View Full Version : Should I apply this year?

Ibn Abbas
12-01-2007, 01:17 AM
Here's my profile:

GRE: 770 Q, 690 V, 5.5 AWA
Undergrad in Bus. Administration with major in Finance in international university.

Did qualifying year at Carleton University and now doing M.A. Here are the relevant grades at Carleton:
Qualifying Year (4th year undergrad courses)
Advanced Micro A+
Advanced Macro A+
Math Econ A+
Stat Econ A-
Econometrics I A
Econometrics II A+

Took the following by my own initiative:
Linear Algebra I A
Calculus II A

M.A. courses currently in progress:

Undergrad courses currently in progress:
Calculus and Intro to Analysis (year-long)... effectively Calculus III and IV.
Intro to Probability Theory (at Math & Stat dept.)

From what I have read from Econ dept. web pages, I have the bare minimum math to get in at 30-50 ranked programs. In terms of Econ, I guess I am okay.

Should I apply to 2 or 3 places this year to see what type of response I get?

My initial goal was to apply next year with the following additional courses under my belt:
Winter 2008
Stochastic Processes
Calculus and Intro to Analysis (year-long) ... continued from this semester
M.A. Time Series Analysis
M.A. International trade (my second area of interest after Dev Econ)

Summer 2008
Linear Algebra II

Fall 2008
Theories of Dev Econ
Ph.D Micro or Ph.D Econometrics
Differential Equations
Probability Theory (3rd year undergrad) ... from Math & Stat dept.

Winter 2009 (will be in progress at time of application)
Ph.D Macro
Another Dev Econ course
Real Analysis
Mathematical Statistics

Also, I will have a better idea of my specific research interests by end of next year.

So, what do I do? Should I apply now or wait till next year when my profile gets better (hopefully)? I was looking into the following:
Colorado Boulder
U Washington Seattle

12-01-2007, 11:51 AM
I notice that you have already narrowed down on your choices based on your field of choice. But, why aren't you considering any Canadian PhD program ?

Also, looking that you are interested in Dev. Econ., it would be a good idea to look at a few AREs. Most of them have development as a research field.

If you do perform well in your intended courses and re-take the GRE to score > 790, your profile would be a lot more competitive in future.In essence, you must decide that whether the opportunity cost of waiting a year is greater the lost opportunity to spend five years at a better school. Given the randomness of admissions, one can only say that you'll get a better admit for waiting a year, but not specify "how much better" exactly. Assuming risk-averseness and discounting future admits to accommodate for the inter-temporal effect, I personally would have been indifferent between the two choices. But, the discount rate varies across individuals.........:D.........and I think in conclusion, I have lodged you back to square 1 ;).

Ibn Abbas
12-01-2007, 03:12 PM
I am not considering Canadian Ph.D programs because I would rather stay the required 5 years in U.S. to get my citizenship there since I already have U.S. P.R. card.

The ARE suggestion is well taken. I will look into that.

As for the GRE, I will be retaking it next summer and really push for a 800 but that's anything but guaranteed.

For me, the opportunity cost of another year is not too high. I would rather learn all the stuff and then get into a Ph.D program instead of somehow getting in and then suffering.

Does anyone else have their views to share?