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schumpeter
10-30-2014, 03:31 PM
PROFILE:
Type of Undergrad: state university in Europe, BSC Economics
Undergrad GPA: top 20% of class overall, (top 1% in Micro)
Type of Grad: Double degree in Public Policy, top 10 institutions
Grad GPA: A
GRE: 156 (Q), 157V, awful AW (retaking it for sure, I didn't need a high Q for public policy)
Math Courses: Calculus I, II, III, linear algebra
Stat Courses: Descriptive Stats, Probabilities, Hypothesis Testing, Regression analysis with cross-sectional data (simple regression, multiple regression, heteroskedasticity, ...) in UG. UG was very theoretical. More applied Econometrics (Panel-data, Time Series) courses in Graduate
Econ Courses (undergrad-level): Usual Micro and Macro. International Trade. Game Theory. Microeconomics of Uncertainty. I had a major in IO and worked quite a lot with material from Jean Tirole, Belleflamme & Peitz, etc.
Econ Courses (grad-level): Macro, Political economy + a lot of political science courses
Letters of Recommendation: possibly my boss, I am working for as RA, two other economists
Research Experience: RA for an IDEAS top 5% economist. MA Thesis is in labor economics (mainly quantitative work)
Teaching Experience: None
Research Interests: International Macro, Political economcy, IO, Labor
SOP: don't know yet
Concerns: Math background (and grades), GREs
Other: I excelled in Micro (2nd out of 500), very inconsistent in math. A little bit better in stats.
Applying to: somewhere in Europe (PSE, Toulouse, EUI, ...). Is my profile good enough for top 10 US in econ?
I am not sure whether my profile is sufficient for a PhD in econ straight away. Your input and ideas are much appreciated. Alternatively I thought at looking at pol. economy PhD in the US.

Thx.

publicaffairsny
10-30-2014, 07:31 PM
You do not have the requisite math courses (calc 1-3, linear algebra) or GRE q score (>160) for any us PhD in econ.

schumpeter
10-31-2014, 09:29 AM
You do not have the requisite math courses (calc 1-3, linear algebra) or GRE q score (>160) for any us PhD in econ.

Thanks for your reply. I did linear algebra. I wasn't sure what topics Calc I, II according to the US system covered. I should have researched it before putting it out there. After looking it up, I see that Calc III covers Lagrange multipliers, euclidian spaces etc. which I also coverd. I agree on the GRE.

publicaffairsny
10-31-2014, 12:27 PM
Thanks for your reply. I did linear algebra. I wasn't sure what topics Calc I, II according to the US system covered. I should have researched it before putting it out there. After looking it up, I see that Calc III covers Lagrange multipliers, euclidian spaces etc. which I also coverd. I agree on the GRE.

These are things that can be remedied fairly quickly. However top 10 is a stretch for most applicants as you can see if you look at results threads.

schumpeter
10-31-2014, 12:57 PM
Yes, you are absolutely right. I know that PhD's in general are extremely competitive. Depending on the department and field of interests, what would be schools to consider in the US in the top 30 for Macro?

fakeo
10-31-2014, 03:46 PM
I agree that top 10 is a stretch for you, but your math may be deemed sufficient by the adcoms. EU schools don't have the exact equivalents of the usual US math courses. You shouldn't try to convert your coursework and grades to US equivalents, all departments have people who are familiar with all kinds of international school systems. So as long as you are considered a strong student with your country's standards, you should be fine.

Top 30 for macro. Hm. It's not my main field, so take this with a grain of salt but I believe Minnesota, Wisconsin, and WUSTL are strong in macro. UCSC is another school I remember is good in these fields, although it's somewhat lower ranked.

To better gauge your chances: what programs does your school usually place its students into? How do you compare with those students?

schumpeter
11-01-2014, 11:23 AM
I agree that top 10 is a stretch for you, but your math may be deemed sufficient by the adcoms. EU schools don't have the exact equivalents of the usual US math courses. You shouldn't try to convert your coursework and grades to US equivalents, all departments have people who are familiar with all kinds of international school systems. So as long as you are considered a strong student with your country's standards, you should be fine.

Top 30 for macro. Hm. It's not my main field, so take this with a grain of salt but I believe Minnesota, Wisconsin, and WUSTL are strong in macro. UCSC is another school I remember is good in these fields, although it's somewhat lower ranked.

To better gauge your chances: what programs does your school usually place its students into? How do you compare with those students?

Thx for your reply.

Yes, indeed I did my UG in a country where grading is particularly different from the US. (1/3 of the grading scale is never used in practize). My MPP was according to the US system and I had straight A's everywhere quite easily. Of course, I think grade inflation in Public Policy might be more present than in econ, but that's another debate.

Straight from my UG in econ, a lot of people went into PSE and LSE, but mainly for master's. In Europe it is (still) very rare that people start a PhD right out of UG.

From my public policy master's, I know some former students that ended up in the US at UCSC, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia and Tuft's in econ PhDs.

Having done a quite rigorious econ UG, I think I am doing well in comparison to them. But this is pure speculation.

NBZ
11-01-2014, 09:13 PM
Having done a quite rigorious econ UG, I think I am doing well in comparison to them. But this is pure speculation.

Unfortunately trying to predict admission results is often akin to pure speculation. The fact that your school has sent students to PhD programs in the past is a positive signal. On the other hand, grading standards aside, being top 20% of your class (and not, let's say, top 10%) could also make it difficult to get admitted to the top schools. Have your professors sent students to PhD programs in the past, and what do they suggest you do?