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azecon
11-12-2014, 01:42 AM
Type of Undergrad (2005-2010):
CSU Northridge (BA in Economics and History double major)
Undergrad GPA: 3.55

Type of Grad (2011-2014):
CSU Los Angeles (MA in Economics with emphasis on International Development and math classes that equate to at least a Math minor)
Grad GPA: 3.92

GRE:
First try (September 2010): Q: 730 V: 470 AWA: 4.0
Second try (November 2014): Q: 168 V: 159 AWA: n/a (probably a 4.0)

Undergrad Math Courses at CSU Northridge: Business Statistics (C+), College Algebra (C)

Undergrad Math Courses at CSU Los Angeles: Calculus I-IV (A,A,A-,A), Differential Equations (A), Discrete Mathematics (A), Linear Algebra-non proof (A), Linear Algebra-proof (A), Introduction to Statistics (A), Math Notation and Proof (A), Linear Programming (A), Theory of Probability-calculus based (A), Advanced Calculus I (A)

Undergrad Econ Courses at CSU Northridge: Introduction to Microeconomics (B), Introduction to Macroeconomics (A), Price Theory (B), Economic Data and Statistics (B), Money and Banking (A), Industrial Organization (A), Urban Economics (4), Macroeconomic Theory (A), Public Economics (C), Economic Development (B), Managerial Economics (B)

Undergrad Econ Courses at CSU Los Angeles-part of degree requirements: Econometrics I (C+, then retook for A), Mathematical Economics (A), Business Forecasting (A)

Grad Econ Courses at CSU Los Angeles: International Economics (A), Econometric Analysis (A), Applied Microeconomic Analysis (A), Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy (A), Economic Development (A), International Macroeconomics and Currency Crisis (A)

Letters of Recommendation:
1- Assistant Chair in Math Department at CSU Los Angeles--told me personally that I am one of only few of students, in over a 20 year career of teaching, that actually stands out in his memory. Has said that he admires my work ethic and has playfully remarked that I ought to be putting my mathematical prowess to better use by pursuing a PHD in Mathematics rather than Economics. Earned an A in all three classes that I took with him.
2- Chair in Economics Department at CSU Los Angeles--has publicly stated that I am one of the best students in the history of the program and that I would make an excellent doctoral student. Earned an A in all three classes that I took with him.
3- Economics master thesis adviser - I was working with him closely as I was writing my thesis. We would meet about once a week or keep correspondence through email. However, I was never able to complete my thesis because of family related health issues. Earned an A in the two classes that I took with him.

Research Experience: Masters thesis (incomplete at the time of application) I hope to have it completed it by Spring 2015 so that I can get my masters degree, as I have completed all of the required coursework. Six month internship at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation-primarily data mining and report writing.

Teaching Experience: Economics graduate assistant for a quarter-graded and proctored exams as well as coordinated study sessions. Private/freelance tutoring in math and economics to junior high, high school, and college level students.

Research Interests: I am interested in international development, as well as regional/urban applied microeconomics. Poverty and crime research also interests me.

SOP: Hope to make it strong by focusing on my passion and interest in the field. I also would like to speak a little about my persistence in pursuing the degree and my level of maturity-I will be 28 years by the time of matriculation. Lastly, I would like to use it as an opportunity to help explain some of my shortcomings (see below).

Concerns: Coming from relatively low ranked schools, my mediocre undergrad performance by prospective PHD student standards, my incomplete master's thesis.

What range of schools do you think I ought to apply to? What is my reach range? What is my safety range?

Because of family and personal reasons I would like to go somewhere in Southern California. Thus, I'm considering applying to UCSD, UCLA, UCSB, UC Irvine, and USC. However, I may opt to apply to some other schools if I feel that I may be a competitive applicant within the top 10-30.

Thank you very very much!

azecon
11-12-2014, 06:34 PM
anybody else? lol

Econhead
11-13-2014, 04:01 AM
anybody else? lol

I don't see a realistic possibility of you being admitted to UCSD. Broadly, I don't see you being a competitive applicant 10-30. Perhaps others can weigh in.

Isn't Clemson in southern California? You could include that one. If you have questions about their program, there's a member or two there that might be willing to PM you.

I seem to recall your previous posts. Props for improving your profile by such a degree.

tm_member
11-13-2014, 01:31 PM
I don't see a realistic possibility of you being admitted to UCSD. Broadly, I don't see you being a competitive applicant 10-30. Perhaps others can weigh in.

Isn't Clemson in southern California? You could include that one. If you have questions about their program, there's a member or two there that might be willing to PM you.

I seem to recall your previous posts. Props for improving your profile by such a degree.

Clemson is in South Carolina.

The OP definitely needs to consider geographic diversification. Those are good schools, and most applicants are lucky to get 1 or 2 offers from a dozen or more applications. I'm not saying the OP has no shot at any of them, but focusing on only that area and so few schools is a huge risk.

azecon
11-14-2014, 04:24 PM
I don't see a realistic possibility of you being admitted to UCSD. Broadly, I don't see you being a competitive applicant 10-30. Perhaps others can weigh in.

Isn't Clemson in southern California? You could include that one. If you have questions about their program, there's a member or two there that might be willing to PM you.

I seem to recall your previous posts. Props for improving your profile by such a degree.

Although I agree that students with better profiles will be applying to schools in the 10-30 range, I still feel that I have a shot at getting into those schools because the process is so random. You here so many stories about students that get into school X but get rejected by school Y even though school X is ranked ahead of school Y. So why can't that work both ways? I may just end up getting accepted, so I'm going to give it a shot.

Clemson is in South Carolina. Maybe you are confusing it with Claremont Graduate University, which is in SoCal. I may consider applying there as a safety.

Thanks for the response. And yes I have come a long way, which is all the more reason to apply to some of the top 10-30 schools.


Clemson is in South Carolina.

The OP definitely needs to consider geographic diversification. Those are good schools, and most applicants are lucky to get 1 or 2 offers from a dozen or more applications. I'm not saying the OP has no shot at any of them, but focusing on only that area and so few schools is a huge risk.

Yes. I will look to diversify a little bit and apply to more schools. What do you think is a good amount of schools to apply to?

Thanks for the response!

Econhead
11-14-2014, 04:50 PM
Yes. I will look to diversify a little bit and apply to more schools. What do you think is a good amount of schools to apply to?

Thanks for the response!

I have a fairly unconventional profile and I am applying to 14-16 programs, T20-60 (and 2 unranked programs that offer graduate funding). (About me: poor undergrad - much more so than you might expect - from an unknown unranked program with no graduate econ. Now graduate work, but not a masters. Mostly's As, but one slip up. Working with a well known professor.).

Many people on this forum apply to at least 8 it seems like, with many over 10. I am applying to more than most because in addition to my profile, my wife is applying to a different program and we are likely to face a matching problem.

HungryGriot
11-14-2014, 06:19 PM
My profile is unique as well, and I've gotten mixed feedback on targets. One advisor said "apply to 3 or 4 schools" well that worked for him as a math major from a top 10 UG, but with a mixed bag like yours (and mine) I'm leaning the other way and applying to 8 or 9, btw 20 and 80. Programs are accepting 8-20 people...It's quite easy to get shut out of the top 30.

Consider expanding to the Arizona schools..or NorCal..

NBZ
11-15-2014, 05:19 AM
I applied to 15 and didn't regret it one bit. Obviously at some point you hit time and money constraints, but the nature of the process is such that it is not terribly difficult to apply to 5-6 more schools if you are already applying to say 8-9.

azecon
11-24-2014, 05:24 PM
I will take your guys' advice and apply to more schools. Thanks for the replies!