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Phd in econ evaluation, am I aiming too high?


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First of all, thank you for taking your time!

Type of Undergrad: I’m an 3rd year undergrad international applicant studying in a low rank USA state U( Around 80) due to financial constraints

Undergrad GPA: 3.73 (major 3.87)

Type of Grad: 

Grad GPA:

GRE:166V/168Q/4W, 97%/91%/54%


Math Courses:

grad: real analysis I(A)

undergrad: measure theory (P, due to altered rubric), intro to analysis, honor calc 3, finite math structure, (B+, B+, B due to a documented fracture in my first semester), honor calc 4(A), probability theory (A), survey of prob and stat (A)

Econ Courses:

grad: first year micro (A,B+), metrics(A, to be taken) game II(A, skipped I), labor II(A), behavioral finance (A), risk management (A-), quantitative finance (A)

undergrad: interm micro(A), interm macro(A-), independent research (A), writing in econ(satisfactory), game (A), matching theory (A-), thinking strategically (B+ due to wifi…not explained in my apps)


Other Courses: nearly none

Letters of Recommendation: 1 strong letter from Labor AP who I RA for, 2 fine course letters from two micro-theory giants( who taught me grad micro1/game 2), 1 from grad director to tell I’m exceptional 

Research Experience:Research Experience: little, 1 winter research in Cornell cicer, 1 three-month high-energy physics research, 1 in labor Econ(started this summer with one of my letter writers), 1 been one and half year in experimental game theory. Nearly no output out of them.

Teaching Experience: a lot, I spent more than half of my spare time in tutoring math/physics/Chem/cs/econ to earn my living, TAed for 4 courses in math&econ)2are upper level. Founded two online non-profit programs in teaching undergrad & grad econ, one with friends from Harvard/mit and the other one with two profs from China. 5K people attended the lectures 

Research Interests: basically most micro theory areas, game auction md…also open to IO(micro) experimental, and labor (applied micro)

SOP: ok level, got advice from a current MIT finance phd student who’s my mentor

Other: as I said I’m running out of courses, and due to financial constraints I’m graduating. But I’m still worried about my apps since I don’t have much experience in research, though I heard that it’s fine for micro theory applicants.

The department chair of my school said I’m the strongest econ student in the school’s history, and I’m being nominated by the dean for the chancellor’s award that is for the best two graduating students in an academic year.

I’m also submitting a writing sample in pure probability theory (measure based)


apps: Stanford UCB Princeton Yale UCLA Umich, UCSB Columbia Caltech Brown Upenn Wharton MIT  NYU Stern, Cornell Northwestern Duke

Am i aiming too high? Given my interests should I start to apply for predoc? Any suggestions for school selections/other aspects? Thank you!




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