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Everything posted by mathenomics

  1. Well noted. Best of luck! The only advice I have is that you'll want letters from economists, so I'd work on that first.
  2. How strong are your letters? Seems like marginal returns to research experience would be very high for you. You would want your letters to attest to your research ability. I see one coming from your thesis advisor, but it'd be very very helpful to get another from your research supervisor.
  3. Are you really dead-set on doing econ? There are many very cool quantitative careers out there other than just econ, which is something that I realized only after starting grad school. If I were you, I'd be reluctant to spend an extra 1.5-2 years + tuition money just to do more coursework for Econ PhD admissions. Sounds like you'd better be very, very confident that econ is the only right path for you to spend extra 1.5 years on coursework
  4. Are you very confident that your letters are strong? If so, I don't see why you won't get a top 10 offer. Top 5 is a bit of a crapshoot with a large luck component involved, but I think you have a very good shot at top 5 as well (whatever "top 5" means. Isn't it more like top 6 these days?).
  5. Only if you're reasonably confident in getting an A- or above
  6. Some applications only let you list six schools or so. In these cases, I listed schools that are roughly of similar caliber or lower.
  7. Are your three letter writers actively publishing currently? Also, how confident are you in the strength of these letters? Given positive answers to both of these questions, this looks like a great profile to me. (more math courses would help, but I don't think it's seriously lacking)
  8. I would personally not apply to any RA postings unless they make it clear which faculty you would be working with. For some positions, groups of faculty hire multiple RA's, which is fine in my opinion (at least you know what the lower/upper bounds look like). The only exception to this would be non-university RA programs that consistently place into PhD programs (e.g. federal reserve positions)
  9. It’s normal. Don’t freak out about it too much.
  10. whoops, you're right. They did mention "international" student at an US undergrad
  11. ^ There’s nothing this applicant can do to substantially improve their profile in the short amount of time they have before the deadlines, especially with factors like “research experience” Personally, I’d reassure you that GRE scores are good enough and that you should worry about other things, but if you’re the type to torture yourself over the “oh god what IF I had done better in writing” kind of mentality, then you should retake it for the sake of your mental sanity (unless you have competing obligations on your time. Have you figured out your NSF yet? The marginal value of your time would be much higher on the NSF than on the GRE)
  12. Hard sell, in my opinion. At minimum you would need letters from economists.
  13. No. Don't be that person. Extremely frowned upon by all parties involved (faculty, grad students, attendees). And trust me, being frowned upon for an entire day will not be fun for you.
  14. Seems like you answered your own question here, but I'll add a couple comments. Generally speaking, a full-time RA job will help applicants at every caliber mainly because it helps them secure one very strong letter from an economist who regularly places students into PhD programs (yes, it'll help even the perfect cookie cutter ones with 3.95 GPA's and undergrad RA experience). This is what most American applicants do. You can take courses for credit while working as a RA, but remember that your job is your primary responsibility- this means that you probably won't have time to take more than 1 per semester (from personal experience). An MA degree will certainly help applicants who need additional coursework in math/stats/grad econ classes. It can also help you get additional letters through coursework and your thesis, if you have the option to write one. In terms of whether you have "enough" coursework, you're probably better off asking faculty at your school for advice. They're the ones who have experience placing students from your school into PhD programs. For what it's worth, here's a N=1 sample: I know someone who went to your school, had a similar profile (assuming you do well in grad micro and metrics), and placed into a top 5 department. Probably a good idea to increase your sample size to get a more wholistic picture. Before deciding whether taking a gap year is even a good idea or not, you should ask yourself these questions: (1) Are you dead-set on an economics PhD program? Your background is very attractive to a lot of employers who can offer interesting jobs and high pay. (2) Do your professors think your coursework is strong enough, relative to other students they've placed into PhD programs? (3) Do you have three economists who can write you strong letters? (4) If the answer is "no" to 2 or 3, am I certain enough about this PhD-path to spend a couple extra years just for admissions? If not, you should reconsider taking a gap year, or maybe that full time RA job is not a bad idea- you're paid $40-55k a year while figuring out what you want out of life and whether this is the right path for you (arguably the most underestimated benefit of an RA-ship). The only downside is that they're extremely competitive, but I think you have a good chance considering your background.
  15. That third letter is going to be very important. Important enough to spend time between undergrad and grad school if you don't secure one by the time you apply.
  16. Given that views are somewhat split here, the most sensible thing for OP to do is probably to note all advice on this thread, from all members. Then (1) ask current PhD students who graduated from your school. Ask them which faculty places students into PhD programs regularly. Then (2) go talk to those faculty. Simply soliciting more advice from other people will help you distinguish which views are sensible and which are not. That being said, the experienced posters on Urch are usually on spot in my experience. (there are also novice users and prospective applicants here who also give advice. I’d always double check these opinions with faculty if I were you)
  17. PROFILE: Undergrad: US Top 10 (Triple Major in Econ, Math, Stats) GPA: 3.98/4.00 GRE: 169 Q, 160 V, 5.5 AW Grad Courses: none Math/Stats Courses: Real Analysis I,II,III (A,A,A), Probability I,II,III (A,A,A), Intro Proofs (A), Optimization (A), Linear Algebra (A), Abstract Linear Algebra (A) Multivar Calc I,II (A,A), Diff Eq (A), Intro Stats (A), Mathematical Stats II,III (A,A), Survey Sampling (A), Machine Learning (A), Multivariate Analysis (A), Stochastic Simulation (A) Econ Courses: Micro I,II,III (A,A,A-), Game Theory I,II (A,A), Macro I,II (A,A), Adv. Macro (A-), Applied Metrics I,II (A,A), Metrics Theory I,II (A,A), Analytical Methods (A), Corp Finance (A), Health (A), I.O. (A), Thesis Seminar I,II (A,A) Other Courses: Intro Algorithms (A), Intro C++ (A), Intro Python I,II (A,A), Intro Racket (A) Research Experience: Full-time RA at top 5 Honors thesis (won award; advisor thinks it’s publishable) Undergrad RA for applied micro faculty (also my thesis advisor) Undergrad RA for theorist Two other irrelevant summer RA jobs Teaching Experience: none Rec Letters PI from full-time RA job (well-known; they said it was strong) Primary thesis advisor (well-known; probably my best letter) “Unofficial” thesis advisor / prof from metrics theory course (junior, but strong letter) SOP: Typical cover letter. Did not customize by school. Accepted: Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley, Yale, Chicago, Northwestern, Columbia, Penn Waitlisted: MIT (rejected) Rejected: Harvard + B-school programs Comments: Urch is great overall, but it’s a good idea to cross-check opinions here with other sources, especially with your faculty advisors. They are in the best position to give you advice that’s specific to your situation. Talk with multiple faculty members just in case someone gives you idiosyncratic advice.
  18. It would be more productive for you to directly talk to current students and faculty in the program. These are very specific questions that are hard for outsiders to know, especially since this forum focuses on PhD admissions.
  19. They’re real. Maybe there’s more to come since not that many people posted. Also keep in mind that less people are probably on grad cafe (and this forum) at this point, given that most results are out.
  20. It’s real. Given that only one person posted on GC, I agree that there’s probably more to come.
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