View Full Version : Please recommend me with me Math courses to take next year

03-02-2011, 02:31 AM
Hello everyone!

First of all, thank you very much for your help in the earlier post I made. I would like to seek your advice this time regarding Mathematics courses to take in preparation for applying to Graduate program in 2013.

A little bit of my background:

Type of Undergrad: BEcon Top 5 Australian University, graduated Dec/2010
Undergrad GPA: 93%
Type of Grad: Will do Honours in Feb 2012
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: not yet taken
Math Courses: I haven't taken any course from the Math department. I have only Mathematical Economics Intro, Mathematical Econ Intermediate, Game Theory, Statistical Theory for Econ
Econ Courses (undergrad-level): So many. All of the courses I took in undergrad were Econ, with Econometrics theory, 1 year long Applied Econometrics, Advanced Micro, Advanced Macro (the same level with Master Econ)
Econ Courses (grad-level in 2012): Micro A, Macro A (Honours level - PhD students attend the same courses), Advanced Applied Econometrics, Micro B or Macro B, and 1 elective level 600, 700 course
Letters of Recommendation: one from an econometrics professor for sure (she's not well known but she taught me 2 courses in theory and I scored well), the rest I will work on during Honours
Research Experience: 1 summer research Macro on a scholarship, Honours thesis in the future
Teaching Experience: TA many undergrad econ courses
Research Interests: not very sure ..., currently Econometrics, Micro theory, IO

So, I'm taking a year off this year to earn enough money for Honours in 2012 (as explained in previous thread). My goal will be Top 20 PhD programs (US or Canada).

My biggest concern is the lack of formal Math courses. I can't turn back the time to do all the algebra and calculus, but the Advanced Micro and other Mathematical Econ courses pretty much covered a lot of calculus and algebra already. However, I fear that those won't be acceptable in adcoms eyes.

I have the following options:

1. In Honours year, since I have 1 elective to take (yeah the rest is compulsory), I plan to take one from the math department and I will also take an extra one in the second semester (non degree). I can't do more than 2 in a year since Honours is too intensive and we have to write the thesis in 6 months.

The following courses are available to take in 2012

Functional Analysis
Partial Differential Equations
Optimisation Theory
Calculus & Linear Algebra II
Applied Mathematical Analysis
Linear & Abstract Algebra & Number Theory
Discrete Mathematics II: Theory & Applications
Mathematical Analysis (prerequisite for Functional Analysis)
Measure Theory
Mathematical Statistics

If I'm gonna do that, what 2 courses would you guys recommend?

2. Or should I do a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics followed Honours, which allows me to take 4 courses in 1 semester and apply for the next cycle.

3. Or should I apply for a Master in Canada (UBC, Toronto). Will that fill up the gap in math? Or should I also take electives in math while doing Master there?

Thank you in advance for all your help! You guys have been so awesome and generous with advice. I really appreciate that!

03-02-2011, 02:43 AM
Masters (in Econ) courses in Canada don't really cover math. I'm not sure what the process is to go directly into PhD from undergrad in Canada (as most programs require a masters degree), but while not requiring calculus, etc. to get in, it's definitely a benefit. I also say this from the perspective of a Canadian student, as I would expect international applications are a lot more competitive (due to higher funding requirements and fewer spots available).

While I'm sure others can provide more information, many top U.S. programs require (at a minimum), Calc 1,2, 3, Real Analysis, Probability/Stats, and explicitly state such on their FAQ/Information pages.

Unfortunately, I don't really have any recommendation as to which course of action you should take.

03-02-2011, 07:03 AM
Hi s1391470, thank you for your reply.

I was hoping that I could take math courses while doing a master in Canada, like extra courses to my degree. Is that possible?

My concern is that it may look like I jump into Math all of the sudden. Well, actually that's true. I just began contemplating the PhD idea recently and now I'm trying to find a way to remedy my deficiency. The problem at my uni is that there are so many compulsory courses to earn a BEcon and it mean there are only a few credits left for any electives (even fewer for Honours students).

Do you think a Graduate certificate/diploma in Math right after Honours will help? Do you guys know any recognized universities that offer that kind of certificate without demanding too much exposure to math in undergrad?

Thanks a lot!

03-02-2011, 11:58 AM
Well, an econ MA (in Canada) is only one year, and as such, there aren't that many electives available. Typically, the first semester classes (four) are fixed. The second semester you can select four courses, but I believe only one (or at most two) can be from out of the department and must be at the masters level. Taking undergrad courses without pre-reqs is often difficult (in that they generally won't let you register for them) but I'm not sure about masters level courses.

That said, taking masters level classes would be a good "signal", but I have no idea if it is sufficient.

I don't know of any programs that offer a certificate in math, but there are quite a few good universities that offer distance education in the basic math courses (Calc 1, 2, 3, ODE, linear algebra, stats). Two reputable universities that offer this are Wisconsin (search independent learning) and University of Waterloo. Note that these can get expensive, however.

Best of luck.

03-02-2011, 02:04 PM
Well, an econ MA is only one year, and as such, there aren't that many electives available.

There are some 2-year master's programs in Europe. LSE MSc 2-year and Oxford MPhil are ones I know of.

03-02-2011, 02:21 PM
There are some 2-year master's programs in Europe. LSE MSc 2-year and Oxford MPhil are ones I know of.

Sorry, I meant a canadian MA in econ. Edited original post to clarify this.

03-18-2011, 08:57 PM
Proof based math courses do make a difference to your profile.
Match the outcomes thread to the profiles thread at TM to get an idea of which maths courses offer better signalling