View Full Version : UK Student - please help me evaluate the suitability of my modules.

11-04-2014, 11:34 PM

I'm looking to apply to PhD programs in the US once I graduate from the UK. I know that my current education is void of the standard math requirements, so I am embarking on a year abroad to the US next year in order to fulfil these requirements. Firstly I will list my domestic modules, associated textbooks and upload a past paper for each one I am insure about, if anyone is caring enough to take time out of their day to evaluate them for me.

I take 3-course sequences in Micro and Macro, a 2-course sequence in Statistics, a 2-course sequence in Econometrics and a few other random quantitive modules (Further stats, finance, applied mathematics).

Microeconomics 1-2

Based on Perloff, Microeconomics with Calculus
Bit of lagrange, partial derivatives, solving for output, profits etc.

Macroeconomics 1-2

Based on Blanchard, Macroeconomics: A European Approach and Weil D. Economic Growth
The only maths that comes up is algebraic manipulation and deriving things.

Advanced Micro

Lots of constraint optimisation problems. Based on Varian: Intermediate microeconomics, mainly because topics are absent in Perloff. Note, I've heard that it goes above the book mathematically.

Advanced Macro

Based on Burda, Wyplosz, Macroeconomics and Blanchard again. More mathematical than previous macro stuff - tiny bit of matrix algebra, differential equations and constraint optimisation. And then the normal algebraic manipulation stuff.

Intro to Statistics and Applied Statistics (2 terms)

Two terms. They cover elementary topics in statistics such as probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, linear regression, multiple regression, ANOVA, OLS, Bivariate regression, linear probability, logistic models, time series etc. First term is literally just applying formulas and getting answers, and knowing where to use statistical methods. Second term is slightly more mathematical (no calculus) - few proofs.

Applied Mathematics for Economists

We covered parts from topics in linear algebra, optimisation, dynamical systems, differential equations, and optimal control theory. Describing this course can seem pretty ambiguous so I’ll upload the manuscript notes.

Final year..(Meaning, I will not have completed this before I go on my year abroad).

Further Statistics

Based on the book ‘Mathematical Statistics, with Applications’ by Wackerly & Scheaffer. I’m hoping this will tick off the math stats module requirement so I don’t have to take it on my year abroad. The course covers all but 3 chapters in the book.

Introduction to Econometrics

Wooldridge: Introductory Econometrics, that’s all I know about this course. It’s not very mathematical. I’ve heard that it sticks to the book religiously.

Applied Econometrics

Wooldridge again. I know my university places quite a practical emphasis on econometrics as a whole - not sure if this second module has more rigour - but probably not.. I'll try to find out.

The modules I plan on taking in the US depend on which University I'm allowed to go to. I've applied to California (quarter system), but it's competitive. Other options will be Texas, Rochester, Arizona State - all semester systems.

Quarter system:
(Calc II, Linear Algebra, _____)
(Calc III, Differential Equations, _______)
(Real Analysis, _____, _____)

Semester System
(Calc III, Linear Algebra, _____, _____)
(Real Analysis, Differential Equations, _____, _____)

Please evaluate my choices and help me fill in the gaps - bare in mind prerequisites for courses you recommend to me, and how they fit in around my current knowledge and/or the courses I plan on taking abroad.

1. Does it seem likely that my further stats module will satisfy the mathematical statistics requirement for PhD programs?
2. Do my core sequences in Micro & Macro stand up against those in a well ranked US institution?
3. Are my basic statistics modules respectable?
4. How advanced is my applied mathematics module in comparison to the maths modules I plan on taking?

Here are the documents: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9it8blgpi5oczcm/AABtE6CdxXAcrapoxv5T1vXza?dl=0

Sorry for the very long read. Absolutely any advice and insight is welcomed!


Edit: I have also been sitting in on a 'introduction to pure mathematics' module for math students (I've also uploaded the course document). I'll also be sitting in on analysis next term - none of it will be 'official', but rather to take the load off on my year abroad.

11-05-2014, 12:22 AM
Your choice of math courses seems fine -- with those you will fulfill entry requirement everywhere (they usually ask calc i, ii, iii, linear algebra, diff eq, statistics), but you need to have As in all of them.

If you want to be sure - take PhD Micro course in the US school (the schools you applied to seem to have good PhD programs) and get an A. That should signal adcoms that you won't have any problems with math whatsoever.

About statistics: I am applying currently, and all I can remember is some schools ask Statistics (Calculus based, whatever that means). This is is a tricky one, given your further stats course will be in your last year. Dunno what to say on this one, maybe other people here will have ideas.

11-05-2014, 12:30 AM
Yeah, Admission deadlines seem to be around November, but my results for Further stats won't be out until January. I don't doubt that my LORs would vouch for my ability to ace the courses, though. I've checked, and I can't take graduate micro. None of the schools will allow for international students to do that - and I definitely wouldn't want to do it without having done real analysis.

I'm wondering, do schools offer conditional offers, subject to grades succeeding the deadline?

11-05-2014, 12:42 AM
I know for sure, that some schools (i think, Princeton) require you to send them your fall semester grades as soon as you get them, after the deadline.