatar! YoungEconomist's Avatar
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    Florida State University

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    Anybody have any idea how competitive FSU is? Does anybody know what the average GPA, GRE, etc. are of people who are admitted to FSU?

    By the way, I already checked out the Profiles and Results thread and only one person was admitted to FSU, and for all I know he might not be one of their average admits, he could be above or below the average so it doesn't help me that much.

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    Requiem for a Dream Olm's Avatar
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    Rank 161 on econphd.net... you sure you want to shoot that low? You want to be an academic, right? If so shoot for the top 50.

    I'm betting 3.5GPA and a 700GRE Q is all you need to get in there, or any other school above the top 50 for that matter. The average econ student admitted to a phd program has a GRE Q of 700 or so.

    Rankings: All Economics

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    It appears to be a very small program, but their placements aren't terrible. Nonetheless, like always, you should in general shoot for the highest ranked program available to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olm View Post
    Rank 161 on econphd.net... you sure you want to shoot that low? You want to be an academic, right? If so shoot for the top 50.
    Actually, lately I've been leaning more towards an economic consulting placement. But I definitely want to keep the option open to be a professor because it sounds pretty interesting. I'm 99.9% positive that I'll become either a consultant or a professor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olm View Post
    I'm betting 3.5GPA and a 700GRE Q is all you need to get in there, or any other school above the top 50 for that matter. The average econ student admitted to a phd program has a GRE Q of 700 or so.

    Rankings: All Economics
    Awesome! I feel relieved to know that even if my GRE or upper level math classes don't go that well, I'll still be able to find a PhD program that'll accept me. By the way, where did you get the info that says the average admitted econ PhD student has a 700 QGRE?

    Quote Originally Posted by polkaparty View Post
    It appears to be a very small program, but their placements aren't terrible. Nonetheless, like always, you should in general shoot for the highest ranked program available to you.
    I know. FSU will be one of my safety schools. I'll probably apply to like 10 schools between the 25 - 50 range. And then I'll have 2 safety schools outside of that range. I think my safeties are going to be University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and Florida State University.

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    Requiem for a Dream Olm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olm View Post
    I don't think that advice helps as much with FSU, as FSU is not very highly ranked (not even in the US News top 50).

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    A lot of mid ranked programs, like Florida State, are very good at putting their grads into teaching schools. You are actually more likely to get an academic job coming out of their than from Chicago, although the latter obviously has a much higher ceiling on the quality of academic job that you get. The downside is that it is far more difficult to go into consulting from FSU.

    Make sure that you check out the teaching loads for grad students. I know that Milwaukee's is excessive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tex Jansen View Post
    The downside is that it is far more difficult to go into consulting from FSU.
    Maybe in comparison to Chicago or other high ranked programs, but FSU has had some decent consulting placements. Some grads have went to work for the ERS Group and CRAI.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tex Jansen View Post
    Make sure that you check out the teaching loads for grad students. I know that Milwaukee's is excessive.
    Thanks for mentioning that, I haven't thought about this aspect before.

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    I am currently enrolled at FSU---was previously enrolled at a top 20/30 institution and took a big jump down in the rankings to come here. Lots of reasons why I changed but I am much, much happier with my move.

    Rankings are changing and will change for FSU. When I originally applied to grad schools, FSU was 78th according to US News. People in the program say it's 50ish now but I am not sure about their source. Biggest piece of info I can give you: US News rankings is a bunch of b.s. They suck when it comes to fitting yourself with a grad institution. A major component is faculty research productivity but that does not imply they are dedicated professors or will want you to participate with them in your first two years. (Personally, I have found FSU to encourage faculty-student relationships and interactions.) My original grad school decision was influenced by US. News and other rankings, as well as professors' reputations. Not the best choice I have made.

    FSU's program is going through an intensive upheaval. If the program continues in such a pattern, I expect its reputation to improve so that Olm's ranking comment might not hold anymore. His assessment of necessary requirements is probably accurate but I have no personal insights to admissions beyond my cohort's statistics. I had an 800 math and got a tuition waiver, a university grant, and a half-time TAship (meaning I cover two classes and I am supposed to put in 20hrs/week which, on average, might only be 10 in practice). The offer was generous when compared to other institutions and is even more enticing when you consider the low cost of living in Tallahassee.

    Only one person obtained a quarter-time TAship. Not everybody will receive funding as a TAship. Foreigners should not expect much funding because FSU is a state institution and taxpayers foot the education. Do not let the TAship (or RAship) scare you off. My original institution did not require anybody to perform TA duties in the first semester. On the contrary, FSU expects you to get involved. There are arguments of pros and cons to both methods but I have found the TA duty to be reasonable. I have learned to manage my time much better.

    If you get a TA-ship, you will have an office to share with two or three others. Every office has at least once computer, some have more. As part of your TA duties, you will (sometimes) attend classes, grade papers/essays, and serve 3hrs/assignment each week in the undergrad lab. FSU's website doesn't give much info on the duties so I hope that sheds more light on the topic.

    If you want to do experimental or applied micro, FSU is a decent place. Beyond that, I am not sure where the department intends on making investments. You would need to contact Dr. Zuehlke or Dr. Bullock for details.

    As far as the content of our program, our cohort is the first to go through a change in the sequencing. Previously, there were three classes in Micro and Macro that come to completion after the first semester of the second year. This year, they have combined everything into two classes over the first year. Prelims/comps are still at the end of August.

    Following most legitimate programs, FSU instituted a "math camp" held in August prior to beginning the first year. Real analysis, optimization, matrix properties, etc. will be covered and you receive a grade (goes on in the fall term) for the three-week course. If you have not taken any discrete math or real analysis, you need to brush up on it. Rudin is a decent reference for proofs. Schaum's makes a mathematics for economists text that will start you out. Otherwise, go through Simon and Blume.

    For the first semester, we take micro, macro and econometrics (You will also have to pick a weekly seminar to attend. Choices include quantitative methods, micro/macro, urban issues). The texts are MWG, Sargent's Recursive Macro, and a combo of DeGroot and Davidson, respectively. These are standard texts at any top 50 program. You will have trouble if you stick to things like Nicholson's or Varians in Micro. Even if the program is not in the top 20 or even top 40, you will have to study if you come here. Others grad students' comments on TM about average study hours per week seem consistent with our cohort.

    As mentioned, the program is undergoing significant changes in a drive to improve its image. Placements have been decent. Always keep in mind your final goal when choosing a grad school program. You need to do a double-check if you think you're going to teach at a top 10 school after FSU (it's possible, just not probable); however, the program has a strong history of placements in research institutions and, like mentioned, seems to do well with consulting opportunities. Typically, we have been more applied oriented but that does not mean you should assume an applied Masters in economics is sufficient or necessary preparation. The program may be applied-oriented but it still requires you to understand and utilize theory.

    I think that covers the questions that were raised. PM me if you want more because I don't check TM with regular frequency.

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    Great post, wdoerner! I wish we had a snapshot like that for every school out there...

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