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rohit1980
02-20-2011, 03:47 PM
Hello everyone,

I need some help regarding evaluating my profile. Here are the details.


Bachelor and Masters of Technology in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur (The best engineering institute of India).
GPA: Around 3.4/4 (Actually it is 7.2/10).
GRE: 780(Q) and 680 (V)
LOR: Average
SOP: Good
Grades in Math courses: Have done almost all the courses required by any Econ PhD program but scored average or below average grades.
Work Experience: This is where it gets interesting (or may be weird). After obtaining my masters degree I worked with a multinational software firm as software engineer for around two years. Then I quit my job and joined an Indian political party as a full time worker. My role mostly centered around designing election campaigns. And I have done well in that, which can be gauged by the performance of the candidates set up by the Party. I worked with the party for around 3 years. Then I decided to pursue a research career in Political Science/Political Economics.
Research Experience: No relevant research experience.

With this profile what kind of universities should I be hoping to get admitted to (of course with scholarship). Top 10, Top 20 or below? If I try again I am sure I can improve my GRE quant score. May be 790-800. Is this worth the effort?

WorkingHard
02-20-2011, 04:31 PM
Your GRE score is more or less fine, I would consider improving the LOR and math grades much more. But you cannot go back and time and change them. Perhaps you could retake one or two key classes during a semester while working, and then get A's in both. This would allow you to have a much higher probability at top 20. I hate to discourage from top 10, but given some of the trade offs you may have made, there will be many others who have research, good grades, good LOR, and a good GRE that will trump your practical experience. However, this calls into question if you really want a PhD.. sounds like you have some great technical skills but enjoy working in more practical environments!

soapcase
02-20-2011, 05:28 PM
@rohit: what do you exactly mean by 'political economics'? are you looking at pure econ (with specialisation in pol. eco.) or political science (with specialisation in pol. eco) or political economy (there are only a few schools like Woody Woo, HKS and GSB that offer it)? If you are looking at econ: top 10 looks difficult; polsci may be possible. But, I think your best best would be public policy - HKS, Princeton etc. would love to hear about your 'new' political campaign.

rohit1980
02-20-2011, 05:39 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Given the fact that most of the applicants usually prefer to go for something in pure economics, management or political science, don't you think that admission to an interdisciplinary field like Political Economics will not very competitive.

rohit1980
02-20-2011, 05:59 PM
I meant political economy. And unfortunately there are very less no of schools offering research opportunities in that field. May be I have to also take into consideration schools offering pure economics with specialization in political economy.

dreck
02-20-2011, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Given the fact that most of the applicants usually prefer to go for something in pure economics, management or political science, don't you think that admission to an interdisciplinary field like Political Economics will not very competitive.

....You should do some research into what kind of program you will actually apply for. For what it's worth, most joint programs involving economics I know of are every bit as competitive as a pure econ program.

soapcase
02-20-2011, 06:10 PM
woody wood, hks and stanford gsb are extremely competitive- they have about 10 seats between them. i also wanted to do pol. econ.. if you want to go to the best schools: you can take a shot at MIt; daron acemoglu is doing killer research there

econoecon
02-20-2011, 11:54 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Given the fact that most of the applicants usually prefer to go for something in pure economics, management or political science, don't you think that admission to an interdisciplinary field like Political Economics will not very competitive.

There may be fewer applicants, but there are also fewer programs, so it's not necessarily the case that Political Econ would be less competitive. Definitely look into Econ programs with Profs in the field of Political Economy. Depending on your ultimate goals, Public Policy/Political Science programs may also be a good fit for you. If you're concerned about your grades in advanced math courses, I think that Political Science depts might tend to be move forgiving of this than Econ Depts would. If you have any advisers/professors from your undergrad, perhaps you can discuss your interests with them to determine whether Econ/Public Policy/Political Science is best for you.

Humanomics
03-11-2012, 08:22 PM
Applications to economics programs have skyrocketed as to generate a considerable amount of spillover. I think that's why we see a lot of people applying to CalTech, joint PhD JD programs, etc. "Interdisciplinary" is not code for "less rigorous" or "less competitive" and it really shouldn't be code for "Marxian" either. Interdisciplinarity, done properly, takes an enormous amount of personal discipline and usually requires substantive training in more than one field. I for instance research the historical record of preference changes during the Industrial Revolution. That takes a comprehension of history, discourse analysis (quantitative and qualitative), and a first-rate understanding of standard microeconomic theory . . . . because we normally take preferences as constant from about age twelve forward. Disciplines mostly don't talk to one another and any interdisciplinarian will have to argue with incredible force to *two* or more audiences her thesis. His task is thus formidable, not a cop-out because he didn't do enough math in college or doesn't understand Price Theory well enough to argue reaching extensions of the model.

8675309
03-12-2012, 06:16 AM
Um what is your class rank/percentile? A 3.40 doesn't mean much since your from a different system. I know what IIT is and I know that all south asian faculty will know the name, its hard to know where you should apply. Also what type of schools did you take Ph.D courses? Was it American or Indian?