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Thread: Profile eval w/ Rather poor 1st year of undergrad

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile eval w/ Rather poor 1st year of undergrad

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    Hi everyone,

    I come from a low ranked (internationally in econ, fairly high ranked otherwise) tier 2 Canadian University (just outside top 4)

    In my first year of undergrad, my average (in a business program) was 3.0 with an A+ in calc 1 but some Bs in intro econ courses.

    After switching to a Math & Econ program, my grades in years 2 & 3 (going into 4th year now) has been straight 4.0 with only 2 3.9s. This includes:
    -Calc & lin alg sequences (A+ except A in LA 1)
    -Real Analysis 1 (A+)
    -Topology (A+)
    -And assorted math courses (complex analysis, few courses in ODEs, some prob/stats, etc...) (A+)
    -Random econ field courses (A+)
    -intermediate micro & macro (all A+ except A in inter. micro 1)
    -econometrics (A+)
    -econ research course (A+)
    -game theory (A+)
    -One withdrawal (W) in some 2nd year financial math course

    I am currently doing an NSERC micro project and will write my GRE this summer which I should get close to 170q on. I plan on doing my econ thesis next year and should have some good letters of rec.

    I plan on taking (high likelihood of getting A/A+ in all of them)
    -Advanced micro / macro courses
    -Micro 1 (MA / PhD stream)
    -Real analysis 2 (graduate level)
    -econometrics 2

    I am going into 4th year but I will be staying for a 5th year and will only be taking 3 or 4 courses per semester until i graduate due to having to work part time. As mentioned, I plan on taking all the standard advanced econ courses, real analysis 2, and some other upper year math/econ electives later on and should finish with a 4.0 in my last two years.
    However even if I get all 4.0s from now on (very likely), I can only finish with a CGPA of around 3.7.

    -Will my crappy 1st year marks + 1 Withdrawal resulting in a rather meh CGPA really matter especially since I have gotten high marks in upper year math / econ?
    -Will taking an extra year in undergrad while taking 3/4 courses instead of 5 courses a semester influence my results?
    -Will my relatively unranked undergraduate institution factor heavily in my chance of going to a top school?

    I want to and I do believe that I can do well in a top school but I am not sure where to apply to given my circumstances. Are there any chances of getting into a top 10/20 PhD right out of undergrad? Will doing a masters (think top 2 Canada or Duke) bolster my chances?

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
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    Re: Profile eval w/ Rather poor 1st year of undergrad

    I did poorly my first year, went to a very unknown Canadian school and took a extra year taking 3 a semester to upgrade to an honours degree. I ended up getting a few offers from top Canadian masters programs, so don't worry about it much.

  3. #3
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Profile eval w/ Rather poor 1st year of undergrad

    Not sure about top 10 out of undergrad, but #11-#30 seems worth a try. Considering you're working part-time, I'm guessing that a #11-#30 funded PhD offer should be preferred over any unfunded master's program.

    Is there any reason you have to take a 5th year in undergrad? You can certainly get into the top master's programs without a 5th year in undergrad. If it's about cost, just do keep in mind that if you're going to take a master's either way, it's still cheaper to skip the 5th year in undergrad and start a master's immediately. Part time work (assuming it's non-academic) isn't really worth delaying yourself by 1 year; only do it if you can't even get a loan from anywhere.

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