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Thread: PhD Profile Evaluation / 2016

  1. #1
    Eager!
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    PhD Profile Evaluation / 2016

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    Type of Undergrad: Top 25 U.S. regional, affiliated with a top 50 economics program.
    Undergrad GPA:
    4.0
    Type of Grad:
    N/A
    Grad GPA:
    N/A
    GRE:
    170 / 170 / Still waiting
    Undergrad Math Courses:
    Calculus 1-3, Advanced Calculus (e.g. Analysis I), Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Intro to Probability, Math Statistics (Fall)
    Undergrad Econ Courses:
    Micro 1-2, Macro 1-2, Business Statistics, Econometrics, Auction Theory, Banking (Fall), Monetary Policy (Fall), Experimental Econ (Fall)
    Grad Econ courses:
    Micro 1 (Fall)
    Letters of Recommendation:
    Three well-published but non-famous economists. Two I have (or will have) taken courses with, and done limited RA work for; the third is my thesis advisor. I believe they will be strong.
    Research Experience:
    Mostly nominal RA work for two professors, plus a fairly ambitious thesis project involving modeling and simulation.
    Teaching Experience:
    N/A
    Research Interests:
    Macro, Financial, Monetary
    SOP:
    Should be decent
    Applying: 3/8/4 split between schools in the top 10, top 11-25, and top 26-35.
    Concerns: Where do I begin? I'm a second degree student, who left a career in an unrelated field to study economics; I've had only one year to acquire research experience and build relationships with professors; equally little time to flesh out my coursework; Fall courses and grades will be critical to my profile and I'm worried that some schools will ignore/not accept them; and my undergrad is a feeder school for finance which, despite having a large economics department, is not known for sending students to graduate economics programs.

    My profile is noisy and I have a hard time judging it. Am I aiming too high? Too narrow? Any advice would be appreciated. Also, a general thank you to the forum members for making this such a useful and informative place.

  2. #2
    Within my grasp!
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    Re: PhD Profile Evaluation / 2016

    I think your strategy is really good. I can't objectively evaluate your profile, but it seems fine, and my best advice is to apply broadly, which you do. When you choose those 3/8/4 schools, I suggest you look very closely at professor profiles for best research fit. I had a very similar plan, but I could have saved some money by not applying to some places and applying to others. Other factors to consider are location, fellowship sizes (can project from thegradcafe), etc.
    Attending: UCSD!

  3. #3
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: PhD Profile Evaluation / 2016

    Your strategy seems reasonable if we're only taking into account chances of getting in. Same with what I said to a previous poster, I'd suggest a more top ended approach if you're going to apply to 12+ programs. Your marginal chance of getting in a top 10 program is fairly low, but take the product of that and the marginal value of getting in, and it's still worth more than an additional app to the #11-#35.

    If you maintain your 4.0 in the fall and your professors strongly recommend you, you have a fairly good shot at #5-#15 schools in general. I got into many schools in that range with a profile that's not significantly better - same GPA, similar ranking and research experience, a few more courses.

  4. #4
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    Re: PhD Profile Evaluation / 2016

    Thank you both - these comments are helpful.

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