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Thread: Urgent and difficult question

  1. #1
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    Urgent and difficult question

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    Currently a law school faculty at one of Asian university.
    BA in Econ (Ivy league), MA(Yale IDE), JD, LLM and SJD in the US.
    Real analysis and math courses taken in distance learning program
    Field experience in both public and private sectors.
    Age: 40 (Yes indeed)
    Published various articles and books including the best peer-reviewed journals in my field.
    I write many law and economics articles and i think i need further training and economics.

    The following is my questions.

    1. Do you think i am eligible to apply ? Have you seen a crazy person like me before? Would there be any way that i could waive some GRE or other admission requirements?

    2. I guess i prefer a part-time PHD since i have a job now. Do you know anything about part time program at Oxford?

    3. Do you think i can try top 15 economics PHD in US.?

    4. I am sort of aiming Oxford or Cambridge since they require less extensive coursework and time. Do they have qualifying exams? if so, what is the passing rate etc?

    I would be grateful for your further advice and suggestions.

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    Re: Urgent and difficult question

    As someone who also came to a PhD later in life (and am still a PhD student), here are my thoughts:

    1. You can certainly apply - I'd focus on programmes that specifically have a joint law and economics speciality, or maybe a political economy programme. However, most programmes of which I know will still require the GRE and any other admission requirements to be met.

    2. US PhDs are not part-time as far as I know. However, UK ones can be - I think Warwick also has one, but I don't know much about them.

    3. You could try, but I think your chances there are <1% as they look down on people who have been away from academia for more than 2-3 years (in my experience).

    4. Note that Oxford and Cambridge would require you to take the MPhil before the PhD, so the amount of time is roughly the same as in US PhDs, with obtaining a good enough mark on the MPhil serving as the qualifying "exam" for the PhD programme. The MPhil has extensive lecture requirements.

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    Re: Urgent and difficult question

    Thank you for your answer.
    Any other opinions? I would like to hear from others.
    Thank you always.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rohanps View Post
    As someone who also came to a PhD later in life (and am still a PhD student), here are my thoughts:

    1. You can certainly apply - I'd focus on programmes that specifically have a joint law and economics speciality, or maybe a political economy programme. However, most programmes of which I know will still require the GRE and any other admission requirements to be met.

    2. US PhDs are not part-time as far as I know. However, UK ones can be - I think Warwick also has one, but I don't know much about them.

    3. You could try, but I think your chances there are <1% as they look down on people who have been away from academia for more than 2-3 years (in my experience).

    4. Note that Oxford and Cambridge would require you to take the MPhil before the PhD, so the amount of time is roughly the same as in US PhDs, with obtaining a good enough mark on the MPhil serving as the qualifying "exam" for the PhD programme. The MPhil has extensive lecture requirements.

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    Re: Urgent and difficult question

    This all doesn't quite make sense.

    The description you give is as a very successful law school faculty member who is published in law and economics. Very good U.S. PhD programs will, at least sometimes, find you a very attractive candidate. But then you seem to not want to take the GRE and are worried about passing qualifying exams. That suggests that you are not very confident in your abilities.

    Maybe what you really want is to spend a year as a visiting scholar at a top econ program where you can take courses to improve your knowledge. Consider that rather than five or six years getting a PhD.

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    Re: Urgent and difficult question

    ^^This is my reaction also. Why do you want the degree? Are you trying to change careers or just improve your research? You can learn the skills without doing the degree.

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    Re: Urgent and difficult question

    Thank you for the both comments and suggestions.
    I am currently teaching at a law school so I won't have much time for GRE preparation and etc.
    This is why I am aiming Oxford where they offer part time degree without residency requirements.

    I don't plan to change my career or anything. I don't see myself writing legal articles for rest of my life. Law and economics papers come from either legal or economics approach and I rather would want to get further economics training to be able to read economics papers.

    I know I may need extensive courses to get the training that I need. if so, I am willing to do so.


    I have the following questions.

    1. Again, Oxford offers part time Dphil. If I luckily get into the program, what it the minimum residency requirement? or can I just start the program in remote?

    2. Which Top economics PHD program allows candidates to reach out potential supervisors? I found Cambridge and NYU allow it. can I try rest of the schools?Do you think it helps if I have potential supervisors and state in my SOP?

    3. Oxbridge allows candidates to directly apply Dhil as long as they have master in economics. the homepage of the school also showing that "Msc in Development economics" is an appropriate degree to replace Mphil in economics for applying directly to Dphil Econ. I have master in International and development economics at Yale. Do you think I could directly apply to the Dphil ?The admission office is not replying me back. what do think?


    Thank you always



    Quote Originally Posted by tbe View Post
    ^^This is my reaction also. Why do you want the degree? Are you trying to change careers or just improve your research? You can learn the skills without doing the degree.

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    Re: Urgent and difficult question

    The GRE tests very low level math. One does need to prep for it, since one is likely to have forgotten the material. But if the material on the GRE is a major barrier then attempting an economics PhD is probably a bad idea.

    What NYU actually says about contacting faculty:
    Does it help to be in touch with an NYU faculty member in advance?
    Yes and no (mainly no). Very often a faculty member gets email from an applicant saying that [s]he wants to work with that faculty member. But this isn't possible until the applicant enters the program, takes the core courses, passes the qualifying examinations, and only then is a thorough assessment carried out (including a lot of self-assessment) and an advisor chosen. So don't use this as a way of trying get a professor to support your application.

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    Re: Urgent and difficult question

    You don't need a PhD in Econ to "read economics papers". Audit a few graduate courses at your current uni and see if you actually like the materials and whether they can help you make a leap in your Law and Econ research agenda.

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