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Nicholas Miles
09-29-2011, 02:53 PM
Hi all,

I know this sort of topic has probably been done to death, but I'm looking for a couple of pieces of advice. I'm currently in my second year towards earning a BA (Hons) in Economics with a minor in Mathematics in Canada. I screwed up a little bit first year, though I still managed to pull of a 3.7 GPA. I am now trying to figure out what to take in upper years to better my chances of getting into a school like the LSE, or UCL. I am mostly looking at British schools as that is where I am from originally, and I do want to return there.

I am currently planning on taking Real Analysis I and II, Intermediate Lin Alg I and II, and Intermediate Calculus I and II (I think by the American system that would be Calc III and IV). I then have the option between taking Statistics and Probability I and II, or one semester of Metric Space Topology and one semester of Advanced Calculus (Calc V? Does that exist?).

I should add that I will be taking 4 semesters (2 full years) of econometrics. I can supply course descriptions for any and all courses.

EDIT: My question is as follows. Is some topology/adv calc preferable to a more rigorous introduction to probability/stats? Is a 3.7GPA, a 790-800 Quant GRE, and some RAing experience enough for some of the schools I mentioned?

tangyjackie
09-29-2011, 11:08 PM
Are you applying to Masters or PhD programs?

If you have the time, I think having both topology and intro to probability/stats (using calculus) would be ideal, but if you have to choose, I think topology would be better. For me, I had to take intro to prob/stats (no calculus) (it was a program requirement and this was before I knew I wanted to go into econ) as a prerequisite before I could take econometrics, but since I had some extra time, I decided to take the class (the most rigorous intro prob/stats offered from a statistics department) rather than a business/econ department.

Nicholas Miles
09-30-2011, 12:43 AM
I'm not sure yet when it comes to Master's vs. a PhD. I'm mostly hoping to go into government work, preferably at an international level (the EU, the UN, IMF, etc.). I imagine a PhD would be beneficial in those fields, correct?

econoecon
09-30-2011, 02:28 AM
I would take Statistics/Probability. It seems like you've already taken some theoretical math but haven't taken any stat/prob. If you're considering government work, many government econ jobs involve statistics.

Nicholas Miles
09-30-2011, 02:30 AM
It seems like you've already taken some theoretical math but haven't taken any stat/prob.

While it is true that I haven't taken any stat/prob, my only math so far has been 2 semesters of calculus and 1 of linear algebra. I did have to do some proof-based stuff for calc (Mean Value Theorem, etc.), but I haven't had a rigorous foundation in proof-writing.

EDIT: I should add that I also have to do some proof-writing for a computer science Data Structures & Algorithms course that I am currently taking.

econoecon
09-30-2011, 02:39 AM
While it is true that I haven't taken any stat/prob, my only math so far has been 2 semesters of calculus and 1 of linear algebra. I did have to do some proof-based stuff for calc (Mean Value Theorem, etc.), but I haven't had a rigorous foundation in proof-writing.

EDIT: I should add that I also have to do some proof-writing for a computer science Data Structures & Algorithms course that I am currently taking.

Oh I re-read your post and see that you haven't taken RA yet, but if you are planning on taking 2 semesters of RA, I'd probably take Stat/Prob rather than Topology. However, I think that both are good options, so I guess it depends on your interests as well.

Nicholas Miles
09-30-2011, 06:54 AM
Ok, thanks! What about the second part to my question, is a 3.7 GPA with a strong math background, a 790 or 800 GRE and some research experience enough for the LSE, or should I try to boost my marks a bit more?

EconBeach
09-30-2011, 07:48 AM
I'm not sure yet when it comes to Master's vs. a PhD. I'm mostly hoping to go into government work, preferably at an international level (the EU, the UN, IMF, etc.). I imagine a PhD would be beneficial in those fields, correct?
I am almost certain you would need a PhD before getting a gig at one of those places.

EconBeach
09-30-2011, 07:56 AM
Ok, thanks! What about the second part to my question, is a 3.7 GPA with a strong math background, a 790 or 800 GRE and some research experience enough for the LSE, or should I try to boost my marks a bit more?
No matter how solid you think your background is, if you have a chance to boost it, go for it. I.e., given the time and money constraints, if you can afford it, then the added value to your profile would be pretty fantastic.

Nicholas Miles
09-30-2011, 06:13 PM
Of course, more is always better (monotonicity etc. etc.). Given my current state of education, and extrapolating from there, would I have a competitive application, in your opinion?