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victorts
05-30-2007, 03:40 PM
Hi guys,
I need your advice. I'm doing BA in economics in Canada. My university is not well-known for its economics program (~120th in the econ.phd ranking). At the same time my grades allow me to transfer to UofT (36th) or UBC (20th). But in any case I'm loosing 1 year as they don't give anybody more than 60 transfer credits. Is it worth it to loose one year but to graduate from the well-known university?
Thanx in advance.

TruDog
05-30-2007, 04:13 PM
How strong is your current profile?

victorts
05-30-2007, 04:55 PM
GPA A+ including Calculus, Linear Algebra, Stats. + Econ. courses
Anyway, I'm planning to take the whole bunch of recommended here stats and math courses. The question is if it's necessary to transfer and spend one extra year (two years in total) in UBC if I can get A+ at my current university taking a lot of math courses?

Fulbrighterpak
05-30-2007, 06:34 PM
Does ur school has reputation of placing ppl in good programs?? if in past ppl with A or A+ average made to good schools then u stick to your school and do well....I mean if u ranked in top 5 in your class...I am assuming A+ GPA is really difficult to get and program is considered tough then no need to transfer.....

nauru
06-01-2007, 06:44 PM
If you are at York University in Toronto, perhaps you could take some courses at U of T without registering as a full-time student? If you do very well in challenging U of T math/quant econ courses that should definitely send a positive signal. And you save a year.

The reason I suggest this is that U of T and UBC are both notorious for extremely hard grading. It would be a shame to transfer only to become a B student at those schools, in which case you would be better off with the A+ from York. Just my opinion, anyway.

werther
06-02-2007, 08:05 AM
The reason I suggest this is that U of T and UBC are both notorious for extremely hard grading.

everyone and their grandma say this, about how U of T is oh-so-hard, but i do not think it wise to make such generalized opinions. if the OP is a good student, he or she will get good grades regardless of where he or she goes. realistically, 'harsh grading' depends more on course selections and especially on instructors. in any case, i agree with you and i think the OP should just stay where he or she is, as i don't think it's worth transferring. plus, i reckon it would be harder to get good LoRs from places like U of T where the school is so big. added to the fact that nobody knows you as you are a transfer student.

if you are actually from york, i think i saw york UGs frequently get placed at top canadian programs. i am assuming you want to get your MA first before doing PhD? (i think it is a good idea to do MA first in Canada unless you're a superstar, regardless of the board's opinion on MAs in general). my school is probably ranked lower than yours and i got into all canadian programs incl. T.o./Queen's/UBC. stay where you are, get good grades and LoRs, and see what happens. Good luck!

ekonomiks
06-02-2007, 06:22 PM
If you were to transfer, you should go all the way to schools with top econ departments in the US. I don't think losing a year to go to UT or UBC is worth it.

nauru
06-02-2007, 10:36 PM
My comment on U of T and UBC grading is based on the experiences of my high school friends in various Canadian universities. Having gone to high school in Toronto, I know a heck of a lot of people who have attended a wide range of Canadian universities for undergrad, with many at U of T and UBC. Most of my friends had similar grades in high school, but differences in their university GPAs are pretty noticeable.

Yeah amazing students will be amazing wherever they go. But, less than amazing students seem to be, on average, more likely to get high GPAs at some schools/programs than at others.

economicus
06-03-2007, 11:25 AM
...during the last two years I've got an impression that ranking really really is important. If I were you and money was not a problem I would go for UBC - one year for 100 places in rankings...a lucrative deal, isn't it? At UBC you can make your best, get known renowned profs...and also perhaps quite easily progress onto their master programme (?).
But then, I don't know about the recent placement record of your current unis.... some canadians on this board perhaps can make a better suggestion.

Karina 07
06-03-2007, 05:01 PM
Ideally, you want:
A) A good-named school with good-named profs for LORs
B) Good grades

Whether you'd be able to get good grades at harder-marking schools is the key question, I agree.
An easy-marking, good-named school might seem like a good compromise, but be aware that people will know it tends to have easy markers (as opposed to, say, Chicago or similar, which people respect more because of the hard marking). The ideal situation, of course, is doing well at the hard-marking school! :P It's really hard to get a sense of how you'll do somewhere before you get there, though, imho.
At this point I might also consider some quality of life issues, i.e. where you might want to live.

kkitkat
06-03-2007, 06:11 PM
Hi guys,
I need your advice. I'm doing BA in economics in Canada. My university is not well-known for its economics program (~120th in the econ.phd ranking). At the same time my grades allow me to transfer to UofT (36th) or UBC (20th). But in any case I'm loosing 1 year as they don't give anybody more than 60 transfer credits. Is it worth it to loose one year but to graduate from the well-known university?
Thanx in advance.

I think it depends on two things, one is what you want to do after graduating and two whether you think you can do well in a higher ranked school.

If you're planning to do masters in Canada and then go for Phd, I think it's better to stay where you are. With good grades you'll get into any of the better Canadian master programs (this i say from experience) so there is no reason for you to transfer and lose a year. If you're planning to go straight to Phd program then transferring might be a good idea if your aim is top 5-10. If your aim is lower then it might be ok to stay in your current school. I did my undergrad in a lower ranked Canadian university and I was rejected from all top 5 and got a very good deal from the only top50 university I've applied to. i ended up doing masters in Canada, but looking back I think that if I'd applied to top20-30 (maybe even top15) US schools I would have probably got admitted.

Of course it all depends on whether you think you can do well at U of T or UBC. I know that U of T program is quite demanding so the transition from a less rigorous program might not be easy and might adversely affect your grades in which case the ranking of the school won't help. I think to get into top US schools you need to be on top of your class no matter where you are. And while it's true that A-GPA from York let's say is not comparable to A-GPA from U of T, but it's also true that A-GPA from York is not comparable with B-GPA from U of T. I think you'll fair much better if you have A-GPA from York than with B-GPA from U of T. This is because adcoms might take a chance on you being a good student from a less known university and admit you, but they most definitely won't if they know that you're an average student even if you come from a very well-known university.

Hope this makes sense :hmm: Good luck :)

victorts
06-03-2007, 07:24 PM
Ideally, you want:
A) A good-named school with good-named profs for LORs
B) Good grades

Whether you'd be able to get good grades at harder-marking schools is the key question, I agree.
An easy-marking, good-named school might seem like a good compromise, but be aware that people will know it tends to have easy markers (as opposed to, say, Chicago or similar, which people respect more because of the hard marking). The ideal situation, of course, is doing well at the hard-marking school! :P It's really hard to get a sense of how you'll do somewhere before you get there, though, imho.
At this point I might also consider some quality of life issues, i.e. where you might want to live.
I wouldn't say that York University is an easy-marking school. I visited some third and forth year courses web pages and found out that our professors are easy in giving D, C, and B. Just a few people managed to get A and A+. So, probably I'll try to transfer as I don't think that UofT or UBC are extremely different from York in respect of "rigours" of education. And I think 2 years is enough to get LORs, isn't it?

victorts
06-03-2007, 07:43 PM
I think it depends on two things, one is what you want to do after graduating and two whether you think you can do well in a higher ranked school.

If you're planning to do masters in Canada and then go for Phd, I think it's better to stay where you are. With good grades you'll get into any of the better Canadian master programs (this i say from experience) so there is no reason for you to transfer and lose a year. If you're planning to go straight to Phd program then transferring might be a good idea if your aim is top 5-10. If your aim is lower then it might be ok to stay in your current school. I did my undergrad in a lower ranked Canadian university and I was rejected from all top 5 and got a very good deal from the only top50 university I've applied to. i ended up doing masters in Canada, but looking back I think that if I'd applied to top20-30 (maybe even top15) US schools I would have probably got admitted.

Of course it all depends on whether you think you can do well at U of T or UBC. I know that U of T program is quite demanding so the transition from a less rigorous program might not be easy and might adversely affect your grades in which case the ranking of the school won't help. I think to get into top US schools you need to be on top of your class no matter where you are. And while it's true that A-GPA from York let's say is not comparable to A-GPA from U of T, but it's also true that A-GPA from York is not comparable with B-GPA from U of T. I think you'll fair much better if you have A-GPA from York than with B-GPA from U of T. This is because adcoms might take a chance on you being a good student from a less known university and admit you, but they most definitely won't if they know that you're an average student even if you come from a very well-known university.

Hope this makes sense :hmm: Good luck :)

Thank you for your response. It does make sense for me. To be honest, my aim is to do PhD in the US. That's why I'd prefer to skip MA which is possible if I get BA from UBC or UofT (at least I hope so:-). From this point of view I am loosing one year transferring from my current university but I can save one year skipping master's degree. If we assume that I'll be able to get A at any Canadian university, is it better to have BA from York and MA from UofT or just BA from UofT ?

kkitkat
06-03-2007, 09:09 PM
Thank you for your response. It does make sense for me. To be honest, my aim is to do PhD in the US. That's why I'd prefer to skip MA which is possible if I get BA from UBC or UofT (at least I hope so:-). From this point of view I am loosing one year transferring from my current university but I can save one year skipping master's degree. If we assume that I'll be able to get A at any Canadian university, is it better to have BA from York and MA from UofT or just BA from UofT ?

If you can get an A average from U of T then I think getting BA from U of T is the way to go. Like I said before, I think that if adcoms have a choice between two otherwise comparable applicants, they will go with the one from U of T.

werther
06-03-2007, 09:21 PM
I don't think it's so much that the materials taught at York are easy (I know they use Varian's grad text for their adv. micro theory and Romer for adv. macro), but more so that the students at U of T are a lot more competitive and more motivated in general, which makes it harder for you to be top of class. If you are not the top of class, it would probably lead to not so stellar LoRs, which would mean you probably will have difficulty getting into decent US PhD straight from undergrad, even if you transfer.. in any case, best of luck with your decisions!

kkitkat
06-03-2007, 10:17 PM
I don't think it's so much that the materials taught at York are easy (I know they use Varian's grad text for their adv. micro theory and Romer for adv. macro), but more so that the students at U of T are a lot more competitive and more motivated in general, which makes it harder for you to be top of class. If you are not the top of class, it would probably lead to not so stellar LoRs, which would mean you probably will have difficulty getting into decent US PhD straight from undergrad, even if you transfer.. in any case, best of luck with your decisions!

York is definitely not easy (I did my undergrad there), but I think the point of the matter is that U of T looks better for the adcoms. So provided you can be on top of your class in both schools (and I think OP's question was conditioned on that) it's better to be in U of T. Also I think that the fact that U of T students are more motivated is a plus because it gives indication of what it's like to study in a top school with very bright and motivated classmates. Good preparation for Phd from all aspects is important. It's not enough to get into a good school, you need to be able to stay there :)

werther
06-04-2007, 12:33 AM
So provided you can be on top of your class in both schools (and I think OP's question was conditioned on that) it's better to be in U of T.

I agree with you. I missed that point. I guess what I just meant was that it would suck a lot if the OP went through the whole school-transferring business and he/she failed to get into a good school for whatever reason (e.g. failing to be top of class or secure excellent LoRs). I just thought of "getting in" as a priority, before worrying about surviving. And like what you said above, an A @ York sounded better than B @ U of T - my bad