View Full Version : Some advice needed on finishing my undergrad and applying

silverlegacy

02-04-2008, 06:07 PM

I'm a student at an average state university without a phd program in econ. My GPA is average (3.4 overall, 3.8 in Econ and 3.1 in Math), but improving every semester. My weakness is in math as you can see, but its also in the lack of math classes. I have about a year and a half left on my undergrad, and I am thinking about going an extra semester to take more math classes as I have only completed through diff eq. I should be able to improve my GPA in math by a few points. My university doesn't have a very strong econ program and am finding a lack of research available. I am wanting to get into a top 50 school, the higher the better of course, what would be some advice to help me with that goal? Thanks!

C152dude

02-04-2008, 06:13 PM

So you have completed Calc I-III, Linear Algebra, and Diff EQ? What math classes are you in this semester? What about for the summer?

You could always do a master's first.

silverlegacy

02-04-2008, 06:18 PM

Just calc I-II and diff eq this semester. This summer I have an internship. I plan on taking linear algebra and calc III next semester. I also have applied business statistics I and II.

C152dude

02-04-2008, 10:17 PM

Well, that means your math GPA is based on 2 math courses? Are business stats courses accepted as math credit at your school? You have plenty of opportunities to raise your math GPA. Further, an A in linear algebra means more than an A in calc I. I suggest you try hard in Diff EQ and look into online math courses while doing your internship.

I did a math course through NetMatch: NetMath - Online Math Course - University of Illiniois (http://www.netmath.uiuc.edu/), over the summer while interning. Since mine involved traveling everyday, I just made progress on the problems while waiting to board, or while on the flights. Thus, interning and taking a math course is very possible. If you try hard, you can take calc III and linear algebra over the summer. This would greatly beef up your profile. I suggest you look into it. I believe Stanford and possibly OSU? have similar online programs.

silverlegacy

02-04-2008, 10:43 PM

It is based on 3 (pre-calc as well), from what I am taking from this is that my overall gpa can be forgiven a bit more if i have high math and econ grades, am I right? I know I can get great grades in math, its just a matter of applying myself. I should restate that a year and a half after this current semester.

Say I take calc III, linear alg, finish diff eq and find another class to finish and get A- to A's I should be looking better for a chance to getting accepted. Say with a 3.4-3.5 GPA. What other class should I look into?

C152dude

02-05-2008, 05:06 AM

First, I am not the best person to ask since I am not nearly as knowledgeable as others. I am not sure why I am the only one replying. But anyways...

A couple of thoughts/ideas:

1) If you do well the next 1.5 years, your overall will rise above a 3.4-3.5. After reading this board for awhile, it appears the general consensus is great econ/math GPA's will help offset a lower overall. This just seems logical and econ/math courses are more important than gen eds for example.

2) Math coursework:

a) The best thing to do right now is meet with your professors to talk about grad school. There are endless reasons for this: you get advice, make contacts, possibly work out an independent study, etc. They will help you choose good courses.

b) With this knowledge, seek out a math advisor to plan the courses accordingly. In your situation, your current goal of calc III and linear algebra are obviously on the mark. In fact, you need them to even apply. If you can complete one or both over the summer, your next task will be a stats course and a proofs-based course. Real analysis should then follow, or will follow if a proofs course is not a pre-req for analysis. Other courses people on this forum (and the professors you should talk to) will mention are stats/prob theory, programming, etc. which are useful and send a good signal.

c) For other courses, econometrics and any other mathematical based econ courses will help your profile. Your econ GPA is fine.

Goals:

1) Get your math GPA closer to an A- average.

2) With 1.5 years left, I would not aim for a 3.4-3.5 overall. You can do better than that. How about a 3.6 or so?

3) Start talking with professors. I think LOR's are not emphasized enough on this forum. Here's another idea. Since the disparity in difficulty between undergrad and grad econ courses is so great, working out an independent study in something more rigorous will help you twofold. Since your school does not offer graduate courses in econ, this will give you a taste of the material. You could also pickup skills in useful programs like Stata, R, Mathematica, Matlab, and TeX. And second, it could (should) lead to a good LOR.

4) Also, a minor comment on the GPA's. You should find out how your grades are reported. For example, calc I and II are not considered as part of my math GPA. I assume this may be influenced by the calc AB or BC test. Either way, look into how your transcripts look.

5) Good luck.

C152dude

02-05-2008, 05:14 AM

Oh... and... search through the forum. Your questions have been answered before, and probably several times over.

econsgirl

02-05-2008, 03:52 PM

4) Also, a minor comment on the GPA's. You should find out how your grades are reported. For example, calc I and II are not considered as part of my math GPA. I assume this may be influenced by the calc AB or BC test. Either way, look into how your transcripts look.

Heyy I have a question... When you apply for grad schools, do they have a section for you to fill up your math and econs classes you have taken plus your separate maths and econs GPA? Or do they just ask you to submit your transcript and they work it out themselves.. (I only have an overall GPA) I am doing 2 majors, econs and finance. Some math courses are under my finance major... and some are just additional electives and not part of the econs core... Not sure if this will make a big difference.

Just thought that if they have a separate section on the application form, I can organize my maths/econs courses and grades and make things look simpler..

Equilibrium

02-05-2008, 05:24 PM

econsgirl

My opinion in general:

Transcripts at a lot of large universities only show your overall gpa, and gpa breakdown by semester. This is because it is usually up to the department of the college you are in to decide what courses constitute major gpa, honors gpa etc... for graduation and distinction purposes(at least this is how it works at my large public university). Because of this, use any opportunity you can to calculate for yourself what your actual "econ" gpa is(ie absolutely every econ class you have taken for credit) If space permits for you to upload/submit some sort of document, make a list of all those courses so they know what you're working from, and report your GPA as such. My opinion: They will see an econ GPA, and courses with individual grades. Unless you're trying to report some amazing GPA when it's obvious you might be excluding, including courses as defined as your department for econ gpa only to your advantage, they're going to take it at face value and see that your econ and or math gpa is high, and the transcripts back that up even if they don't state it explicitly.

Equilibrium

02-05-2008, 05:29 PM

to clarify, and answer more directly, most schools' applications will have space to list separate gpa's in econ/math etc..., and many will let you list courses. the problem is that there may not be an explicit mention of said econ or math gpa on your transcripts depending on the way your school prints them(they generally like to keep them as simple as possible, and this means printing things the same for all majors and not taking into account different ways major gpa's are calculated across colleges in a university) To solve this I have at least, simply calculated with EVERY econ/math course, taking the good and the not so good, to report my major GPA, my transcripts will not mention the GPA at all within my major(i requested a copy so as to know things like this), but my classes will show that my econ gpa is what it is reported as on my applications

econsgirl

02-06-2008, 12:46 PM

to clarify, and answer more directly, most schools' applications will have space to list separate gpa's in econ/math etc..., and many will let you list courses. the problem is that there may not be an explicit mention of said econ or math gpa on your transcripts depending on the way your school prints them(they generally like to keep them as simple as possible, and this means printing things the same for all majors and not taking into account different ways major gpa's are calculated across colleges in a university) To solve this I have at least, simply calculated with EVERY econ/math course, taking the good and the not so good, to report my major GPA, my transcripts will not mention the GPA at all within my major(i requested a copy so as to know things like this), but my classes will show that my econ gpa is what it is reported as on my applications

i see.. so what you mean is write a list of your maths/econs courses (excluding all the electives and unrelated core courses), and then calculate your maths/econs GPA and report it yourself? But because this maths/econs GPA is not reflected on your actual transcripts, if the adcom doubt the maths/econs GPA you calculated yourself, they can always go back to the transcript and check the individual courses and grades?