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Thread: Profile Evaluation

  1. #1
    ready for research
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    Profile Evaluation

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    This is my first post, so please let me know if there's anything I did incorrectly. I'm hoping to get some insight on how strong my profile is and what schools I might want to target for a Ph.D in economics. I am hoping to apply in the Fall of 2021.

    Type of Undergrad:
    BS Math/Econ from Top-20 school in the U.S.
    Undergrad GPA:
    Type of Grad:
    Grad GPA:
    Math Courses:
    Calculus I-III, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Discrete Math. Planned: Real Analysis, Probability, Systems of Differential Equations.
    Econ Courses (grad-level):
    Econ Courses (undergrad-level):
    Introductory and Intermediate Micro and Macro. Statistics. Planned: Econometrics
    Other Courses:
    C++. Planned: Python
    Letters of Recommendation:
    None yet. I am planning to write an honors thesis and have my advisor write a letter.
    Research Experience:
    RA for Ph.D student (1+ year), RA for assistant professor (this summer)
    Teaching Experience:
    Research Interests:
    Not really sure yet. I like theory and market design.
    Not sure what to put here. I haven't written it yet. It'd probably be about my desire to do research and create some sort of new impactful knowledge. My dream would be to popularize a new field the way Alvin Roth did.
    Both my research positions are in economic history, but I'm not really interested in going into that. Will admissions committees assume I am interested or wonder why I am not?
    Proficient in Stata.
    Applying to:
    Not sure yet. I was thinking I could find a few in the top 10 that I liked, and then spread out some more in the top 50. Maybe < 10 total? I don't know how many schools people apply to.
    Last edited by dyu; 07-13-2020 at 05:14 AM.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    I updated my coursework to include a more comprehensive list. Maybe a reason for fewer courses is that I am in an interdepartmental major instead of a double major, so I only take the "core" components of each one? I am also just entering my third year, so in some sense this is about half of what I'd anticipate taking.

  4. #4
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    Couple of notes:

    1. Dyu just finished *sophomore year* because the application time is Fall 2021. You have more courses than I had when I was entering my junior year, and more RA experience than I had at the time as well. For reference, I had Intermediate Micro & Macro, Calculus III, Statistics (in the econ department), Linear Algebra, Intro to Proofs. That's it. In the summer before my junior year, I did comprehensive study of Real Analysis and RA'ed (as you did). In my junior year, I did take Diff Eq, Real Analysis, Undergrad Metrics, two field courses (game theory & forecasting), Grad Econ Math, Micro I, & Metrics I, Probability, Math Stat. You definitely have time.

    2. I would recommend you take a yearlong probability-statistics sequence (in the Math Department), not just probability. Your math preparation route is good though. If you want to add one more course, go ahead and take topology. But Real Analysis will be an important course for you this year - make sure you dedicate enough time and effort to it. I'm not sure what your linear algebra course was like, but a second semester may be helpful, if your first semester didn't use a text on the level of Linear Algebra Done Right (proof-based, infinite-dimensional).

    3. In addition to undergraduate metrics, you may wish to take a game theory course as well (in addition to other field type courses, or advanced theory courses). I would try to get more long-term RA opportunities with professors as well. Consider applying out to the NY Fed / Fed Board internships next summer too.

    4. If you do well in your advanced math courses, I suggest you take graduate Micro I and possibly graduate Metrics I next fall.

    It's a bit early for me to say without seeing some more advanced coursework and grades, but if you keep up your grades and especially if you have some strong signalling courses (grad Micro, maybe measure theory), especially coming from a T20 school, you should have a good shot at any school. In that case, applying to a T10 is absolutely a good use of your money. This year will be your hardest year, be ready for it and get to work!
    Last edited by coloradoecon; 07-13-2020 at 04:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Within my grasp!
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    Given your current grades, and the fact that you come from a Top 20, there's no real reason to apply to schools below Top 40, in my opinion. It'll be a waste of money. Just focus your application on schools above Top 40, all the way to even Top 10, if you continue to get good grades + maybe snag some good RA gig in the future to get solid letters.

    Echoing what was said above, you should try to plan ahead and maybe take PhD metrics I and micro I in the Fall of your senior year. Given your current level of prep as well as the math courses to be taken in your upcoming junior year, you should be sufficiently prepared to do decently well in the course.

    A year-long mathematical statistics or probability theory course will make taking Metrics I much less painful. Like what colaradoecon said above, if you're really vested in micro theory, it doesn't hurt to get some measure theory and topology courses under your belt.

    Also, try to get a more long-term RA appointment. There'll be more time for the professor to get to know you (and therefore have meaningful things to write about), and you'll also have more opportunities to perform well in your work; both of which will result in stronger letters in the end.

  6. #6
    Taking the Homotopic path Bayes's Avatar
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    Re: Profile Evaluation

    If you are planning to take PhD metrics, you should ask the instructor for course prerequisites. 1st semester PhD Metrics will probably cover Probability & Statistics (Caselle Berger Statistical Inference); and the pre-requisitefor Caselle Berger are Real Analysis, Linear Algebra and Calc 3. Hence, you don't have to take a year long probability & statistics sequence if that is the case. Ask your professors on this issue!

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