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Thread: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

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    Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

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    Hello. I am brazilian. I've got a GPA of 3.5 in my Economics B.S. at my local university. It's a good university, but calculus disciplines were pretty weak. I wanted to do an "academic upgrade" and applied to a master's in the University of S„o Paulo's (that's the most important university in Brazil) Agricultural Economics Department. I struggled very much with quantitative disciplines, and got lots of "C" grades. The university does not state how much a C is worth, but it's the lowest grade one can have without failing. I would guess it's a 5(of 10), because that's the lowest an undergrad can get without failing.
    Well, they say a master's at a good school in Brazil is harder than a master's in U.S. but easier than a PHD. I want to do a PHD in the U.S., but I'll work to improve my math abilities before I can do that. I intend to complete a Real Analysis course in a Math department.
    My question: Is doing a Real Analysis course enough to compensate for my bad grades in my master's in an Admission selection in the U.S.? Or is it advisable just to pretend I havenn't done this master's (which would be sad because that's the most valuable thing I have got in my curriculum)?
    P.S.: I don't intend to try TOP30 schools. The hardest I consider aplying to are TOP 50 schools (and even these I don't know if it's worth trying with my grades), like Cornell. The easiest I want to try is CUNY.
    P.S. 2: I think I may have some papers published by the time of selection. I don't know if it helps much.

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    Many universities REQUIRE you to tell them everywhere you have attended. If you don't and you get found out, you are likely to be dismissed from the program.

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    Most masters programs in the USA are applied in nature and many who attend US masters do not apply for Econ PhD. So your competition will be those who attended European masters programs(most reputable programs in EU use PhD level textbooks). At this point doing well in Real Analysis is not going to send a strong signal because you have earned subpar grades in Graduate Economics courses. I am not sure if you can compensate this other than attending a rigorous program in Europe(which might be hard to get into with a C average) or taking PhD level classes at your current institution(which you definitely should take Real Analysis I-II, Linear Algebra beforehand).

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    Thanks for your answers. Now I see. That's because master's in U.S. have a different purpose. I saw that some of the Master's in U.S. say that they're a pathway to a phd. Do you think that I could pass in one of these Master's in the U.S (which say that it's a way of preparing to phd) already having done it with bad grades in Brazil?

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedr0 View Post
    Thanks for your answers. Now I see. That's because master's in U.S. have a different purpose. I saw that some of the Master's in U.S. say that they're a pathway to a phd. Do you think that I could pass in one of these Master's in the U.S (which say that it's a way of preparing to phd) already having done it with bad grades in Brazil?
    Yes.

    But in choosing a program, be sure to look at placements. Not all U.S. masters programs are good preparations for a PhD.

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    I don't know if I should create another post for that. I hope you read.
    I have been asking for advice from other brazilians that got PhDs in the US (from competitive and not so competitive schools). Basically, what I got from them is that it would be more suitable if I tried not so competitive PhDs, in place of getting a Master's again.
    I understand that lots of programs simply have the pre-requisite of graduate GPAs being higher than 3.0 (I think my GPA would be "B-", what is probably bellow 3.0), but actually I found some PhDs that do not require minimum graduate GPA, and are good at my field (applied time series econometrics), like Fordham University (the easiest I am thinking about right now) and California- Riverside (the hardest).
    Considering I come from a good graduate program in my country (even though I got low GPA in it), and I can get good GRE scores and recommendation letters, how likely I am to get accepted in these programs?
    Do you know another program that is good in time series econometrics that is not as competitive as the top 100 ones, in which I could try the admission process with my profile?

    P.S.: Should I create another post, since the title just doesn't suit the discussion anymore?

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedr0 View Post
    I don't know if I should create another post for that. I hope you read.
    I have been asking for advice from other brazilians that got PhDs in the US (from competitive and not so competitive schools). Basically, what I got from them is that it would be more suitable if I tried not so competitive PhDs, in place of getting a Master's again.
    I understand that lots of programs simply have the pre-requisite of graduate GPAs being higher than 3.0 (I think my GPA would be "B-", what is probably bellow 3.0), but actually I found some PhDs that do not require minimum graduate GPA, and are good at my field (applied time series econometrics), like Fordham University (the easiest I am thinking about right now) and California- Riverside (the hardest).
    Considering I come from a good graduate program in my country (even though I got low GPA in it), and I can get good GRE scores and recommendation letters, how likely I am to get accepted in these programs?
    Do you know another program that is good in time series econometrics that is not as competitive as the top 100 ones, in which I could try the admission process with my profile?

    P.S.: Should I create another post, since the title just doesn't suit the discussion anymore?
    What kind of GRE scores are you targeting?

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by dogbones View Post
    What kind of GRE scores are you targeting?
    Targeting 85 percentile in the quantitative part at least.

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    Even Fordham might be hard since last time I checked their acceptance rate is 11%.

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    Re: Should I just pretend I haven't done this master's (because of my grades in it)?

    You should aim for at least a 165 for the Quantitative section in the GRE to boost your chances of getting in.

    I can't speak to your chances of getting into these programmes but just because a programme is low ranked, doesn't mean that the applicants are necessarily subpar. They could simply be coming in with stellar grades from unknown undergrads, have inadequate letters or some other deficiencies in their profile.

    Given that you have multiple Cs in your graduate courses, the better course of action would be to decide if a PhD is something that you should pursue. As things currently stand, there's no guarantee that you can even survive the first year qualifiers.

    As for where to apply, the best is to approach your letter writers, and inform them of your complete profile (all your grades & research experience so far), and get their opinion on where you ought to apply.

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