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Thread: Low-GPA Profile Evaluation

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Low-GPA Profile Evaluation

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    Note: I have my masters program Advisor tell me that I should aim to top 25 to 50 schools while undergraduate professors say 50 to 70. What do you guys think?

    My undergraduate grades are substantially lower because of poor organization and time management (as explained in my SOP).


    Research and Work Experience:
    • Currently working as an Economist in private sector
    • Worked as Research Assistant for professor in graduate school
    • Worked as Economic Development Research Intern
    • Published undergraduate research (Undergraduate Economics Journal at Top 30 School)


    Programming Experience: SAS, R, MATLAB, and Python



    Type of Graduate School: Private, research university (mid-sized to large)
    Degree: Master's in Financial Economics
    Grad GPA: 3.87
    GRE: 170 Quant / 156 Verbal / 4.0 AWA

    Graduate Coursework:

    • Microeconomic Theory (A)
    • Forecasting (A)
    • Econometrics I (A)
    • Optimization (A)
    • Econometrics II (B+)
    • Statistical Programming (A-)
    • Financial Theory (A)



    Type of Undergraduate School: Small, public liberal arts university
    Undergrad Major: Math/Economics double major
    Undergrad GPA: Cumulative: 2.88; Math Major GPA: 2.52; Econ Major GPA: 3.2

    Undergrad Math Courses:
    • Calculus I,II,&III (all B's)
    • Introductory Proof-Writing Course (B)
    • Linear Algebra (C)
    • Abstract Algebra (C)
    • Advanced Calculus/Analysis (C)
    • Intro to Numerical Analysis (B)
    • Discrete Math (C)
    • Mathematical Statistic I&II (B, D)
    • Game Theory (B)

    Undergrad Economics Courses:
    • Intermediate Micro (B)
    • Intermediate Macro (C)
    • Introductory Research Course (A)
    • Mathematical Economics (C)
    • Econometrics (B)
    • Industrial Organization (B)
    • Political Economy (B)
    • Independent Studying/Research I&II (A, A)
    • Senior Seminar (A)



    Letters of Recommendation: 2 Graduate Economics Professors, 1 Undergraduate Mathematics Professor

    1. Graduate Professor 1:
    • Department Chair and director of graduate program
    • Worked for him as RA
    • Got his Ph.D. from Top 30 school - recommended I apply to his alma mater
    • Had him for Econometrics I&II, and Capstone Seminar (A, B+, and A respectively)
    • I heard second-hand that he said I was the most talented student in my cohort

    2. Graduate Professor 2:
    • Co-authored papers with economists at a regional Federal Reserve Bank and WUSTL
    • Had him for two courses: Forecasting and Optimization (got A's in both)

    3. Undergraduate Professor:
    • Mathematics Professor
    • Had him for Introductory Proof-Writing course, Game Theory, Logic & Set Theory, and Discrete Mathematics
    • For what it’s worth, he has written letters for me before and said he wouldn’t unless he thought he could write a “headliner”
    Last edited by jdl7851; 09-26-2019 at 12:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: Low-GPA Profile Evaluation

    Anyone? Any advice would be great?

  3. #3
    econ scholar dogbones's Avatar
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    Re: Low-GPA Profile Evaluation

    Are you going to specialize in financial economics in your PhD? I noticed you've only taken 1 macroeconomics course... I would suggest to apply broadly to cover the spectrum of schools you're interested in. I don't recommend applying for schools that you wouldn't choose to attend, and people do that sometimes, because in the end you won't be going there and would rather resolve issues and reapply the following year...

  4. #4
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Low-GPA Profile Evaluation

    I'd follow the recommended range of the two grad professors. Undergrad grades really aren't that important if you have a master's in econ. Your undergrad professors don't have first-hand knowledge of your master's performance and RA work.

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