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  1. I thought it might be helpful to have a reference for common terms and questions about college admissions. Note that many of these terms apply to high school admissions as well. test-optional (TO): If a school is test-optional, that means that the school doesn't require you to submit standardized test scores, but will consider them if you do decide to submit them. Test-blind schools and colleges are very common in the US right now--more than 75%, according to Inside Higher Ed (retrieved 2021-11-06). Note that many schools or programs swear up and down that they can effectively evaluate you as a candidate even without admissions test scores, but frankly, that's just not true. A test score almost always adds an extra dimension to your applications and therefore, also adds a measure of confidence about making a decision whether to admit, reject, or waitlist. Tips: The general rule is to submit a score if it's higher than the average of that school. And yes, statistically, people who submit test scores have a higher chance of admission (but that's also partly because people who choose to submit scores tend to have higher scores). test-blind (TB): If a school is test-blind, that means they won't look at your test scores when they make their decision about whether to admit you. As of 2021-11-02, there are only 86 US colleges that are test blind (according to Fair Test; retrieved 2021-11-06), which is about 2% of all US colleges (there are about 4,000 colleges in the US). However, the University of California, one of the largest and most prestigious college systems in the US, notably went test-blind in 2020 because of COVID-19 and growing concerns over access to testing and test prep. And at least in San Francisco, California, the percentage of high schools that are test blind is higher. LoR: Letter of recommendation. Some programs require or request these. Tip: In the US, it's generally preferred to have an LoR from someone who knows you well, not necessarily someone famous. (Students sometimes say I can get a letter of recommendation from the mayor of Springfield/governor of ABC province, so I'm guaranteed to get in, right? No, you're not ever guaranteed, and a letter like that would look… let's say insincere to be polite.) early decision (ED): Many US colleges have an 'early decision' option to apply. This option gives you the chance to find out early whether you got in. How much earlier? Well, for Stanford, it's a full 3.5 months early--Dec 15 for ED vs April 1 (as of 2021-11-08) for RD. Note that a December result is considered pretty early, as it's before many deadlines. So if you don't get in ED, you could still have time to apply RD for other schools. So what's the kicker? Well, traditionally, you're supposed to apply to only one college early decision. The idea is that a specific college is your first choice, so you should apply to that college ED. Oh, one more important factor--if you get in, you're supposed to accept; you can't change your mind. This type of application is called binding. (See this document for more information on binding decisions.) Also, for a couple of good reasons (including so-called yield), people who apply ED have a slightly higher chance of gaining admission. In other words, the acceptance rate for ED applications is higher than that for RD applications. So what if you don't get in? Well, basically there are three types of notifications: one, you're admitted. Two, you're rejected. Three, they can't make a decision, so they defer you to the RD pool of applicants. Finally, ED is pretty popular, and a most students I've worked with or known apply to one college ED if it's offered. (The University of California, for example, does not have early decision.) early action (EA): single-choice early action (SCEA): restrictive early action (REA): binding: If you apply to a college with a binding decision, that means you are bound to attend that university if they accept you. And conversely, they are bound to admit you if you accept. Tautological, I know. But it's a two-way agreement, technically. So you're supposed to attend if you apply with a binding decision and they offer you admission. Note that you're supposed to attend before you find out their financial aid offer, so if that's a concern, you may not want to apply with a binding decision. And you may be wondering what happens if you back out of your agreement. Well, it's not 100% clear (people wonder whether one college will tell another), but the standard advice is that you should uphold your agreement unless something changes drastically, like your visa was revoked or you decide not to attend college for some reason. Repercussions if you back out of your agreement: It's hard to imagine college cops banging on your door, so in reality, not much would actually happen. However, it's possible that if you got into a really good university (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, etc.), then that college has talked to your counselor, and your counselor gave you a good recommendation. In this case, the counselor might get some blowback because she recommended you. Why does this matter? This could hurt the reputation of your recommender with those colleges. non-binding: This is the most common type of application to send in--you apply to a college, and if they admit you, you will think about whether or not you want to attend. In other words, you're not obligated to attend if you don't want to, for example, if you got a better offer of financial aid at a college you really like. regular-decision (RD): personal statement (PS): Also called admissions essay. This is just a very broad term that refers to the writing you do for your application to college or graduate school. It's also very common to talk about the essays using the name of the platform the college uses, for example, the Common App essay. statement of purpose (SoP): A statement of purpose is more common for graduate school, and it generally highlights your qualifications, what you plan to do in the program, future career goals, etc. gap year: A gap year is simply taking a year off between high school and college. Many students do this (I did this, in fact) because they want to do a special program before they start college, while others just need a break before they start college. University of California These are specific to the University of California. PIQ: The personal insight questions. These are basically the responses to the main questions. They're not really considered essays, so we try not to call them essays. There are eight PIQs that you look at. From those eight, if you're not a transfer student, you pick four to write. The others, you just ignore.
  2. Hi guys, Quick question: do you guys think there is a huge marginal difference between RAing for one year after college instead of 2? I saw that most RA job descriptions mention that they prefer if the applicant is available to RA for 2 years, but it seems like too much time. Will it impact my grad school admissions a lot if I decide that I only want to RA for a year? (think about top 5 admissions) By RAing for one year, I mean starting during the summer, applying during the winter, and leaving the job when the grad program starts the other year.
  3. Hi everyone-- Been lurking for a while and since I finally applied to graduate school, thought I'd see what people think :) Appreciate any criticism or commentary! Undergrad: Harvard (math and CS double, econ minor) GPA: 3.91 GRE: 163V/170Q Math-y stuff: Theoretical Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, Group Theory, Rings & Fields, Complex Analysis, Measure/Functional Analysis, Graduate Probability, Graduate Algorithms, Machine Learning, Stochastic Processes, Dynamical Systems, Operating Systems, Quantum Mechanics, General Relativity. Econ: Intermediate and graduate micro/macro sequences, economic history, urban economics, game theory. Research Experience: Two summers at Harvard (one in urban economics, another in developmental) and one at MIT (innovation economics), three co-authored papers in good but not tip-top-tier journals. Recommendations from Harvard professors I worked and took a few classes under. Applying to Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Berkeley, Penn, Chicago, Northwestern, NYU, and a few slightly lower ranked schools. I think I have a strong profile but top PhD programs are unpredictable, so would appreciate people who have been through the system telling it to me straight, and suggesting how I might improve. Thank you all so much!
  4. I'm currently a California community college student looking to transfer into a 4-year university. I'm starting to think about reach schools to apply to. Through the lens of phd admissions, which schools would be worth going to over UC Berkeley?
  5. I've been wondering how the GRE is going to be used by admissions committees this year, and thought I'd make a post to see what you all are thinking. I was happy with my GRE score (169Q, 167V, 5.5W) and was hoping it would send a good signal confirming my undergrad grades. I have a very strong GPA in my math (3.9) and econ (4.0) majors, but because my university is a pretty small and unknown school I know committees might be a little unsure how seriously to take those grades. I was hoping the strong GRE would be a good confirmation -- of course alongside good letters of recommendation, research experience, and all the rest. Maybe it was never realistic to think the GRE could help me in that way, but I am wondering whether a strong GRE will still help an applicant like me given that many schools are not requiring it this year? Are schools just not really going to consider anyone's GRE, or will it still just be used as a cutoff tool to thin the pool of applicants? This latter seems unlikely, because anyone with a middle or poor GRE score that would get them put aside will presumably just not submit it. Anybody actually sitting on committees this year that can offer insight?
  6. Hi everyone, I'm applying for PhD programs for this upcoming cycle and would like some feedback on the schools I'm applying to and maybe some recommendations on where to apply to given my profile. I'd really appreciate any help. Profile: Type of Undergrad: Top 25 USNWR (general, not econ) Undergrad GPA: 3.62 Type of Grad: NA Grad GPA: NA GRE: 168 Q 164 V 5.5 W Math Courses(list the grades for each course): Calc 1: B Calc 2: A- Intro to stats: A- Multivariable Calc: B Linear Algebra: B+ Foundations of math (proof writing class): A- Differential Equations: B+ Nonlinear optimization: A Mathematical Economics: B Probability and Statistics: A Real analysis: Got a C first time, but currently retaking at a different school, projected to get an A Econ Courses Undergrad(list the grades for each course): Princ. of Micro: A- Princ. of Macro: A- Intermediate Micro: A Intermediate Macro: A Prob and Stat for Economists: B+ Econometrics: A Money and Banking: A Money and Banking (this was a separate course with the same name I took abroad): A Economic Forecasting: A- Econ Courses Msc(list the grades for each course): NA Other Courses: Don't think these are relevant, but I was also a polisci major and got mostly A/A-s in my courses. Letters of Recommendation: One from former econ professor, used to be very high up in one of the federal reserve banks. Another from a professor I TA'd for and also helped a little with research. Last one from a math professor whose class I did well in and likes me. I expect all three to be pretty good letters, the first will likely be great since he really likes me and is tailoring his letters. Research Experience: Was an undergraduate research fellow in the political science department, co-wrote a study I presented with a partner at a small conference, helped a professor I TA'd for a little with his research (mostly just coding data). Will be doing research at my current job (data analyst) soon (I hope) on unique data. Teaching Experience: Was a TA for intermediate microeconomics, as well as a course in labor economics (did not really teach in this role, but made the class slides) Other (Notes, concerns etc.): Schools on my list right now are University of Washington, University of Notre Dame, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Syracuse University, University of California Irvine, University of Southern California, and University of Colorado Boulder. I'd really appreciate any insights into how competitive I am to get in (with full funding) at these programs, and also recommendations of other programs I should apply to. I'm mostly interested in labor and history, but political economy and macro are interesting to me too if that makes a difference. Thanks a lot
  7. Profile: Type of Undergrad: B.S. in Quantitative Economics with Math minor and graduate certificate in Data Analytics from MBA program. Top 125 Liberal Arts schools (US News). Well known/connected in the deep south, but otherwise unheard of. Undergrad GPA: 3.85 overall, 3.98 in Econ No grad school GRE: 164 Q/163 V, AWA 5 Econ courses: Principles of Economics (combined 1000 level Micro and Macro in one semester)- A International Econ- A Intermediate Macro- A- Intermediate Micro- A Econometrics- A Industrial Organization- A Labor Economics- A Banking Systems- A Honors in Econ I- A Honors in Econ II- A Senior Capstone- A Math Courses: Calc I-III -A, B+, B+ Intro to Stats- A Introductory Proof Writing- A- Linear Algebra- A ODE- B+ (had pneumonia this semester) Math Stats- B (had pneumonia this semester) Real Analysis- TBD Grad level courses: (MBA courses) Analytics- A Computational Stats with R- A Data Mining with R- A Data Visualization with Tableau- A LoR's: 1. Econometrics prof and thesis/other research advisor. Should be very strong in her wording. 2. Chair of Econ dept and thesis advisor, has promised very strong letter in terms of research ability. 3. Associate prof (Micro) and TA for, will speak very strongly to teaching ability and classwork I've done with him. Research/Teaching Experience: 1. Honors thesis in health econ, will be presented to state health dept and possibly CDC 2. Econometrics paper turned side research in education econ, presenting at regional conference in fall 3. Senior thesis, TBD, possibly rational choice theory 4. 2 coauthored papers on combinatorics, 1 published in undergraduate math journal 5. Served as a fellow for Principles of Econ (1000) for x3 classes. Graded papers, presented in class x2 a semester, and had office hours as a tutoring service. Research Interests: Health Econ or Education Econ- Applied Micro in general Other: Lots of leadership positions and well-respected honoraries, intern at U.S. Capitol Applying to: T 25-T100 for PhD US, T20 for Masters in Europe/ Canada Concerns: My school hasn't had an Econ phd applicant in many, many years... also worrying about GRE/Math grades. And possibly losing any advantage due to corona. Wondering if I should take a year and try to get an RA position? Thank y'all so much :shy:
  8. Originally, I earned my BA with a double major in Business and History: total GPA of 3.75. I planned to become a history professor so I completed a MA in History from a top 50 national university with a GPA of 4.0. At this point, I realized the poor job prospects for people who earned a PhD in history. Fast forward 18 years... in order to support my family I teach mathematics and computer science in a public high school. At this point, I figure it is now or never to become a university professor. I am looking at applying to AACSB accredited programs for a Business PhD that begin Fall 2021. Under consideration: Resign my high school position, work on an online AACSB 12 month business program MS (entrepreneurship, management, or business analytics) for 2020 - 2021, and knock out the GMAT or GRE this summer. I do well on standardized tests typically scoring in the 90th - 99th percentile. - Will a new master's degree increase my chances of being accepted to a Business PhD program? - Arizona State (Carey) accepts up to 30 trasfer credits from a complete master's degree. What other US institutions accept transfer credits? - Could a master's improve my future job prospects?
  9. Will PhD admissions at the top 10 places be more or less competitive next year? As students of Economics we should be able to figure this out. Curious what other people think. Couple consideration that come to mind -Recession causes more applicants -International Applicants may not apply this cycle? -Funding constraints cause PhD programs to downsize cohorts.
  10. Hello everyone. I am aiming to do a PhD in Economics or Finance (depending on faculty research areas) in the US, with research interests in asset pricing, behavioral economics, and econometrics. However my current profile is likely not strong enough for top programs, and would appreciate any thoughts on a suggested plan for the next 1-2 years to improve candidacy. Background B.A. Economics (Major GPA: 3.8) / B.S. Mathematics (Major GPA: 2.8) at Top 50 in US Undergraduate studies include a published research paper in asset pricing (low ranked journal), a separate conference presentation, and a 2nd year PhD course in econometrics. After graduation, I took a semester of visiting graduate studies at a Top 10 program. As I am much more interested in learning than maximizing my grades, I petitioned the departments to take coursework without the pre-requisites. It's been immense effort just to keep up and while it was extremely rewarding, unfortunately it doesn't look very good on a transcript for admissions purposes. The courses I took were Analysis I (C+), Analysis II (B), and a 2nd year PhD course in theoretical finance (C+). GRE: 167 Q/ 160-something V Any suggestions on improving the profile for admissions?
  11. Profile Type of Undergrad: US Institution (around 50th in the country) GPA: 4.0/4.0 up to this point Graduating: May 2020 Math Courses 3 semester of calculus (including multivariable) Linear Algebra Differential Equations (taking now) Real Analysis (taking now) Statistics Courses Statistics for Applied Scientists Mathematical Statistics (taking now) Mathematical Statistics II (taking next spring) Econ Courses Intro Micro Intro Macro Intermediate Micro Intermediate Macro Money and Banking International Trade Labor Behavioral Econometrics Strategic Behavior (Game Theory) (taking now) Departmental Distinction Thesis (taking now) International Macroeconomic Theory (taking next spring) Programming/software knowledge C++, Java, Matlab, STATA Research Experience: I have been a research assistant for several academic institutions (both on campus, abroad, and in Washington DC) including at the Federal Reserve Bank. However, many of these research assistantships were at public policy research institutions, and thus my work was not necessarily strictly on economic research, but more on the impact of certain economic policies on other issues, etc. I am also in the process of finishing a Departmental Thesis on International Trade issues with one of the individuals who will be writing my recommendation letter. In addition, this summer I received a university fellowship to pursue independent research abroad on labor market concerns. My mentor for this project will also be writing a recommendation letter for me. I have not published a paper yet though. Letters of Recommendation: 3 economics professors (including 2 research mentors - one for my trade project and one for my labor project described below) Research Interests: International trade, labor, game theory
  12. Hi all. Need some advice on where I might be the best fit for a masters program to prepare for a PhD. I am American-Canadian and have spent a year out of undergrad on a prestigious area studies work fellowship abroad but I'm realizing that I want to take a different direction. I love economics, especially as it relates to development and international macroeconomics, and would like to use my brain a helluva lot more and have autonomy instead of going into development project management as my current path would be headed. Problem is in undergrad I had exactly the opposite intentions: I focused mostly on leadership and work experience. So I'll need to work hard to compensate for avg grades and develop strong math and research skills to demonstrate my seriousness and preparation. Please take a look at my schools and let me know if they're a good match for my interests/needs and if I'm competitive. Undergrad school: Top 5 public institution in USA, top 20 econ dept Undergrad GPA: Business Economics Major: 3.6/4.0 Cum: 3.4/4.0 GRE: 163Q - 167V (will be retaking until I boost my Q to >167) Math Courses: Calculus of Several Variables (C+), 5 score on AP Calc AB and BC tests Econ Courses:Statistics for Economists (A), Microeconomic Theory (A+), Macroeconomic Theory (A+), Intro to Econometrics (B+), Intro to Game Theory(A+), Industrial Organization Theory (B+), Theories of Economic Development (A-), Environmental Econ (B)Research Experience: Current events research with an Area Studies dept of my school (so pretty much n/a) Teaching Experience: n/a Research Interests: Development, macro, public Terminal masters applying to: Columbia, Duke, Simon Frasier, University College of London, UT Austin, University of Wisconsin, University of Ottowa, Warwick
  13. Hi Everyone, I'm hoping someone can give my profile a quick look over and let me know how competitive I'd be for PhD Economics or Public Policy admissions. Please let me know what you think: All at Arizona State University (has pretty highly ranked MPP) Undergrad: BA Economics (3.85 GPA), minor Political Science Economics: Macro Principles (A), Micro Principles (A), Intermediate Micro (A), Immigration & Econ (A+), Intermediate Macro (A), Money & Banking (A+), Labor Economics (A), Game Theory (B), Econometrics (A+), Capstone (A+), International Economics (A) Math: Calc 1 (A), Calc 2 ©, Statistics (A), Calc 3 (B), Proofs (A-), Linear Algebra (B+), Real Analysis (B+), Differential Equations (A) Grad (Master of Public Policy): GPA 3.97 Public Service Research I (basically applied econometrics) (A), Microecon of Public Policy I (A+), Public Service Research II (A+), Program Evaluation (A+), Public Policy Analysis (A), Microecon of Public Policy II (B), Applied Econometrics (A-), Public Budgeting and Finance (A), Advanced Policy Analysis (A), Capstone (A) GRE: 165 Q, 160 V, 4 AW My letter of recommendations would come from professors in the School of Public Affairs, not the Econ department (although I could probably get one if I really tried from the Econ department, but it probably wouldn't be as good as my MPP recommenders). I could also get one from a research fellowship I am currently doing at George Mason University in Political Economy. I have a paper published in a lower-tier Public Policy journal of which I am the sole author and will have some experience with research with my fellowship at George Mason. What tier of Econ schools do you think I could get into? Would I be better off trying for a top-tier Public Policy school, or is my profile not even suited for that? I'm definitely interested in Political Economy, Public Choice, Behavioral Economics, and Macro, as well as the applied side of Econ that Public Policy brings. I should also mention I have 2 years of work experience, some research experience at a think tank and 1.5 years in state government as an Analyst.
  14. There is one truth about top 10 admissions that I hope everyone here knows in order to adjust their expectations. By top 10, I refer to MIT, Harvard, Stanford (and GSB), Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, Northwestern, and NYU. Economic admissions is elitist. Which means that if you come from an "unknown state school," or from a "top Southeast Asian university," you're not going to get admitted. Forget it. It's the cold hard truth of economics admissions that you have a near-zero chance of being admitted to a top program if you do not come from a top undergraduate. To set this a little bit straighter, this has nothing to do with your ability. I'm sure most of the self-selected applicants who apply to top 10 programs will pass their quals just fine. It is just the way things are. If you want to know why, read on. According to the many more "prominent" advisors on this website, as long as you take a lot of mathematics and statistics courses, get As in all of them, ace your GRE, do a lot of RA work, you have a greater chance at being admitted. This is true, but it is not helpful. Because while you can improve your chances of being admitted as a whitebread economics-mathematics major with a 4.0 GPA, your chances will still be near-zero, unless you have letters of recommendation from prominent economists who has connections to economists on the adcom on the other side. If you're from an "unranked state school," or from an "unknown" school in some remote country, the chances that there exist prominent economists on the faculty of your school is measly. Make no mistake, your letters of recommendation and connections to the department you wish to be admitted at are the most important aspects of your application, to the point that your GPA, math courses, and GRE will play a small secondary role. Make no mistake, your chances at being admitted to a top economics department has already been determined the minute you choose which undergraduate school to attend. I've heard many on this forum make the argument that they are giving advice to the "regular" applicants, not to the applicants who have had the luxury of being in a top 10 undergraduate. My response to that is these people over-estimate the number of spaces that are reserved for "regular" applicants. In most years, classes can be filled by people whose recommenders who have connections to the adcom entirely. This means that apart from the handful (less than a handful) of students that a typical department will admit from Japan, China, Russia, France, Britain, Argentina, Chile, Mexico etc, there are years when ALL the "American" admits are "backdoor" admits. These are full-time RAs of economists on the adcom, students of Nobel Laureates, or students of economists who are friends of economists on the adcom. The community of economists is very tight-knit and elitist. Economists in the top 10 often mingle only within the same group. If your professor was a classmate of an MIT professor in graduate school at Harvard, and now your professor teaches at some unranked state school, don't expect that to be a good connection. But if you go to Yale, and one of your letter writers is William Nordhaus, you will get in anywhere you go because adcoms are usually made up of professors who might know him personally, and would not want to risk the embarrassment of answering the question "why didn't you admit my student that year?" So what should someone from a weak undergrad program do? 1. Do an MA/MS. Certain top universities offer terminal MA/MS programs in economics, or in statistics. What you learn in the program does not matter. The goal of joining a terminal MA/MS programs is to get better letters. Always have that in mind. The goal is the letters, not the additional math/stats courses that you can take which adcom doesn't care about anyway. The Stanford MS in Statistics, the Harvard AM in Statistics, the Columbia MA in Quantitative Methods, Economics, or Statistics, are good ways for someone from a low-ranked undergraduate to get the "elite" exposure that is so crucial. Of course, this is the route for the wealthy. These programs are extremely expensive. Unless you have a scholarship, take the full-time RA route. Be willing to travel to places like Indonesia or Kenya for a couple of years to get letters from Olken, Banerjee, or Duflo. 2. Switch fields. Economics is one of the most competitive fields in which to do a PhD. But certain other fields, such as sociology, have very low barriers to entry because they are not that popular (or useful) in the first place. It is far more likely to get into an elite sociology program. 3. Figure out if doing a PhD in Economics is what you truly want to do. A lot of people interested in economics are not particularly interested in economic research. For a 5-year time investment, this should be the sole consideration—do you want to be an academic economist? Otherwise, there are MPP/MPA programs, MBA programs, MA programs, or British MS programs which give you exposure to economics without the bureaucracy of economics PhD admissions. 4. Do a PhD in Economics in Britain. Many MPhil programs in Britain allow students to carry on to complete a PhD without making another application. But I shall warn you that the training of a researcher is very mediocre in Britain and academic placements are the same. You get to slap on a DPhil in Economics from Oxford at the back of your name but this will only impress people outside of the world of economics. We all know British PhD economists are trained more adequately for professional placements, not academic ones. Ultimately, I personally do not think it is worth it do commit 5 years to any economics PhD program for the sake of getting a PhD in Economics. If you did not get into a program that you truly like, and I mean truly like, there are better ways to spend your time. The world of economics is full of elitism. You are not going to be a very successful or famous economist if you're at a top program because journals are also elitist. You are also not going to be placed at a top department if you did not graduate from a top program. You will not be placed in a top graduate school if you did not graduate from a top undergraduate. Your whole career in economics is defined the minute you start college, and if you do not come from a wealthy family, there is no way to salvage the situation by spending hundreds of thousands for an MA/MS at a top department to get letters. There are certainly other ways to spend your life which will give you much better utility. Background: I have an S.B in Economics and Political Science from MIT. I audited Linear Algebra (which means I have no grade in it), I took Multivariable Calculus P/NP, my Differential Equations was a B, and my Real Analysis was a B. This was it for my mathematics preparation. I did two years of JPAL, and was admitted to MIT, Harvard, and all of the top 10 except Princeton. I became an tenure-track AP at a top 5 (where I was on the adcom for a while), but left for the private sector, where people earning the same amount as I do, doing the same job, are much much younger and a lot less qualified. My boss, earning 7 figures, only has a BA in English from Oxford. There's more to life than getting a PhD in Economics. Feel free to ask for any advice or profile evaluation on this thread.
  15. I hope to make this post general enough so that many people may benefit from it. I am applying to several top 30 and many top 20 programs this application cycle. I just took the GRE for a second time and scored a 165 on quant (162 verbal if it matters). I feel confident about everything else that will be on my application as my grades, research experience, and letters of rec. are all strong enough to get admitted to the range of programs I am looking at. Thus, my GRE score is giving my stress since I know the average quant GRE for these programs is a 167; hence I must be near the threshold score they are looking for. What advice/insights do we have on this situation? Perhaps others could extrapolate this advice to other ranges of programs? Thanks!
  16. I'm taking math classes now my senior year, should I delay my application till I complete them or try applying.
  17. Hi all, I am RA at a top university in the U.S. and have the chance to enroll in graduate courses in the coming fall. I am split between taking the graduate real analysis course (measure and integration) in the math department or taking Micro I (consumer and producer theory, choice under uncertainty MWG chap 1-6). As a prospective economics Ph.D student, the obvious choice would appear to be Micro, given that it is a direct signal for performance in the first year coursework. However, given the pervasiveness of measure theory in various fields -- from statistics and econometrics to the economics of information and Bayesian learning -- it seems like a solid real analysis course may be good for my own edification. For context, I have been studying from Papa Rudin (RCA) for the past couple weeks, albeit progress is slow since I am doing all the problems by myself and have not really put all that much time into it given my other commitments as an RA. I suspect peer effects are important with respect to outcomes while engaging with material like this. I have no experience with MWG (only baby Varian). People here tell me that getting the highest grade is crucial in Micro but to do so you need to be in the top 5% of the class. That does not seem realistic for me given I will be competing with a host of international students who have seen the material before. I do not know how the grading works in the Math department. Does anyone have any advice for me? Did you take both the courses? If so, which one was more challenging and/or edifying? Appreciate the help
  18. I'm one year out of undergrad and just starting to think about preparing to apply for PhD programs. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed already and was hoping to describe some of my goals here to get some feedback on where I currently stand vs. where I should be. Although I'm sure it will be clear as you read, I don't know a lot about these programs/how everything works. Apologies in advance. I got my BA in econ from a private liberal arts school. Not a big name school by any means. 3.7 GPA. No math focus beyond what was required for an econ degree (business stats, calc i & ii). I haven't yet taken the GRE so no scores to report there. I had very close relationships with my econ professors but again, they're not huge names in the field. I have two main concerns. The first is easiest to address since I can't really do anything about it...a lot of people's backgrounds on here seem to be from high-profile undergrad schools. Will my no-name degree hurt? The second has to do with my minimal math courses. Should I take math courses at a local university to round myself out? Try to get a masters first (a problem arising from this approach would be what to go for, I likely wouldn't get into a math program with such a limited background). I do just want to note that I am obviously not trying to apply to places like Harvard. My career path doesn't include winning a nobel prize. I love research and data and this seems like the appropriate path to pursue. Any other suggestions are welcome. Thank you all so much!
  19. Hi... Would an online MBA negatively impact admissions into an Econ PhD program? I want to learn the intersection of business, economics, and government, and think that an online MBA would be a great asset for me. I've just heard that it's not good for Econ PhD admissions. Is this true?
  20. Hi All, I've been considering pursuing a masters in economics for some time now, and have identified CEMFI as a solid program. I'm very interested in pursuing a degree in Spain, due to the lowers costs, as well as the opportunity to live in Spain for 2 years. I'm curious to get the group's opinion regarding the competitiveness of my application. My undergraduate degree is certainly relevant, but I am a bit concerned about the less than stelar GPA. My work experience is also relevant, but I'm not so sure that european grad programs place much weight on job experience. My background: 1) 3.4/4 GPA from Texas Tech University - Bachelors degree in Finance 2) 2 Years working for Goldman's fixed income asset management business, as a product management analyst 3) Have not taken the GRE yet, but with 4-5 months of study, can expect to have a competitive score Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks, Sean
  21. Hi, I have been accepted into both these programs and having a hard time deciding between the two. I aspire to get a PhD in Economics from a top ranked university. Which of the 2 programs would you suggest? Factors to consider: Assuming cost is not a consideration and I am indifferent between London and New York as far as 2 yrs of Masters is concerned, which program presents better PhD prospects for me? My background: 1. Bachelors and masters in engineering from one of IITs in India - didn't do very well academically there 2. Worked in risk management in New York for a multinational financial institution for 3.5 yrs 3. Took some undergrad econ and math classes at Columbia on part-time basis and got straight As. 4. No research experience in economics as of now 5. One publication in machine learning in 2013 Thanks in advance.
  22. Sorry if this has been asked before, but which option would be better for someone looking to bolster their chances of admission to a decent program? For some background, I struggled with personal issues my sophomore year which resulted in me getting a few bad grades in calculus that are really hurting my chances. I've since turned things around and have gotten A's in all of my upper level math and econ courses and should have a GPA of about a 3.6 by graduation in the spring. I'll be doing a guided research project next semester and will try to really improve my skills with things like STATA and SAS in order to be competitive for RA spots. I don't have any previous research experience (I contacted basically every professor in the department but they were either not accepting student assistants or just weren't interested), which I realize is another strike against my chances of getting into a PhD program. I realize that an RA job would really help boost my profile in this respect, but would it actually make up for the damage done by my one bad year? As for the masters, I've heard conflicting things. Some say it's a great way of making up for blemishes in an undergrad record while others have said that an MA in econ is basically worthless. I've even heard that admissions committees look down on them. Basically, given my personal situation, which path would you recommend I take? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated
  23. I am a Senior at the University of Wyoming majoring in Economics and Statistics with a minor in math (honors college). I have applied to graduate schools for a Ph.D. in economics, and was wondering of my chances of getting in (with funding). Here's what I got going for me: -3.94 GPA (3.9 in major) -Math: Calc III (A), Linear Algebra (A), Theory of Probability (B+), then taking Real Analysis and Diff Q's next semester. -Stats: Many graduate courses, 2 theory courses -Econ: Intermediates, econometrics, math econ, history -McNair Research Scholar: Funded summer research with a mentor -Several other research projects -Several research presentations -GRE: Q - 166, V - 152, AW - 4.0 -TA for College Algebra -Tutor for high-level statistics classes -3 solid letter of rec: 2 economics professors, one if which I did research with. And 1 from statistics which I did my McNair project with. -Notes: First generation, low income, Hispanic, graduating in 3 years instead of 4 I'm interested in econometrics, applied micro, and labor. I get free applications, so I applied to many schools. Here is a list (starred are my target schools, double starred are the schools I am shooting high for): Stanford** Harvard** Berkeley** Yale** Princeton** MIT** UC San Diego* UCLA* Johns Hopkins* Chicago** Colombia* Northwestern* U of Oregon U of Michigan Cornell (Applied Econ)* Brown U* U of Pennsylvania* UC Irvine New York U U of Wisconsin Carnegie Mellon U of Maryland Duke* U of North Carolina* U of Rochester * I have gotten very mixed answers of my chances for admissions, and was wondering if anyone would be willing to give their opinion. I also applied to the NSF-GRFP. After reading about other people's profiles being rejected, I am starting to get worried. Thank you for the help.
  24. Hello, It seems that with most master's programs (LSE and BGSE for example) first semester grades aren't final until after U.S. PhD admissions deadlines. So, students have to either apply to PhD programs without grades from their master's programs or wait until the next year to apply. Does anyone know if, conditional on being in a master's program, applying without master's grades hurts PhD admissions chances? Obviously being able to show good grades in a strong master's program would help, but does it hurt to apply in the first year before grades are final? Would they simply treat your enrollment in the master's program as no information? Thanks!
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