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lbox
03-16-2014, 07:39 PM
I'm starting to think about where I should look at applying for in the fall of 2014. One of my econ profs seems to think I can get in to any school I want to, but I feel like that is way too optimistic. I'm think 10-30 range is more realistic? Top 50 for safety?

PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad: Economics with strong math minor, Liberal Arts in Midwest (upper half in midwest, but nothing too special)
Undergrad GPA: 4.00
Type of Grad: N/A
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: taking soon (Got an 800 on both the math and critical reading sections of the SAT and I heard GRE isn't much different in content)

Math Courses: Calc 1-3 (A), Intro Stats (AP Credit), Mathematical Statistics (A), Diff Eq. (A), Problem Solving (A), Advanced Statistical Methods (A), Linear Algebra (currently A), Advanced Calculus ("intro analysis" currently A), Topology (Fall 2014), Real Analysis (essential RA II, spring 2015)

Econ Courses: Econometrics (currently A, Linear is a coreq. and Math Stats is a prereq.), Principles Micro/Macro (A), Inter. Macro (A), Econ Development (A), Economics of Microfinance (currently A), Inter. Micro (Fall 2014, its only offered every two years...), History of Economic Thought (Fall 2014), finish up other electives in spring 2015 (game theory, international econ, money and banking)

Other Courses: Calc Based Physics from AP Credit, and random Liberal Arts gen eds...

Letters of Recommendation: All very strong recommendations but from unknown professors. (2 econ, 1 stats/math) One prof will be able to vouch for my grade in interm. micro since it won't be completed yet, but should be an A.

Research Experience: Currently completing a research project in Econometrics Class, should be ok. Doing an REU in Lafayette College on Bayesian Econometrics and forecasting the NRU for this upcoming summer. Should give me another potential letter of rec from slightly better known profs.

Teaching Experience: TA for Intro Stats & Principles of Micro (2 Years),

Research Interests: Developmental Economics, Econometrics, International Economics

SOP: Talk about limited opportunities at Liberal Arts (course offerings, research, etc), thus graduating in 3 years. Talk about research experience a little and my further interests. Standard otherwise.

Other:

Dreaming:
Harvard, MIT...

Reaches:
NYU, Northwestern, Brown, Columbia, Cornell

Mid:
University Maryland, UC-SD, UCLA, U Minnesota, U Michigan, U Wisconsin, U Texas, Ohio State U, UC-Davis, Vanderbilt, Duke, John Hopkins, Boston University, Michigan State University

Safeties: IU, Purdue, Georgetown, UC-Santa Cruz, UC-Irvine, Notre Dame

Any thoughts?

Econhead
03-16-2014, 08:35 PM
GPA and GRE are not good enough to crack top 10 without letters from known (and solid) professors, generally. Also, sounds like you are coming from a non PhD granting institution. Your research experience and math courses will probably be discounted some. Also, not a lot of " real" research experience.

I'd say aim 10-30. If you can afford it, apply to a couple from 5-10, many from 10-20, and several from 20-30. You'll probably get a 10-20 admit.

econphd14
03-17-2014, 04:12 PM
I'm starting to think about where I should look at applying for in the fall of 2014. One of my econ profs seems to think I can get in to any school I want to, but I feel like that is way too optimistic. I'm think 10-30 range is more realistic? Top 50 for safety?

PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad:Economics with strong math minor, Liberal Arts in Midwest (upper half in midwest, but nothing too special)
Undergrad GPA: 4.00
Type of Grad: N/A
Grad GPA: N/A
GRE: taking soon (Got an 800 on both the math and critical reading sections of the SAT and I heard GRE isn't much different in content)

Math Courses: Calc 1-3 (A), Intro Stats (AP Credit), Mathematical Statistics (A), Diff Eq. (A), Problem Solving (A), Advanced Statistical Methods (A), Linear Algebra (currently A), Advanced Calculus ("intro analysis" currently A), Topology (Fall 2014), Real Analysis (essential RA II, spring 2015)

Econ Courses: Econometrics (currently A, Linear is a coreq. and Math Stats is a prereq.), Principles Micro/Macro (A), Inter. Macro (A), Econ Development (A), Economics of Microfinance (currently A), Inter. Micro (Fall 2014, its only offered every two years...), History of Economic Thought (Fall 2014), finish up other electives in spring 2015 (game theory, international econ, money and banking)

Other Courses: Calc Based Physics from AP Credit, and random Liberal Arts gen eds...

Letters of Recommendation: All very strong recommendations but from unknown professors. (2 econ, 1 stats/math) One prof will be able to vouch for my grade in interm. micro since it won't be completed yet, but should be an A.

Research Experience: Currently completing a research project in Econometrics Class, should be ok. Doing an REU in Lafayette College on Bayesian Econometrics and forecasting the NRU for this upcoming summer. Should give me another potential letter of rec from slightly better known profs.

Teaching Experience: TA for Intro Stats & Principles of Micro (2 Years),

Research Interests: Developmental Economics, Econometrics, International Economics

SOP: Talk about limited opportunities at Liberal Arts (course offerings, research, etc), thus graduating in 3 years. Talk about research experience a little and my further interests. Standard otherwise.

Other:

Dreaming:
Harvard, MIT...

Reaches:
NYU, Northwestern, Brown, Columbia, Cornell

Mid:
University Maryland, UC-SD, UCLA, U Minnesota, U Michigan, U Wisconsin, U Texas, Ohio State U, UC-Davis, Vanderbilt, Duke, John Hopkins, Boston University, Michigan State University

Safeties: IU, Purdue, Georgetown, UC-Santa Cruz, UC-Irvine, Notre Dame

Any thoughts?

I attend a liberal arts college in the upper Midwest, so a top 10 is not impossible. However, you really have to work extra hard to compensate for the lack of letter writers. I ended up staying an extra year in undergrad, instead of graduating early, to study abroad at the LSE, put together an additional summer of faculty mentored research, and take additional higher level courses. Opportunities are definitely slim at most LACs, but they do exist. You may want to consider staying an extra year or doing an honors term to assist a faculty member with a project. If not, you could always apply to every reputable RA position you can find.

lbox
03-17-2014, 04:53 PM
Econhead- thats about what I was thinking too for schools.

Econphd14 - I will have exhausted the upper level classes in math and Econ by the end of my third year. I think I'm leaning towards the route of applying to RA positions in case i get shut out of all the schools I am interested in because that would give me a more reputable letter writer and research experience, which I think are more of my deficiencies than coursework. I'd be fine with a top30 and excited about top 20 admits, which seem to be attainable.