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Thread: Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation

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    Question Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation

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    Hi community

    I'm thinking to apply to Economics PhDs Specializing in Macro / Monetary Economics and maybe Environmental Economics to start in the fall of 2022. However, I don't know if my profile is strong enough to get into a good program - let me know what you think !

    Interdisciplinary bachelor's degree with a major in economics. 7.5/10 Dutch GPA (the grading conversion is quite weird, it's about a B) and 216/180 ECTS (lots of extra politics courses).

    MSc Economics, specializing in Macro & Monetary, 8/10 Dutch GPA (~ A-).
    Grades in general 8 or higher, except for Econometrics (7), Microeconomics(6.5).
    Good thesis, 8.5.

    MSc BGSE, not Economics, content-wise mostly applied Econometrics, 8.4/10 GPA (conversion is also weird here, think it's about an B+/A-).

    I believe my LORs are pretty strong: My thesis advisor (leading monetary operations at a Central Bank), a well-ranked Econometrics professor (several papers with Gali, Gertler), and could get some more probably from my future bosses.

    GRE: in September

    Work (in 2021/ spring 2022) : Trainee at the ECB in Forecasting and Policy Modelling, RA for high-ranked Finance professor

    I'm worried about
    a) a lack of math and microeconomics classes - I only have one foundational math class in undergrad (7 Dutch grading) and two foundational Microeconomics classes (graded 6.5 and 7.5)
    - For math, is this something I can make up with the GRE score ?
    - Should I try to take additional classes somewhere

    b) not having an Economics undergrad (hence the missing math and micro classes)
    - Is this something I should ask LOR writers to highlight
    - Can it be positive or are school risk-averse?

    Let me know what you think - I guess it's an unusual profile so any feedback will be massively helpful.

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    Re: Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation

    It'd be better if you post your profile using the standard template. As it currently stands, the information is all over the place.

    That being said, scoring well in the GRE isn't going to be a good reflection of mathematical ability since GRE is basically just tricky high-school math. It would definitely be beneficial to take proper math classes if you don't have any so far, since this will also make your life in grad school a lot easier. One math class in undergrad is definitely not going to be enough. You can remedy this by either taking more math classes, or doing well in PhD-level classes, since math grades are essentially a way for them to measure your ability to survive the first year.

    There is little use if that BGSE MSc isn't Finance or Economics since the other masters at BGSE are very applied and thus, aren't really that rigorous.

    Since your interests are in Monetary, you should also consider a Finance PhD.

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    Re: Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    It'd be better if you post your profile using the standard template. As it currently stands, the information is all over the place.

    That being said, scoring well in the GRE isn't going to be a good reflection of mathematical ability since GRE is basically just tricky high-school math. It would definitely be beneficial to take proper math classes if you don't have any so far, since this will also make your life in grad school a lot easier. One math class in undergrad is definitely not going to be enough. You can remedy this by either taking more math classes, or doing well in PhD-level classes, since math grades are essentially a way for them to measure your ability to survive the first year.

    There is little use if that BGSE MSc isn't Finance or Economics since the other masters at BGSE are very applied and thus, aren't really that rigorous.

    Since your interests are in Monetary, you should also consider a Finance PhD.
    This is where the US system of undergrad education fails to grasp the nature of undergrad courses in Europe - maths is heavily embedded within each economics course in the European system (basically you cannot get an economics undergrad degree without understanding things like integration, matrices, etc, unlike in the US where a number of places let you become an economics major without taking basic calculus).

    As such, someone with an economics undergrad from a European university very likely already has sufficient maths for a PhD in the US. It is a shame that many US PhD admission committees do not realise this.

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    Re: Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation

    As usual, tutonic gives good advice. Let me add a piece though--the issue on math isn't signaling, it's knowing enough math to understand material in graduate school. You have to have math through linear algebra. Most applicants have some real analysis as well.

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    Re: Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rohanps View Post
    This is where the US system of undergrad education fails to grasp the nature of undergrad courses in Europe - maths is heavily embedded within each economics course in the European system (basically you cannot get an economics undergrad degree without understanding things like integration, matrices, etc, unlike in the US where a number of places let you become an economics major without taking basic calculus).

    As such, someone with an economics undergrad from a European university very likely already has sufficient maths for a PhD in the US. It is a shame that many US PhD admission committees do not realise this.
    Thanks for both your comments. Indeed I have regularly used matrix algebra, integration, derivation, linearization techniques, linear algebra, calculus in most courses. I think your comment is super interesting, and I would redefine my question as "what are some possible ways to signal math skills?"

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    Re: Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation

    Quote Originally Posted by newmember98 View Post
    Thanks for both your comments. Indeed I have regularly used matrix algebra, integration, derivation, linearization techniques, linear algebra, calculus in most courses. I think your comment is super interesting, and I would redefine my question as "what are some possible ways to signal math skills?"
    You can generally include a statement of what textbooks you used and indicate what math skills were included. It may also be possible for a letter writer to comment on your math.

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