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Thread: Profile Evaluation

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Question Profile Evaluation

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    Hi there, hope 2020 has been good to everyone so far. New aspiring "economist" (hopefully) here looking for some general guidance.

    Here is my profile(expected as I still have two semeters and a summer ahead of me before the application season):
    Type of Undergrad B.S. Math
    B.A. Japanese
    Top-30 public university in California
    Undergrad GPA Overall 3.12/4
    Type of Grad M.A. East Asian Studies (Finished)
    M.A. International Relations (Expected 2021)
    Top-100 public university (full funding)
    Top-3 IR school in the U.S.
    Grad GPA EAS 3.8/4
    IR 3.7/4 (as of now)
    GRE 151V, 167Q, 3.5W Went into the exam blind without one minute of studying in 2016, will probably retake and do expect better score
    Math Courses Calculus I,II,III B
    Intro grp theory B+
    Intro linear alg A+
    Intro complex variab C-
    Intro Discrete Math B
    Adv Linear alg C
    Methods of analysis A
    Intro to abstr algb C
    Intro real analysis C+
    Mod eucl & noneucl I,II A-
    Intro real analysis C+
    Intro diff geometry B+
    Abstract algebra C+
    Econ Courses(Grad-level) Statistical Method A
    Microeconomics A-

    (Taking now, expecting A-to A)
    Macroeconomics
    International Trade
    Econometrics
    Game Theory

    (Taking in Fall)
    International Monetary
    Environmental Economics
    Adv International Trade
    Public Finance
    Letters of Recommendation Academic Dean/Former State Dept economist (Strong)

    Researcher at a DC-based think tank whom I worked for during internship(Mediocre)

    (Still looking for one more)
    Research Experience Two Chinese local EPA Internships

    DC-based think tank Internship
    Teaching Experience GTA at first M.A. school (EAS courses)
    Research Interests Public Finance, International Monetary, Environmental Economics

    Concerns: My undergrad credential is simply abysmal--too many bad decisions made due to my naivete.

    • How much would my undergrad grades hurt my chances?
    • How much would my MA grades help?
    • Should I reuse my old GRE scores?

    Comments: What I want from this post is to get a general sense of where I would most likely be admitted to. Right now my mind says somewhere around Penn State (~top 30), but my body says Cornell/Brown/Rochester(top-15 to top-20) . Nevertheless, these are just my unrealistic, irrational guesses. I would really like to get my foot planted so I can plan my application strategy accordingly.

    Thanks in advance, cheers!

  2. #2
    economist
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    The undergraduate grades, in particular in math, are going to be a problem. I suspect you are shooting too high.

    Given your graduate work, are you sure you want to do an economics PhD rather than one more closely related to international relations?

  3. #3
    Integrals & Bacon
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    My concern here is that your masters is in no way remedial. If you pursued a pure Econ masters where the textbook's used were MWG tier; then yes some of your math grades would have been forgiven. But I highly doubt an international relations masters uses rigorous textbooks for their Econ courses. Can you list the textbooks used for Micro, Metrics & Game Theory?

  4. #4
    Integrals & Bacon
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    Based upon what Prof. Startz said: Some International Relation PhD programs have an Econ focused emphasis which place you into Economics Departments on the job market. So be sure to talk with your current IR masters advisers and learn more about their recent placements. Given you are in a top 3 IR masters you are in a very privileged position (if you decide to pursue an IR PhD)

  5. #5
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    Thank you very much for your replies, Prof. Startz and Bayes! Considering my undergrad shortcomings and graduate work, it indeed seems that my best chances of getting admitted to a top-tier school are in an IR PhD. I guess I would have to satisfy my interest in economics by applying to a school with both a decent economics and an IR programs and take the econ classes at their econ department (The big five come to mind).

    Cheers.

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