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Thread: PhD in East Coast City

  1. #1
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    PhD in East Coast City

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    I plan to apply to a few PhD programs this Fall. The constraint is that I have to be in a city in the NE corridor. My profile is not strong enough for a top 40 program so I am looking at top 50 or beyond.

    I have identified the following programs: (GWU in DC, Drexel and Temple in Philly, possibly UDel but it is not in a city, Rutgers (close enough to trains) and Northeastern in Boston).

    I am quite interested in GWU's and Temple's programs. Is anybody familiar with these two programs? I have heard good things about both. Living in DC is expensive while Philly is a bit cheaper. Temple's department seems to be rebuilding and they seem to have a young and active crowd but I am somewhat worried about their reputation. I am planning to get in touch with current grad students and the DGS to get a bit more information about conditions (I heard stipend is around 20k for 5 years with the possibility of either teaching in the summer or getting a research award). GWU is also a good program - I am interested in macroeconomics, but I am not certain I will be competitive.

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    Re: PhD in East Coast City

    It would be easier to help you if you posted your profile using the standard format so we could give you a better idea about what is a good fit. In general though, very few departments outside the top 40 have decent macro groups, so you might want to slightly broaden your interests.

    As far as Temple, it takes a long time for a program's reputation to recover after an extended period of mediocrity and I don't see a record of recent placements on their website, so check out the current status of the program very carefully.

    Rutgers has excellent faculty and has a decent macro group for a program of their rank, but the proportion of PhD students who are fully funded -for the university as a whole, not just econ- is not so great and the econ PhD attrition rate is high (about 40% attrition in the first two years). Rutgers Business School technically has their own very small econ PhD program, but I don't think they have matriculated a new student in the last 3 years.

    U Delaware is actually not far away from the Wilmington Acela stop and is closer to both Philly and Baltimore than you probably think.

    CUNY might be an option and you could live in Jersey for cheaper cost of living (commuting via PATH or NJT is easy). The funding situation is also so-so but they have improved it in recent years.

    The New School in NYC is a left heterodox dept so unless you really want a heterodox dept, avoid it. Same goes for UMass Amherst (if you are willing to go as far north as Boston) though they do at least give decent mainstream training. They are also a good bit off the main commuting lines in the northeast corridor.

    American U is a left heterodox friendly department but also has a number of mainstream faculty, and to my recollection has fairly mainstream training.

    GMU is in the DC suburbs and is commutable via public transit, but is roughly the right heterodox equivalent of American U - right heterodox friendly but a decent group of mainstream faculty and fairly mainstream training.

    If you are willing to go as far north as Boston, Brandeis has a program in international econ and does have some macro people but I don't know if this interests you. Northeastern has a program but it is a PhD in applied microeconomics so it probably would not interest you. University of Rhode Island has a PhD in environmental econ which also probably does not interest you.

    UConn is located off the main commuter lines and might not work for you.

    In NYC Fordham also has a program.

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