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Econhead last won the day on April 17 2015

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  1. Along these same lines: Have you spoken with a doctor/psychiatrist about medication? Because I travel so frequently for work, my wife stresses like crazy. She thinks bad, horrible, terrible, nasty thoughts about my dying in the most horrible of ways. This got so bad that it began happening with me just traveling to school on a normal day, but also then escalated in other ways. She was eventually diagnosed with what is commonly called "General anxiety disorder." It's a catch all for (forgive me), "anxiety over everything." Other people deal with this type of stress in different aspects of their life. I would think that this would be something that a doctor/mental health specialist could help you with in terms of finding a medication that works for you.
  2. Thank you Team3 and everyone else. I appreciate the nomination and the award. :eager: :triumphant: Cheers :verydrunk::victorious:
  3. Generally, people only post information after they've received this e-mail and then subsequently was accepted. So my sample is probably biased. -But based on last year's comments, this is generally a good sign that you are on a "short list" for them to make you an offer. They are genuinely considering you, and don't want to waste their time if you're not interested still. It hurts everyone if they don't know going in. Re Lacxa: Not sure. On GC it certainly seems like fewer than in the past. This could just be an availability heuristic creeping up on me, though. Goodluck to those waiting in these hours. Note to those that end up unlucky today: There are some cases where people receive offers in the 1-3 days after the 15th. This should happen when a program ends up undershooting, or receive an unusually large number of rejected offers by students last-minute. No way to say that it will happen, just that there is precedent.
  4. I know that this year we have had an unusually low level of posters. Still, I'm surprised by the lack of movement on this board over the last 2 days. Last year was a mad-house. I can't imagine what it was a couple years ago.
  5. Thank you for the comments. I am glad that this has been so well received. Although this might often be overlooked, this post generally fulfills the same role for those applying to master's programs. Those with an unconventional profile that are unable to get into one of the quality master programs (US, Europe, or Canada) end up with two options: (1) Low-Grade master's, or (2) taking master's/Ph.D coursework at an institution other than where they earned their undergrad. The problem with a low-grade master's is that, generally speaking, the programs don't place into Ph.D programs because the students attending aren't looking for that. So, in the process of looking for a master's, regardless of the prestige and your ability to get in, you'd still want to follow this advice in terms of looking at the placement of both the institution and the professors. If you're seeking a university to complete Ph.D coursework without actually entering a Master's, and you're willing to travel beyond the city that you currently live-in (assuming you need/are able to), I would again follow these same considerations. Although receiving good grades in the Ph.D courses helps a tremendous amount, receiving a Letter from one or more of these professors-including a micro professor-can be exceedingly valuable for someone looking to make-up for their previous short comings. The problem hasn't changed though-these professors may not be professors that currently research, actively advise, actively place students, or have much clout to place behind their letters. If you can conduct any research with one of these professors that you're taking graduate coursework with, it will also improve the letter substantially. Look at your options and make a smart, informed choice; this will move you a greater distance than simply choosing a program to take courses at simply because it offers graduate/Ph.D coursework.
  6. Are you specifically considering U Chicago vs. Chicago Booth? We can debate the differences in placement (the biggest difference in business econ vs. pure econ programs), but we'd be better off if we knew what your other choice(s) are.
  7. Real analysis and Advanced Calculus are the two most popular course titles for Real Analysis -type courses (to my knowledge). However, at my currently university they do not have an "official" intro to proofs course, and as a result Advance Calc I is somewhere between an intro to proof class and a real analysis course, and Advanced Calc II is somewhere between real analysis 1 and real analysis 2, as Catrina has alluded to here.
  8. On Applying For and Deciding on Ph.D Programs in Economics – What I Learned about Applications In the past week, I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on the application process, and the path that I took to get to Purdue (Ph.D). I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I hope that this post can be beneficial to current and future members and lurkers. Unconventional profiles are extremely suboptimal. Recently my profile (and subsequent placement) has been used to suggest that others can do the same. What everyone should recognize is that you want a conventional profile. You want a high GPA (3.7 minimum-higher the better), a high Quant GRE score (163 min, preferably 165+), as much research experience as you can get, take at least the full calculus sequence, Math Stats, Linear Algebra, and Real Analysis, and have 3 extremely strong letters of recommendation. For a discussion on optimal math and at what point diminishing returns persist, see this post by Catrina. You don’t want to go into the fight with a deficit-because that means you’re starting at a deficit. Be smart. Stack the deck in your favor. Start with a conventional profile if at all possible. Unconventional profiles take more work. If you must start with an unconventional profile, know that it’s going to take more work. You’re better off going slower and getting better grades than finishing quick with poor grades. Quality>quantity in terms of coursework. Less coursework with a stronger performance is preferred in Ph.D applications to less coursework with a weaker performance. No one cares what you were juggling that resulted in why you performed poorly-all they care about is the grades. Make sure you get the grades. Take out extra loans if you need to, and work less. I’m not sure how many times I will say this: Get better grades; learn the material. Research Experience: No research experience is hard-it’s hard for you to know this is what you want, and it’s hard for graduate programs to believe it’s really what you want or that you’re any good at research. The more prestigious the research experience, the easier time you’ll have applying, and the better placements you’ll receive. Lower-level research is still fine-most/all of what I did was lower-level compared to NBER/FED type positions. Unconventional isn’t just about grades and experience-your institution matters. It’s an unfortunate but true fact of life-where you attend university matters and will impact your chances at graduate school. If you’re from an unknown institution, be prepared to do a master’s somewhere, or at least graduate work. During this time plan to get research experience and earn grades as close to perfect as you can. Choose a school with individuals in the field you are interested in whom place students well and have connections. This information is often in a CV-but past coauthoring can indicate potential relationships that can be valued for placement. I am the exception-not the rule. Look at past profiles and results. Although there are several members (myself now included) that have overcome the obstacles to go from terrible circumstances to receiving an outstanding placement, this is abnormal. There are many more individuals whom have attempted such a feat and come out with placement significantly further down the list. Know that when you go in with an unconventional profile that the odds are stacked against you. Rank isn’t everything. Professors seem to have varying opinions about what schools are ranked. While it is true that USNEWS/other sources give a good idea, it’s not everything. Think about advisors. Regardless of the relative strength of a program, don’t apply to a program that doesn’t have a good advisor for you. Talk to your professors about whom would be a good advisor. Talk with current grad students at these programs. Check their CV. Scour the web for any information indicating whether a professor was good or bad to work with. And don’t just look for one-make sure there are multiple individuals suitable of advising you during your dissertation. Think about placement. As a continuation of the bullet above, be cognizant of where potential advisors have placed students. You can be a star, but as is indicated by some programs “under-placing” their students, an advisor’s ability to place you is extremely important. Their relationships with individuals that will hire you in the future is important. Do not under-weight or under-value this. Many individuals look at program-placement, but that’s not the best indicator of your potential placement because not ever student is within your field. Consider department strengths and your interests (or those orthogonal to your interests). Many individuals change their interests once they enter a program. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is likely how well you like a professor/their teaching style, or their ability to advise you. You should go into a program with the idea that your interests may change. But be weary of entering a program whose core-strengths lie in a field that you know that you don’t like. I hate macro, and I hate econometrics. I cannot imagine working for 3 years on a dissertation in either of these fields. Completing graduate coursework in these has only confirmed this. This doesn’t mean that I’m not open to fields outside of my interests (game theory, micro theory, experimental, behavioral), it only means that I’m not open to the fields that I have no desire to earn a Ph.D in. Rank is relative. Rank is just a general impression of a department. Rank is not absolutely indicative of the type of education or training that you’ll receive, nor does it solely indicate that your placement is better from #35 vs. #22 vs. #43. Be sure to investigate placement-of your field and other fields that the program places that you might become interested in-and compare them to other programs that you are interested in or have been accepted into. Because rank is so tied to research, and because professors retire, people leave, etc., rank is not an end-all be-all. It’s relative. Many people choose a lower-ranked program because it is “better for them” in some way. In my case, short of receiving a fellowship, I wouldn’t accept Ohio State (#27) or Maryland (#22) over Purdue (#42). Purdue is that good of a match for my field, they generally place almost exclusively into academia (my interests), their best placements are in my fields of interest, and compared to even programs in the 20s they generally place their students (stars and median) better. Practical Advice: Make sure you understand and have well-defined priors. Going in with full information, and a comment on relationships and applying to graduate school. Relationships are often hard with graduate school-moving is difficult, and it can mean that someone (or both people) have to make concessions. All of this can be minimized by having accurate priors. Discuss every contingency plan-not just those that “appear” relevant. My Real Life Example: Reaches are often thought to be a lost cause. Don’t only plan your potential decisions around your targets and safeties. My wife and I did this. We said that we’d only go where we were both accepted. The problem with this is that I knew my wife would get into her top ranked choices (T10 in her field), while she did not. Because she did not, she foolishly disregarded it (not verbally, but mentally), and internalized her desire to live away from me because it “wasn’t an option.” Not only was it an option, it became an option-she was accepted. Then she suddenly was willing to live away from me. Why is this a problem? Because we both applied to only programs where we could be together. If we weren’t going to live together anyway, we shouldn’t have restricted our decisions to apply to only programs where we could. Only apply to programs that you will attend. This might sound like obvious advice, but think about it long and hard. My wife applied to a whole but load of programs that she had no intention of attending (partially because she felt that she had no business getting accepted to the best programs in her field). Similarly, I applied to a couple unranked programs. Truthfully, I would have attended if It had been my only option. But it was extremely depressing. It wasn’t just a safety for me-it was a last-ditch effort to get a Ph.D. I would have been restricted in what I could get my Ph.D in, and what my job prospects were after the fact. I would have been better off applying to more programs that were at the low-end of my range, but still able to produce tangible jobs afterward. Really, really, really think about this. Congratulations to everyone that was accepted this cycle, and best of luck to all those applying in the future.
  9. If you "aren't into it," you'll find it optimal to quit early on. Plenty of people do. If you're "into it" but don't want to pursue a Ph.D, you'll know it but stay in the program. If you're "not into it" but are capable and want an industry job, you'll fight like hell to get good grades. If you are completely inept (I'm not even considering this-you seem capable, just scared), you'll quit early on. Graduate programs have inflated grading scales-it requires very little effort to get a straight 3.0. It requires moderate effort to get some B+'s, A-'s, and/or A's. Unless you're working full-time, you'll have no problem earning a good GPA and getting a job afterward if going for a Ph.D isn't for you. Don't be so hard on yourself. Be realistic. Think about this like an economist. Think about this like a game. What is the optimal strategy-what are your contingency plans should things not go as planned. Make a plan for ALL your outcomes. Taking the time to formulate this will probably make you feel better.
  10. This isn't gradcafe. Don't do this here. It's rude. Everyone has earned the right to make their decisions-don't pressure them.
  11. Particularly this^. I know of no Ph.D programs that will accept you with this low of a Quant. Granted I haven't searched too many unranked programs, but of those that I did the general concensus was "161" was pretty close to minimum if you wanted funding. If you didn't seek funding, you could potentially have a score somewhat lower. A 152 is scary, though. Take this from an individual who scored a 152 the first time he took the GRE without preparation, and was narrowly accepted to an AAE master's. low/unranked Progams overlook GPA much more than GRE quant (conditional on other aspects of your profile being promising).
  12. Although one of my majors was math as an UG, it seriously ill-prepared me for graduate econ. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had never even seen a Lagrange multiplier-in Econ or Math. Stats-courses aside, mostly what my math major did was teach me calculus and give me exposure to Diff EQ, RA, and linear Algebra. After UG I went to a T70 for some graduate econ coursework. I had to learn a LOT along the way. It was intense-but it can be done. I was accepted to Purdue's Ph.D program this cycle-And you better believe that I am attending without even second-guessing it. This isn't a Ph.D you are actually after right now-it's a master's. You don't have to worry about passing prelims. This lack of stress will make it easier to study, given the stress associated with a lack of math preparation. And, to be honest, you probably need a master's anyway before you go into a Ph.D program. You can do it, you just have to be determined. You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can't take the fight out of the dog. I'm a dog with fight. You have to determine if you are. Choosing to not go is lose-lose. You not only lose out on this opportunity, but you'll regret it. The worst that happens when you go is that you decide this isn't right for you. It's a blow to the ego, but it's not like you walk around afterward trying to get a job with a big sign on your forehead that says "ECON WASN'T FOR ME! WENT TO MSC AND SCREWED UP/DIDN'T LIKE IT!" You just lose a 1-2 year period of your life. Everyone-especially those of us with less math rigor-are nervous. That's ok. Attending IS the dominant strategy.
  13. I mean that Missouri doesn't place their Ph.D's into academia...like ever. Check the placements. If you have a desire to go into academia, it's obvious that you should immediately remove Missouri from your list.
  14. You should certainly check if you need to, but I would generally expect it to be COB local time on April 15th. This would be between 4 and 6pm depending on the department. But again, verify. Oh, and Don't go hiking on the 15th if you're still waiting for an offer...
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