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Thread: FAQs about Graduate School in Economics and Links to Useful Threads

  1. #1
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    FAQs about Graduate School in Economics and Links to Useful Threads

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    This post is especially intended for new TM posters. Some questions about applying to or attending graduate programs in economics come up frequently on TM. You're welcome to ask questions even though they've been discussed in the past, but there is a lot of useful information in the old posts, and I'd urge you to read through some of those posts to see if they help you out. You can search using the search function in the menu at the top of your screen, just below and to the right of the box that says "Welcome [username]."

    To get you started, here are some of the most commonly asked questions, and some threads that I think do a good job of addressing them. Please feel free to add more questions and links to other useful threads to this discussion! I'm only listing a few threads of the threads that come up when I search for these topics, and I'm sure there are other excellent threads that people can link to. I'm not trying to replace the search function, just trying to give new posters a sense of what information is already available on the forums

    1) Here's my profile. Where should I apply?
    Start with this year's Roll Call thread. Note that the Roll Call thread is for reference. Please post your profile there but save any discussion for separate threads.
    Other useful threads include the "Profiles and Results" threads from previous years:
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ts-2008-a.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ts-2007-a.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ts-2005-a.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-programs.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...decisions.html

    2) Who should I ask for a letter of recommendation? Is it important to have LORs from famous professors? Should all of my letters be from economists?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...n-letters.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...conomists.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...me-letter.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...mendation.html

    3) What does a strong (or weak) letter of recommendation sound like?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...pplicants.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ally-mean.html

    4) How important is math to the application? Is real analysis necessary? What math classes are useful during first year?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...admission.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...read-sigh.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...urses-phd.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...e-not-get.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-you-need.html

    5) Should I get an MA in economics (or math) before I apply to PhD programs?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...s-top-phd.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...applicant.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-phd-prep.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-not-good.html

    6) How important are GRE scores? Do I need an 800 on the quant section? Does the verbal score matter?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...d-schools.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...l-300-ger.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...point-gre.html

    7) What matters most in admissions? letter of recommendation? GPA? GRE scores?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...dmittance.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-criteria.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-any-idea.html

    8) Can I transfer from a lower ranked school to a higher ranked school after my first year?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...gh-ranked.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-transfer.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...g-schools.html

    9) What are placements like from different tiers of schools?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ace-class.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-econ-phd.html
    (there are tons of threads on this subject; search for "placement" and whatever school you are interested in, and you'll get lots of information)

    10) What are attrition rates like? How common is it for students to fail prelims/quals?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ion-rates.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...eliminars.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...ents-drop.html

    11) How does funding work? What should I do if I'm not offered funding at my first choice school? How much does grad school cost?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...t-funding.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...pril-15-a.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...t-funding.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...e-bargain.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...g-numbers.html

    12) How should I choose between the schools that admit me?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...e-schools.html

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage GymShorts's Avatar
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    This has sticky written all over it.

  3. #3
    Within my grasp!
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    Great job asquare! Really useful to me

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    Good post? Yes | No
    SOmetimes people skip the stickies entirely. It's nice to keep this up near the top of active threads to keep it in people's faces.

    It's posts like this that make me fall just slightly in love with asquare. Always thinking of the forum and it's needs.
    Canuckonomist, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Toronto '15

  5. #5
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    I second GymShorts and light years. Great thread!

    Might I suggest / request adding a section on PhD from Applied/Ag Econ vs. Econ Departments?

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    TestMagic Veteran italos's Avatar
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    Why don't you make it a sticky thread?

  7. #7
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    Good post? Yes | No
    Stuck, and will try to dig up threads on ag vs. straight econ (and possibly business econ vs. econ) later today. If others have suggestions for useful threads on those questions, please post them!

  8. #8
    TestMagic Veteran italos's Avatar
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    you forgot the SOP threads

  9. #9
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    13) What should I write in my SOP? Should I mention specific faculty? How much do I need to tailor the SOP to each school? How important is the SOP?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...rpose-sop.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...s-schools.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...cific-sop.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...op-puzzle.html

  10. #10
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    14) Should I apply to Ag Econ or regular Econ departments? How different will my job prospects be if I get a PhD from an Ag Econ vs. a regular Econ program?
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...partments.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...economics.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...-programs.html
    http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econo...s-schools.html

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