View Full Version : Advice if any, take an offer this year or re-apply or go the M.A. Route

02-05-2008, 05:36 PM
Type of Undergrad: Top 10-20 US Public School, Large research institution, with top 30 PhD program.
Undergrad GPA: 3.62 overall, 3.81 Econ, 3.4 within Math minor
Grad: None
GRE: 780Q/600V/5.5
Math Courses: Calc I-IV(2 semesters multivariable), Linear Algebra, Fundamental Mathematics(intro proof), Stats and Probability, Real Analysis
Econ Courses: Intermediate Micro/Macro, 2 semesters Econ Stats, Econometrics, Development Econ, International Econ, Public Finance, Govt Regulation of Econ Activity, Game Theory
Letters of Recommendation: 2 Econ, 1 Math, all very strong, mix of well known and not really known, older, younger. all PhDs at very good schools for their fields.
Experience: extensive independent research paper under faculty supervision(one of my LOR), garnered nomination for graduation with distinction within economics

Schools Applied to: Not many, we'll say 3-5+, for personal reasons I could not commit to moving anywhere to go to school until it was way late in the game.

Would like some feedback here on whether I should take any possible spot in Canadian MA program(applied to 2 of top 4) and reapply another year, or go ahead and take a spot in the top 30 program I am fairly sure I will get into because of my LOR. My worry is that while an MA will be valuable, I may not actually care too much about the difference in placement from say top 15 school vs the top 30 school, especially considering I would probably re-apply to the same top 30 school again after a year long MA program. This will of course also depend on what my real chances of getting into say a top 5 if I did a M.A. or just waited a year and re-applied without anything more than maybe a few classes more in math or grad econ without actually graduating in May.

Worries: I don't really subscribe to putting so much emphasis on any one point of a profile, but I don't really have nearly much of a clue of what my chances would be at tougher schools to get into. Need help and or encouragement in that regard.

02-15-2008, 12:02 AM
hoping someone will reply to this if i post again and it gets bumped up the list a bit

based on the poll i currently posted, hopefully someone might be in the same position or similar and might have some advice

02-15-2008, 12:08 AM
With a profile like yours, you're currently looking at an admit in a school ranked 10-30. If the LORs are as strong as you say, I would apply to a few top 10s. A master's degree will only help your cause if you a) absolutely must get an admit to a top 10, and b) you get an almost perfect GPA while in the program.

02-15-2008, 12:15 AM
thanks for the advice

I was told by probably my strongest LOR to apply to some top 10, a reach, but that it makes a big difference in placement(he was most certainly speaking of tenure track at a top University) But an average school with a PhD program in economics would be fine by me.

Also, I was on the fence whether to apply, and rather than possibly waste a bunch of money wanted to take some time. Ended up way too late to apply to many top 10s, or wasn't sure i'd go to what was left of the top 10 for reasons of moving to certain areas doesn't work for me. So my list is literally just a PhD program and a few masters programs, and I may just wait a year and apply again to many more schools, just not sure whether I should be worrying about more school during that year.