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Luckykid
08-15-2007, 04:33 AM
After looking at the scores and GPA's of everyone in the "accepted thread" I really think I am in big trouble here.
I have a 3.4 from UW-Milwaukee a fairly high GPA in the economics and math courses and will have an econ degree with a math minor. I didn't know I was going to try for Ph.D. till my JR year but i have been 3.6-3.8 GPA since. I have not taken the GRE but I am expecting in the area of 750Q and 550V. I should have some good letters of recommendation and I will also be participating in an undergrad research project next semester. I think the best thing I have going for me is that I am American. Do I have a chance at schools like: Iowa, Vanderbilt, Rice, Miami, Kentucky, Purdue? Is this a good range to be looking for? Funding is pretty important for me, should I be applying to lesser schools with hopes of better funding?

Thanks,
Roy

Bayern
08-15-2007, 04:41 AM
I really do not think that you are screwed. If you have done decently well in some of the important math and econ courses, you have a good prospect. And the increasing trend of your GPa should also work for you. With everything else you mentioned, I think you can get into those schools, and as you know admission is sometimes quite unpredictable. But I am not sure about the funding part, because these schools do not fund all the students. So apply to a wide range of schools to be on the safe side.

Best of luck :)

EconCandidate
08-15-2007, 04:47 AM
My advice would be to keep practicing the GRE so that you can get an 800 on the math portion to help your profile. The research might help you. High marks in your last few math courses should help also.

You should apply to a wide range of schools, regardless of your profile.

Luckykid
08-15-2007, 04:51 AM
I really do not think that you are screwed. If you have done decently well in some of the important math and econ courses, you have a good prospect. And the increasing trend of your GPa should also work for you. With everything else you mentioned, I think you can get into those schools, and as you know admission is sometimes quite unpredictable. But I am not sure about the funding part, because these schools do not fund all the students. So apply to a wide range of schools to be on the safe side.

Best of luck :)

Thank you for the speedy reply! Good news so far! I have taken about 5 400+ courses with 4 A's and 1 B(should have taken calc before econometrics) and I should be taking 2 more that will be on my transcript that I will make sure are A's aswell.
Thanks,
Roy

Luckykid
08-15-2007, 04:52 AM
My advice would be to keep practicing the GRE so that you can get an 800 on the math portion to help your profile. The research might help you. High marks in your last few math courses should help also.

You should apply to a wide range of schools, regardless of your profile.
Will do! Thank you. Any specific advice for the GRE?

EconCandidate
08-15-2007, 05:03 AM
Take lots of practice exams, don't stress about verbal, and be confident.

KingOfConvenience
08-15-2007, 05:40 AM
Hey LuckyKid. What specific Math and Econ Courses (upper level) have you taken, and what grades have you obtained in these courses? Also, to be competitive for funding in the schools you've mentioned, you need a 770 in the GRE Quant.

YoungEconomist
08-15-2007, 05:58 AM
After looking at the scores and GPA's of everyone in the "accepted thread" I really think I am in big trouble here.
I have a 3.4 from UW-Milwaukee a fairly high GPA in the economics and math courses and will have an econ degree with a math minor. I didn't know I was going to try for Ph.D. till my JR year but i have been 3.6-3.8 GPA since. I have not taken the GRE but I am expecting in the area of 750Q and 550V. I should have some good letters of recommendation and I will also be participating in an undergrad research project next semester. I think the best thing I have going for me is that I am American. Do I have a chance at schools like: Iowa, Vanderbilt, Rice, Miami, Kentucky, Purdue? Is this a good range to be looking for? Funding is pretty important for me, should I be applying to lesser schools with hopes of better funding?

Thanks,
Roy

Judging by what you've said above, I think you definitely have a shot at some of the schools you mentioned.



I think the best thing I have going for me is that I am American.

By the way, does this really help one get in a program?

EconCandidate
08-15-2007, 06:05 AM
I highly doubt being an American helps you get into a program for a number of reasons.

1) From what I've heard from faculty members at some universities, foreign students have a better track record in PhD programs than american students do.

2) Many of the faculty members on Admissions committes were foreign students themselves.

3) I would certainly hope that professional Economists would use more significant data in their decision making.

Luckykid
08-15-2007, 12:57 PM
Hey LuckyKid. What specific Math and Econ Courses (upper level) have you taken, and what grades have you obtained in these courses? Also, to be competitive for funding in the schools you've mentioned, you need a 770 in the GRE Quant.
400-A's
Statistics for Economists
International Trade
Labor Economics
International Finance
500-B
Econometrics

Scheduled
400
Game Theory
500
Math Econ I
600
Math Econ II

As for math I am just now taking my math specific Calculus(summer) to squezze in my minor. Which I am hoping I can get an A however a B is very possible. I had taken a non math major calculus and got an A, I also had to take trig(:rolleyes:) Which out of 4 years teaching the instructor never gave an A in which I got an A-. Unfortuantly most of the math I will be taking is in Spring 08 so it will not be on my transcript(atleast the grade).

As for being American from what I have been seeing its alot harder for foreign students to be accepted and it seems that the canidate pool that gets rejected have higher scores then some of the american students that get accepted. There is not one specific area that I got this from it was just a casual observation.

I will shoot for the 800 and remain confident, wish me luck!
Thanks,
Roy

Thesus
08-15-2007, 01:18 PM
As for math I am just now taking my math specific Calculus(summer) to squezze in my minor.


Okay, this is confusing me a little. To me, a minor means eight courses. But I can't imagine that you already have seven math courses and have not taken 'math specific calculus' - unless this means some sort of rigorous calculus, i.e. analysis, maybe the Math 522 course? If you mean Math 221/222, you may well be in trouble. Can we get a complete listing of all math courses?

KingOfConvenience
08-15-2007, 02:51 PM
LuckyKid, you need to have taken Linear Algebra, Single, and Multivariable Calculus (Calculus 1,2,3), and at least one course in Probability & Statistics to even have your application considered. I hope you have. As Thesus has requested, give us a complete profile. If you don't know what we mean by a complete profile, take a look at this thread (http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-economics/66608-profiles-results-2007-a.html) (of course, omit the section on results, unless you want to fantasize!).

Luckykid
08-15-2007, 04:10 PM
Okay, this is confusing me a little. To me, a minor means eight courses. But I can't imagine that you already have seven math courses and have not taken 'math specific calculus' - unless this means some sort of rigorous calculus, i.e. analysis, maybe the Math 522 course? If you mean Math 221/222, you may well be in trouble. Can we get a complete listing of all math courses?
I am now taking(summer) the variate of 221 I will be taking 222 in fall(may or may not be graded on my transcript. along with atleast one if not 2 300-400 level math courses. Then in spring I will take my third calc course along with linear algebra and I will throw in a math stats as well as one or two other math courses. My transcript will show that I will be taking these courses, will it be a problem if I have not completed them as of yet?
Thanks,
Roy

KingOfConvenience
08-15-2007, 04:24 PM
Without your grades from the spring courses, adcoms are going to have a hard time judging how you will do from the few math courses you will have taken (basically two calculus classes is all). Is there no way for you to move some of the math courses to the fall? The math is really more important than any econ electives you might be thinking of taking.

Luckykid
08-15-2007, 04:29 PM
Pretty much all the math electives require the first two calc courses. I really should have thought about this before the last semester of my Sr. year. Do you think getting a Masters and then going to Ph.D. might be the best choice given the situation? would it be better to go right into Ph.D. at say UW-Milwaukee, or get a Masters at a better school and then apply for the Ph.D. program?

Thanks,
Roy

Thesus
08-15-2007, 04:39 PM
I think without calc III, without linear algebra, and without statistics on your transcript for adcoms, you'll have to wait a year, though it obviously depends on the caliber of school you're set on attending.

As KingOfConvenience said, if you could shift these courses forward, that would be top priority and possibly change the equation.

KingOfConvenience
08-15-2007, 05:29 PM
the math department might be understanding about your situation, and allow you to move the linear algebra to the fall, along with the prob & stats course. of course, you will have a challenging semester, but then again, grad school is going to be even harder. So, if you wish to have a shot at grad schools for next fall, you had better find a way to take those math courses this fall.
Given the situation, it may be necessary for you to get a Masters degree.

Luckykid
08-15-2007, 09:04 PM
So I went to the math department and theres not a whole lot they can do. There is only one class I could have a chance of getting into and its more of theory and ecryption type class. I went back to the econ department for some advice and he couldn't give me any ideas for what to do with other schools but stated if I do well on the GRE and my upcomming Math econ courses I have a very strong chance of starting their Ph.D. program with a TAship. So atleast the safety school is set.

I would like to become a professor at a research school simular to UW-Milwaukee. Should I just apply this year to the schools I mentioned and hope for the best? Should I go for a good MA program to later apply to a better school for a Ph.D.? Or is there something else I should do? Perhaps work for a year.

Could a good disertation overcome the difference between a top 50 school and a top 150 school?(I read the 50-20 artical)

Thanks,
Roy

KingOfConvenience
08-15-2007, 11:01 PM
A good dissertation, probably not. A great dissertation, maybe. How likely are you to write a great dissertation? Objectively, the chances are pretty slim.

Ok, having peered at the faculty credentials at UW-Milwaukee, it is clear that you need to get your PhD from a school ranked more highly to be able to work at a school of this calibre. There general rule is that your placement is no higher than one tier below the school from which you receive your PhD.

Since your school as a Masters and PhD program, I suggest you hang around another year and beef up your profile. Working is not a good idea. It will dull your brain and add nothing to your profile, and adcoms know this.
Take the PhD level micro course, and Math for Economists, and Econometrics, as well as the required courses in Math mentioned in previous posts. Apply next fall, while you are doing these courses. Get an A in each course. Take Real Analysis as well. It's gonna be difficult to do all this. But if your goal is a professorship at a research university, you want to get into the best school possible. If you can't take Analysis, nevermind it, as long as you do PhD level Micro, and Math for Economists, and Statistics (that the PhD students take), and a solid Econometrics course.

If you aren't scraping to get by, you could apply to a select few schools this fall, just to see if you get lucky. Actually, it's not luck that'll matter, it's the rec letters. If you can get a couple of excellent rec letters from asst or assoc profs who recently graduated from the school to which you are applying, then you have a chance. I'm thinking of Purdue in particular, since there are two junior faculty members who've come from there.

Luckykid
08-15-2007, 11:38 PM
I'm thinking of Purdue in particular, since there are two junior faculty members who've come from there.
You are reading my mind, I actually got the highest grade(by far) in Professor Lei's macro class, she went away for two years but is now back and I am in her game theory class this fall and hoping I can show her what I can do. Purdue would be a great school for me in terms of location, its just if I can get in...

Would it be bad to go a year of Ph.D. at Milwaukee and then transfer?

Thanks,
Roy

KingOfConvenience
08-16-2007, 12:56 AM
You can't transfer per se, at least not in the sense of undergraduate transfer. You don't really need to enter the PhD program at UWM, just take some courses.

Luckykid
08-16-2007, 01:03 AM
You don't really need to enter the PhD program at UWM, just take some courses.
I'd just rather get funded then pay the $12K for the year :(

YoungEconomist
08-16-2007, 02:38 AM
Listen, I understand you're anxious to start a PhD program but you gotta do it the right way. I understand because I am/was in a similar situation. I am going to be a 5th year senior in the fall, and I too decided late in my undergrad career that I wanted to pursue a PhD in Econ. Like you, I also have not taken many math classes, in fact I just finished precalculus this summer. I will have to take classes all of next year including the summer just to get a minor in math. I really want to start a PhD program as soon as possible, but I realized (after a lot of thinking, reflecting, and soul searching) that I need to get my stuff taken care of first. This means that the earliest I will be able to start a program is in fall 2009, but thats the breaks.

IMHO, forget about doing a masters, why don't you just stick around you're undergrad for another year (or maybe even just a quarter or two) and get the math accomplished. If you already took more math, then a masters would probably be a better idea. But in your situation you need as much math as you can stomache, therefore I would suggest you stick around your undergrad for another year and take math (think about adding a minor or a major if you can). If you're in a masters program you won't have as much of an opportunity to take math and excel in math classes, at least not to the same level as if you just stick around your undergrad and focus on math.

I was thinking about skipping on some of the math, especially considering I knew a grad student who did well in our program despite a very limited math background. But then I read an article by some economists who studied the predictors of success in an econ PhD program. They mentioned that the strongest predictor of passing the priliminaries was whether one majored in econ as an undergrad. But guess what the strongest predictor of actually finishing a dissertation was? The answer, the level of math one had before entering the program.

Basically, I have come to the conclusion that I need a decent math background before I enter a program. It will only postpone my PhD studies another year, and it will be vital in getting into the best program I can get into. Furthermore, in order to excell and finish any program, the math is incredibly important (at least thats what I am told).

Luckykid
08-16-2007, 03:09 AM
Another year of undergrad would be hard to stomach. I will have 3 semesters of calc, one of linear algebra, a math stats, and a few odd math courses by the end of spring '08. I am getting married August of '08 and I am ready to get the ball rolling. Milwaukee has an MA program that you can complete in a school year. I would imagine solid grades in that program would be more beneficial then a math intense undergrad profile. In any case I think sticking around another year will be a choice I make if I get rejected to all of the 15 some good schools on my list. I appreciate your input I just don't think its right for me.
Thanks,
Roy

YoungEconomist
08-16-2007, 05:41 AM
I appreciate your input I just don't think its right for me.

Understandable.

Just out of curiousity, why do you want a PhD? Is just stopping after a masters anything you've considered or something that would work for your future career and personal goals?

Aeshma
08-16-2007, 08:27 AM
hey lucky, i am going to be honest with you. I will share a comment a prof said to me when I was thinking of applying several years ago, 'Don't bother applying to an econ program unless it is a good one.' You suggested that you wanted to be a research professor, that means that you need to enter a school that is ranked near the top 30. The job market is very competitive and coming out of a low ranked program is a huge disadvantage. I am not saying that it is impossible for a low rank graduate to get into a research program, but it is extremely difficult. You have to work very hard to get them interested in your job market paper. schools like kentucky and miami will almost imply a teaching job in a two year college, unless you leave academia. If you want to enter a good program, three semesters of calculus, one stat and one linear algebra is nothing. It is assumed knowledge. That game theory class is also important. The two math econ classes are also good. It will overlap some linear algebra material, but it will should provide some basic info on ode, which is useful. The most important class you are missing is the intro analysis class. You need a good grade in that class if you want to enter a good program, the only way to replace that are some spectacular research work. work that will leave your professor impressed. you should realize that a math background is much more important than a MA in econ. Most MA programs over-inflate the grade and are not intensive enough. Other than some fields like public and development, most fields' work are very math intensive.
another thing is 780 in gre is enough, anything lower will be problem for a good program.

asianeconomist
08-16-2007, 10:41 AM
I believe that you need at least 1 proof-based course (Real Analysis) before you can apply to your "Reach" schools

calcox
08-16-2007, 11:46 AM
I am getting married August of '08 and I am ready to get the ball rolling.

I had originally been planning to start a PhD this fall, but (1) I was getting married in July, and (2) I had not yet taken analysis or a calculus-based stats course. I decided to wait to start my PhD next year so I could take those math classes and have a year to build my young marriage before I dove into grad school. I am SO glad I made that decision, because, believe me, getting married is enough stress on its own. Plus, with those math classes I can apply to much better schools than I could otherwise.

Don't rush yourself. It's worth taking the time to build a strong marriage and a strong math background. That way, you have more (and better) options for schools and a better chance of succeeding once you get there.

KingOfConvenience
08-16-2007, 03:20 PM
Fabulous advice, Aeshma and calcox. I didn't want to repeat myself, so I stayed out of the last round.


I would imagine solid grades in that program would be more beneficial then a math intense undergrad profile.

This, LuckyKid, is an illusion.

Luckykid
08-16-2007, 05:00 PM
Fabulous advice, Aeshma and calcox. I didn't want to repeat myself, so I stayed out of the last round.



This, LuckyKid, is an illusion.
I wish i found this forum my junior year. I guess I can just apply and hope I get in if not I will seriously be considering another year of undergrad.

Thanks,
Roy

KingOfConvenience
08-16-2007, 05:26 PM
Best of luck! I hope it works out.

Luckykid
08-20-2007, 09:50 PM
The test is over and I got a 770Q and a 460V I shot for the 800 and missed. I just started studying for it on friday so I would imagine if I take it again(and not in the morning) I could get the math up to the 800 and the verbal to at least a 550. I am pretty happy with the score I just hope its enough... opinions????

Thanks,
Roy

buckykatt
08-20-2007, 09:55 PM
It's probably enough. But if you feel confident that you could score better with some prep, then I'd say it's worth taking the GRE again.

Luckykid
08-20-2007, 10:03 PM
It's probably enough. But if you feel confident that you could score better with some prep, then I'd say it's worth taking the GRE again.


The verbal knocked me out of considerations for funding at miami and probably a lot of other schools so I am almost positive I will retake.

Thanks,
Roy

snappythecrab
08-20-2007, 10:24 PM
I'll give you some advice about retaking it. I was in a similar situation two years ago. I scored a 770Q and thought I could do better. So I retook it and had a disaster - 710! Of course, I hadn't reported my first scores yet, so I had to report my second as well. My second set probably kept me out of some better schools.

My advice: If you decide to retake it to shoot for the 800Q, report your scores to all of your schools first, wait a while (month or two), then retake. If you go up, great, you can report your new scores. If for whatever reason you go down/have a disaster like me, its no skin off your back.

Luckykid
08-20-2007, 10:58 PM
I'll give you some advice about retaking it. I was in a similar situation two years ago. I scored a 770Q and thought I could do better. So I retook it and had a disaster - 710! Of course, I hadn't reported my first scores yet, so I had to report my second as well. My second set probably kept me out of some better schools.

My advice: If you decide to retake it to shoot for the 800Q, report your scores to all of your schools first, wait a while (month or two), then retake. If you go up, great, you can report your new scores. If for whatever reason you go down/have a disaster like me, its no skin off your back.
Great advice! I will do that.
I am making the list now for schools to apply to.

Thanks,
Roy

Luckykid
08-22-2007, 02:56 AM
Here is my list I am probably going to narrow it down to 20:
Michigan Ann Arbor U of Minn Wisconsin U of Iowa Brown U of Virgina Vanderbilt
U of Arizona Oregon State Michigan State John Hopkins U Indiana Bloomington Pittsburgh Rice Carnegie Mellon Ohio State Boston College NC State U Middle TN State Penn State U U of Mass Vtech University of KY U CO Boulder University of Miami Drexel Western MI Wayne State Arizona State Florida State Iowa State Purdue U of Tenn Georgetown U Georgia U FL U Connecticut
Milwaukee

Any comments? Suggestions? I am thinking International focus right now.

Thanks,
Roy