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flipecon
08-17-2007, 03:27 AM
Hi everyone. i just have a questions. I wanted to know your opinion regarding several masters in econ programs. Which MA program is a strong preparation for phd in econ? UPF, University of Toronto, UBC, Queens, Mcmaster? Im currently in canada. how about if i just want to do masters and work after? the reason im asking is because im somehow interested in studying there in spain. its pretty cool to learn spain and live there too, i think. lol. but im not 100% sure if i really want to do phd. im worried that, if ever i study in UPF, i wont be able to get a job here in toronto or in the states. meaning, would i be stuck in spain or europe if i do my masters there?
how are the scholarships there at UPF btw, especially for foreigners? id love to here from anyone. thanks.

Bayern
08-17-2007, 05:36 AM
UBC and UofT leads in terms of preparation for phd econ followed by the other programs. I heard that international students getting phd somewhere else do have problems getting jobs in the top programs in canada (i dont know whether you are international student). The best thing for you will be if you ask someone in the academia in canada about this issue.

werther
08-17-2007, 06:16 AM
Hi everyone. i just have a questions. I wanted to know your opinion regarding several masters in econ programs. Which MA program is a strong preparation for phd in econ? UPF, University of Toronto, UBC, Queens, Mcmaster? Im currently in canada. how about if i just want to do masters and work after? the reason im asking is because im somehow interested in studying there in spain. its pretty cool to learn spain and live there too, i think. lol. but im not 100% sure if i really want to do phd. im worried that, if ever i study in UPF, i wont be able to get a job here in toronto or in the states. meaning, would i be stuck in spain or europe if i do my masters there?
how are the scholarships there at UPF btw, especially for foreigners? id love to here from anyone. thanks.

Hmm..sounds exactly like the dilemma I was having. I was thinking about applying to UPF too (come on..who wouldn't want to live/study in BCN) but I had thought I needed GRE and that I won't get any funding because I was an international so I didn't even bother. Later on this forum I think someone mentioned he or she was an international but still getting some sort of funding at UPF..? Sorry I am not sure who it was but I remember reading something like that and kicking myself for not applying.

Anyhow, if you want a job in Toronto, I think you should stay in Toronto. I can't exactly comment on the U of T program yet, but employment wise I think it's pretty good, as I've already been getting quite a bit of emails from the department about job opportunities and I haven't even started school yet. If you go to UPF you'd probably have to look for jobs on your own once you're back in the T.o.

For PhD, I would not rank U of T that high, in fact I would put it near the bottom of any list. I think their MA program now has 60 students or something (I remember reading that on their website somewhere), and I doubt you'll get any kind of faculty attention. I stuck around Toronto for another reason (it was personal.. and I'm not sure if it was worth it), but if I had based my decision solely on getting a PhD in the future, I would have gone to UBC or Queen's or McMaster (small program).

can_econ
08-17-2007, 07:27 PM
I've posted on the Canadian programs before (you can search my old posts), and the consensus seems to be the UBC, U of T, and Queen's are the best in English Canada (not sure about UWO). UPF's program looks good imho, possibly better prep than the Canadian programs, depending on which stream and courses you take. They seem to have a 2 year masters, and I think that's a good thing for applying for PhDs since it gives you the opportunity to really get to know profs and your interests before applying. Also, UPF seems to offer courses like Real Analysis and Stochastic Processes in the econ department specifically for econ grad students. These would be valuable courses to take to build technical skills beyond the math camp or math-for-econ course that most of these programs will require. I think there placement at US PhD programs might be a bit better than the Canadian programs too.

That being said, I would imagine that the quality of courses is pretty similar across these programs, the big difference in course rigor will be between PhD and MA theory classes at each school.

Also, if you want to stay in Canada for your PhD, Canadian programs tend to be familiar with each other's grading schemes, and a LOR from a prof at a Canadian MA program may mean slightly more than one from an equally well known prof at UPF. Not to mention Canadian profs and programs will be better connected to the Canadian non-academic job market.

TheBrothersKaramazov
08-17-2007, 07:44 PM
I would only recommend McMaster's MA program if you are
(a) wanting to stay in Canada for a PhD - they have placed students into PhD programs at UBC, U of T, and Queen.
(b) interested in their specializations. (eg. experimental, public, health).

The VERY small class sizes (6-10) makes for excellent one-on-one attention and great reference letters, ... but those references (for the most part) will only matter much in Canada.

If you are looking to work in the Canadian public sector-government jobs, McMaster's MA in economic public policy successfully placed every student in ministry jobs.

flipecon
08-18-2007, 03:36 AM
hi people. thanks for your comments. thats my problem too. im not sure if i really want to stay here in canada. shouldnt i be a canadian citizen to work in the public sector jobs? sorry, im not that familiar with the system here in canada. thats my concern as well. its cheaper here in canada than in studying in UPF. unless i get a government scholarship which is really competitive.
you're right, iv been thinking of applying to the top programs here, like the ones at UBC, Queens, Western, Uoft. How well is the mcmaster program btw? coz ya, they only accept a handful of students. seriously, im not that attractive to uoft's program. i dont know why. but its hard to get in tho.
btw, anyone knows about that financial economics program at uoft? how does university of calgary's econ program stand among the rest? thanks again everyone. i appreciate ur comments.

can_econ
08-18-2007, 03:56 AM
The MA in financial economics at U of T is supposedly quite competitive to get into; I've also heard it places well if you want a corporate job.

If you want to apply for Canadian government jobs, you should at least be a permanent resident otherwise it will be hard. Not sure if they give preference to citizens vs. permanent residents, you should be able to look it up if you want.

Calgary is an interesting option - it's right in the heart of the oil patch so I'd assume it would have some connections there. The department hasn't historically been on par with any of the others mentioned but still had a respectable research department with some noteworthy profs. More recently, they've made some big hires (Scott Taylor a couple of years ago was big one, + quite a few others) and so have definitely moved up in the rankings, maybe to the point of being on par with McGill and SFU but still not comparable to U of T, UBC. I don't think this ought to affect the quality of its MA program in that much this short a time horizon unless you want to go to a PhD program, where people will know who these hires are if they happen to write you a LOR.

werther
08-18-2007, 04:04 AM
MFE starting salary is apparently "significantly higher" than the MAs'. I read it in one of the department's newsletters. Are you interested in finance jobs? I heard most finance/private sector jobs are given to the MFEs first. MAs usually get government type jobs. But that's the same if you go to Queen's or wherever. Do you have finance background? I am not sure what it is you really want (PhD or government jobs or private sector), but if you want private sector, I think MFE is a good investment. But like what Can_econ said, MFE is harder to get into than regular MA..

TheBrothersKaramazov
08-18-2007, 07:46 PM
How well is the mcmaster program btw? coz ya, they only accept a handful of students.

McMaster has a strange admission policy. I know straight A students who have been rejected from the regular MA program.
See admission requirements:
McMaster University - Department of Economics (http://www.mcmaster.ca/economics/grad/admission_requirements.cfm)

They don't say it explicitly, but they have a strong preference for mathematically oriented students. Or rather, those students get nice funding packages! ;) Everyone is sufficiently funded - and hamilton is a dirt cheap city to live in.

They are weak in macro - there are only two people really working on macro stuff, Marc-Andre Letendre and Alok Johri. (William Scarth is focusing on the economic policy MA, and Atif Kubursi is retiring). But if you are interested in experimental or health, (or the combination of the two!!), public or population economics, then there are more than enough faculty available to work with.

From what I've heard, some courses like macro don't have as wide a topic coverage as in other depts (like UBC)... whereas other courses like micro and experimental do a whole lot more. The other short coming i can think of is that they do not place their PhD students as well as, say, Queens - and that their overall reputation is not as strong as the other big CDN schools. And I have not heard much of their placement in the private sector.

The department is very warm and friendly, and faculty interact alot with their students. You see many MA students at seminars. All the MA students have offices (shared - 3 or 4 to an office). Faculty are VERY eager to do research with their students.

flipecon
08-19-2007, 05:30 PM
thanks for all of your insights. thats what i heard too. its really hard to get in MFE. im considering doing phd in the states but according to the feedbacks here, its really difficult to get in the top 10-20 programs. especially me not having a lot of math background. hopefully masters will make me more competitive. thanks everyone.