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little guy
08-16-2007, 09:42 PM
I have a good friend who is actually thinking about doing an econ phd, however he has little econ experience. The guy however has a almost perfect profile.

Top 3 public univ with a top 15 econ phd program
3.99 gpa
800 Q/ 700 V/ 5.5
math/physics major.
tons of math/physics classes, is an honors math major. (including all the basic stuff, calc 1-3, diff eq, lin alg, real analysis, probability, etc.) all with either A's or A+'s. variety of scholarships, including one from math dept.

However, he has little exposure to econ or stats. has taken intermediate micro, and an advanced theory class (A, A+). No macro at all, no stats at all. Should have very good letters, but only one is from an econ prof (fairly well know in micro/game thoery).

With this profile, could he possibly make it to a top 5-10 program. he clearly has the math background, but would so little econ do him in?

snappythecrab
08-16-2007, 09:50 PM
Well his SOP and LOR's are going to have to sell him. His credentials are there, but I think they're going to want to see that he truly knows what he's getting himself into, and that it is what he wants to do.

buckykatt
08-17-2007, 09:06 PM
I agree. With so little econ background, that one LOR from an economist could make or break his application, and if I were on the adcom I'd be reading his SOP carefully. Also, does he have any research experience, even if it's not econ?

I would think that he can expect a good offer somewhere, but I'd be careful about taking a top 10 admit for granted. OTOH, were he to do an MA to broaden his econ/stats preparation, whoa nelly.

KingOfConvenience
08-17-2007, 09:55 PM
I have a good friend who is actually thinking about doing an econ phd, however he has little econ experience. The guy however has a almost perfect profile.

Top 3 public univ with a top 15 econ phd program
3.99 gpa
800 Q/ 700 V/ 5.5
math/physics major.
tons of math/physics classes, is an honors math major. (including all the basic stuff, calc 1-3, diff eq, lin alg, real analysis, probability, etc.) all with either A's or A+'s. variety of scholarships, including one from math dept.

However, he has little exposure to econ or stats. has taken intermediate micro, and an advanced theory class (A, A+). No macro at all, no stats at all. Should have very good letters, but only one is from an econ prof (fairly well know in micro/game thoery).

With this profile, could he possibly make it to a top 5-10 program. he clearly has the math background, but would so little econ do him in?


huh. The difference between his profile and mine is that I went to a liberal arts school, my overall GPA was lower (but not my econ+math+physics GPA), and I had an econ major as well. If he gets into top 10 programs, I can only chalk it up to the lack of reputation of my school, no?

little guy
08-18-2007, 10:39 PM
He has done research in physics for a few years. this summer he did math research on topology, it will likely be published.

he also might take the grad micro sequence next year. would that significantly improve his odds, or would it be better just to do intermediate macro?

buckykatt
08-19-2007, 12:36 AM
He has done research in physics for a few years. this summer he did math research on topology, it will likely be published.


I would think that counts for something.



he also might take the grad micro sequence next year. would that significantly improve his odds, or would it be better just to do intermediate macro?

That seems like a tossup to me. With a strong math/physics background, I don't think grad micro will add as much to his profile as it would for someone with a weaker profile, but it certainly couldn't hurt. I'd shop for classes more on the basis of getting to know another potential letter writer and/or producing some kind of paper that demonstrates his grasp of economic issues and potential research topics.

savingtheplanet
08-20-2007, 12:55 AM
he also might take the grad micro sequence next year. would that significantly improve his odds, or would it be better just to do intermediate macro?

Grad micro would, in my opinion, be very helpful. In particular, a good letter from a grad micro instructor would be valuable.