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Thread: LSE MSc in Economics vs PhD in Economics at Rochester

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    LSE MSc in Economics vs PhD in Economics at Rochester

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    Hi all, I'm currently trying to decide between the LSE MSc vs. the PhD at Rochester. My thoughts are:
    1) The LSE MSc comes with a conditional acceptance to their PhD program, which I've read is comparable to the top 20 schools in the US. However, I would have to fund the MSc on my own, which doable, but not ideal. I would also have to make sure I graduate with distinction, which is probably not too big of an issue, but adds some pressure.
    2) Rochester has offered me full funding to their PhD program. However, placement-wise, they don't seem to do as well as the LSE PhD so long-term, career-wise may be a worse option.
    I'm interested in pursuing theoretical micro and IO, and I'm not sure Rochester is the best place for that. I'd love to hear some other people's thoughts on this. Thanks!

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    Re: LSE MSc in Economics vs PhD in Economics at Rochester

    Interesting scenario and situation. I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to give insight to this situation but I hope other experienced members of this forum can chime in!

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    Re: LSE MSc in Economics vs PhD in Economics at Rochester

    I'm not exactly an expert, but why would Rochester be bad for micro theory? They're probably one of the best schools outside of the "top 10" for theory; they have Barelli, Govindahn, Kochov, Duggan, Kalandrakis, etc.

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    Re: LSE MSc in Economics vs PhD in Economics at Rochester

    I'm more concerned about IO, although I was told they typically advise students in areas they want to specialize in, including IO, even if their own work is more foundational. For theory, how would you compare LSE vs. Rochester?

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    Re: LSE MSc in Economics vs PhD in Economics at Rochester

    I'm not familiar with IO so I can't really say. My assumption is that LSE would be much stronger in IO; RePec (which is not necessarily the best way to look at rankings) has them ranked at 11 while Rochester doesn't show up. I'd personally take a couple of hours to look at CVs of current professors and recent graduates of both schools to sort of get a sense of what is viable and what isn't.

    By MSc I'm assuming you're talking about the EME? What % of graduates receive distinction? Also, 30k pounds in tuition fees is nothing to scoff at. From what I've heard, competition is extremely tough (everybody wants to get a top 10 PhD), and its hard to get strong letters since the program length doesn't reach a year. I've also heard that PhD stipends are pretty bad, and London is obviously expensive. That being said, LSE is probably comparable with top 10 programs if the U.S. in terms of placement, but I'm not sure if that is in regards to training or because they have the reputation as probably the best program in Europe (so input quality is high). I don't think either choice is necessarily better than the other, it just depends on your personal goals and where you think you can place.

    Again, I'm not an expert so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

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    Re: LSE MSc in Economics vs PhD in Economics at Rochester

    LSE MSc Econ alumni here.

    Take Rochester's offer. The risk is too high for a couple reasons.
    1) LSE accepts MSc Econ students into their PhD if and only if they get "distinction" which is incredibly hard.
    2) Getting in through this channel does not guarantee that you will get funding. LSE PhD Econ usually funds just over half of their incoming cohort.

    Hope this helps and congratulations.

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