Type of Undergrad: UK Distance-Learning (Accounting & Finance)
Undergrad GPA: First Class Honors (ranked 3rd in cohort)
Type of Grad: Top 10 Econ Department in Asia
Grad GPA: 3.1/4.0
Math Courses: Math I, Math II, Stats I, Stats II
Econ Courses: Intro to Econ, Micro, Macro, Econometrics
Grad Econ Courses: PhD Micro I, Micro II, Metrics I, Metrics II, Macro I, Macro II and 4 other PhD field courses
Letters of Recommendation:
1) Thesis Supervisor (PhD Top 10)
2) Thesis Committee Member (junior faculty, PhD Top 10 Europe)
3) Thesis Committee Member (PhD Top 10, Repec Top 5%)
a) 2 years for someone at my masters institution, on a short research project in my field of interest (went abroad to present the completed paper at a conference).
b) 2-year long Masters' Thesis.
TA-ed for a bunch of courses (undergrad and masters-level ones) during my time at my masters institution.
Research Interests: Applied Micro (Education).
Rejections: Chicago-Harris (Public Policy), JHU, WUSTL, Cornell, Penn State
Others: Withdrew from Rice, Warwick after getting UVa admit. Incomplete application that resulted in rejection from UCSB despite several emails to the grad admissions to rectify it (linking TOEFL to my account; my GRE linked just fine). No hard feelings though.
Pending: UNC-Chapel Hill
Comments: Never thought I'd finally get to write up one of these, after 5 years on this website. I am very glad I got one admit from a school that wasn't my safety. Was a bit on-the-fence about it, since I had the option to continue on and do my PhD at my masters institution and save 2 years from having to re-do the coursework, but the virtual open house really helped nudge me in the right direction.
What would you have done differently?
Apply a bit earlier. I ended up only applying in end-Dec and missed out on a lot of the 15 Dec deadlines that a number of good programmes have. Overall, I am surprised I managed to place in the Top 30s, given that I got little-to-no formal math, and semi-decent grades in my PhD coursework (my school grades students from Cs to As, even in PhD courses). I think my research experience and LoRs were what helped a lot.