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Grad school help

s1k

TRIBE Member
Hi all,

I'm going into my 4th year next year and i wanted to see if anyone on this board has had any experience. I'm looking to do a master in economics (development portion of it) and I know i need a high GRE score, 2 refrence letters from profs i do volunteer research with. Also GPA is important if your GRE is not high.

anyone have any insight from personal experience?
 

Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
write down ALL the deadlines you need to know on one sheet. and get to your profs ahead of time - everyone is bothering your profs for letters so get on their good side. just be ahead of time for everything. this will make sure that you're only slightly behind in the end ;) !
 

emiwee

TRIBE Member
I don't know about economics programs specifically (I did my MSc in public health) but not all Master's programs require that you do the GRE. If the schools that interest you don't require that you have that component to your application, save yourself the money and stress.

I would suggest getting a letter from a professor who actually taught you (in addition to the ones that you have done volunteer work with). That person can give an indication of how you are with coursework and academics beyond volunteer research work.

GPA is generally most important, particularly if you don't have a lot of other experience to put on your CV (e.g., relevant work/research experience, publications, presentations). Put a lot of thought into your personal statment or thesis plan for your application.

Contact faculty in the department that you're applying to that fit best with your interests, and ask them about the possibility of them acting as your supervisor (at least in the interim). Having a thesis supervisor already committed to working with you when you submit your application is a really strong factor in the decision-making process for the department. You could have stellar grades and experience out the wazoo, but if there isn't someone appropriate in the department to supervise you and advise you in your area of interest, you won't get in.

Final suggestion: apply for all the funding and scholarships you can. A department won't say no to a student who can bring in funding support.
 

Sinister Shadow

TRIBE Member
Get to know current profs personally. If you have a question, any question, go to their office hours. Put in some face time with them. If they know you they'll write something better than the standard reference letter.

Find schools with funding promises. U of T for example won't take a student unless they can cover the costs. This relates to above, if you can bring a grant with you most schools will love you.

Talk to profs at the schools you want to to attend. Go in, meet with them. The general idea of a masters program is to act as a funnel for PH.D students. In light of that you
a) want to show the prof you're committed to the whole 9 yards
b) find out if you're a personality match with the prof, you're talking about 6 years of your life you'll likely spend with them
 

s1k

TRIBE Member
I was planning on doing my final year on exchange, i guess this is a very bad idea because i get distant from profs? and foreign profs won't really write for guest students? am i write or am i aussming all wrong things.
 
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Sinister Shadow

TRIBE Member
Actually, I'd think as a guest student you already stand out at the host school. If you can manage to talk to the prof's there and start a relationship with them I'd personally look at your application closer if I were on the admissions council looking at it. You'd be doing something outside the norm. Assuming you do it as well as the next guy, who stayed here, then you've got an advantage in my mind.
 

rubytuesday

TRIBE Member
Check the websites of the programs you want to apply to. They should have details on reference letters etc and hints on what they're looking for. Exchange might not be a bad idea if you can twist it to show how motivated, hardworking and interested in your studies you are. I assume profs there could write letters for you but depending on deadlines for applications you might not have very long to get to know them. So if you do go you have to be all over them from the start.
 

R4V4G3D_SKU11S

TRIBE Member
I'm not 100% sure on that you are looking for advice on. Sounds like you know what you need, so just gather all that stuff and apply?

<--Starting in 1 month! Eep!
 

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
where do you want to go for your exchange?
keep in mind that getting transcripts, letters or any admin help from foreign schools can be a real pain in the ass.
i have an acquaintance who did a year abroad in france and he had to put up with an incredible amount of bullshit when he was applying to law school because of it.
also, some courses done at other institutions will only show up as a pass/fail instead of an actual grade on your official transcript. it sounds ridiculous but i've seen it happen.

as for the GRE, make sure that your program actually requires it. it seems that for many people, they only write the GRE if their grades aren't quite up to snuff.

my advice re: grad school is to only do it when you are good and ready, and to make sure that you pick a program that you love. graduate work can be incredibly interesting, challenging and can open all kinds of doors for you, but make sure that you make the most of it.
to be honest, the best thing i think i am getting out of my current school experience is the contacts in my field, the inspiration to do good work that these people give me, and the hopefully lifelong likeminded friends that i have met.
(but my program is fairly different than an MA in Eco!)
 

R4V4G3D_SKU11S

TRIBE Member
The only other thing I can add from my experience is that the open information sessions on my program proved invaluable. They mentioned alot of things that the website/application package left off. Lots of questions were asked that I wouldn't have even thought to ask and it ended up really letting me tailor my application with respect to the actual breakdown applications were being scored. (ie gpa/research experience/entrance essays).

I did not have to write the GRE so I have no idea about that.
 
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Phat Albert

TRIBE Member
i did the master of financial econ at u of t and had applied to a couple MA programs in econ. i think i ended up applying to u of t, york and mcmaster.

when i applied in the fall of 02, the GRE wasn't a requirement if you came from a Canadian school. it may help your application if you get a good score, but if you don't do well, you don't have to provide it.

if you haven't already developed a good connection with a couple of profs, you could take a summer class or start right away in september. you just need to do well in the course and show a high level of interest in the material. i think it really helps to actually attend office hours to get in front of the profs face.

i think queen's is one of the few schools in ontario, in which the MA in econ has a major research component. most programs are like a 5th year of undergrad and are more focused on coursework. given that, i think it's more helpful to get letters from profs you have taken courses with rather than profs you RA'd for.

if you're interested in development, u of t has a combined ma in econ and international relations. http://ir.mcis.utoronto.ca/
 

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
Phat Albert said:
i did the master of financial econ at u of t and had applied to a couple MA programs in econ. i think i ended up applying to u of t, york and mcmaster.

when i applied in the fall of 02, the GRE wasn't a requirement if you came from a Canadian school. it may help your application if you get a good score, but if you don't do well, you don't have to provide it.

if you haven't already developed a good connection with a couple of profs, you could take a summer class or start right away in september. you just need to do well in the course and show a high level of interest in the material. i think it really helps to actually attend office hours to get in front of the profs face.

i think queen's is one of the few schools in ontario, in which the MA in econ has a major research component. most programs are like a 5th year of undergrad and are more focused on coursework. given that, i think it's more helpful to get letters from profs you have taken courses with rather than profs you RA'd for.

if you're interested in development, u of t has a combined ma in econ and international relations. http://ir.mcis.utoronto.ca/

you're so fucking hot.
 
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