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Thread: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

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    Unhappy ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

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    Hi,

    I'm from an Australian top uni with first class honors in economics, my goal is top30 but now I think my math grades should be a disadvantage. I only got a pass grade for measure theory and I really regret doing it. It was grad level and hard. I was the only student not doing a math degree. (There is no grade inflation in Australia) I also did some math courses at UW Madison.

    My field is development, which does not need much math knowledge. Do I still have a chance for top30? I think I'll apply to some ag econ programs such as Berkeley and Maryland. BTW, are there any other Australian applicants?

    PROFILE:
    Type of Undergrad: Australian top uni, first class honors in economics
    GPA: A average
    Math Courses: Calculus and Linear Algebra courses (A), Intro proofs (A), econ math (A), mathematical statistics (B), Stochastic Process (A), Topology (A), Real analysis (AB at UW Madison, which should be equivalent to A- or B+), measure theory (Pass!!!)

    Econ Courses: Advanced micro, advanced macro and four econometric courses, most of them are As.

    Letters of Recommendation: econ professors
    Research Experience: honors thesis with very high marks, ra for my advisor
    Teaching Experience: 1 year TA for undergrad econ courses
    Research Interests: development


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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    No worries. That one grade won't keep you out of top 30.

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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    Quote Originally Posted by startz View Post
    No worries. That one grade won't keep you out of top 30.
    Thanks! Seems like that a low math grade is a pretty bad signal. I just read some posts and some applicants with perfect math grades are aiming for top 40 or 50......

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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    When you say you're from an Australian top uni, you must be from one of UNSW, ANU or UniMelb. Top 30 schools would already have the expectation that the graduate measure theory in one of these schools is very tough. A pass grade for that course is for sure not a positive signal, but may not be as bad as you think.

    The minimum mathematics is up to real analysis. Measure theory is more "advanced" than real analysis so it does not carry too much weight to begin with. Your research experience however, will carry more weights than a single measure theory course. Your advisor is from one of the three schools ,you have a great Honours thesis at one of these schools and you're RAed for your advisor. I think you're fine.

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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    Thanks! My primary degree is from ANU and I did those math courses there. But my honors is from USYD as there was no mid-year entry in ANU, is this important? I thought USYD should be one of the top unis in Australia....

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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    Quote Originally Posted by jlin View Post
    When you say you're from an Australian top uni, you must be from one of UNSW, ANU or UniMelb. Top 30 schools would already have the expectation that the graduate measure theory in one of these schools is very tough. A pass grade for that course is for sure not a positive signal, but may not be as bad as you think.

    The minimum mathematics is up to real analysis. Measure theory is more "advanced" than real analysis so it does not carry too much weight to begin with. Your research experience however, will carry more weights than a single measure theory course. Your advisor is from one of the three schools ,you have a great Honours thesis at one of these schools and you're RAed for your advisor. I think you're fine.

    Thanks! My primary degree is from ANU and I did those math courses there. But my honors is from USYD as there was no mid-year entry in ANU, is this important? I thought USYD should be one of the top unis in Australia....

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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    USYD is very good. If you have strong letters you should be in good shape.

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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmygrades View Post
    Thanks! My primary degree is from ANU and I did those math courses there. But my honors is from USYD as there was no mid-year entry in ANU, is this important? I thought USYD should be one of the top unis in Australia....
    Sorry, from your previous description I thought you were from the "top of the top schools" which were inarguably those three. And I was even thinking how could you get your Honours grade so early with February entry into the program.

    Of course, USYD and Monash are two best schools after those three. In my opinion, if you are heading towards Top 5 then you really should do your Honours in those top three schools (and get good grades for sure). But your target is Top 30, so an Honours from USYD should be good enough.

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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    Quote Originally Posted by jlin View Post
    Sorry, from your previous description I thought you were from the "top of the top schools" which were inarguably those three. And I was even thinking how could you get your Honours grade so early with February entry into the program.

    Of course, USYD and Monash are two best schools after those three. In my opinion, if you are heading towards Top 5 then you really should do your Honours in those top three schools (and get good grades for sure). But your target is Top 30, so an Honours from USYD should be good enough.
    Apart from letter writer availability (about which I don't know much), the piece of paper from USYD is just as good as the others. USYD placed someone at Harvard this year, for example. There is no upper bound.

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    Re: ECON PhD Profile Evaluation (poor math grades)

    Quote Originally Posted by erckle View Post
    Apart from letter writer availability (about which I don't know much), the piece of paper from USYD is just as good as the others. USYD placed someone at Harvard this year, for example. There is no upper bound.
    But I donít have a university medal, and this makes a big difference. Besides, my letter writers are not that well known. Now I donít think I have a chance for top15 or even top20. Probably a medal is a must for top15.

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