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Thread: PhD Micro as an undergrad

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    PhD Micro as an undergrad

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    I am an undergrad student in top10 planning to take a first semester course in PhD Micro. In my school, the first semester Micro covers decision theory and general equilibrium in each of the half semesters. I am worried that the majority of incoming students in my school’s PhD program already has an exposure to PhD level micro from masters degree and etc so that it might be difficult to pull an A. Furthermore, it is known that A/A- are given to roughly 25~30% of the class, which may be risky for an undergrad student taking a PhD level course in my current institution. I am also considering Grad Optimization course and more research experience instead. Given that I already have taken Analysis, Analysis on Manifold Measure and Integration, Measure Theoretic Probability, PDE, Numerical , Linear algebra, will it be worth it to take first year micro for additional signaling? Or would spending more time doing research be a better option? Is it common for students aiming top10 or 5 to have graduate courses in economics?

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    Re: PhD Micro as an undergrad

    Taking PhD micro is the one course that provides a good signal. It shows you can handle PhD work. But yes, you need to get a good grade. You should also find out about attending your university's math camp with the incoming grad students before taking the course.

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    Taking the Homotopic path Bayes's Avatar
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    Re: PhD Micro as an undergrad

    Taking PhD Econometrics is another option. Although it will send a slightly weaker signal than micro, it would be relatively less risky. Taking grad Micro, there is no guarantee that you will have access to the same resources as actual PhD students and you may have trouble forming a study group (at least that’s my experience at attempting PhD Micro). Just be wary of that before committing.

  4. #4
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    Re: PhD Micro as an undergrad

    Bayes makes a very important point. Econ grad students form study groups and work together. If you can't participate you are at a real disadvantage. (This is one reason you want to attend math camp.)

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