If you have strong letters from your pre-doc at at top 10, then your chances of a top 10 admission are quite qood.
I have previously posted a thread regarding my GPA and grades, but I've figured that it would be better to provide my profile to get a better feedback:
Undergraduate: Top 20 Econ; Note that I stayed an extra year at undergrad.
Overall GPA: 3.67/4.00, Last 4 semester: 3.87/4.00
Calc 1 (A), Calc 2 (A), Calc 3 (A), Multivariate Calculus (A), Intro to Probability (B), Advanced/Honors Probability (A), Mathematical Statistics (A), Ordinary Diff Eq (B), Partial Diff Eq (A), Matrix Algebra (initially C, and B after retake), Intro to Proof (C), Discrete Math (B), Real Analysis 1 (initially C, and A after retake), Real Analysis 2 (A), Grad-level Real Analysis (A), Linear Algebra (A), Abstract Algebra (A), Topology (Grad-level, A), Measure Theory (Grad-level, A), Stochastic Processes (A), Math Research (A), a statistics elective course (A)
Intro to Econ (B), Intermediate Micro (A), Intermediate Macro (A), Econometrics 1 (B), Econometrics 2 (B), and several electives (mix of A's and B's), PhD Microeconomics (A), PhD Econometrics (A) (these two PhD courses were taken while working as a predoctoral RA)
(1) 1-year RA to a macro professor (undergrad)
(2) 1.5-year RA to a behavioral econ professor (undergrad)
(3) 3-month summer RA at a top university in Asia (undergrad)
(4) a semester-long independent research study under the macro professor (undergrad)
(5) a semester-long math research project (undergrad, taken as a course)
(6) an award-winning senior honors thesis (undergrad, the thesis advisor (who is the macro professor I worked for) thinks that it is of a publishable quality)
(7) two-year predoctoral RA at a top 10 econ department. (co-authored works coming out)
Potential Rec Letters:
Probably one from the macro professor/thesis advisor at my undergrad, and two letters from professors I worked with as a predoctoral RA. They all told me that they would write very very strong letters for me.
(1) Regarding my GPA and math grades: I was struggling a lot academically even up to the first semester of my senior year, which explains my not so great overall GPA and initially low math grades. But I managed to pull my math grades up starting the second semester of my senior year and got As in all the courses until the end of my fifth year. I also managed to get As in PhD-level Microeconomics and Econometrics during my 2-year RA period. But I am still quite worried about my not so great GPA and several math grades. Any thoughts?
(2) Would it be worth trying to publish my senior thesis? My thesis advisor thinks it's worth a try, but I'm not certain as the process could take long (although my timeline for applying to PhD programs seem pretty flexible).
(3) Do you think it is (even a little) a possibility for me to get into a Top 10 PhD program?
It would be great if you could share your thoughts on these questions. Thanks!
My profile is very similar to yours...I got a bad grade in one math course four years ago due to an unexpected fever and my university doesn't allow retaking. All other grades including real analysis are As. RA at a top 5 institution for 2 years and taPh.D. Ph.D course at the same time (all As, and the highest scorer in two of them). I'm also really worried about the math course. Some tell me committees won't care too much about a course I took 4 years ago, but others assume committees are very risk-averse about that. I'm really getting crazy these days.
Tbh, the application outcome would largely depend on your letter and whether your references are willing to speak up for you. Grades are only for signaling purpose cause they want to make sure you can pass the first year core. But a lot of the applicants look similar in their profiles so letter matters a lot. If you have a prof willing to say that you are really good at research then I think ur chances are high.
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