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decision2008
02-20-2008, 05:03 PM
I am in at CMU and I have not seen much discussion on it here thus far. I assume people are still waiting on decisions or not many people applied there?

Any comment on the program? Especially people who are in it now? I did not hear any word about visits on the package either.

Thanks in advance.

AstralTraveller
02-20-2008, 05:06 PM
I am in at CMU and I have not seen much discussion on it here thus far. I assume people are still waiting on decisions or not many people applied there?

Any comment on the program? Especially people who are in it now? I did not hear any word about visits on the package either.

Thanks in advance.

I contacted the office, and told me my file was still under review, so I can only assume not all decisions have been made yet.

CMU Tepper is a super school, IMHO.

Besides, I understand a state-of-the-art laptop PC is part of the financial aid package :) (Not that it should play a role on anybody's decision about whether to attend there or not, but still)

bertthepuppy
02-20-2008, 05:08 PM
Congratulations!

EconApp2008
02-20-2008, 05:09 PM
I've been wondering the same thing too...I saw a few posts on gradcafe, but not really any talk around here. I applied there, but haven't heard anything yet. Congrats on already getting in! I would love to get an admit from there.

Andronicus
02-20-2008, 05:10 PM
Congrats!

decision2008
02-20-2008, 05:18 PM
Thanks, if anyone interested to know, it's a personal email from the faculty chair, and the title is fairly obvious about what their decision is.

Good luck to all who're waiting to hear from them.

EconApp2008
02-20-2008, 05:25 PM
That is helpful...i keep refreshing my application page, waiting for the "unavailable" under admission offer to change to something else.

EconApp2008
02-22-2008, 10:46 PM
decision2008: I just got in at CMU too! I found out by checking my application status, but still haven't received an email yet. Any mention of funding from them?

buckykatt
02-23-2008, 12:04 AM
Besides, I understand a state-of-the-art laptop PC is part of the financial aid package :)

Does that mean that it runs Linux or FreeBSD? ;)

Seriously, I'd love to see some more discusion about CMU. The joint public policy Ph.D. with the Heinz School looks like an interesting option... (although, with a class of 8, also a long-shot)

phdseeker
02-23-2008, 12:06 AM
Congrats, great admit./

decide_aposteriori
02-23-2008, 12:39 AM
Anyone else apply to CMU Social and Decision Sciences PhD?

decision2008
02-23-2008, 01:40 AM
decision2008: I just got in at CMU too! I found out by checking my application status, but still haven't received an email yet. Any mention of funding from them?

Congrats! The Prof. mentioned they're sending package either on the day of email (last Fri) or Monday, I received the express UPS mail on Tues. I think all their offers are fully funded the same way: tuition waiver + stipend + computer(you can cash if you already have a good laptop). No mention of flyout though, I'll enquire about flyout when I'm closer to make a serious decision - which is probably soon, since I got rejected by Yale today... : (

I think they're rolling out offer 1 by 1, when I got my Rutgers, I saw the status change when I randomly checked online but it's after a whole week before I got a letter from them. But you should hear from them soon.

Congrats again.

EconApp2008
02-23-2008, 02:21 AM
Thanks! and thanks for the info too.

EMEQU
03-10-2008, 08:28 PM
Hello, I got into CMU economics a while ago. I think I was awarded the same financial aid package as decision2008. It seems that the incoming class size is small as there are less than 50 students on campus and another 4 on the job market. I wonder whether some of you know about the atmosphere at CMU, how expensive rent around campus is and so forth. Any help would be appreciated!!!

Windplume
03-10-2008, 08:44 PM
I did my bachelor's in economics at CMU, and have taken a couple of PhD courses while I'm finishing my master's, so I'm happy to answer questions about the school/economics program/professors/city.

As far as rent goes, the areas you'll probably want to look at are Squirrel Hill and Shadyside (as well as maybe Greenfield). Both places are a (free) ~10 minute bus or CMU shuttle ride away from campus. There's a pretty active Craiglist in Pittsburgh, so that will give you a pretty good idea of housing prices. Usually an efficiency will run you between $400-$600, one bedrooms are $600-800, and two bedrooms go for $900-$1200. I would highly recommend sharing an apartment with someone, as you'll get a lot more apartment for the same amount of money.

Also, stay away from South Oakland and North Oakland when you're looking. Those areas tend to be loud, and a bit run down, so the houses are correspondingly run down.

EMEQU
03-10-2008, 09:03 PM
Thanks a lot windplume. I have so many questions to ask!!
1) It seems the econ faculty is pretty good as I am interested in macro/monetary stuff. Do you know if somebody intends to leave soon?
2) I have noticed that CMU's program is small (there are less than 50 grad students on campus and another 4 on the job market this year). May I ask you what the average incoming size class is? Besides, could you elaborate on attrition rates at CMU?
3) Is is true that CMU has a good placement record? Last year one guy (financial econ?) got into University of Michigan...

You made my day!

Windplume
03-10-2008, 09:39 PM
Unfortunately, I'm not incredibly familiar with the workings of the PhD program, but I'll try my best to answer your questions:

1) To be honest. I have no idea if anyone might be leaving. I think the department is strong enough that one or two people leaving wouldn't be a huge issue, though.

2) As far as incoming class sizes, I think that CMU has fairly small class sizes, so I suspect the number of current students is more due to that than to high attrition. I don't have any numbers to back that up, though.

3) This one I really have no idea about.

Sorry I can't be more helpful (attrition rates tend not to be something that comes up in conversation). I'm sure someone from the department has some numbers for you, though. I can give good answers to questions about the environment, though.

EMEQU
03-10-2008, 10:31 PM
Don't worry, your information is very valuable! Ok, I won't talk anymore about attrition (this word freaks me out, but I have noticed that almost everybody in this forum is concerned about it).

EMEQU
03-11-2008, 11:48 PM
I borrowed these questions from an old thread and I will appreciate your thoughts. I am aware few answers may need some inside information, though:

- Does CMU have an open-door policy? Are profs willing to interact with students on a regular and informal basis? Are the majority of faculty accessible, or are they never around?
- How is the morale among the students? Do they feel they have adequate support or are heavily burdened? Is the environment more competitive, or collaborative? How often do students interact with each other outside of work/school?
- How does advising work? Do people frequently meet up with your advisors?
- How would you describe the department's culture? Are there any significant subcultures? Do faculty subscribe to a particular school of thought?
- Is it easy to get around? Is public transportation ok? What's it like living in Pittsburgh? Anything special worth mentioning?

Timmy
03-12-2008, 05:07 PM
I think the financial aid package incoming students receive at CMU is pretty generous. On the other hand, I am very curious about their fourth prelim (yes, besides micro, macro and metrics) and, unfortunately, old exams are not available in their website.

EMEQU
03-12-2008, 07:52 PM
I agree, 23K a year in Pittsburgh sounds pretty good. Besides, since I am interested in macroeconomics, I think CMU is an option to think about.

Timmy
03-12-2008, 08:57 PM
And don't forget they give you a laptop!!:) Are you going to accept CMU's offer?

Mr.Keen
03-12-2008, 09:08 PM
The laptop deal should be standard at every school, ;).

But seriously, I think CMU is a top notch program.

EMEQU
03-13-2008, 03:30 AM
I am still evaluating some other options. Hopefully, I will be done by March 31st :hmm:
Well, so far I have only received very good comments on CMU. For example, one CMU econ PhD graduated a while ago told me faculty members are concerned about grad students' progress along the track, which I think is a plus. Maybe this is because they admit few people each year.
Besides, Pittsburgh doesn't seem to be an expensive city. Still, I am a little worried about weather...I hope PA is not as cold as WI, MI or MN!!!
Finally, I do think the laptop deal is awesome as you save up to 2K! [clap]

Windplume
03-13-2008, 04:09 AM
I think it's a great program, too, but I'm totally biased. I was going to apply, but I think two degrees from CMU are enough for me...

EMEQU, back to your questions:

As far as I can tell, most professors do have an open-door policy, or will let you know when and where you can track them down. In general, I think the ease of accessing faculty is related to how senior they are, and what kind of stuff they do. For most of the younger professors that teach and do research, you shouldn't have any trouble finding them. More senior professors that do consulting, travel a lot, etc. are harder to find, but I don't think anyone at CMU is impossible to find, especially once you get to know them.

More generally, I really like all of the professors I've interacted with, and have found them very friendly, willing to help, and interested in students.

I think morale is about the same as you'd find anywhere else, particularly for the first few years. I don't know about specific support systems, but I know there are plenty of study groups, and some departmental gatherings.

Not sure about advising.

Pittsburgh is an awesome city, especially for students. it's pretty cheap, there's a lot to do, and the people are wonderful. Weather-wise, it's cloudy a lot, but never crazy cold (the low this winter has been 15F or so), and there are some beautiful days too. As far as getting around, the bus system is great (and free for students) and will get you to the common places people go. I would highly recommend bringing a car to school if you can, though, since having a car opens up a lot of cool parts of the city and places to go.

EMEQU
03-13-2008, 09:22 PM
Windplume: Thank you very much! You mentioned that you took some PhD courses at CMU. Do you mind telling me what textbooks you reviewed (MWG, Casella & Berger, J&R, SLP, Hayashi)?

Timmy
03-14-2008, 04:44 AM
I wonder how grad students are graded...with such small class sizes, 3-4 people will get an A, another 3-4 a B and the rest a C?? I am guessing the incoming class size is around 12-15 (taking into account Fin Econ, Econ and Econ & Public Policy). Maybe I am wrong...Can anybody shed light on this? :idea:

EMEQU
03-17-2008, 04:23 PM
According to the grad coordinator, the average incoming class is around 20 students (across all areas of study).

EMEQU
03-18-2008, 04:15 PM
I will visit CMU soon. I have heard very nice things about this school and I want to check them by myself.

Timmy
03-18-2008, 09:39 PM
Did CMU schedule a visit day? I heard that due to the small number of students they admit each year, they don't arrange something special, but do invite prospective students they like the most.

decision2008
03-19-2008, 12:52 PM
They don't schedule a visit day due to the class size, but I got invitation to go visit, will have to schedule with the grad administrator.

EMEQU: Do you have the date in mind when you're going to visit? I'm trying to go soon, but I have some schoolwork/exam to deal with, so I'm thinking first week of April.

EMEQU
03-19-2008, 03:38 PM
I contacted the grad administrator. I'll be visiting CMU by April 1st, but I have not confirmed my schedule yet. I think I'll spend two days there, since I want to audit a bunch of PhD lectures.

Timmy
03-22-2008, 05:24 PM
At this time, I am done. None of my alternative offers can beat CMU's. I'll arrive in Pittsburgh soon...I want to confirm myself all good things I have heard about this school. By the way, the other day I was pleased to hear that Costas Azariadis graduated from CMU (a long time ago, though). Perhaps VV Chari is one of the most famous alumni.

EMEQU
03-25-2008, 04:23 AM
Today I got an offer from UIUC. Given I am interested in macro/monetary economics, do you guys think CMU>>UIUC? Any comments are appreciated.:idea:

(Well, I am also considering UC Davis, ASU & UCL)

AstralTraveller
03-25-2008, 04:30 AM
Today I got an offer from UIUC. Given I am interested in macro/monetary economics, do you guys think CMU>>UIUC? Any comments are appreciated.:idea:

(Well, I am also considering UC Davis, ASU & UCL)

Well, sincerely I would not be quite sure. I know that Kydland is returning to CMU, but still I would not be 100% sure. UIUC still has many interesting people...

EMEQU
03-25-2008, 04:33 AM
Well, sincerely I would not be quite sure. I know that Kydland is returning to CMU, but still I would not be 100% sure. UIUC still has many interesting people...

Hi AstralTraveller, do you mind naming a few?

AstralTraveller
03-25-2008, 02:22 PM
Hi AstralTraveller, do you mind naming a few?

They have a huge amount of young researchers doing macro at UIUC. There's Makoto Nakajima working on computational macro, Steve Parente working on Macro/Growth, Daniela Puzzello doing Monetary Theory, Rui Zhao working on Business Cycles and Game Theoretical Macro. I may be missing a couple more people as well.

They are all very young, but are doing nice things, and they're getting well published. You would not be out of place at UIUC. Of course, CMU has many many more professors with a really high reputation, but I also feel that their faculty is somewhat "less diverse" than UIUC's. Therefore, while it's highly possible that CMU>UIUC, I'm not quite sure that CMU>>UIUC.

Hope this helps. My 2 cents.

Tatonnement
03-26-2008, 12:58 AM
Carnegie is much better than Illinois in macro. For monetary, you have McCallum & Goodfriend, for macro theory there is Sleet & Yeltekin, for macro finance you've got Zin & Telmer. These are off the top of my head... Illinois is a fine place, but Carnegie is much stronger.

EMEQU
03-28-2008, 03:51 AM
I appreciate your comments. I am aware people at UIUC are young but extremely enthusiastic. On the other hand, Prof. Coen Pirani is also at CMU, does anybody know what his strenghts are?

Timmy
03-28-2008, 03:09 PM
I think he is interested in business cycles and asset pricing. However, he has been working lately on labor markets.

vivek31
03-28-2008, 06:27 PM
I think that overall Illinois is slighly better than Carnegie Mellon. This is also because Carnegie Mellon is quite a small department. But for Macro Carnegie Mellon is certainly better than Illinois.

EMEQU
03-28-2008, 07:48 PM
I think that overall Illinois is slighly better than Carnegie Mellon. This is also because Carnegie Mellon is quite a small department. But for Macro Carnegie Mellon is certainly better than Illinois.

Well, I am quite familiar with big schools such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Chicago, UCLA, etc. As a matter of fact, I am visiting CMU next week since I want to know how they deal with few students. There are 4 job market candidates this year. However, this may imply the ratio faculty/grad students is pretty high.

After going to Pitts, I will fly to Champaign.

Timmy
04-03-2008, 02:56 AM
Today I had a look around campus. The building which hosts Tepper is pretty fancy, plasma TVs all over the place, nice screens showing stock prices, etc. The lounge for PhD students is huge, clean and tidy. Well, this is the first b-school I know and maybe all b-schools are alike.

So far so good...

EMEQU
04-06-2008, 11:10 PM
I visited CMU last week. It is indeed a small program (currently there are 18 econ students, but there will be 11 by july: 4 are graduating, 2 were asked to leave because of prelims and 1 gave up). This year there were 4 students on the job market: 1 is going to the Fed, another one to Notre Dame and the star is going to Northwestern (kellogg). Unfortunately, the fourth guy is still looking for a job and professors say he might be coming back to his country (argentina). According to some profs, there are on average 2 students on the job market each year and placements are very decent. Of course, people from financial econ tend to get better offers than their econ peers.
I am leaning towards macro/monetary/finance. I found out there are at least 5 senior people who are very active in their fields: Prof. Green (who might be heading to Stanford), McCallum, Goodfriend, Zin (yes, the guy who made up the Epstein-Zin utility function), Sleet, and many junior faculty: yeltekin, coen-pirani, kesten, etc.
The program is kind of flexible and by the end of the third semester you have to take 4 prelims. Of course, if your background is strong enough, you may want to take them by the end of the first semester (you have to take them all, you are not allowed to "hand-pick"). Last december 2007, one guy followed this route and failed one prelim. In this case, if you fail at least one of them, you have to wait a year for the retakes.
On the other hand, you get into research very soon, because there is a "first-year" paper due by the end of the first summer. There are many professors to choose from (at least in macro), so finding one may not be a problem.
Overall, the program seems to be strong. Of course, given the small number of grad students, peer-pressure may not be an issue.
Finally, professors say CMU's program is not rigid in the sense that there are no mandatory courses. However, you have to be ready by the end of the third semester to pass prelims. I took a look at them and they seem to be fair. You pass if you get 5 out of 10 points (more than eight means you get a distinction :tup:). People are friendly and, of course, grad students who joined me for lunch were the most energetic (kind of self-selection?). Well, my 2 cents.

EMEQU
04-06-2008, 11:22 PM
They have a huge amount of young researchers doing macro at UIUC. There's Makoto Nakajima working on computational macro, Steve Parente working on Macro/Growth, Daniela Puzzello doing Monetary Theory, Rui Zhao working on Business Cycles and Game Theoretical Macro. I may be missing a couple more people as well.

They are all very young, but are doing nice things, and they're getting well published. You would not be out of place at UIUC. Of course, CMU has many many more professors with a really high reputation, but I also feel that their faculty is somewhat "less diverse" than UIUC's. Therefore, while it's highly possible that CMU>UIUC, I'm not quite sure that CMU>>UIUC.

Hope this helps. My 2 cents.

Prof. Rui Zhao is leaving since she didn't get tenured. Furthermore, another macro professor is leaving to the private sector. UIUC is financially tight (as any other state school) and it seems they have a hard time recruiting people.

AstralTraveller
04-07-2008, 03:40 PM
Prof. Rui Zhao is leaving since she didn't get tenured. Furthermore, another macro professor is leaving to the private sector. UIUC is financially tight (as any other state school) and it seems they have a hard time recruiting people.
Wow. It is an unsteady market, isn't it? Probably those people that recommend not to attend a school because of a couple of particular professors are right. CMU has a long tradition of macro, indeed, so I stand corrected about my advise. Apparently, it is actually true that CMU >> UIUC, at least when it comes to macro.

decision2008
04-17-2008, 04:43 AM
Roll call on people going to CMU, I think Timmy and EMEQU are in.
I'm going, interested in financial econ(asset pricing + market microstructure), behavioral/decision theory. How about you guys?

EMEQU
04-18-2008, 04:34 PM
Yep, I'm in.

Decision2008: Did you apply to fin econ or econ?

decision2008
04-18-2008, 08:47 PM
I applied to Econ, but they're flexible as you already know, so it doesn't matter to me right now.