I am banking on your suggestions to decide upon the universities I should apply to. Can someone please reply!
I posted this as a Guest before I created my account. So I am reposting it from my account. I desperately look forward to some suggestions and help.
Thank You in advance.
Type of Undergrad: B.A.in Economics, Indian University. Best University for Economics in India. The ranking of the college, affiliated to the university was perhaps 6th or 7th for Economics.
Undergrad: 72.3 percent. I am not aware what it would convert to on GPA. I belonged to the top 10 percent of the class
Type of Grad: M.A.in Development Studies
Grad GPA: 4.87/6. Safely belonged to the top 20 percent of a class of 30 students, might be 15 percent also.
GRE: Q 164, V 160, W 4.5
Math Courses (Higher Secondary Level): Calculus, Differential Equation (94 percent)
Math Courses (Undergrad level): Linear Algebra, application of Calculus (64 percent and 74 percent) in two different papers on similar topics, Statistical Methods for Economics (74 percent)
Econ Courses (Undergrad-level): Advanced Micro, Advanced Macro, Economic History, Theories of Economics, Game theory, Development Economics, International Trade (overall 72.3 percent)
Econ Courses (Grad-level): Macro, Micro and International Trade.
Math Courses (Grad Level): Preliminary and Advanced Quantitative research Methods
Research Experience: Master's Dissertation (5.56/6), Worked as a Research Associate for 2 years
Teaching Experience: None
Research Interests: Economic Growth, Labour, Employment.
SOP: Will explain the broadening of horizon due to transition from economics to development studies that substantiates understanding of development through a prism of inter disciplinary studies including political science, sociology and philosophy. This gave me a broader understanding which I wish to utilize while pursuing a PhD in economics and concentrate on my research areas as above.
Concerns: Is maths credentials adequate? GRE Quant score inadequate for top 20? If yes, can you please name some universities that I can target for my desired fields of study.
Applying to: UPenn, Michigan, Duke, Northwestern, Minnesota, Cornell as of now. But I fear I am being too ambitious.
References: From professors I have studied or conducted research with. None of them are world famous though!
It's very difficult to make suggestions, especially since the GPA doesn't convert easily. From American standards, your grades seem low (74 percent is a C here!). However, I do realize that grading in India is very different. If your school is very well known and people on ad-coms know the grading policies, that would make your case more compelling.
Has your school placed anyone in good US PhDs in recent years? That would be a good indication. You seem slightly low on the math courses too, however I won't be surprised if your quant skills are strong enough (the issue is convincing people on the ad-com). You must have seen other threads and the typical amount of math applicants take. I don't think the GRE quant score is a make or break (though a couple of points more would have been nicer).
I would definitely apply to a couple of lower ranked schools, and leave out 3-4 of the schools you mentioned. I don't think top 20 percentile of class is something you can brag about. If your LOR writters got PhDs from top schools, that would be helpful. Also look for a good fit. If your research is high enough quality and the department does similar research, that could be a strong signal.
It would be nice if someone else could discuss your SOP.
You can use this website to get your scores converted to the American grading system.
Sorry but I really don't know much about schools strong in Labor Econ. Search threads on this forum, look at the couple of tools for overall rankings and they usually have sub-categories within Economics. You also might to look at schools who have researchers on their faculty who have done research that interests you.
Sorry for not being more helpful.
You should select the relevant journals for the economic field and see how is the ranking for PhD in economics (the ranking will give you a better idea of the top universities vs less know universities)
I think you are aiming too high. Because you are in not in top 5% of your undergrad/grad school and also haven't done enough math courses (real analysis, measure theory, differential equation). I guess you should aim top 25-50 schools. All the best!
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