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Thread: (Profile) Korean Undergraduate looking for graduate programs to apply abroad.

  1. #1
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    (Profile) Korean Undergraduate looking for graduate programs to apply abroad.

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    Hello, everyone. This is my first post on this forum, so I'm pretty new to a lot of things here.
    I currently live in South Korea and just recently made up my mind to apply for Graduate programs abroad.
    I'm currently thinking of applying for University of Toronto.
    Type of Undergrad: Seoul National University (South Korea)
    (Current) Undergrad GPA: 4.2/4.3 (Roughly translates to 98/100)
    (2 or 3 more semesters left until graduation)
    GRE, IELTS, TOEFL: (Currently Preparing)
    (Did take TEPS in 2016, 947 out of 990)
    Math Courses:
    Calculus for Humanities and Social Sciences 1 (A+)
    Mathematics for Economics (A+)
    Introductory Statistics for Economics (A+)
    Econ Courses:
    Principles of Economics 1 (A+)
    Principles of Economics 2 (A+)
    Macroeconomics (A0)
    Mathematics for Economics (A+)
    Introductory Statistics for Economics (A+)
    Microeconomics (A+)
    Introduction to Market Economy (Pass)
    Behavioral Economics (A+)
    Economic History (B+)
    (Currently attending Economics in Practice)
    (Planning on applying for Environmental Economics and Game Theory)
    Other Courses:
    I'm an Economics student and also studying two other majors.
    - Double Major in Business Management
    Principles in Accounting (A+)
    Principles in Management (A0)
    Management Information System (A0)
    Fundamentals of Economics for Management (A+)
    Organizational Behavior (A+)
    Human Resource Management (A+)
    (Currently attending Operations Management)
    (Planning on applying for Marketing Strategies, Management Forecasting, and Financial Management)
    - Minor in Psychology
    Psychology of Understanding Human Minds (A+)
    Social Psychology and Lab Experiments (A0)
    Introduction to Psychology (A+)
    Abnormal Psychology (A+)
    Organizational Psychology (A+)
    (Currently attending Perception of Self and Mind)
    (Planning on applying for Personality Psychology and Counseling Psychology)
    Letters of Recommendation: (Currently Contacting Professors)
    Other:
    - Was the club leader of an Economics Education Volunteer Program. Taught Middle School/ High School students economics and business strategies. (2 years)
    - Attended Peer Counselor Program. (1 semester)
    - Was a mentor in the School Mentoring Program for Foreigners. (1 semester)
    - Taught Mathematics at a Night School. (1 semester)

    Since it was a very recent decision to prepare for a Masters or PhD abroad, I'm pretty much lost in what to prepare first. I know I'm behind in Math courses, but in my school strangely enough Math courses outside of Economics weren't mandatory for graduation so I didn't feel the need to attend any more than needed. I also need to prepare for GRE(Goal of 165-165-5.5), IELTS(Goal of Average over 8), and/or iBT TOEFL(Goal of Total over 100).
    I want to further my studies in Behavioral Economics in my Graduate program. Assuming that my GPA will stay the same until graduation and I attend all of the mentioned courses, will I be able to apply for University of Toronto? Is there any other programs that I would be able to apply for?
    I'm really in need of urgent advice on what should be my priority before I graduate. Also I don't have any friends or seniors who I know that applied for a graduate program in America or Canada. I'm basically a blank slate so any kind of help would be appreciated.
    Thank you so much for reading this long post. Please tell me if I missed anything.
    Hope you have a nice day

  2. #2
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    Re: (Profile) Korean Undergraduate looking for graduate programs to apply abroad.

    Anecdotally, a lot of our korean classmates completed their masters at SNU, and then directly applied to phd programs. I think a lot of weight will be placed on your LORs and what they have to say about you.

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    Re: (Profile) Korean Undergraduate looking for graduate programs to apply abroad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Jump View Post
    Anecdotally, a lot of our korean classmates completed their masters at SNU, and then directly applied to phd programs. I think a lot of weight will be placed on your LORs and what they have to say about you.
    Thank you for the comment , but the problem is that starting from 2020 the Economics department (and ONLY the Economics department) decided to eradicate the Masters program and change it to a Masters-Ph-D integrated program That's why I've been looking for ways to apply abroad directly. It's still nice to know that even if I get it to SNU graduate school I still would have a chance ) Just that it'll take longer :P
    Hope you have a nice day

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    Re: (Profile) Korean Undergraduate looking for graduate programs to apply abroad.

    I think Yonsei's masters program is known to place many into top phd programs; I don't know if they still have the terminal masters degree though. Another option I am thinking about is ,as you said, applying to masters program abroad such as Toronto, LSE, Barcelona, Toulouse and etc. I would also consider places like University of Tokyo. Furthermore, given the profile you provided, I feel like you will have to supplement your transcripts with more math courses. I would say take at least up to Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis 1 and basic probability theory.

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    Re: (Profile) Korean Undergraduate looking for graduate programs to apply abroad.

    Quote Originally Posted by BanachUniverse View Post
    I think Yonsei's masters program is known to place many into top phd programs; I don't know if they still have the terminal masters degree though. Another option I am thinking about is ,as you said, applying to masters program abroad such as Toronto, LSE, Barcelona, Toulouse and etc. I would also consider places like University of Tokyo. Furthermore, given the profile you provided, I feel like you will have to supplement your transcripts with more math courses. I would say take at least up to Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis 1 and basic probability theory.
    WOW that many more math courses?? I had no idea that I would have to supplement that much, still thank you for giving me an outline on how much I should prepare bb
    Hope you have a nice day

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    Re: (Profile) Korean Undergraduate looking for graduate programs to apply abroad.

    It's unlikely you'll need supplemental math courses if you finished a rigorous econ degree at SNU.

    This type of advice is usually given to American undergrads. American undergrad econ programs are less quantitatively rigorous than those in most other countries.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No

    Re: (Profile) Korean Undergraduate looking for graduate programs to apply abroad.

    You can enter the MA-PhD track of SNU and graduate with MA. Moreover, The point of entering a graduate school is not the degree itself, but to gain a research experiences and get a good LORs. There are lots of great MA programs abroad, but unless you get a decent funding (which you will not probably get), it is just not worth attending it for a Korean unless you are financially unconstrained.

    Like Double Jump said, you need to take much more math courses. Koreans applying for PhD program, lacking an opportunity to get an amazing LORs, usually take rigorous math courses to make the signal strong. Your gpa is great, but most are on the courses that are not rigorous. If you have 3 semeters left as an undergrduate, you should prioritize taking math courses.

    Talk to the professors. Tell them you are planning to apply for PhD programs. Ask for their opinion. Almost all of them have sent plenty of their students to the PhD program in US, so they can give you a tailored and up-to-date advice. Also, talk to your seniors who are preparing for applying to a PhD program, or even better, who are in the PhD program in US. You should be able to find one.

    You may find the follwing site (in Korean) useful:
    Econ PhD 예비역 직장일기 :: Econ PhD 예비역 직장일기

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