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Thread: Profile Evaluation 2020 (or 2021)

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Smile Profile Evaluation 2020 (or 2021)

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    Hello everyone,

    I was planning to apply for the 2020 cycle and would like an evaluation on where to expect acceptances (or rejections).


    Type of Undergrad: Top 30 USNEWS Econ, BS Econ
    Undergrad GPA: 3.45 (Econ GPA ~3.8)
    Type of Grad: Top 60 USNEWS, M.A. Econ
    Grad GPA: 4.00

    GRE: 162 Q (Ouch)/159 V/5.0 AW

    Math Courses: Calc I (C), Calc II (B-), Calc III (A+), Linear Algebra I (A), Discrete Math (A+), Intro to Proofs (A-), Differential Equations (A+), Optimization (A), Linear Algebra II (A+) Math Stats I (A+), Math Stats II (A-), Real Analysis I (A-), Real Analysis II (A). All at MA school except Calc I and II.

    Econ Courses: The standard for undergrad and grad in econ. These grades are A/A-

    Letters of Recommendation: The best part of my profile, I think. 3 well-known economics professors who can speak firsthand to my abilities in research, all graduated from top 20-30 programs. One is my thesis advisor, the other two were my research supervisors during the master's program. Took econ classes with all of them, earned A's.
    Research Experience: Master's thesis, 2 years in research center through my graduate school in areas of public finance.
    Research Interests: Labor Economics, Public Economics.

    My biggest concerns from my profile are the low GRE scores and the first two calc grades (I did not have my head on straight when I started undergrad several years ago). Is it realistic to be aiming for schools in the top 30-70 range? My feeling is that the GRE score will get me filtered out of the higher schools in this range (~30-50) without a second look at the rest of the profile. Is it better to try again in the next cycle with a higher GRE score (and perhaps another math class)? The undergrad GPA is low primarily due to low grades in hard sciences in my first two years - my GPA went up dramatically after that. I would appreciate candid advice on what to expect and how to move forward.

    Thanks to anyone who can answer.

  2. #2
    Integrals & Bacon
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Re: Profile Evaluation 2020 (or 2021)

    I wouldn’t worry about those Calc I & II grades. It would have been a much bigger problem if you aced those courses but performed subpar level on the more advanced ones (which you aced). You will need to retake the GRE and get at least a 165-167 that is no question. But before that we need more information:

    (1) Tell us more about your MA classes (were they applied in nature? Were they close to econ phd classes? List books if applicable)
    (2) What range of schools did your MA program place people in the past?
    (3) Go to your letter writers with a list of schools (even including dream ones) and measure their reaction and see which ones they feel comfortable writing you a LOR for.

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