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Fall 2021 Profile Evaluation and Advice
coolegeaccount posted a topic in PhD in EconomicsHi all, I'm a senior looking to apply to PhD programs this year and am hoping to get a profile evaluation and possibly hear some advice on how to approach the next couple months. PROFILE: Type of Undergrad: B.A. Economics at a private U.S. News Top 25 university Cumulative GPA: 3.85+ GRE: 169 Q / 165 V / 5.0 W Math Courses: Calc III (A-), Linear Algebra (A), Intro to Proofs (A), Ordinary Differential Equations (A), Probability and Statistics (A), Real Analysis (IP, but midterms were rough and I'm expecting a B+, hoping for an A- but it seems unlikely) Econ Courses: Intermediate Micro (B+), Intermediate Macro (A), Stats for Econ (A), Econometrics (A), Game Theory (A), Monetary Theory (A), Fiscal Policy (B, this was a study abroad class taught in a foreign language, and was not particularly quantitative, but I'm not sure how to indicate that the poor grade does not reflect my abilities the same way my other courses do?), International Macro (IP, expecting an A), PhD Micro I (IP, expecting an A), Thesis Seminar (IP, expecting an A). Letters of Recommendation: 1) Professor whose intermediate-level course I took and worked for briefly. 2) Professor whose upper-level elective course I took last year. 3) Thesis advisor I have fairly good relationships with each of these professors and am expecting their letters to be pretty strong. Research Experience: Worked for about 2-3 months as an RA for a professor before everything got shut down due to the pandemic Completed a summer research internship with a central bank in a developing country Senior honors thesis Teaching Experience: Have worked two semesters a grading assistant for econometrics, if that counts Research Interests: Labor economics, behavioral economics, political economy Programming Skills: Latex, Stata I haven't done a ton with the SOP yet, but will start working more on that this week. My biggest concern at the moment is how a B+ in real analysis will look on my transcript. I feel like I have a good understanding of most of the material that just isn't translating to doing well on the exams and am a bit frustrated with this. I'm also wondering how much an A in PhD Micro might potentially make up for this grade (as well as the grade from intermediate micro)? The other concern I have grade-wise is a B in my study abroad class, which was intended for native-speakers of a language that I am decent (but not fluent) in. The content was not super rigorous mathematically (my only grade was from a paper written in said foreign language, no tests or anything) and thus not reflective of my abilities, but I don't want to waste space in my SOP on something so trivial, so is there any other way for me to provide this context in my applications? I just want to make sure it isn't viewed equivalently to my other courses, since it definitely is not. Any advice would greatly be appreciated. I'm tentatively shooting for top 30 programs. Is this safe, and is top 20 even possible? I have gotten mixed feedback from my professors about how high I should be aiming. I've been told that top 20 is definitely possible, but I'm having trouble believing that, especially if I get that B+ in real analysis. Given my research interests, are there any particular schools you would recommend? Thank you! :) If you need any more info just ask and I'll be happy to reply.