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Econbrah
02-02-2015, 12:11 AM
Hi guys,

I applied to the Barcelona GSE economics masters program and got an acceptance, but if I am to keep my spot I must accept by Feb 28th and pay 1,000 Euros.

Unfortunately, looking at Gradcafe, this is likely prior to when I will hear back from most of the other programs I applied to.

Do you have any suggestions about what to do about this? If I think I've got a good shot of getting into another program (that I would strictly prefer), is it worth taking the gamble and waiting? Or, is it possible to ask if the deadline can be delayed? Probably not I assume.

I'm wondering if anyone else is facing this dilemma, and how they are dealing with it?


Post Script: what do you guys think of Barcelona GSE? Is it a good program to get into American PhD programs? Is it worth 14,500 euro in tuition (I have an unfunded offer).

Cheers

jrdonsimoni
02-02-2015, 12:18 AM
I guess the question boils down to how risk averse you are, but if you genuinely believe you have a shot, perhas you'd be better off waiting it out then. BGSE does seem to place very well, but what about the other departments you applied to? Do they also place very well? For instance, if you have an offer from BGSE but you think you might get into, say Nottingham, then I'd advise to go for BGSE without hesitation (despite me being a Notts alumnus :) BGSE is just better, obviously). Barcelona is also a lovely to live in fo a year :)

Food4Thought
02-02-2015, 12:23 AM
Do you have a fallback option other than BGSE? If you decline and your first choice doesn't happen? Would the gamble involve getting into better masters programs or does it involve potentially placing into a PhD program?

This is a horrible dilemma. I don't want to sway you one way or another.. but if you stand a good chance at getting a funded offer from a PhD program, I would really consider taking the gamble.

Econhead
02-02-2015, 12:32 AM
I believe that I have seen this question raised before. I seem to recall someone asking for an extention (specifically from BGSE), and they got at least a two week extention, if not a little later. Going into this type of e-mail I would actually not "ask" for an extension, leaving it open-ended. I would e-mail them saying something on the order of "I would like an extension until date_XYZ." If you give them the option they will give you less time than you want. The worst they can do is tell you no or give you a shorter time span.

pch
02-02-2015, 03:08 AM
I believe that I have seen this question raised before. I seem to recall someone asking for an extention (specifically from BGSE), and they got at least a two week extention, if not a little later. Going into this type of e-mail I would actually not "ask" for an extension, leaving it open-ended. I would e-mail them saying something on the order of "I would like an extension until date_XYZ." If you give them the option they will give you less time than you want. The worst they can do is tell you no or give you a shorter time span.

I was previously in a similar situation and requested BGSE to give me an extension, which they did, twice, but overall it was not very long, 2 or 3 weeks if I recall correctly. It's a little unfortunate, because there is an incentive to apply there early (because of a limited pool of funding) but then it also means you need to commit early. However, since you don't have funding, they might be willing to extend your offer till later. Good luck!

Econhead
02-02-2015, 03:12 AM
I was previously in a similar situation and requested BGSE to give me an extension, which they did, twice, but overall it was not very long, 2 or 3 weeks if I recall correctly. It's a little unfortunate, because there is an incentive to apply there early (because of a limited pool of funding) but then it also means you need to commit early. However, since you don't have funding, they might be willing to extend your offer till later. Good luck!

Thanks for the corroboration/correction, PCH!

Econbrah
02-02-2015, 04:43 AM
Thanks for the insights guys. Econhead and pch - I will certainly take your advice and request an extension.

I applied exclusively to master's programs with the aim of beefing up my profile before a PhD shot. Canadian stuff like U of T, UBC, Queen's, Western, McGill. Then LSE, UCL, and Toulouse.

I guess my fear is I accept BGSE and then I get a funded, doctoral stream offer from UT or another Canadian school - Western's MA is the first year of a PhD after all. Or (who knows) funded offers from UCL or LSE or Toulouse (which has no tuition anyways - saves me about 20,000 CAD right there).

Even though BGSE is highly ranked, I get the sense Canadian masters programs might be a more direct avenue to US PhD's - is this at all true? I spoke to one of my profs, a reasonably well known guy (IDEAS top 5%) and he'd never even heard of the place! That was weird.

Thanks again for your contributions.

Econhead
02-02-2015, 04:50 AM
Thanks for the insights guys. Econhead and pch - I will certainly take your advice and request an extension.

I applied exclusively to master's programs with the aim of beefing up my profile before a PhD shot. Canadian stuff like U of T, UBC, Queen's, Western, McGill. Then LSE, UCL, and Toulouse.

I guess my fear is I accept BGSE and then I get a funded, doctoral stream offer from UT or another Canadian school - Western's MA is the first year of a PhD after all. Or (who knows) funded offers from UCL or LSE or Toulouse (which has no tuition anyways - saves me about 20,000 CAD right there).

Even though BGSE is highly ranked, I get the sense Canadian masters programs might be a more direct avenue to US PhD's - is this at all true? I spoke to one of my profs, a reasonably well known guy (IDEAS top 5%) and he'd never even heard of the place! That was weird.

Thanks again for your contributions.

Not everyone is familiar with acronyms. (Course, I am just taking a stab in the dark, here). Refer to spain and Mas-Colell, and i'm sure he'll know what you're talking about.

Freakish
02-10-2015, 07:48 PM
Thanks for the insights guys. Econhead and pch - I will certainly take your advice and request an extension.

I applied exclusively to master's programs with the aim of beefing up my profile before a PhD shot. Canadian stuff like U of T, UBC, Queen's, Western, McGill. Then LSE, UCL, and Toulouse.

I guess my fear is I accept BGSE and then I get a funded, doctoral stream offer from UT or another Canadian school - Western's MA is the first year of a PhD after all. Or (who knows) funded offers from UCL or LSE or Toulouse (which has no tuition anyways - saves me about 20,000 CAD right there).

Even though BGSE is highly ranked, I get the sense Canadian masters programs might be a more direct avenue to US PhD's - is this at all true? I spoke to one of my profs, a reasonably well known guy (IDEAS top 5%) and he'd never even heard of the place! That was weird.

Thanks again for your contributions.

Have you taken into account that you can choose the PhD core courses at Barcelona and then get upgraded to the MRes/PhD track in January? For all I know, the courses are equivalent to the first year of a PhD/MRes in many places (at least UPF obviously). Don't know if any of your other choices offer this opportunity (except for Western). Probably very hard to succeed in the courses but it's possible to prepare for the fall courses in advance (this year's reading lists are available).

The reputation thing can be due to the fact that BGSE has only been in existence since 2006. (just a wild guess)

Hope you get an extension and don't have to choose blindly!

Econbrah
02-10-2015, 09:03 PM
I had no idea students can take PhD core courses and get upgraded into a PhD at Barcelona.

Here's the course list for the econ masters: Courses - Master in Economics - Barcelona GSE (http://www.barcelonagse.eu/UPF-GSE_Master_in_Economics_Courses.html)

It appears they let you chose between advanced and standard courses - I don't think the "advanced" courses are just first year PhD courses? But I think they are necessary to move into UPF PhD.


I think around February 20th I'm going to request an extension. That way it appears I waited a reasonable amount of time before being "forced" to request one. I'm almost certain I won't hear back from any Canadian programs before march - and those programs may be much, much cheaper. At UBC, for instance, tuition for domestic students is only $4,524.84 and they give funding to maybe half their incoming students. Makes BGSE's 14,500 euros look like quite a rip.

Freakish
02-10-2015, 09:21 PM
I had no idea students can take PhD core courses and get upgraded into a PhD at Barcelona.

Here's the course list for the econ masters: Courses - Master in Economics - Barcelona GSE (http://www.barcelonagse.eu/UPF-GSE_Master_in_Economics_Courses.html)

It appears they let you chose between advanced and standard courses - I don't think the "advanced" courses are just first year PhD courses? But I think they are necessary to move into UPF PhD.


I think around February 20th I'm going to request an extension. That way it appears I waited a reasonable amount of time before being "forced" to request one. I'm almost certain I won't hear back from any Canadian programs before march - and those programs may be much, much cheaper. At UBC, for instance, tuition for domestic students is only $4,524.84 and they give funding to maybe half their incoming students. Makes BGSE's 14,500 euros look like quite a rip.


The Advanced courses are PhD/MRes courses. You can check the pdf syllabus from each.
For example, from the Advanced Econometrics 1:
"This is an introductory course in econometrics intended for PhD students."


Also here's the PhD track outline: Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (http://www.barcelonagse.eu/Pdf.php?id=1102)

So basically the MRes-year after the MSc year would be field courses and the MSc year would take care of the core courses (assuming you get the upgrade to MRes after first quarter).

And actually if you count the credits required to follow the Advanced courses, there is no room for anything else than the core courses during the MSc year.

More here (and you can check the course list as well): http://www.econ.upf.edu/gpefm/

Econbrah
02-11-2015, 12:57 AM
Oh that makes a lot more sense - I was actually wondering why there were two streams of master's courses. Thanks for the links.

So, UPF probably snaps up quite a few of the BGSE master students.

Is there a reason why BGSE awards purely masters degrees while UPF or UAB award the PhD's? Does UPF strictly dominate UAB for the PhD?

sevet
02-11-2015, 05:04 PM
I had no idea students can take PhD core courses and get upgraded into a PhD at Barcelona.

Here's the course list for the econ masters: Courses - Master in Economics - Barcelona GSE (http://www.barcelonagse.eu/UPF-GSE_Master_in_Economics_Courses.html)

It appears they let you chose between advanced and standard courses - I don't think the "advanced" courses are just first year PhD courses? But I think they are necessary to move into UPF PhD.


I think around February 20th I'm going to request an extension. That way it appears I waited a reasonable amount of time before being "forced" to request one. I'm almost certain I won't hear back from any Canadian programs before march - and those programs may be much, much cheaper. At UBC, for instance, tuition for domestic students is only $4,524.84 and they give funding to maybe half their incoming students. Makes BGSE's 14,500 euros look like quite a rip.

At least for domestic students, almost everybody is funded at UBC IIRC.

And it's interesting seeing the course descriptions for the "Advanced"/PhD track courses in that link, obviously there's probably a difference in how rigorously each topic is taught but the topics in the advanced courses line up almost exactly with the MA micro/metrics courses at UBC.