Graduate School Application Tips for Economics Students

Hi Everyone, going to graduate school is a decision many students have to make and it is definitely a tough one. There are many factors that will make up the final decision you make. I thought this would be a good time to share some tips for graduate school applications.

Remember to come out to the Graduate School Showcase Week happening from Nov 21st to 24th to talk to current students, recruiters, and admission committee members.

Tips for a better application:

  1. Get an assessment from your prof regarding how competitive you are for a particular program. They’ve helped students in the past and would know who is qualified to get in.
  2. Make sure you have least two profs you would want a reference from and make sure they know you. The best references would be from your fourth year classes (401,402, and 421) and make sure they’re a “Professor” and not a “Lecturer”.  While I wouldn’t personally care, admission boards automatically assume a professor’s recommendation carries more weight.
  3. Make an appointment with CECA to get your CV and Personal Statement proof read. They also offer mock graduate school interviews.
  4. If there’s a course you think you won’t do well in, leave it until the winter term. That way admissions committees will see you’re taking it but they won’t see your mark before you get a decision.
  5. Go network with admission committee members at info sessions. At the end of the day, they’re not just looking at your grades.  They want to see that you have potential to achieve something notable and ultimately improve the reputation of the program.
  6. Apply to multiple schools. If one school offers you a bigger scholarship, go to the school you actually wanted to get into and try to get them to match it.
  7. Passing the CFA Level I exam could help your application and/or completely replace the GMAT/GRE requirement.
  8. Related work experience and extracurricular experience will help in more professional programs (like MFE or MFIN) while research activity will help with more academic/research programs (like MA Economics)

Many of these tips are from talking to professors and people familiar with the process.  If you’re interested in applying, you should seek out these people and ask for more personalised advice.

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