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Re: Profile evaluation: Econ Phd
Really? Then you ought to keep reading.
Originally Posted by watch
But in addition, a lot of people who have thought deeply enough about a PhD in economics to make it to this forum already have pretty well calibrated their expectations. Most people are targeting a reasonable range of schools when they decide to post here for advice by selection. The ones that aren't get a little nudge in the right direction. Occasionally some posters have no idea what's going on, and they are set straight pretty quickly.
In general, members on this forum with some experience are not trying to make people feel good. We've applied, we've spent loads of time and money, and we know what a trying and expensive endeavor this is. If you were overshooting, I'd tell you, and I'm pretty sure almost everyone else here would too. Within the last couple of weeks I recall specifically telling a prospective applicant they needed to add more schools further down their list or they were risking getting shut out. If I just wanted to make people feel good, I'd stand around campus with one of those "free hugs" signs.
In your case, you've really got a pretty good looking profile with a couple of caveats--one big and one small. The small one is that your overall GPA is a bit low for a successful T20 applicant, but your stellar econ and math grades should really smooth that over quite nicely. The large one is that you seem to have little research experience to speak of (unless you do and just omitted it for some reason).
The lack of research experience means that your range of outcomes is quite large right now. I could see you getting into a borderline T10 school if one of your letter writers pulled strings for you, and I could also see you not getting much outside of the 25-40 range. On the other hand, if you spent 1-2 years at a good full-time RA gig, I am highly confident you'd get a few T20 offers and feel there's a decent chance you'd get some T10 offers. My analyses are only ever objective--do with it what you will.