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[经济学] 你适合ECON PHD吗? [复制链接]

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Economist 寄托与我

发表于 2005-8-30 15:20:44 |显示全部楼层
Applying to Grad School in Economics

请耐心看完 还是蛮有启发的。。。。。。

Disclaimer: these are just opinions and people can disagree with the claims here.

Is graduate school right for you?
  

Graduate school is doing research, research, research. You will read a lot of journal articles and books, write proofs, collect data or conduct experiments, and do lots of writing. Many students also work as research or teaching assistants to earn a stipend. Graduate school is not for everyone, but there are some ways to help you identify whether it is the right path for you to follow.
The best way to know whether you enjoy doing research and working in an academic environment is to try it! The first step you should take is to get involved in research as an undergraduate. Talk to your professors and teaching assistants and ask if you can work for them as a (paid or volunteer) research assistant. Commit to a minimum of one year with them. The more experience you get, the better you will be able to identify what you enjoy doing, the more exposure you'll get to the different aspects of conducting research, the more advanced research tasks you'll learn, etc.

In addition, ask other graduate students about what it's like to be in their doctoral program - both good and bad experiences. Ask them specific questions about their program and it's requirements and what the lifestyle of a typical graduate student is like. You should also talk to professors who know you well and ask them whether they think you have the potential to succeed as a graduate student. For information about other universities, look at departmental webpages and find out what the degree requirements, faculty research interests, etc. are for their program.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
Your answers to the following may supply some hints about your motivations for entering graduate school:

1) Does living at near poverty level for 4-5 years while studying most of the time repulse you?
2) Do you enjoy writing term papers?
3) Does the idea of giving verbal presentations of academic material in front of large and small groups of very bright people bother you?
4) Do you enjoy reading academic books even if they are not assigned reading?
5) Do you put off studying for a test as long as possible?
6) Have you on many occasions given up desirable social opportunities in order to study?
7) Are you willing to take out considerable student loans, if necessary, to complete your education?
8) Do you like to study, and can you do so without direction or assignments from anyone else?
9) Do you read over recent issues of professional journals?
10) Do you dislike library research?
11) Are there other careers besides being a researcher that you'd like to pursue?
12) Are you sick of school right now?
13) Are your grades mostly A's?
14) Do you feel your grades are far below the capacity for learning you actually have?
15) Did you do well in statistics?
16) Did you enjoy it?
17) Do you feel a Ph.D. is desirable primarily because of the social status it gives to those holding it?
18) Do you like the idea of doing research?
19) Do you dislike the competition from other students you face in school now?
20) What would you do if you didn't go to graduate school?
21) Do you realize that, given the opportunity cost a Ph.D., a MBA or MPA would be a much better financial investment?
22) Do you have the interest and motivation to succeed in a doctoral program? Are you sincerely excited about your field?

How do I research graduate schools and decide where to apply?
First of all, go to a university library and search for 'keywords' in their database to find journal articles and books on research topics that interest you. Who wrote these articles? What universities are they affiliated with? Locate other articles and books written by these individuals to find out as much as you can about their research projects.
Look at universities' web sites and find the econ department homage. Look for information on faculty interests, graduate applications, and fellowships. Email the department and ask them to send you information. Email graduate students and introduce yourself as a prospective applicant and ask them what it's like to be in their program (it is best to give them a list of specific questions you have).
Talk to your professors and ask them if they could recommend graduate programs and/or people to work with. Also find out what they know about the individuals you located by doing library research. Ask about the reputation of their department, their university, and them as researchers in their field.
Send an application to at least eight schools. It is a good idea to apply to at least a couple "back-up" universities, i.e., places that may not be your top choices, but because they are perhaps not as well known or reputable as others, you have a good chance of being accepted (and where you would rather go than do something else).  
Some other factors to consider as you decide which schools to apply to:
1) It is advantageous to go to graduate school where there are at least two people whose research interests you.  Now, beyond just checking that the fields you might be interested in is offered, you should not worry too much about it as a) you will learn the tools that you will need to define a precise topic only in your first year and be exposed to the existing literature in the field in your second year (it is only at the end of your second year that you should be deciding on a topic), b) by then most people decide on topics that have hardly anything to do with what they thought that they would study when they applied.  Moreover before getting there, there are two important hurdles that will require all your attention: first admission and then passing the comprehensive exams to be allowed to stay in the program

2) Ask your librarian for books that give rankings of each school/program and list the average GRE test scores, etc. for students who are accepted each year.

Because it takes several years to finish a doctoral program (between 4 and 6 years normally), you want to be confident that wherever you end up attending graduate school, that you enjoy your research and like your colleagues. Of course, there are many other factors involved in choosing a program, but these are the very basics. So it is very important to research the different programs out there!
Choosing classes
Graduate schools care much more about what hard classes you've taken and how you've done in them than about overall GPA.
If you have taken difficult classes its probably a good idea to point this out in your application essay because schools might not know what the math classes are, which economics classes are the advanced ones, etc.
Recommendation letters
Who are the professors who will be writing your letters?  You typically need at least three.  Have you seen all of them recently?  Do they know about your plans for grad school?  Some professors will feel more involved if you ask them for advice.  It is important that they know you are serious about grad school, that you understand what it is all about, and that you are qualified.  Make sure this comes across when you meet with them.  Check with them as early as possible about writing letters, this gives you plenty of time to seek out someone else if they seem hesitant (if someone says, "I'm not sure I know you very well" that is a bad sign).

Help professors to personalize their letter: provide them with your resume, a copy of whatever you are sending to the grad school or employer, including essays, and a short, informal paragraph with any additional material for the letter.  This paragraph can include info about your summer job and how it prepared you for grad school/employment; it's your chance to let him/her know anything extra that you would like the letter to include.  Don't stress about this, I'll only use it to help you.
Recommendations which are not from economists are essentially worthless.
Get recommendations from people who know you well.
Give professors every possible opportunity to say they don't feel comfortable recommending you to the school you're applying to. If they express any hesitation don't have them send it. One bad letter hurts much more than any good letters can help.
It's fine to have a letter from someone you worked for even if they didn't teach you in a class.
A letter from a relatively senior and prominent professor, if he knows you, cannot hurt.
Don't take a chance: send a reminder a week before the deadline to your professors.
Application Essays
On your graduate school application its very important to write an essay saying what kinds of areas of economics you're interested in, what questions you think are interesting, what papers you've read that you've liked etc. Be as specific as possible. Its not necessary to have a specific thesis proposal, and odds are if you try to pretend you have one when you really don't you'll come off as sounding very naive which is a bad thing. Mostly schools just read these to see what field you're interested in and to get a sense whether you have any idea what you're getting yourself into.
For a Ph.D. program, these usually require a description of your past research experience and your future research interests.  Some students will have a thesis or a summer research project to report on -- that is terrific.  The essays flow nicely when you can relate this project to your future work.  The main thing people are looking for here is that you know what grad school is all about and that you understand what research is.  It also helps if you include a sentence or two which indicates why a given school is good for you -- this can be as simple as naming the faculty in the field.  But be careful here -- make sure your information is up to date, and check it out with a faculty member here.
For economics, they could care less if you actually do what you say you are going to do in the essay (most people don't), but in some of the sciences, the information might be relevant for matching you to specific labs or sources of funding.  Talking about the essay with your letter writers is a good way for them to get up to date with your interests, and to get feedback.  You should definitely get at least one faculty member to review your essay: trust me on this.  That means getting it done early.  You'll be surprised at how hard it is to write 2 pages.
Application essays for NSF fellowships have typically been judged differently. They seem to want a specific thesis proposal and value clear brief surveys of the existing literature, a clear statement of what you'd like to add to this, a discussion of datasets you might want to use etc. They don't like vague statements about liking economics, and don't seem to mind that people aren't really going to do what they say.
Fellowships
Most programs do not finance the first year of Ph.D. but generally offer (although they don't commit to it) positions as teaching or research assistant that finance students in their further years (up to a limit!).
Every student applying to graduate school should apply for an NSF fellowship. Winning one gives you a much better financial deal than any school will offer. Even if you don't win just the fact that you applied will increase the probability of your being accepted by graduate schools.  Don't be surprised to find that the fellowships are only weakly influenced by grades and GRE scores. The essays matter a lot. Even if its questionable whether your eligible go ahead and apply. The rules seem to change a lot.
If you come from a developing country the Ford Foundation, the UN http://www.ias.unu.edu/fellowships/fellowships.cfm and the WorldBank have scholarships http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/scholarships/home.html
Look at http://www.scholarshiphelp.org/

Cornell University Graduate School Fellowship Notebook is a good database of available fellowships
Search on the web. For instance google lists many many available source of financial aid. But also http://scholarships.kachinatech.com/scholar8.html .
The Fulbright is a popular source of funding for foreign students, however it is generally associated with a required two-year stay in your country.  Even with legal assistance, there is no way to bail-out of it (even if it was only for a $1,000 travel grant !!! ). Many students who, when starting their Ph.D., thought that they would come back to their country actually decide to start their career in the US.  So make sure to read all the condition associated with the fullbright and be aware that it may represent a large cost later.
Application Timing
As long as its in by the deadline it doesn't matter. It is an advantage to have your folder be complete very soon after the deadline, which means  making sure your recommenders get their letters in.
But PLAN AHEAD especially if out of the country.
If you are planning to apply to grad school, but not for a year or two, you still need to do some things this year.  Figure out who your letter writers will be, and meet with them individually, telling them about your plans.  Some of them might prefer to write a letter now or make notes, so they will remember in a few year's time.
If in the country, don't forget to allow time in the spring to go and visit the programs you are interested in, for interviews if required (i.e. med school), or to meet the faculty (Ph.D. programs).  Visiting is essential for figuring out a good match, and you can make contacts that might help you later!
GRE and TOEFL
These examinations should be taken no later than October and preferably earlier. Applications will not be considered unless the GRE and TOEFL (if non-native) scores are included. Especially if out of the country it is important to schedule your exams on time.
Though the GRE test is not necessarily a good predictor of success, it matters a lot (especially the quantitative and analytic portion). Studying with practice books for both the TOEFL and the GRE dramatically increases your scores so you should definitely practice. Especially if you are outside if the US, you may not realize it, but students in the US (and in some developing countries) spend a lot of time and resources to prepare for the test (special books, classes, study groups) so you would loose a lot by not doing the same.
The economics GRE doesn't usually count for much, but it does give a chance for people who haven't taken much economics to make a positive impression.
Financial statements: it's hard to generalize on what you should do on these. At Harvard, for example, its always best to make it seem like you have money because their administration has a rule that they can't accept people without offering them enough money to come. As a result they often reject people who at the end of the process they would have preferred to people they give money to. At other schools, if you seem to have a lot of money it may reduce the size of the fellowship offer you get. It may also, however, increase the probability of getting accepted because a school with a few partial fellowships to offer will give them only to people who seem to have the resources to accept them.
已有 3 人评分声望 收起 理由
liuwanli + 1 赞一个!
aixi1991 + 1 很给力!
H-Kevin + 2 谢谢分享

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发表于 2005-9-8 11:01:51 |显示全部楼层
谢谢了

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发表于 2005-9-11 23:49:15 |显示全部楼层
这段文章相当不错,多谢了!

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发表于 2005-9-16 14:28:43 |显示全部楼层

不错,就是看起来有点累!

不错,就是看起来有点累!

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发表于 2005-9-25 12:46:43 |显示全部楼层
国内什么样的学历可以申请phd?
我心中有猛虎细嗅蔷薇

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发表于 2005-9-25 17:30:38 |显示全部楼层
hoho~~,反正俺是不念PHD了.经济学的
突然好想你
你会在哪里
过得快乐或委屈

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发表于 2005-9-28 20:43:38 |显示全部楼层
econ phd 说白了就是作学问的

如果不想或者不喜欢做学问 最好不要申,因为以后真的会很痛苦。

当然有钱有时间,就一切无所谓

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发表于 2006-9-8 00:13:04 |显示全部楼层
有中文翻译没?

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