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  1. The previous ones were for personal considerations, which made me think about the broader set of factors that are at play here. I thought it would be an interesting question to pose but I know there are some similarities to the previous threads.
  2. I am currently taking the advice from the forum to pursue an Masters in an attempt to have a shot at a better PhD program. The threads have been very useful in gauging the likely PhD placement outcomes of various tiers of universities. However, it got me thinking. What are the factors that distinguish a top tier PhD program from a lower one in terms of placements? I have thought about this a lot and have come up with a small list: 1) PhD training (courses etc.) 2) Incoming student quality and previous training (elite programs on average have better and more prepared students) 3) Network effects (being closer to those at the forefront of research) 4) Time (having 6 years to complete a PhD) Just wanted to know what are the other factors? Assuming a prospective student had the chance to enter the program at Harvard Economics department for example, but instead chose a Top 50 school due to personal reasons, how would this effect their placement outcome?
  3. So I'm not able to independently learn the technical stuff? There's a lot of resources available online. I ask because I have an offer from a programme with fairly weak classes. Wondering whether I should go ahead with it or re-consider my options.
  4. Hypothetically, if I were to begin a PhD programme without taking the graduate school classes, would I be able to independently learn the information to perform good research? I.e. to learn the relevant information using online material available from other universities? Or would the lack of classes be a hurdle in achieving the relevant technical knowledge of the frontier of research and so translate to poorer quality research?
  5. Thanks. By the second I meant that some of the universities seem to have weaker core/field classes (European programmes). Is this something I should take into consideration or can it be (relatively easily) overcome? In response to 1, I'm not sure how good I am. They have taken an interest but only because of prior grades and a brief conversation. They are also quite early on in their career and not at very well known school.
  6. Just wondering how much emphasis I should place on the following factors when 'selecting' PhD advisers to approach: 1) If a PhD adviser has a few published Top 5's versus one who has published consistently in top field and second tier general interest journals. The reason I ask this question is because I have heard that academics with Top 5's help push PhD students towards Top 5 publications more so than those without. Although, I'm not sure how true this is, it's just what I have heard. 2) The quality/rigour of the core and field courses. Assuming a strong enough Math background would someone be able to self-study sufficiently to overcome weaker courses 3) Being in a good academic location surrounded by other universities conducting good research. Maybe this network effect has good influence on further developing ideas. I know there are other considerations to have in mind such as placement ranking, supervisor compatibility, however, just wanted to know how much emphasis I should place on these in particular.
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