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Thread: Accept MA Econ Offer or extend bachelor's by a year?

  1. #1
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    Accept MA Econ Offer or extend bachelor's by a year?

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    Hello All,

    I recently received offers from three MA Econ programs in the US, which are UT Austin, Tufts, and Vanderbilt. They have offered me 35%, 85%, and 100% tuition scholarship, respectively. My top choice is Vanderbilt as I wouldn't have to pay tuition, just the living costs. However, my aim of doing an MA is moving on to a good PhD program, possibly Top 30 in the US.

    Following is my undergrad math/stats/econ background:

    1) Intermediate Macro / Micro: A- / A
    2) Econometrics: A+
    3) Calculus 1-3: A
    4) Vector Analysis: A (Predicted)
    5) Linear Algebra: B
    6) Ordinary Differential Equations: B+
    7) Discrete Structures: A+
    8) Mathematical Statistics: A+
    9) Probability Theory: A+
    10) Advanced Calculus I (Analysis I): A (Predicted)
    11) Statistical Inference: A (Predicted)
    12) Senior Level Regression Analysis: A
    13) Senior Level Analysis of Variance and Experimental Design: A (Predicted)

    GRE: 162V/ 170Q/ 4.5AWA

    I face two choices. One is to accept the offer from Vanderbilt and do the master's. However, this would not leave much room to take math courses and improve my math background. The best I can do is perform well in my master's level economics courses and do some research. Second option is to defer my offers and instead of minoring in math, which I am currently doing, major in math by extending my bachelors and graduating in May 2022 instead of 2021.

    The offer from Vanderbilt is very attractive financially, and I would certainly like to take it. However, I am not sure if my math background is strong enough to eventually land me a spot in a Top 30 PhD program in the US. I would like to know the strength of my profile for PhD admissions.

    Thank You!

  2. #2
    Within my grasp! dyiwang's Avatar
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    Re: Accept MA Econ Offer or extend bachelor's by a year?

    I suggest that you take the Vanderbilt offer. Upon reviewing your math background, you have enough math courses to give you a legitimate shot as a PhD applicant, so any additional math courses that you might take as a math major would yield relatively low marginal value in your application. Instead, your eventual PhD application can benefit a lot more with some RA experience, which you mentioned in your post that you are likely to get (or at least more likely to get than extending your undergrad by a year) if I were to take what you said at face value. And I have no reason not to. So I think this is an easy call based on the information you have provided. Of course, if you were to tell me that instead of attending a typical undergrad (which I assume you are), you are actually at one of the top 10 US universities for undergrad education (based on say US News Ranking if you will), then yeah, get that math major.
    "Life neither starts nor ends with grad school"
    --Mom
    "真No life!"
    --Mom

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    Re: Accept MA Econ Offer or extend bachelor's by a year?

    As someone who did a double major in math and another area at the cost of an extra year of schooling, I would recommend you not do this. The master's degree is a more recognized credential. An extra year of undergraduate work will cost time and money but not offer much reward.

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    Re: Accept MA Econ Offer or extend bachelor's by a year?

    Interesting that US master programs offer full tuition scholarships.

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    Re: Accept MA Econ Offer or extend bachelor's by a year?

    Quote Originally Posted by petheory View Post
    Interesting that US master programs offer full tuition scholarships.
    Yes, they do, I sent two students to such programs this year

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