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Fall 2022 Profile Evaluation: PhD in Economics/Finance

Marty McRy

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Undergraduate University: UC Santa Barbara

Undergraduate Major: Economics

Undergraduate GPA: 3.86

GRE: 166 Q/161 V/4 AWA *Should I retake the GRE? What are the consequences if I don’t score 167 + on the quantitative reasoning section?*


Econ Courses

Microeconomic Theory (A), Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (-A), Advanced Microeconomic Theory (B+), Econometrics (A), Advanced Econometrics (A), Game Theory (A), Senior Thesis (A)


Math Course

Multivariable Calculus (A), Linear Algebra (A), Advanced Linear Algebra (A), Differential Equations (A), Methods of Analysis (A+), and Real Analysis (A)


Statistics, Computer Science, and Data Science Courses

Introduction to Computer Science (A), Probability Theory (A-), and Introduction to Data Science (A)


Research Experience

I’ve spent the last two years working as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve. I currently work as the Corporate Bonds and Credit Quality RA in the Capital Markets section. I regularly prepare charts and answer ad hoc questions for economists and board members. I also dedicate time towards economist’s independent research; I’m currently working on two papers concerning monetary policy. Before joining the Board, I wrote a senior thesis and did some cleaning/entry work for a professor at UCSB.


Letters of Recommendation

Two Board economists and one economist from UCSB; I have worked with each of them all for at least a year.


Teaching Experience

I recently revamped the R and Linux training in Capital Markets for incoming RAs. I also volunteer for a data science course taught at Howard University in collaboration with the Federal Reserve.


Research Interests

I’m broadly interested in applied economic research. Although I enjoy my work surrounding empirical corporate finance, I also have an interest in household finance.



Top 25 economics Ph.D. programs and a handful of finance Ph.D. programs. *Should I consider applying to more finance programs given my research interests and the state of my profile?*

My questions are highlighted in red. All other comments and suggestions welcome. Thank you for reviewing my profile :)

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  • 1 month later...

The forum has more or less settled in the transition, so I think I can start reply. Don't know why I missed this post.  Anyway, yes you should re-take the GRE. The GRE is mostly used as a first-round screening mechanism to thin the pile of applicants the admin have to sift through for the adcom to take a look at. I can't speak to the marginal benefit of a 167 vs a 166, but a high GRE (at the very least) will increase the likelihood that you survive the first or second round of mechanical cuts to thin the number of applicants, so it's definitely recommended to retake till you get in the 90th percentile for Q.

If your interests are more finance-related, you should definitely apply to more finance programmes. The stipend is usually better, and the job market is also a fair bit better (if I'm not mistaken).

Don't apply to schools solely based on the USNEWS ranking. Make sure the school that you're applying to has people working in your field of interest. Top (10) departments usually have people working in almost all the big fields, but the same can't be said for lower ranked schools (even in the Top 20s).

Lastly, if it hasn't crossed your mind, either ask your letter writers about the range of schools you ought to apply to, or provide them a list of schools that you want to apply to and get their feedback on the list. That'll also implicitly tell you how strong of a letter you can expect from them.

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