View Full Version : MA Economics - Please advice, Did I make a HUGE mistake by not retaking the GRE?

02-13-2015, 05:47 PM
I'm completely hopeless now that I realize what kind of signal a low GRE Quant score can send out to grad schools. I want your advice on how to pull off an admission offer for a Masters Economics most possibly in United States. Here is my profile

Type of Undergrad:


Type of Undergrad: University of London Distance Learning Program (BSc Economics) - This program is run by LSE and taught by affiliated institutions across the globe. University of London International Programmes with academic direction provided by LSE. - University of London International Programmes - Study - Home (http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/UOLIP/home.aspx)
GPA: Don't know how to convert, I currently fulfill all requirements for a 2:1 (Upper Second Class Honors)
GRE: Q 156 (64th percentile) V 147 A 4.0
TOEFL: 104 (Speaking: 29)
Math Courses: Calc I (A-) Calc II (A-) Mathematical Economics (A-) (involves Static and Dynamic Optimization, Differential Eq, Control Theory)
Statistics I (B) Statistics II (A-) (Prob Theory, Distributions, Inference) Linear Algebra and Real Analysis (C+)
Econ Courses: Principles Micro&Macro (A-) Intermediate Micro (A) Intermediate Macro (B+) Intro Econometrics (A-) Monetary Economics (A) International Economics (B)
Research &Teaching: None
SOP: Made a thesis proposal by describing a research topic in monetary policy tools and effectiveness, also highlighted a academic excellence award received at the end of 2013/14 semester
Applied to: UBC, Tufts, CEMFI, BGSE, UCL, Duke, Wisconsin, Grad-Geneva, NUS, Boston, Texas-Austin, Warwick
Rejected by: BGSE, UCL (within 2 weeks)
Accepted by: None so far


1) Did my GRE score close the curtains on my hopes? I had carefully assessed whether I needed to retake it but UBC and UCL have mentioned a minimum requirement of 156 in quant section and BGSE mailed me that GRE is not as important as your quant subjects grades. Although that shouldn't count now as 2 out of those 3 already rejected my application. NUS, Warwick didn't require GRE. It is too late to retake it anyways. Have I made a critical error?

2) Knowing my profile and places I applied and rejections I got, can you advise on where I should NOW apply as a backup, possibly in US for MA Economics? I don't necessarily want to pursue a PhD and wouldn't mind working in industry for economic research institutions or financial services. How reputed are NC State, Georgia State, Georgetown, UColorado-Denver, Texas A&M, Florida State for their economics departments and in particular masters programs not just in terms of getting into PhD in the future but also for getting into job market? Any other places in Canada, UK, Europe?

3) Also, what will be good options for MPP or Public Administration programs as well as Masters in Finance (leaving out the elite group of MIT, Princeton, Vanderblit) ? How good are Arizona State, Temple U, Massachusetts-Boston and IIT Stuart?

Would really appreciate some input

Thanks a lot for your time

P.S. My grades were in UK percentage scale and hence I used WES website to convert them as follows:

Grading Scale

U.S. Grade Equiv.








02-13-2015, 06:23 PM
Your best bet may be to retake tge GRE and work as an RA in the meantime. At least you'd get good experience and hopefully a higher score.

For now however I'm not sure, I don't think the GRE is that important in Europe in general (I'm pretty sure none of the unis I applied to cared about mine), with a few obvious exceptions (e.g. Bocconi, BGSE, etc.). You could stil try Nottingham, York or Manchester in the UK. Germany could be an alternative, especially given the non-existent tuition fees, there you could try Munich, Frankfurt (though the MSQ is stupidly hard), Bonn, Mannheim; perhaps even Mainz (much lower ranked school).

Italy with Trento could be an option, it's a very good department, 2year MSc, don't know about GRE requirements though.

Netherlands you could try Tilburg, but I think applications are closed now (cant remember dealines, may be wrong).

I don't know anything about US adimssions other than what Ive read here, so I wouldnt be much help. Good luck to you, and it seems like you still have several programmes who still havent sent out decisions, so you could still be admitted somewhere.

02-13-2015, 06:45 PM
Thank you so much for your reply and especially your optimism at the end that I could still be admitted!

I didn't think that GRE will be so valued by the US Schools. It will be difficult to get RA positions as my institute is just an affiliate center of LSE-University of London and doesn't carry out any research but I guess I will have to cast a wider net.

What are your thoughts on Berlin School of Economics? Also what about Erasmus Rotterdam apart from Tillburg? Do you think it will be easier to get a job in Netherlands and Germany or Europe in general being an international student?

What places did you apply to if you dont mind me ask?

Thanks again for your reply, I really appreciate it

02-13-2015, 07:50 PM
I dont know about the Berlin school of economics (HRW if Im correct), I do know the DIW Berlin, which is a research institute but also manages a grad programme (dont think they do a masters though).

Erasmus University is obviously very good, I dont know how tough it is to get into their masters programme, but it is an excellent school. As for RA jobs, well true, coming from outside the EU might make it tougher for an RA position, but that depends are you in Europe currently? If so that s obviously a lot easier. Otherwise you can always try to find one where you live.

Last year I applied to Barcelona GSE (Master), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Bonn, Mannheim, Munich, Frankfurt (PhD), and about 10 programmes in the US from Caltech to USC and George Mason.

US was a big bust 0 out 10, then in Europe I got in at the BGSE (master), EUR and Frankfurt, and decided to go to the last one since I already had a master and didnt want ot be stuck in academia later on (EUR 's offer was great, but that would ve been a 100% academic future later on).

Difference is I am from the EU (French) so I never had to worry about visas or anything.