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iugi85
02-12-2008, 04:19 PM
with departmental fellowship, tuition, health care.

octavio
02-12-2008, 04:25 PM
Congratulations! [clap]

econphilomath
02-12-2008, 04:26 PM
GREAT ADMIT! Congratulations! :tup::tup::tup:

Was it an email?

Smileysquared
02-12-2008, 04:28 PM
Congrats!

iugi85
02-12-2008, 04:30 PM
GREAT ADMIT! Congratulations! :tup::tup::tup:

Was it an email?


yes, it was an email. i am certain that at least one other person at my university received the same email as me.

AstralTraveller
02-12-2008, 04:41 PM
yes, it was an email. i am certain that at least one other person at my university received the same email as me.

This is awesome. Congratulations on a super-school admit.

Does anybody know for certain UWM's attrition rates? I seem to remember reading somewhere those were brutal, but can't find that info....

filroz
02-12-2008, 04:45 PM
This is awesome. Congratulations on a super-school admit.
Does anybody know for certain UWM's attrition rates? I seem to remember reading somewhere those were brutal, but can't find that info....
Irony? :D

bertthepuppy
02-12-2008, 04:59 PM
Congratulations! What an awesome admit.

Mr.Keen
02-12-2008, 05:03 PM
Congrats! :)

Nymaj
02-12-2008, 05:10 PM
Congrats! Great Admit

iugi85
02-12-2008, 05:10 PM
Does anybody know for certain UWM's attrition rates? I seem to remember reading somewhere those were brutal, but can't find that info....

I also read that too. Indeed I am hoping that this is a good signal for other admits :hmm:

Nymaj
02-12-2008, 05:13 PM
It seems like they wouldn't fund if they thought you would not make it through the weed out process of the first year. Funding must be a good sign.

econphilomath
02-12-2008, 05:15 PM
How does Wisconsin stand in your preferences? Is it one of your top places?

iugi85
02-12-2008, 05:17 PM
How does Wisconsin stand in your preferences? Is it one of your top places?

Actually, using every kind of ranking I saw, the lower ranked schools I applied to are Wisconsin and Michigan, and I would prefer Michigan over Wisconsin. So i guess that is the last one :rolleyes:

Andronicus
02-12-2008, 05:26 PM
Way to go!

08Applicant
02-12-2008, 05:27 PM
Since I didn't apply there, you have my sincerest congratulations.

Great school and Madison seems like a fun place to live for 5 years. But the faculty didn't quite fit for me.

bgg
02-12-2008, 05:29 PM
I am in too. Same thing nominated for university fellowship - if not provided they will provide some form of financial aid!

Fermat
02-12-2008, 05:30 PM
Actually, using every kind of ranking I saw, the lower ranked schools I applied to are Wisconsin and Michigan, and I would prefer Michigan over Wisconsin. So i guess that is the last one :rolleyes:


If anything, it's a great signal that your application is strong and your letters are great (not that they shouldn't be, but that's the only thing you don't actually read over). Congratulations

econphilomath
02-12-2008, 05:33 PM
Actually, using every kind of ranking I saw, the lower ranked schools I applied to are Wisconsin and Michigan, and I would prefer Michigan over Wisconsin. So i guess that is the last one :rolleyes:

So now you have a lower bound on your applicant value function V(admits,$$). :p

zjhtqf
02-12-2008, 05:39 PM
Congrats!

iugi85
02-12-2008, 06:03 PM
If anything, it's a great signal that your application is strong and your letters are great (not that they shouldn't be, but that's the only thing you don't actually read over). Congratulations

yes I agree, this is the way i am seeing it! thanks to everyone for the messages!!

YoungEconomist
02-12-2008, 06:20 PM
Congrats! :tup:[clap][clap][clap]:tup:

What a great admit, I would love to go there (although I bet the weather really sucks).

sushigushi
02-12-2008, 06:29 PM
I'm in too... yay!

sushigushi
02-12-2008, 06:32 PM
ehm, what I meant to say was:

I'm in too... YAAAAAAY !!!!!

Luckykid
02-12-2008, 06:33 PM
Congrats guys! Welcome to the state of cheese, beer, and the best NFL team ever!

Roy

wcd123
02-12-2008, 06:39 PM
In too w/ fellowship nomination. Very excited.

econphilomath
02-12-2008, 06:44 PM
TM is 4-0 at Wisconsin so far...!
wcd123 (http://www.urch.com/forums/../members/wcd123.html)
sushigushi (http://www.urch.com/forums/../members/sushigushi.html)
iugi85 (http://www.urch.com/forums/../members/iugi85.html)
bgg

Since it seems the first to post gets all the props, heres a congrats to all!

bertthepuppy
02-12-2008, 06:46 PM
This could be a long shot, but that could be because Wisconsin has not yet sent out any rejections...hmmm

econ08
02-12-2008, 06:53 PM
Congrats you guys! Great admits!

iugi85
02-12-2008, 06:55 PM
to the last two wisc admits:

could I ask you if your email explicitly mentions a nomination for a university fellowship or not? in my email is written " I believe that you are a very strong candidate and, due to peculiar institutional arrangements here at Wisconsin, you will not be offered an “official” fellowship (awarded by the University). However, should you choose to come to Wisconsin, the department will guarantee a financial aid package similar to a fellowship, which includes tuition, health care and a stipend." Did they not nominate me for the University fellowship because they think I will have another offer? Or instead did you receive my same email? I do not know how to interpret this difference.

econphilomath
02-12-2008, 07:03 PM
This could be a long shot, but that could be because Wisconsin has not yet sent out any rejections...hmmm

Hmmm yes, but it is still good because we could be 0-0 watching the gradcafe admits and wondering if they are real or not...

Econ82
02-12-2008, 07:14 PM
i posted this on the wrong thread before..

Congratulations!!

Do you know if there is some way to check the status at wisconsin?
was there something on the webpage or just the email?
thanks...

iugi85
02-12-2008, 07:18 PM
i posted this on the wrong thread before..
Do you know if there is some way to check the status at wisconsin?
was there something on the webpage or just the email?
thanks...

hi econ82!

i just re-entered in my profile, no news online, only email. good luck!!

bgg
02-12-2008, 07:19 PM
iugi85:
That's what mine said
"I believe that you are a very strong candidate and the department has nominated you to receive a University Fellowship. The fellowships are awarded by a University committee and the department has no control over
the allocation. In the event that the committee does not select you for a University Fellowship, the department will find a way of providing some form of financial aid."

Econ82
02-12-2008, 07:20 PM
ok, thanks, congrats again

iugi85
02-12-2008, 07:25 PM
iugi85:
That's what mine said
"I believe that you are a very strong candidate and the department has nominated you to receive a University Fellowship. The fellowships are awarded by a University committee and the department has no control over
the allocation. In the event that the committee does not select you for a University Fellowship, the department will find a way of providing some form of financial aid."


thanks! very strange :hmm:... seems like the same email with the nomination for you and without for me, but with the same insurance for both of us for actually receiving stipend&tuition...

TruDog
02-12-2008, 08:57 PM
Congrats to the future Badgers!

If anyone has any questions about Wisconsin (except when admits/rejections come out...I have no clue about that), be sure to let me know.

And just so you all know, Madison is in the midst of its snowiest winter ever, at 76 inches (about two meters) and counting. :)

iugi85
02-12-2008, 09:23 PM
Congrats to the future Badgers!
If anyone has any questions about Wisconsin (except when admits/rejections come out...I have no clue about that), be sure to let me know.
And just so you all know, Madison is in the midst of its snowiest winter ever, at 76 inches (about two meters) and counting. :)

Hi TruDog! I have two questions, a bit "politically incorrect" :whistle:... The first is: which % of students usually don't pass the first year? The second is: which area (micro,macro,metrics) usually places better on average, of course ceteris paribus? Thank you, and sorry for these kind of questions :)

TruDog
02-12-2008, 09:30 PM
Hi TruDog! I have two questions, a bit "politically incorrect" :whistle:... The first is: which % of students usually don't pass the first year? The second is: which area (micro,macro,metrics) usually places better on average, of course ceteris paribus? Thank you, and sorry for these kind of questions :)

To the first question: Out of last year's first year class (around 30 people), something like four people decided to leave the program between the start and the second prelim attempt. Three people got a third chance at one prelim, and something like four didn't pass both prelims and didn't get a third chance. If Snappy's still around here somewhere, he'll have more information. In the past, failure rates on prelims have ranged from almost zero to half the class. I'm hoping for the former this year. :)

There are signs, though, that the failure rate is dropping. It's too early from my vantage point to see if that's a trend or not.

For placements, it depends a lot on the students. You can find the placement of past students at Department of Economics | University of Wisconsin - Madison (http://ssc.wisc.edu/econ/grad/placement.html).

bgg
02-12-2008, 10:48 PM
wow 8 out of 30 dropped out and 3 barely made it
hm...:hmm:
Can you tell us more about the "transition" the department is going through. I saw something about it a couple of times on Test Magic but honestly still I am not quite sure what it relates to. Is the department losing lots of faculty and if yes do you have any idea why...?

TruDog
02-12-2008, 11:43 PM
First, you can't assume that everyone just leaves because they can't pass prelims. Some people have been known to leave after just one week in the program because they didn't know what they were getting into.

Wisconsin is in transition, just like every other public school in the country. Private institutions will continue to try to hire away our top faculty, and we have to work hard to replace them with quality folks. Yes, we've lost Larry Samuelson and Rody Manuelli in the past two years. But we did pick up Chris Taber from Northwestern and we're optimistic about good things to come.

So, unless you're going to a private university, be careful about basing your admission decision on one person. The rich schools will do their best to hire the all-stars away. But we do have a nice advantage here at Wisconsin...lots of good, local beer.

Andronicus
02-12-2008, 11:46 PM
But we do have a nice advantage here at Wisconsin...lots of good, local beer.

When will econphd.net finally include this variable in their ranking methodology?

bgg
02-12-2008, 11:47 PM
TruDog thanks for the info!
Wisconsin still has a lot of great faculty (that's why I applied there after all) so I am not too worried about two of them leaving.
Also the acceptance email was signed by Rody Manuelli. Is he leaving actually next academic year?

Chicunomics
02-13-2008, 08:11 AM
iugi85:
That's what mine said
"I believe that you are a very strong candidate and the department has nominated you to receive a University Fellowship. The fellowships are awarded by a University committee and the department has no control over
the allocation. In the event that the committee does not select you for a University Fellowship, the department will find a way of providing some form of financial aid."

I have an e-mail saying this also. Congratulations guys!!!

Wisconsin is not one of my top preferences, but do not get me wrong -- I am so over the moon to a) know that I can move to the states to study economics for the next stage of my life, and b) won't be massively in debt to do so!

I need to sit down somewhere quiet and let this sink in...

Olm
02-13-2008, 08:26 AM
I have an e-mail saying this also. Congratulations guys!!!

Wisconsin is not one of my top preferences, but do not get me wrong -- I am so over the moon to a) know that I can move to the states to study economics for the next stage of my life, and b) won't be massively in debt to do so!

I need to sit down somewhere quiet and let this sink in...

yes, yes. Keep stroking that e-peen. ;)

sushigushi
02-13-2008, 08:51 AM
to the last two wisc admits:

could I ask you if your email explicitly mentions a nomination for a university fellowship or not? in my email is written " I believe that you are a very strong candidate and, due to peculiar institutional arrangements here at Wisconsin, you will not be offered an “official” fellowship (awarded by the University). However, should you choose to come to Wisconsin, the department will guarantee a financial aid package similar to a fellowship, which includes tuition, health care and a stipend." Did they not nominate me for the University fellowship because they think I will have another offer? Or instead did you receive my same email? I do not know how to interpret this difference.

Exactly the same as Bgg, that is: University Fellowship nomination, and if that fails, 'some' kind of departmental financial aid.

Anyhow, I'm very excited... :) Now I can sit back and relax for the remaining 7 apps to come home regardless of the outcomes... (this was the first of 8..)...

EconCandidate
02-13-2008, 03:31 PM
Yes, Rody is leaving.

As far as fields and placements go, the fields at Wisconsin are all strong, and placements tend to be based more on the person's ability. Labor was already a very strong field, and then we added Chris Taber so it looks like Labor is very strong at Wisconsin. But who knows where the department will be making other hires.

TruDog is correct about the state vs. private schools thing. It is inevitable that a state school can't hold on to guys like Samuelson and Rody forever.

snappythecrab
02-13-2008, 06:43 PM
First off, congrats to all that have been accepted! Getting the first big admit is always takes quite a load off. It is great to see so many of you getting funding...back in the bad old days....


To the first question: Out of last year's first year class (around 30 people), something like four people decided to leave the program between the start and the second prelim attempt. Three people got a third chance at one prelim, and something like four didn't pass both prelims and didn't get a third chance. If Snappy's still around here somewhere, he'll have more information.

Let's see if I can give a breakdown. I think we had 28 entering...one left in the first week; three or four left before first prelims, including one transfer to Penn; and two decided to leave between first and second prelims, including myself. Overall, I know that fourteen sat for the second round of micro and six passed. Assuming those people passed macro, that leaves my class currently sitting at 13 people with the seven that passed micro over the summer.

They don't usually give retakes for a third prelim. I think it has to do with my class losing so many people. Typically they like to graduate around 15-16 people. No doubt they're also counting on losing a few as dissertations, so that's why those retakes are there.




Yes, we've lost Larry Samuelson and Rody Manuelli in the past two years.


And Bob Staiger and Jim Andreoni as well over the last three or four.


So, unless you're going to a private university, be careful about basing your admission decision on one person.

You should always be careful about going anywhere for one person. There's still a fair amount of volatility at top privates as well. Just the nature of the beast that is economics.

bgg
02-13-2008, 06:47 PM
snappythecrab:
What was your reason for leaving the program after Masters if I may ask

snappythecrab
02-13-2008, 07:07 PM
My reasons were varied - some personal, others having to do with the dept.

My priorities had changed since I first applied and I hadn't been putting in the effort that's really required to do well. I was also pretty burned out, which contributed a lot to the effort thing. I really should have taken some time off between undergrad and grad school.

The dept situation really centers around faculty - faculty retention, faculty attitudes toward students and teaching, and prelims. Losing (potential) advisers is tough, and I had lost two. The dept can't even offer international econ as a field right now because of losing faculty. Losing Rody was a big blow too. Grad school is a tough place already, and there's little-to-no faculty support here. The teaching by some can really be pretty bad at times, and attitudes of at least one prof toward students can be very negative to the point of being insulting and blatantly rude. Makes things tough when overall morale is low.

bgg
02-13-2008, 07:30 PM
Thanks for the info and I am sorry for the bad experience you had with the school.
Now I really hope I get into more schools :rolleyes:

Scoobydoo26
02-13-2008, 08:46 PM
I'd think long and hard before enrolling in Wisconsin. I too dropped out of there after 1 1/2 semesters. The only faculty member I liked and seemed to give a damn was Durlauf, Rodi was OK and Buz Brock was a trip. West is a complete jerk. I passed micro, failed macro prelims and dropped out before my retake. The culture in the department is unbelievably miserable, zero support or encouragement from faculty. I perused the alumni list and out of the 29 in my entering class 8 finished their Ph.D.s. They all placed well, but 8/29 are not great odds. The odd thing was I'd say 3 out of the 8 were not even numbered amongst the brightest members of my class. I remember them struggling mighty with 1st year coursework and barely passing prelims on the 2nd try. Furthermore, out of the 3 people who consistently set the curve in classes and passed the prelims on the 1st try, none of them graduated. Although one did finish a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, so he probably left b/c he didn't like economics that much. BTW, he thought the EE program was much easier than econ at Wisconsin. I went there straight out of college at 21 and I found the 1 1/2 years at Wisconsin to be the singularly most miserable years of my life.

People leave Ph.D. programs for a variety of reasons, but when a department consistently graduates far less than 50% of its incoming class, you have to ponder the reasons why.

pevdoki1
02-13-2008, 08:51 PM
Interesting insights.. I wish we had "inside" comments like this on more departments.

I really hope the department I end up at will be friendly and supporting... One of the reasons I applied to UWO is that it gave off that impression.

econphilomath
02-13-2008, 08:59 PM
I went there straight out of college at 21 and I found the 1 1/2 years at Wisconsin to be the singularly most miserable years of my life.



Ouch,...

Maybe it was that you were too young...or maybe Wisconsin just sucks? I know a guy who got back from his PhD at Wisconsin recently and he confirmed it was a pretty tough time, but that he learned a lot...

buckykatt
02-13-2008, 09:32 PM
First, you can't assume that everyone just leaves because they can't pass prelims. Some people have been known to leave after just one week in the program because they didn't know what they were getting into.


Yup, it happens. In my class at another school we had someone leave after a few weeks--she simply figured out that working on Wall Street was going to be more fun for her.

iugi85
02-13-2008, 09:45 PM
Yup, it happens. In my class at another school we had someone leave after a few weeks--she simply figured out that working on Wall Street was going to be more fun for her.

Yes, I agree with TruDog and buckykatt. However, I also think that perhaps there is some sort of correlation between the decision to leave a program before the prelims and the expectations of how the prelims will go. And I also think that there is a correlation between this expectations and how the prelims actually will go. I don't want to generalize, but my prior is that in some cases that is true.

snappythecrab
02-13-2008, 10:10 PM
People leave Ph.D. programs for a variety of reasons, but when a department consistently graduates far less than 50% of its incoming class, you have to ponder the reasons why.

Apparently the Econ world is wondering. There was a bit of buzz this last month at the AEA confrence. Lots of musings about Wisconsin, as I heard from a former undergrad prof. Not much good was said. :doh:

Chicunomics
02-14-2008, 02:06 AM
Hmm, I won't lie, a lot of this stuff is rather unsettling. I think the only positive spin I can put on it right now is that if Wisconsin really has developed this reputation, then it might be the kick in the pants they need to change it. I'm thinking here of Chicago and the reputation they carried for a while, and still do to some extent, and John List coming to their defense saying how much effort they've put into changing things.

Maybe what it takes is the turnover of a lot of the old professors, I don't know, but hopefully if I do end up at Wisconsin it's at a time where they try to get themselves out of this 'rut' by...well...being nicer to their students.

Regardless, I'm still happier with the offer than if I'd been rejected, what can I say!

AstralTraveller
02-14-2008, 02:13 AM
Anyway, Wisconsin's reputation was the catalyst to avoid applying there, despite being a prestigious program :blush:

Luckykid
02-14-2008, 02:51 AM
I'd think long and hard before enrolling in Wisconsin. I too dropped out of there after 1 1/2 semesters. The only faculty member I liked and seemed to give a damn was Durlauf, Rodi was OK and Buz Brock was a trip. West is a complete jerk. I passed micro, failed macro prelims and dropped out before my retake. The culture in the department is unbelievably miserable, zero support or encouragement from faculty. I perused the alumni list and out of the 29 in my entering class 8 finished their Ph.D.s. They all placed well, but 8/29 are not great odds. The odd thing was I'd say 3 out of the 8 were not even numbered amongst the brightest members of my class. I remember them struggling mighty with 1st year coursework and barely passing prelims on the 2nd try. Furthermore, out of the 3 people who consistently set the curve in classes and passed the prelims on the 1st try, none of them graduated. Although one did finish a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, so he probably left b/c he didn't like economics that much. BTW, he thought the EE program was much easier than econ at Wisconsin. I went there straight out of college at 21 and I found the 1 1/2 years at Wisconsin to be the singularly most miserable years of my life.

People leave Ph.D. programs for a variety of reasons, but when a department consistently graduates far less than 50% of its incoming class, you have to ponder the reasons why.
What school did you go to after WI?

EconCandidate
02-14-2008, 09:05 AM
Woah...okay.

Yes we've lost faculty members. Yes we've lost big time faculty members such as Samuelson and Rody. But lets put them in perspective. Samuelson left for a position at Yale (I'm assuming for more money as well). Who wouldn't? Rody Manuelli is going to WUSTL which (according to their website) is working on a "major departmental buildup" (they added five senior faculty in 2005).

Its to be expected that there will be a turnover rate with faculty at big state schools like this. I'll echo what Snappythecrab said about not picking a school based on specific faculty, because who knows what will happen.

As far as Wisconsin compared to other programs, I guess it is impossible for me to compare consider I'm here and I'm not elsewhere. But, one thing I'll mention is that the grass is always greener on the other side.

Another thing is that *grad school is hard*. I'm not sure if Wisconsin is harder than other programs, or how their prelims compare, but I know that I would be kidding myself if I didn't think grad school was going to be hard.

There are a lot of good people in this program. I haven't met all of the faculty yet, but the vast majority that I have met have been very good people. Also, the fellow graduate students here are great.

I had heard some bad rumors before I enrolled in Wisconsin, and every time grad school gets a little tough, or I fall behind in classes, I think back on my decision and wonder about it. But really, thats just an excuse. Looking back at any bad first semester grades, what I quickly realize is that the problems were my own damn fault, not the school.

What I've found so far in my semester and a half of grad school, is that a lot of your success and happiness depends on your own personal attitude and outlook on everything. Some people find out that grad school is not for them, and leave whatever program they're at. This shouldn't reflect poorly on the program. The program may (wrongfully) be blamed as a scapegoat for this however.

I may not have as much of a pessimistic view as some, but maybe that's because I haven't taken my prelims yet. I don't know. I fully expect prelims to be hard, and won't be surprised when they are.

The main point that I'm trying to get at here is, don't take what everyone says at face value. Don't rule out Wisconsin just because of some things you've "heard". When visit days come along, come visit the campus, talk to the graduate students and get a sense of what the program is like. Make your own decision.

bgg
02-14-2008, 10:43 AM
Thanks a lot!!!!!!!

redskins
02-14-2008, 12:38 PM
I'm new here (at least i've never written something)
but I logged on to say that EconCandidate made a good point above.
BTW I'm also nominated as a fellowship in UW.
Wish to see more posts from you EconCandidate!

sushigushi
02-14-2008, 02:03 PM
Yeah let's hear more from the people who are actually still in ;) (TruDog... EconCandidate... there are a couple of more)..

Unless I get into more places (and make a little tour) I don't know if I'll be able to visit the UW-M campus before making a final decision (for me, it's a transatlantic flight)..

PS. I'm convinced that of the people who drop out of grad school (i.e. find out that 'grad school isn't really for them'), 85-99% never gave a real grad book (e.g. Mas Colell, Hamilton, Greene, Davidson... etc etc) a serious shot during their undergrad years. They simply didn't know what they were getting themselves into. Seriously, your ability to digest these texts is only marginally influenced by a friendly tap on the shoulder by an adviser/teacher.

Perhaps Wisconsin has high attrition rates, because it gives people a chance, and to be honest, I would rather have a 'swim or sink' opportunity than none at all... Ah well, if this holds true about UW-M, it implies that my admit there says nothing about my probability of getting into any other school I applied to, LOL...

TruDog
02-14-2008, 03:13 PM
Wisconsin is known for giving people a chance who normally wouldn't get a sniff from some other top-30 schools. There are several of us from smaller state schools or LACs here, which is apparently unusual at well-respected schools.

It's nice to see a school that doesn't make you set your plans for life at age 17, in terms of what undergraduate school you attend. For a lot of people, big state schools don't provide the same quality of undergraduate education (minus the access to PhD courses) that LACs or smaller schools provide. Could I have gotten into an Ivy League school for my undergrad career? Most likely, given a 35 on the ACT. But I didn't want to rack up debt to be taught by grad students or in huge lecture halls. So I went to a smaller school.

Had I known that I wanted to pursue a PhD in economics,that probably wasn't a smart choice. However, the experiences that I had at my undergraduate institution led me down the PhD path, even if my math background wasn't the strongest. I'm just grateful to get a chance at a top-tier PhD program and I'm willing to keep working 70-80 hours a week to get past prelims.

econphilomath
02-14-2008, 04:30 PM
Had I known that I wanted to pursue a PhD in economics,that probably wasn't a smart choice. However, the experiences that I had at my undergraduate institution led me down the PhD path, even if my math background wasn't the strongest. I'm just grateful to get a chance at a top-tier PhD program and I'm willing to keep working 70-80 hours a week to get past prelims.

Well said TruDog! That is a winning attitude which will get you through prelims and life!

Olm
02-14-2008, 04:38 PM
Had I known that I wanted to pursue a PhD in economics,that probably wasn't a smart choice. However, the experiences that I had at my undergraduate institution led me down the PhD path, even if my math background wasn't the strongest. I'm just grateful to get a chance at a top-tier PhD program and I'm willing to keep working 70-80 hours a week to get past prelims.

Post of the day :idea:

Mr.Keen
02-14-2008, 04:51 PM
Well said TruDog! That is a winning attitude which will get you through prelims and life!

I better start thinking that way, too!

bgg
02-14-2008, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the post TruDog
I am from a small LAC myself and completely agree with you. Also there is a way to compensate for the LAC - get an RA job after college in a respected research place where you can work with relatively well known economists and get LRs.

snappythecrab
02-14-2008, 10:30 PM
PS. I'm convinced that of the people who drop out of grad school (i.e. find out that 'grad school isn't really for them'), 85-99% never gave a real grad book (e.g. Mas Colell, Hamilton, Greene, Davidson... etc etc) a serious shot during their undergrad years.

Very few things in life are that simple. Few people really struggle with the work itself. The hardest thing for most is the research stage. Often, it is easy to solve other people's problems. The larger challenge is to find and solve your own.

I'll echo the small school/LAC comments. It was probably one of the smartest decisions I ever made. That being said, coming to a grad program where profs are less interested in students was a bit disheartening. I still wouldn't change a thing though.

wcd123
02-14-2008, 11:05 PM
Very few things in life are that simple. Few people really struggle with the work itself. The hardest thing for most is the research stage. Often, it is easy to solve other people's problems. The larger challenge is to find and solve your own.


I think there is something to be said for this. Most people that are admitted to top programs are proficient in solving clearly stated questions that others formulate. Such a skill is a necessary condition to achieving the grades needed to have your application accepted.

However in research, there are two other skills that supercede the importance of problem solving ability: asking good questions, and formulating those questions in such a way that they can be answered. If one cannot identify important research questions, no matter your problem solving skills you will not be publishing at a high rate. And even if one can ask good questions, identifying a framework through which the question can be answered involves tremendous creativity in many cases. Once these two conditions are met, problem solving becomes extremely important. Without them, however, even the best problem solver will struggle as a researcher.

Finding a program that helps students develop these skills seems pretty important--it is also why seminars and interaction with faculty play such a big role in one's development as a researcher. When I look to choose a program, these will be key factors. I'm less concerned with attrition during the first year, and more with attrition past then. Attrition after the first year is a signal to me that there may not be as strong an investment in student's research interests from the faculty as one would hope. It will be interesting to see the vibe I get from Wisconsin on this given these reports.

iugi85
02-15-2008, 12:00 AM
I totally agree with wcd123. This is in my humble opinion the reason why there are departments less technical than chicago (or wisconsin or...) that even if similar ranked, they place better! remember that being well trained in the first year is just one part of the story.

AstralTraveller
02-15-2008, 01:19 AM
Had I known that I wanted to pursue a PhD in economics,that probably wasn't a smart choice. However, the experiences that I had at my undergraduate institution led me down the PhD path, even if my math background wasn't the strongest. I'm just grateful to get a chance at a top-tier PhD program and I'm willing to keep working 70-80 hours a week to get past prelims.

You are an example! Super attitude! :notworthy


_

EconCandidate
02-15-2008, 01:55 AM
I'm new here (at least i've never written something)
but I logged on to say that EconCandidate made a good point above.
BTW I'm also nominated as a fellowship in UW.
Wish to see more posts from you EconCandidate!

Thanks.

If any one has any basic questions about the program, feel free to send me a private message. Now, back to Stokey & Lucas...

wcd123
02-15-2008, 01:59 AM
I totally agree with wcd123. This is in my humble opinion the reason why there are departments less technical than chicago (or wisconsin or...) that even if similar ranked, they place better! remember that being well trained in the first year is just one part of the story.


I was actually pleasantly surprised by Wisconsin's placement record when I checked it out. I am definitely very interested in the program, and will be giving them a hard look no matter what else happens in the process, and the placement record cemented this idea.

But at least we are on the same page. Do you think you'll go to visit weekend?

zwicker
02-15-2008, 02:40 AM
So what about all of us that havent heard back from wisconsin yet. Are they done with acceptance?

TruDog
02-15-2008, 02:51 AM
So what about all of us that havent heard back from wisconsin yet. Are they done with acceptance?

I didn't hear from Wisconsin last year until March 12. I was admitted without funding, but was able to get a TA spot for both semesters this year at the last minute. And, judging by the number of students from outside the department who are serving as economics TAs this semester, there might be more funded offers available this year.

(Note: This is not based on any inside information that I possess about UW's admissions process.)

sushigushi
02-15-2008, 09:52 AM
Very few things in life are that simple. Few people really struggle with the work itself. The hardest thing for most is the research stage. Often, it is easy to solve other people's problems. The larger challenge is to find and solve your own.

I'll echo the small school/LAC comments. It was probably one of the smartest decisions I ever made. That being said, coming to a grad program where profs are less interested in students was a bit disheartening. I still wouldn't change a thing though.

Ok, I have to clarify that :) What I meant was 'the people who drop out in the first year'.

I have enough RA'ing behind my belt to know that research is the real nut to crack ;) But since we were discussing attrition rates in the first year, I assumed that it mostly had to do with course workload...

Anyhow, I come from a (selective and math focused) undergraduate program where there's just 10 of us graduating each year (first year enrollment for my track is over 40).. so I thought I had a worthy two cents to add to this from my own experience... :)... maybe I'm just not used to being pampered...

uwecon85
02-15-2008, 09:27 PM
I don't blame Wisconsin for people failing out. My first year at Wisconsin wasn't so bad. Brock is horrible at teaching, but most profs aren't that bad. Do they care about you? nah. but why should they. You need to go out of your way to meet profs. Some jr faculty do care - but I don't really know anything about the senior profs.

I can give you a list of things that made me miserable at Wisc:
1) Funding that depends on teaching as it is difficult getting RA type funding. Teaching load is 4-5 classes of 24 students each - you are lucky if 5% of your students care about learning. I can name less than 5 students who really cared about the material. One kid really did - and I took time to explain stuff beyond the course he wanted to know. You should see the type of emails you get from UGs. I should have stapled McD job applications to their HWs.
2) The culture is somewhat miserable. Not many people are really happy there.
3) The weather is horrible. You think it doesn't matter, until you realize how miserable you are in your free time (rare). Living in Madison isn't like living in a big city.

Good things
1) Other grad students are really cool and smart. I think the students at Wisc really get along well. I respect many of my peers and hope the best for them.
2) It's hard. This is a good thing. Trust me.

I think you should think about the sacrifices you're willing to make before you come to Wisc. I personally don't think anyone at Wisconsin is truly happy. They just really really want good placement - and they think it's worth 5 years of hell.

econphilomath
02-15-2008, 09:44 PM
I should have stapled McD job applications to their HWs.



LOL :)

polkaparty
02-15-2008, 09:55 PM
I should have stapled McD job applications to their HWs.

See this PhD comic (http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=975).

econphilomath
02-15-2008, 10:42 PM
Thanks for the link! The comics are hilarious! I loved the geeks anonymous...maybe we should get a TM group going after april.

PHD Comics: Geeks Anonymous (http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=25)

andyecon
02-16-2008, 05:30 AM
I can give you a list of things that made me miserable at Wisc:
1) Funding that depends on teaching as it is difficult getting RA type funding. Teaching load is 4-5 classes of 24 students each - you are lucky if 5% of your students care about learning. I can name less than 5 students who really cared about the material. One kid really did - and I took time to explain stuff beyond the course he wanted to know. You should see the type of emails you get from UGs. I should have stapled McD job applications to their HWs.
2) The culture is somewhat miserable. Not many people are really happy there.
3) The weather is horrible. You think it doesn't matter, until you realize how miserable you are in your free time (rare). Living in Madison isn't like living in a big city.



Wait... how many classes are you teaching? Do you mean 4-5 times per week (which is still too much)? Surely it can't be 4-5 SECTIONS?

uwecon85
02-16-2008, 06:51 PM
I had about 100 students total. This was an intro class. Some people get extra money and take on more than 100 students. Other people have around 75 students and get paid less.

snappythecrab
02-16-2008, 07:58 PM
Wait... how many classes are you teaching? Do you mean 4-5 times per week (which is still too much)? Surely it can't be 4-5 SECTIONS?

Four sections is pretty standard. Off the top of my head, I don't know anybody that taught more than four, but that doesn't mean much. Either way, the pay for three sections really sucks ~$7500 for an academic year. I think you're looking at a 15-20% increase over that for teaching four sections.

asquare
02-16-2008, 08:06 PM
Wow. How many hours a week is 4 sections meant to take? At U-Mich, GSIs (the local equivalent of TAs) in intro classes have 2 sections of 35 students each. We are also expected to hold office hours (2 or 3 hours a week) and do some grading, in addition to preparing for section. On paper, it's 16-18 hours a week. After your first semester, it takes less, because you get faster at prep and grading. We get about $7200/semester ($14,400/year) stipend for that teaching load, plus tuition waivers and insurance.

Is that similar to the funding arrangement at Wisconsin, or is it very different?

uwecon85
02-16-2008, 08:30 PM
There is no way IMO to get 14.4K even with a 50% appointment. I think only domestic students can get higher than 12Kish via extra grading, proctoring, PA (for profs) on top of being a TA.

You can grade papers for other profs, you can get a per hour job for a professor, etc. if you want more money. But Ann Arbor is slightly more expensive than Madison if I recall correctly. Also I think your jr faculty get paid more - 90kish at Umich.

IMO the funding here at UW is pretty horrible overall. You can get your funding cut at anytime (if you miss a prelim, field paper, signature, 6th year and on) depending on how many other students need funding.

bgg
02-16-2008, 08:40 PM
uwecon85:
In terms of how easy it is to cut funding is it the same if for example they grant you university fellowship. Also do you know what it amounts to?
Also if your funding comes from RA/TA how much money on average that is per year and how many hours per week you have to work for this money?
Thanks for the info,
bgg

TruDog
02-16-2008, 10:38 PM
I TA three sections of micro (72 students), which give me a stipend of about $11,000 per year before taxes. The expectation is that such an appointment takes about 15 hours per week in work.

TA stipends at Wisconsin are among the lowest in the country, and the university realizes that it is causing many bright students to accept offers at lower-tier schools. There is a task force in place to address the issue, but there just isn't money available to make TA stipends competitive while keeping discussion sizes small.

andyecon
02-16-2008, 10:50 PM
It is insane that they expect you guys to teach 3 sections! I teach one section (2.5 hours a week) of intro to macro, and that takes an entire day away from my own stuff. I did a TA last year, and that was two sections, but still...

TruDog
02-16-2008, 10:52 PM
The way sections are taught here is that we teach each class once a week for an hour. It's not as bad as it sounds.

bgg
02-16-2008, 10:55 PM
TruDog:
How can you survive with 11000 for 2 semesters? What is the cost of living over there

TruDog
02-16-2008, 11:15 PM
Housing is $500-$800 per month here, so the stipend can come close to covering expenses. However, teaching five sections or landing a RA job can net closer to $14,000 per year with experience.

uwecon85
02-17-2008, 04:57 AM
A friend of mine had a 1st year fellowship. That's just free money for the first year with no work. I'm guessing 12Kish? They won't cut the first year fellowship in the middle - but I'm not sure.

TA workload depends on your professor and class. Some profs make you attend their lecture + office hours + grading + your own sections + review sections for 3 midterms and final. You can cram it all in on Friday and just TA that day. But you'll have to do review sections and extra office hours for stupid students.

If you're lazy 4 sections of TAing (with a prof who doesn't care) is about 1 office hour + 2 grading + 4 hours teaching + 1 hour prep = 8 hours per week.

But more like 2 office hours + 2 grading + 4 teaching + 2 prep + 1 responding to emails + 1 hour extra time on average for extra sessions + 3 hours lecture via prof = 15 hours per week

RA workload can vary from almost no work, to alot of work. First year PAs (like RA with less money) don't do any work. It's like a fellowship.

EconCandidate
02-17-2008, 08:05 AM
Yeah the funding isn't phenomenal, but bad funding is better than no funding.

snappythecrab
02-17-2008, 08:33 AM
Wow. How many hours a week is 4 sections meant to take? At U-Mich, GSIs (the local equivalent of TAs) in intro classes have 2 sections of 35 students each. We are also expected to hold office hours (2 or 3 hours a week) and do some grading, in addition to preparing for section.

Is that similar to the funding arrangement at Wisconsin, or is it very different?

Your work seems relatively similar to the situation at Wisc. for the minimum, less pay. Sections are ~25 students. So for ~$925-950/mo., you teach roughly 75 students with similar hours to the above, give or take. This is of course excepting that Wisc students, teaching those hours, get paid less than half as much. My W2 for 2007 was $3156.01, teaching three sections in the fall semester because my class received **** for funding in their fiirst year, unlike the last two classes, apparently. But I'm not bitter. Really. :whistle:

I'm honestly not sure what the dept is doing with their money. Let's see...given recent faculty losses over the last four years with net entrants, off the top of my head, it seems as though the faculty should have been able to save roughly $600-700k+ at a minimum.

Mich, Minn, and Wisc are probably a decent cohort. Andy, what are they paying you for similar work?


I TA three sections of micro (72 students), which give me a stipend of about $11,000 per year before taxes.

Right, but as you pointed out that is per year, which, especially as a first-year, you won't have the opportunity to teach. Thus ,that leaves you with roughly $7400 or so for the year at best.

I really hate to come across like this for the dept., but I honestly feel little shame in doing so. I know that there are others out there that would echo similar sentiments. This place is rough, and it doesn't discriminiate. I had nearly two years worth of publication-quality research, co-authorship, and a math major, all from a top university. Look where that's left me. The class before me had a student ace (think ~98%) stats and econometrics for his first year, which, to say the least, is no easy feat. The dept. failed him.

Wisconsin is no joke.

TruDog
02-17-2008, 01:19 PM
Right, but as you pointed out that is per year, which, especially as a first-year, you won't have the opportunity to teach. Thus ,that leaves you with roughly $7400 or so for the year at best.

My pretax paycheck is about $1150 a month and about $975 after the government and the TA union (you're forced to join the union here) gets its cut. As TAs at Wisconsin get paid nine months out of the year, I guess it's closer to $10,500 pretax and $8,500 posttax. Grad students here don't get rich, that's for sure.

Here's a table of TA stipends (assuming a 50% appointment, which is five sections and 20 hours a week) at the UW and other schools. The information is somewhat dated, but I guess the relative funding hasn't changed. What does help, however, is that Wisconsin has a lower cost of living than quite a few schools on the list.

http://www.ls.wisc.edu/Graduate%20Stipend%20Committee%20Report-Final.pdf

Table 2- Average TA Salaries for UW-Madison’s Faculty Salary Peer Group
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
UC-Los Angeles 13,894 13,894 14,451 14,989 15,071 15,101 15,110 15,582
UC-Berkeley 13,367 13,367 13,884 14,339 14,388 14,380 14,383 14,814
Michigan 10,859 11,342 11,864 12,447 12,884 13,259 13,633 14,080
Illinois 10,596 11,067 11,566 12,471 13,019 12,874 13,348 13,831
Purdue 10,942 11,280 11,748 12,112 12,519 12,867 13,296 13,620
Washington-Seattle 10,367 10,611 11,205 11,718 12,240 12,195 12,573 13,221
Michigan State 10,725 10,759 11,072 11,405 11,554 12,206 12,552 13,004
Texas-Austin 10,422 10,655 10,791 11,201 11,752 11,780 12,526
Ohio State 9,876 10,196 13,592 10,863 11,060 11,599 11,956 12,459
Indiana 9,582 9,017 9,382 9,988 11,529 11,998 12,228 12,455
Minnesota 9,784 10,075 10,780 11,264 11,675 12,043 12,108 12,366
UW-Madison 13,931 10,754 10,628 11,083 11,360 11,395 12,144 12,161

uwecon85
02-18-2008, 01:53 AM
I believe the senior faculty really do support certain students who pass prelims and the field paper. But only if you do really good research. Otherwise you will fail out as a 6th year (a guy in my friend's office left as a 6th year, another guy couldn't get a signature and is not on the market).

I'm not sure what you need to get the support of senior faculty, but I don't believe it's that hard if you're a 3rd year in good standing. Why? The class is really small by then - goes from like 30ish to 15ish - and hence the faculty to student seeking research guidance is good.

bgg
02-18-2008, 02:23 AM
seriously isn't the fact that the graduating class is only 50% of the starting class quite concerning. I don't buy the explanation that so many students didn't know what they were getting into or suddenly lost interest in econ...

apropos
02-18-2008, 03:13 AM
My pretax paycheck is about $1150 a month and about $975 after the government and the TA union (you're forced to join the union here) gets its cut. As TAs at Wisconsin get paid nine months out of the year, I guess it's closer to $10,500 pretax and $8,500 posttax. Grad students here don't get rich, that's for sure.

Here's a table of TA stipends (assuming a 50% appointment, which is five sections and 20 hours a week) at the UW and other schools. The information is somewhat dated, but I guess the relative funding hasn't changed. What does help, however, is that Wisconsin has a lower cost of living than quite a few schools on the list.

http://www.ls.wisc.edu/Graduate%20Stipend%20Committee%20Report-Final.pdf

Table 2- Average TA Salaries for UW-Madison’s Faculty Salary Peer Group
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
UC-Los Angeles 13,894 13,894 14,451 14,989 15,071 15,101 15,110 15,582
UC-Berkeley 13,367 13,367 13,884 14,339 14,388 14,380 14,383 14,814
Michigan 10,859 11,342 11,864 12,447 12,884 13,259 13,633 14,080
Illinois 10,596 11,067 11,566 12,471 13,019 12,874 13,348 13,831
Purdue 10,942 11,280 11,748 12,112 12,519 12,867 13,296 13,620


Looking at these numbers, it seems like we don't have it too bad at Purdue, specially after adjusting for the cost of living. After subtracting all the fees, it's about 15K/year before tax this year (assuming you don't have some kind of grant or fellowship which it seems like some advanced students may still get). Other schools probably increased their stipends since 2005 though.

apropos
02-18-2008, 03:17 AM
seriously isn't the fact that the graduating class is only 50% of the starting class quite concerning. I don't buy the explanation that so many students didn't know what they were getting into or suddenly lost interest in econ...

Actually, with the exception of a few selective and highly supportive departments, like say Berkeley or Minnesota, I think 50% yield is quite normal. This probably means that a quarter drops out due to academic reasons, another quarter leaves on their own, the rest graduate. 5 years to get a PhD is a huge commitment, specially to people who are already very smart and hold an undergraduate degree.

Karina 07
02-18-2008, 03:25 AM
Looking at these numbers, it seems like we don't have it too bad at Purdue. After subtracting all the fees, it's 15K/year before tax (assuming you don't have some kind of grant or fellowship) this year. Other schools probably increased their stipends since 2005 though.

Actually, it occurred to me just now these stats may be somewhat misleading. Stipends for TAing tend to go up if you've TAed more terms, right? So if you're at a place where people don't TA very much, because they're offered more funding (e.g. for first year, etc.) then the average TA stipend would be lower just because you've no very experienced TAs to balance it out, yet you wouldn't want to say that a place that offers more funding is bad!

It's only a minor point, but still could account for a few hundred here and there.

TruDog
02-18-2008, 03:26 AM
Second-year TAs make about another $1,000 per year over first-year TAs, as Wisconsin does have some level of experience pay for TAs.

macroeconomicus
02-18-2008, 04:16 AM
Actually, it occurred to me just now these stats may be somewhat misleading. Stipends for TAing tend to go up if you've TAed more terms, right? So if you're at a place where people don't TA very much, because they're offered more funding (e.g. for first year, etc.) then the average TA stipend would be lower just because you've no very experienced TAs to balance it out, yet you wouldn't want to say that a place that offers more funding is bad!

It's only a minor point, but still could account for a few hundred here and there.

It's different at each school. I know a lot of schools have the same pay rate for all TAs. There are a few who will pay extra to TAs with a Masters degree. Finally, there are some schools who regularly reward their above average TAs with some monetary award.

DevelopmentEcon
03-05-2008, 12:16 PM
just wanted to bump this thread up and see who else has received UW-Madison responses...

I'm in at their AAE PhD dept but funding isn't decided yet... anyone with funding offers from this program let me know if you reject them so i can celebrate one step closer to funding ;)

bgg
03-05-2008, 12:44 PM
DevelopmentEcon: Not sure how helpful this is but soon I willbe rejecting funded offer from the econ department

TruDog
03-05-2008, 01:59 PM
DevelopmentEcon: Not sure how helpful this is but soon I willbe rejecting funded offer from the econ department

That won't be helpful at all. AAE and econ are completely separate here in terms of funding, although AAE students do take micro, math, and econometrics with the first year econ students.

bertthepuppy
03-05-2008, 03:35 PM
I just received in e-mail that I am in at Wisconsin!!! This is a total reach for me!!!!!!!!! Crazy!

israelecon
03-05-2008, 03:36 PM
i just got an e-mail too that i am in at wisconsin (without first year funding). i think i will be clearing that spot for someone else pretty soon.

ward
03-05-2008, 03:48 PM
i'm in without funding too, and congrats bertthepuppy

after reading this thread though the admit is a little bittersweet

PRCE
03-05-2008, 04:04 PM
I was supposing I would hear from Cornell this night. But out of my expectation , I got in Wisconsin without funding.

doubtful
03-05-2008, 04:19 PM
to the last two wisc admits:

could I ask you if your email explicitly mentions a nomination for a university fellowship or not? in my email is written " I believe that you are a very strong candidate and, due to peculiar institutional arrangements here at Wisconsin, you will not be offered an “official” fellowship (awarded by the University). However, should you choose to come to Wisconsin, the department will guarantee a financial aid package similar to a fellowship, which includes tuition, health care and a stipend." Did they not nominate me for the University fellowship because they think I will have another offer? Or instead did you receive my same email? I do not know how to interpret this difference.


since they know you are going somewhere else they don't offer the fellowship to you that otherwise cannot be recycled to someone else.

iugi85
03-05-2008, 04:22 PM
since they know you are going somewhere else they don't offer the fellowship to you that otherwise cannot be recycled to someone else.

yeah.. ex post i understood well why they did not nominate me :) ... the question was written one month ago when i have had only that answer. for those interested, i declined that offer more than 2 weeks ago.

Olm
03-05-2008, 04:48 PM
Ton of activity on grad cafe...

pevdoki1
03-05-2008, 04:52 PM
Looks like a TON of people got into Wisconsin w/o funding. I guess they don't expect any of these people to attend!

Olm
03-05-2008, 04:53 PM
I would go. I should have applied... then again it would have just ended up being a very expensive rejection letter ;)

filroz
03-05-2008, 04:54 PM
me too :)

pevdoki1
03-05-2008, 04:59 PM
After reading this thread, I wouldn't go to Wisconsin if they offered me 25K!!!

filroz
03-05-2008, 05:05 PM
place for tough guys :)

MexEcon
03-05-2008, 05:28 PM
I am the only reject amoung a bunch of admits on "The Grad Cafe". I got an email saying that:

"Due to resource limitations, we can admit only a small group of the
most highly qualified applicants each year. The Graduate Admissions and Aid Committee has reviewed your application and has decided not to admit you for graduate study in Economics. We received a large number of applications this year (we had over 400 applications), and we only have room for about 30 students, so we must reject many promising applicants. We appreciate your interest in our program, and we wish you well."

I guess I should feel special for being the only reject! [clap][clap][clap]

pevdoki1
03-05-2008, 05:33 PM
"We received a large number of applications this year (we had over 400 applications), and unfortunately we had enough room to admit only 300 students."

j/k :D

ephyou
03-05-2008, 05:35 PM
i got the same reject email. we got juttered

MexEcon
03-05-2008, 05:41 PM
i got the same reject email. we got juttered

Ok... I do not feel special any more :rolleyes: .

TruDog
03-05-2008, 05:48 PM
Seriously, though, the admit rate is about 15-20%.

MexEcon
03-05-2008, 05:53 PM
Seriously, though, the admit rate is about 15-20%.

Actually should be around 7.5%, according to my rejection email 30/400. So congrats to everyone that got in!!!

EDIT: There is 28 admits on "The Grad Cafe" out of 30 admits that they gave according to my rejection letter. Could it be that "The Grad Cafe" is actually that reliable???

israelecon
03-05-2008, 06:02 PM
Actually should be around 7.5%, according to my rejection email 30/400. So congrats to everyone that got in!!!

EDIT: There is 28 admits on "The Grad Cafe" out of 30 admits that they gave according to my rejection letter. Would it be that "The Grad Cafe" is actually that reliable???
they definitely make more than 30 offers, just many people decline their offer

MexEcon
03-05-2008, 06:04 PM
they definitely make more than 30 offers, just many people decline their offer


Ok, thank for the clarifying. I guess now that 15-20% rate makes sense.

poisony
03-17-2008, 04:50 PM
I was among the applicants who were admitted without a first year funding. Recently, I received an e-mail saying "you will be hired as a Teaching Assistant and will receive a stipend of approximately $10,000 for the academic year, tuition remission, and health benefits." I guess this amount is before taxes. Additional details will be sent later on. "Besides, this funding will be contingent on passing the UW Speak test (a UW version of the TSE)." This amount reminds me a post about $1150*9 months funding and $8500 net in return to TAship.

bertthepuppy
03-17-2008, 05:21 PM
Sweet! Are you considering Wisconsin? I have also been admitted with no first year funding, but I did not receive a similar e-mail.

poisony
03-17-2008, 08:53 PM
Thanks, I am seriously considering this offer. I hope you also receive a similar offer:)

midori
03-18-2008, 02:31 AM
welcome

EconCandidate
03-18-2008, 07:09 AM
Are any of you guys coming for visit day??

buecon08
03-18-2008, 12:32 PM
Yeah, I am! :) Can any of you guys that are actually at Wisconsin tell us a little bit about your experience as there as been a lot said on another thread that was fairly negative... Thanks!

eagle uk
03-18-2008, 01:15 PM
Congrats! Splendid!

bertthepuppy
03-18-2008, 01:35 PM
I cannot make the visit day, but I am still seriously considering Wisconsin. Any advice would be great. Do you think it would be valuable to visit another day?

econphilomath
03-18-2008, 01:43 PM
I would go to Wisconsin. But that's my preferences.

But I think my skin is thick. I've heard you need that to survive the whiplashes while doing chain gang duty the first year.

EconCandidate
03-19-2008, 07:12 AM
I cannot make the visit day, but I am still seriously considering Wisconsin. Any advice would be great. Do you think it would be valuable to visit another day?

It's always good to go to visit day, regardless of the school as long as you're serious about wanting to go to it.

EconCandidate
03-19-2008, 07:13 AM
Yeah, I am! :) Can any of you guys that are actually at Wisconsin tell us a little bit about your experience as there as been a lot said on another thread that was fairly negative... Thanks!

Grad school started out very difficult for me, but there is a very steep learning curve and I think I was much better prepared for my latest round of exams, compared to the ones I took first semester.

The material is hard, but I imagine that is the case anywhere. You definitely need to be focused. Its tough to give general advice...do you have specific questions?

Econ82
03-19-2008, 12:22 PM
Hi,
I got into Wisconsin but without funding for the first year (not even tuition waiver) I would have funding on year 2 onwards. Does somebody there know if there is still a chance that I am offered funding? Maybe if I tell them that I have other funded offers but am interested in wisconsin?

A specific question: how hard??!! I mean, how many people leave after the first year? and after the second?

bertthepuppy
03-19-2008, 12:48 PM
Also, do both funded and unfunded students have office space?

buecon08
03-19-2008, 01:32 PM
I guess specifically, do you have any sense as to why the pass rate there is lower than at other schools? Is coauthorship btw faculty and students common?

Aeshma
03-20-2008, 08:20 AM
all first years share the same office, its very big. enough for 30 people. and judging by some of the opinions on this thread, i don't think it will be full.

anyways about the department, i think the average moral is ok. the variance of moral across time and individuals is fairly big, it really depends on what stage of the research you are in. the biggest concern is faculty retention, but i guess most public schools that similar to wisconsin have the same problem. at least the faculty knows it is an issue and is trying to address the situation.

i do agree that there isn't much student faculty in your first year. pretty much none unless you try to seek it out. but you will see a huge jump in interaction by late second year and early third year at the latest. nearly all faculties are very nice once you get to know them and most are generous with their time. there are some that feel the faculty is not as nurturing as it should be, especially if they came from a smaller undergrad program, but i feel comfortable with it. personally i wouldn't make a big fuss over the lack of interactions in the first year. there are other things that you should concentrate on.

about prelim, personally i don't know why so many people don't pass. it does take a lot of work, but its difficulty is definitely exaggerated. i think most students don't realized what they are getting into before coming here. during preparations, i think some students try to do too many questions, eg all problems from the old prelims and many from textbooks, rather than spending more time on each question. some are just not ready or able and some are just totally random.

EconCandidate
03-20-2008, 08:52 AM
Hi,
I got into Wisconsin but without funding for the first year (not even tuition waiver) I would have funding on year 2 onwards. Does somebody there know if there is still a chance that I am offered funding? Maybe if I tell them that I have other funded offers but am interested in wisconsin?

A specific question: how hard??!! I mean, how many people leave after the first year? and after the second?

Don't rule out funding just because you don't have it yet. Two of my classmates received funding right before the first year started because the grad program needed a few more TA's.

The grad program is very hard. Some people leave on their own, others don't pass prelims. I'm not sure of the exact attrition rates, these are questions to ask at visit day.

EconCandidate
03-20-2008, 08:53 AM
Also, do both funded and unfunded students have office space?

We all share a first year office together.

EconCandidate
03-20-2008, 08:56 AM
I guess specifically, do you have any sense as to why the pass rate there is lower than at other schools? Is coauthorship btw faculty and students common?

Tougher standards for the prelim I'd imagine. Tougher grading and maybe more challenging material. I don't really know.

bertthepuppy
03-20-2008, 12:58 PM
Did you feel that not having math camp was a disadvantage? Obviously you have no control group for this, but did you have to prepare more throughout the summer. Also, did any of the current Wisconsin attendees take up the offer to take summer math classes in Madison?

TruDog
03-21-2008, 01:46 PM
Did you feel that not having math camp was a disadvantage? Obviously you have no control group for this, but did you have to prepare more throughout the summer. Also, did any of the current Wisconsin attendees take up the offer to take summer math classes in Madison?

If you don't have a strong mathematics background (i.e. real analysis), no math camp is a significant disadvantage. I don't know anyone who took summer math classes in Madison, as there is no funding to stay there the summer before first year.

Hope to see a bunch of you next Friday!

YoungEconomist
03-21-2008, 01:54 PM
Does anybody know how UW - Madison's attrition rate compares to other programs? The reason I ask is because I am considering applying there, but some of you have me worried that it's like the new U Chicago where they weed a bunch out after 1st year.

MNGoon
03-21-2008, 03:21 PM
Young Economist,

I talked with a faculty member of the Applied Econ program at Wisconsin the other day and the applied students take the theory course with the straight econ students. I asked him about the attrition rate and this is what he said (paraphrased of course):

In terms of the number of students that pass the theory prelims out of the economics department the applied program has had up and down periods. In some years they let students take the prelims that maybe we should not have. For a few years the econ department decided to follow the "Chicago Approach" where they pass only 1/3 of all students taking the exams. Some of the AAE student got caught in that. The econ department has backed off of that and AAE looks more closely at how their students do in their course work as well as the prelims.

I hope that helps

Aeshma
03-21-2008, 08:42 PM
the whole attrition problem has, in my opinion, been blown out of proportion. i can't remember the exact numbers but these are just the approximate: for the current fifth year class, about 18 out of the 21 incoming students passed the prelim stage. for the current third year class, about 15 out of the 20 incoming students passed the prelim stage. it is the current fourth year that suffered the massacre. they had 40 students in the first year. i don't expect the department can support that many students, and i am sympathetic to those students, but i guess the department needed to make the cuts. i don't know the numbers for the current second year, but it should be somewhere on this thread. there are still a few that will be sitting for the third time. i also don't know about the prelim attrition rate of current sixth years. it could be almost half, but not sure. AAE students did get caught up in it because AAE, econ and finance all has to take the micro prelim and the identities of the examinees are hidden. but AAE students get a free pass now if they earn at least a B in classes.

bertthepuppy
03-21-2008, 08:59 PM
the whole attrition problem has, in my opinion, been blown out of proportion. i can't remember the exact numbers but these are just the approximate: for the current fifth year class, about 18 out of the 21 incoming students passed the prelim stage. for the current third year class, about 15 out of the 20 incoming students passed the prelim stage.

This is good to hear. Thanks for the info. I would like to hear more positives on Wisconsin, as I feel a lot of the negatives are just rumors.

Timmy
03-21-2008, 11:07 PM
I don't think they are just rumors. Probably prelims are not that hard, but grading may be tougher than in other schools. Anyways, if you don't trust what you read in this thread, please go to the economics webpage and ask current grad students about the attrition figures: they will tell you what is going on. My guess is that the word "attrition" is in the air, which is not good...Of course, if you can make it to the visit day, ask the graduate coordinator :), she will tell you the right stats.

TruDog
03-22-2008, 03:00 AM
Maybe it's just my gut feeling, but attrition seems to be dropping here at Wisconsin. Some people do leave before prelims most years (the adcom takes a lot of chances on students from different backgrounds), but the pass rates look to be improving.

And grading is extremely tough. Most students without master's degrees tend to end up on academic probation (less than a 3.0 GPA), which doesn't mean a thing in the long run here. Anything better than a B in a class is considered quite good.

Timmy
03-22-2008, 05:34 AM
Yeah, attrition rates may be decreasing over time...what I find amazing is that people, including myself, spend a lot of time wondering about this issue. I didn't apply to this program, but it is kind of weird that most applicants talk a lot about failing prelims, lack of funding, Prof. Shin going to WUSTL, etc. Do current grad students (specially first-years) feel stressed out because of these issues? Is is the case that first-years feel so overwhelmed that they decide to drop-out after the second semester?

YoungEconomist
03-22-2008, 03:49 PM
Do current grad students (specially first-years) feel stressed out because of these issues? Is is the case that first-years feel so overwhelmed that they decide to drop-out after the second semester?

I imagine many grad students do feel very stressed about these things, but for most people they probably don't drop-out because of it.

I think I will be so stressed during first year. In fact, I'm currently doing my last couple quarters as an undergrad and I am stressed out all the time. I'm constantly worried about grades, and I'm all ready nervous about this summer since I'll be taking many advanced math classes all at once. I stress out that I won't get in any where. I stress out that if I do, I might not pass prelims. I stress out that once I pass prelims, maybe I won't be able to finish a dissertation. I stress out that even if that happens, it will be difficult to get a good academic placement. And even then, you still gotta worry about tenure.

asquare
03-22-2008, 04:18 PM
Timmy, I'm not at Wisconsin. However, prelims are an ever-present worry during the first year at any program that gives them. Even at programs where not many people fail out over the prelims, they are the source of a lot of anxiety! That's not to say they are paralyzing or make everyone miserable all the time, but the exams are always in the background. However, once you actually start a PhD program, you can do something about the exams. Before hand, all you can do is worry ;) First year keeps you busy enough that you spend more time thinking about the actual material than about things in abstraction.

As for other sources of stress, funding is less stressful once people start. The issue is pretty settled: either you got funding from the school, or you took out loans. Without a new decision to make, you adjust and just live with whatever the situation is. Certainly, that doesn't alleviate all the stress, especially for those who don't have funding, but it does remove the immediacy of the situation or the sense that there is something you have to decide about.

We certainly talk about faculty who leave or join the department, but it's much less smoke-and-mirrors in real life than on TM. There's a higher signal-to-noise ratio ;) If someone you work with is considering leaving, you will get information directly from that person on the situation and how it affects you. Faculty usually continue to advise advanced students even after they leave a school. So while everyone is interested in who is coming or leaving, it's more like gossip or discussing trades of baseball players than a huge source of stress.

Timmy
03-22-2008, 05:12 PM
I imagine many grad students do feel very stressed about these things, but for most people they probably don't drop-out because of it.

I think I will be so stressed during first year. In fact, I'm currently doing my last couple quarters as an undergrad and I am stressed out all the time. I'm constantly worried about grades, and I'm all ready nervous about this summer since I'll be taking many advanced math classes all at once. I stress out that I won't get in any where. I stress out that if I do, I might not pass prelims. I stress out that once I pass prelims, maybe I won't be able to finish a dissertation. I stress out that even if that happens, it will be difficult to get a good academic placement. And even then, you still gotta worry about tenure.

Oh my God!! Take it easy YoungEconomist!! ;) One step at a time!!

Asquare: I envy your wisdom and I am really glad you visit this thread quite often. Go Badgers!!

YoungEconomist
03-22-2008, 05:25 PM
Oh my God!! Take it easy YoungEconomist!! ;) One step at a time!!

LOL :D

I know, I know. I need to chill out and not worry.

What can I say, life is stressful. If I wasn't stressing about econ, then it'd just be something else.;)

midori
03-23-2008, 03:04 AM
And grading is extremely tough. Most students without master's degrees tend to end up on academic probation (less than a 3.0 GPA), which doesn't mean a thing in the long run here. Anything better than a B in a class is considered quite good.

this is not very true overall according to my observation.

personally, i think that surviving the first year and prelim requires concentration, dedication, and attitude above former preparation. Hard-work is a must, but your own learning technique is also important.

TruDog
03-23-2008, 09:40 PM
Asquare: I envy your wisdom and I am really glad you visit this thread quite often. Go Badgers!!

That'll make asquare happy as a Wolverine. ;)

And, to the previous poster, look at the grade distributions for first-year classes. The mean GPA is around a 3.2 and the majority of students without a master's degree are below a 3.0 this year.

asquare
03-23-2008, 09:52 PM
That'll make asquare happy as a Wolverine. ;)
Eh, well, at least it wasn't "Go Buckeyes!" ;)