AJZ

02-07-2015, 06:45 AM

Hi! I am a 3-year international student studying at a Top3 U.S. public university right now, and I am preparing for grad school application. It would be great if I could have some of your opinions on my current background and possible ways to improve it. So, here we go:

PROFILE:

Type of Undergrad: Top3 U.S. public research university (Top 15 Econ dept and top 5 math dept world-wide, according to various rankings).

Undergrad GPA: 3.976/4.000 Major GPA: roughly the same

GRE: 153V/170Q/3.5W (Took it a year ago)

Undergrad Math Courses: (Note: Grade A and A+ are usually the same in my university, but some professors do give out A+ in their classes. A and A+ are both 4.0 in GPA)

Single-Variable Calculus 1,2(A, A) Multi-Variable Calculus 1,2(A, A+) Intro to Linear Algebra (A+) Intro to Discrete Mathematics (A) Intro to Differential Equation (A)

Honors Linear Algebra (A+) Probability Theory 1(A) Honors Real Analysis 1 (A-)

Econ Courses (undergrad-level): Intro1/Intro2/Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (A+, A+, A+) Intro/Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (A+, A+)

Programming courses: C++ 1, 2 (A, A)

Classes will be taken before applying:

Probability Theory 2, Honors Real Analysis 2, Numerical Methods 1, Econometrics (Undergrad)

Letters of Recommendation: (I am considering asking some of these six professors for LOR)

1.4th Year econ thesis adviser (did not take any class with him)

2. An econ professor that I took a class with, and he has been my "mentor" for a long time. Will possibly do research with him over this summer

3. Probability Theory 2 professor who I am considering doing research with next quarter

4. Intermediate Macro Prof who I talked a lot to about PhD programs

5. Honors Real Analysis 2 Prof who I haven't met yet. But will take her class next quarter

6. Econometrics Prof. who I will take next quarter

Research Interests: Micro Economics Theory

P.s.: I would like to stay in academia and become a professor after my phd program. And I am 80% sure about this.

Now I am facing 2 options:

1. Do an econ masters program in my university (one additional year) before applying, no financial aid

2. Apply to PhD programs

Concerns:

1. I really don't think my rec letters are strong enough. But I am not sure how much doing the master's program (i.e. taking grad classes with PhD students in my university) would help with rec letters. Based on the description above, which three profs do you think I should ask for rec letters?

2. My GRE scores are not ideal. But that was a year ago. I am very sure I will get a much higher score when I re-take it this summer

3. Do I need the GRE Sub-math test?

4. Also, I talked to someone who did the MA/BA program last year, he advised me to go straight into a PhD program if I am sure about doing it, instead of spending an additional year and extra money (I'm an international student, so I pay a higher tuition)

5. I don't have grad econ classes b/c i'm not allowed to take them unless i am doing the MA/BA program

Please share your thoughts with me. Many many thanks :) !!!

PROFILE:

Type of Undergrad: Top3 U.S. public research university (Top 15 Econ dept and top 5 math dept world-wide, according to various rankings).

Undergrad GPA: 3.976/4.000 Major GPA: roughly the same

GRE: 153V/170Q/3.5W (Took it a year ago)

Undergrad Math Courses: (Note: Grade A and A+ are usually the same in my university, but some professors do give out A+ in their classes. A and A+ are both 4.0 in GPA)

Single-Variable Calculus 1,2(A, A) Multi-Variable Calculus 1,2(A, A+) Intro to Linear Algebra (A+) Intro to Discrete Mathematics (A) Intro to Differential Equation (A)

Honors Linear Algebra (A+) Probability Theory 1(A) Honors Real Analysis 1 (A-)

Econ Courses (undergrad-level): Intro1/Intro2/Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (A+, A+, A+) Intro/Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (A+, A+)

Programming courses: C++ 1, 2 (A, A)

Classes will be taken before applying:

Probability Theory 2, Honors Real Analysis 2, Numerical Methods 1, Econometrics (Undergrad)

Letters of Recommendation: (I am considering asking some of these six professors for LOR)

1.4th Year econ thesis adviser (did not take any class with him)

2. An econ professor that I took a class with, and he has been my "mentor" for a long time. Will possibly do research with him over this summer

3. Probability Theory 2 professor who I am considering doing research with next quarter

4. Intermediate Macro Prof who I talked a lot to about PhD programs

5. Honors Real Analysis 2 Prof who I haven't met yet. But will take her class next quarter

6. Econometrics Prof. who I will take next quarter

Research Interests: Micro Economics Theory

P.s.: I would like to stay in academia and become a professor after my phd program. And I am 80% sure about this.

Now I am facing 2 options:

1. Do an econ masters program in my university (one additional year) before applying, no financial aid

2. Apply to PhD programs

Concerns:

1. I really don't think my rec letters are strong enough. But I am not sure how much doing the master's program (i.e. taking grad classes with PhD students in my university) would help with rec letters. Based on the description above, which three profs do you think I should ask for rec letters?

2. My GRE scores are not ideal. But that was a year ago. I am very sure I will get a much higher score when I re-take it this summer

3. Do I need the GRE Sub-math test?

4. Also, I talked to someone who did the MA/BA program last year, he advised me to go straight into a PhD program if I am sure about doing it, instead of spending an additional year and extra money (I'm an international student, so I pay a higher tuition)

5. I don't have grad econ classes b/c i'm not allowed to take them unless i am doing the MA/BA program

Please share your thoughts with me. Many many thanks :) !!!