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What are my chances of making it into Barcelona GSE MSc Economics?


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Hi. I am planning to try my chances this coming season. I figured I can try applying since I am graduating this June. My research interest is mainly macroeconomics and my ultimate goal is a PhD in Economics. One of my dream schools is Barcelona GSE (MSc in Economics) due to strong reputation in macroeconomics research and outstanding faculty. Given my application profile, do you think I have a chance of 1) making it into BGSE and 2) getting a funding/scholarship? Thank you very much, I would appreciate any help.


Program: BSc in Applied Economics and MSc in Economics (5-year ladderized program) in a top university in the Philippines


Cumulative GPA: 3.622/4.


Graduate Math+Statistics Courses:

Set Theory and Advanced Calculus (4.0/4.0);

Linear Algebra and Difference and Diffential Equations (3.5/4.0);

Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics (2.5/4.0);

Matrix Differential Calculus (3.5/4.0);

Real Analysis with Economic Applications (4.0/4.0);

Static Optimization Theory and Applications (4.0/4.0);

Dynamic Optimization: Theory and Applications (4.0/4.0);

Econometric Theory (4.0/4.0).


Graduate Economics Courses:

Advanced Microeconomics 1 (MWG level-4.0/4.0);

Advanced Macroeconomics 1 (4.0/4.0);

Advanced Microeconomics 2 (Game Theory at Fudenberg level-4.0/4.0);

Advanced Macroeconomics 2 (4.0/4.0);

Microeconometrics (Cameron+Trivedi/Greenwood level-4.0/4.0);

Macroeconometrics (Enders/Diebold level-4.0/4.0);

International Finance (4.0/4.0)


Undergraduate Economics+Statistics+Econometrics Courses:

Mathematical Economics 1-2 (both 4.0/4.0);

Economic Statistics (3.5/4/0);

Microeconomics 1-2 (both 4.0/4.0);

Macroeconomics 1-2 (3.0/4.0; 4.0/4.0);

Econometrics 1-2 (2.0/4.0; 3.0/4.0);

Economic Development (4.0/4.0);

International Economics (3.0/4.0);

Project Analysis (3.0/4.0);

Special Topics in Economics 1-3 (4.0/4.0; 4.0/4.0; 2.5/4.0);

Economics of Industrial Organizations (4.0/4.0);

Operations Research (3.5/4.0).


Research Experience: been RAing with a UIUC econ phd professor for two years now, research is mostly macroeconomics and time-series (DSGE modeling, global projection models, VARs, etc.); doing an internship with the IMF Resident Representative Office in the Philippines, project mainly involves construction+simulation of DSGE model for the Philippines); MSc thesis on a DSGE model with financial-real linkages; a policy brief published in ERIA (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia).


Teaching Experience: TAing under the same UIUC prof; applying for other professors too.

Research Interests: Macroeconomics, Macroeconometric modeling (DSGE), Time-series analysis and forecasting.

LORs: One from the UIUC econ phd alum (not extensively published yet but expert in DSGE modeling), one from Kyoto University econ phd alum (well published and an econometrics expert), both of them I work with under the DSGE team (so I think I have good chances of getting decent LORs from them), and maybe one from my intermediate micro prof alum of econ phd from Alberta University


Concerns:Given this profile, what schools should I target? If I am aiming for top 10-20 universities in the U.S., what further steps should I take to improve my profile? Should I get a masters in econ from European universities? Should I take more math courses?


Thank you very much, any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I think that you have an excellent profile and adding a reputed international dimension to it would increase your chances for getting into a top PhD (*top 30). BSGE MSc economics with funding looks likely provided you manage a quant score in the range of 167+. Also given your exposure to graduate level courses why dont you try for LSE's EME ? At the masters level specialization or the strengths of the school dont matter much, but what matters is how technical the course is and the likelihood of getting top LOR's. Both BGSE MSc Economics (advanced track) and LSE's EME are very rigorous, however I'd rate EME higher. The only advice would be to get a top score in GRE Quant and that should be enough to get you a good masters, after that the focus should be on getting great LOR's and securing a top rank in the Masters program.
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