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  1. current grad student here and we got an email
  2. Yep, all HKS acceptance decisions have gone out (maybe waitlist decisions are pending)
  3. An A would be a much stronger signal than pass for 300 odd $
  4. Type of Undergrad: top liberal arts college in my country, somewhat well known in the US Undergrad GPA: 3.88 Type of Grad: T10 Grad GPA: 3.9 GRE: 170Q / 166V / 5.0AW Math Courses: Linear Algebra (A), Math for econ I (A), Math for econ II (B+), real analysis I (A) Econ Courses: Advanced micro (H), advanced macro (H), econometrics (multiple, all A/H), advanced development economics (H) Other Courses: Letters of Recommendation: 1 from DGS at grad school who was also my thesis advisor, 2 Assistant Profs who are my current PIs. Research Experience: 1.5 years of field and 1.5 years of data RA work Teaching Experience: none Research Interests: Development, political economy, gender SOP: Surprised myself when I realized that my SOP had a very common theme aligned with my interests straight from undergrad. This was especially apparent in the kinds of research I've undertaken independently, as well as with my PIs. Also tailored SOP for the institutions, mentioned profs and their work that was relevant to my interests. RESULTS: Acceptances: Berkeley ARE, UCSD, Georgetown, McGill, Bocconi, NYU, BU, HKS PPOL, UCL Waitlists: Northwestern (eventually rejected), U-WM (and asked to be taken off) Rejections: Cornell AEM, Yale & Columbia (both because they already had my GRE and application fee was waived, would not have applied otherwise), Brown, Michigan (econ+ppol), Duke ppol Attending: HKS PPOL (normal cohort size) Comments: Fee waivers were my best friend during this process! I also wanted something slightly more multi-disciplinary and HKS was the best fit. I guess strategically going to an econ department would have made more sense. I was really looking for where I have good support systems and where I can stay slightly outside econ but still interact with some great economists! I also feel like I would end up outside of academia in 6+ years, but who knows. What would you have done differently? Didn't have many math course options to take during undergrad, so can't even go back to my undergrad self and ask them to take more math! Definitely was a great decision to not do math in grad school and instead focus on fun courses, and do real analysis online later. Wasn't expecting most of the acceptances I got, so I'm pretty satisfied (including the months of application + refreshing grad cafe stress).
  5. If you're part of Harvard extension school, there are no mandatory prerequisites. You can find course materials here (Course Modules: MATH 23A: Linear Algebra and Real Analysis I) to check if you have adequate preparation (which by your courses seem like you do).Their syllabus is also a quick google search away in case the link doesn't work -- Harvard Extension MATH 23A syllabus. It is offered in the Fall. It should be there in the extension course catalogue if you check around June-July. I don't think it's bad/harmful to your application to have one course from a different place, but I don't know much since I took it 2 years after graduation and I'm non-American.
  6. Did you email them for an update after the visit day?
  7. also math 23a on harvard extension can be taken at the UG level even when you're applying to graduate courses, and I know tons people who got through top 10/20s (including me) with this course. Definitely helps in saving those graduate level dollars!
  8. Harvard extension's 23A is definitely credible as a ton of applicants take this course and it meets all the Real Analysis requirements for most programs. Berkeley also has an online course offering during the summer which pre-docs/RAs can take though most people I know took the harvard extension one.
  9. My PI did say that some universities (most programs might delete your app after application season, so I think this isn't very common, but I could be wrong) would want to know why you are seeking admission again after failing before but in your cases I think it should be fine because if you are re-applying, you would be doing it with RA/pre-doc experience, so your case to apply again is already stronger. I have very limited interactions with American UGs, but I do know 2 students who went from Yale UG to Yale PhD but they had taken phd level micro/metrics courses throughout their senior year and have really really strong letters from well-known names.
  10. Unless you already have a great equation with your PI, I think it would be difficult getting a very strong letter 5-6 months into the job. It took me that much time to even get comfortable in the role. Plus, a lot of my RA work has guided my interests and a longer stint can also help narrow down your interests -- unless of course you know what you want to do! But I do know people who worked for one year and applied and if you dont think there's a big difference in your equation with the PI + skill acquisition in 0.5 vs 1.5 years, then I don't think there's any penalty associated with applying earlier
  11. Thanks for your insights, everyone, I will definitely go into visit day with a clearer idea now!
  12. I've been speaking to students and given my interest in political economy and policy-relevant work, I think HKS is a better fit right now. I have an absolutely exact fit with a faculty right down to the specific interests within a subfield and I've also heard that hks can be slightly easier if you come in knowing what you want out of it. I don't have a great fit with any of the ARE faculty, though they've presumably hired newer folks and the people over at haas are also heavily pol econ, so visit days should help!
  13. I did this too, and frankly, I think this is what helped distinguish me from other applicants because this season was brutal. I have found faculty in the schools I have been admitted to who work on the exact same thing I am interested in, down to the specific research interest beyond just applied micro or development or whatever.
  14. I'm choosing between these two programs, and they both south incredibly fascinating. My interests are development and political economy, and more applied work. I have a larger network on the east coast. I'm 50-50 on whether I want an academic or non-academic research career and going in I'm leaning slightly towards the latter. Anyone in the same boat in previous years and what made you choose the program you did? Or in general, anyone wiling to weigh in?
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