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Cambridge MPhil Economic Research VS Duke M.A. Economics


PUBRY
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Hi,

 

I have got several offers from those so-called "stepping stones" masters, including

 

Cambridge MPhil Economic Research,

Duke M.A. Econ (40% tuition waiver),

LSE Msc Econ,

TSE M1(Full Funding),

UBC M.A. Econ, U

Chicago Harris MACRM

CUHK MPhil Econ (Full Funding)

 

Due to some personal reasons, I would consider Cambridge MPhil and Duke M.A. only.

 

My goal is the top 20 Economics PhD program in the US or Oxbridge or LSE in the UK,

so Cam and Duke: Which one might be better?

Any comments are welcomed!

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

Some updates about my profile:

 

PROFILE:

Type of Undergrad: I am currently a fourth-yr student in China, my university is also called "China's LSE", which is famous for its social sciences.

Undergrad GPA: Overall GPA: 3.80/4.00 (5%); GPA in the third year: 3.98/4.00 (1%)

GRE: 170(Q)+154(V)

Math Courses: Not so many, but nearly straight A, Calculus I, II, Linear Algebra, Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics, Statistics, Metrics

Letters of Recommendation: All from my undergradute institution

Research Experience: 4 research assistantships (2 in Behavioral and Experimental Economics; 2 in Development Economics)

Teaching Experience: Principles of Micro, Macro; Experimental Econmics

Research Interests: Applied Micro, esp Behavioral and Experimental Economics; Development and Growth

Edited by PUBRY
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For UK programs, I would strongly recommend Cambridge. You would need to end up in the top 30-20% in your cohort though, which is less easy then it sounds. No clue on Duke vs Cambridge for US T20; agree with ZYX that it probably also depends on your background .
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As much as I like to sell my own MSc institution (Notts) over Cambridge, I have to admit that for a PhD in the UK, Cambridge will do you a world of good, not to mention that it obviously is an excellent programme :)

 

Internationally, Cambridge is also (again, obviously) well-known, and given its rigour should definitely be your top choice (mainly because it is an excellent programme that'll cost a fraction of what Duke will).

 

Am I right in assuming that you live in Europe? If so, Cambridge would be even simpler as a stepping-stone: you can finish your MPhil, spend the following year working and applying and prepping for your (hopefully) eventual move to the US more calmly (by opposition to doing that whilst studying), and if you choose to stay in the UK.... well you'll already be there :)

 

Good luck, and well done on those admissions, these are all excellent programmes.

 

As a side-note: I always found cambs a bit boring, but the parks are nice, and the pubs by the river quite cool in the spring :) plus the view from the hill when it snows is breathtaking (ok, nothing to do with econ, but you are going to be living there after all :D )

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As a side-note: I always found cambs a bit boring, but the parks are nice, and the pubs by the river quite cool in the spring :) plus the view from the hill when it snows is breathtaking (ok, nothing to do with econ, but you are going to be living there after all :D )

 

Cambs boring??? No way, mate! I lived there for 2 years, every days was full of excitement. And compared to Durham NC, there is so much going on there.

 

OP, I can't compare. I can give you some info about Duke though. You can crack top 20 if you are in the top of the program. The program is competitive, although the atmosphere is not, which I like. It is a great program, although given you are Chinese, i don't know how your chances of getting to a US uni compare to Europe.

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(I should preface by saying I moved quite a bit in my life.) I was there 3 years and afterwards I lived in Oxford, Nottingham, Warwick/Leamington, Copenhagen, now Frankfurt/Mainz, and Cambs just pales in comparison :D (I moved a LOT over the past 8 years :p )

 

It obviously is a subjective assessment Im offering :) but nonetheless a lot less fun than those other places I mentioned ;)

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  • 1 month later...

I can give you some info about Duke though. You can crack top 20 if you are in the top of the program. The program is competitive, although the atmosphere is not, which I like. It is a great program

 

What sort of commitment to personal study is needed to make that move to top 20 phd? you think need to be in top 10 of the program? thanks

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What sort of commitment to personal study is needed to make that move to top 20 phd? you think need to be in top 10 of the program? thanks

 

You need to be fully committed and take this program very seriously, as almost all the people in the program do, regardless of whether they go for phd or industry job.

Rank within the program is not the crucial thing. Actually, people with the best rank are not necessarily the ones who place the best. Yes, taking phd courses and acing them matters but so does RA work and establishing good relations with professors. Taking 5 phd courses and geting A's may not give you strong rec letters but working for a professor may.

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  • 2 weeks later...
You need to be fully committed and take this program very seriously, as almost all the people in the program do, regardless of whether they go for phd or industry job.

Rank within the program is not the crucial thing. Actually, people with the best rank are not necessarily the ones who place the best. Yes, taking phd courses and acing them matters but so does RA work and establishing good relations with professors. Taking 5 phd courses and geting A's may not give you strong rec letters but working for a professor may.

 

I'm considering applying for the Duke MA program! pch, do you have any information on the use of this degree for people going into industry?

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I'm considering applying for the Duke MA program! pch, do you have any information on the use of this degree for people going into industry?

 

Most graduates actually come into the program with a plan to go to industry after graduation. I cannot give you any specific information on the companies etc. because I was never really interested in that but virtually everybody I know has secured a decent job already before graduation. Networking is strong and there are plenty of company visits on Duke campus. The program is much more technical and rigorous compared to most Econ MA programs in the US and that's why graduates from the program are quite attractive for companies to hire.

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