PHD - Do I stand a chance?

Guys, I am thinking about applying to a couple of PHD Program in Finance / Financial Economics. I have -a Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Economics (German) - top 10% of class, did a semester in the US at a liberal arts college (perfect 4.0 GPA, only finance and accounting classes) -excellent bachelor’s thesis in a relevant topic -currently half a year job experience (IB) I know that I satisfy the minimum requitrements, but do you think that I’s actually have a chance to get in at any school? I heard that they usually only take people who already have a master’s degree. Also, I am worried about my quant skills. While I did some quantitative methods, I have not taken econometrics etc. However, calculus and linear algera and differential are not problematic for me, just don’t have a written record that proves for the quant skills. Any opinions? Thanks very much!

I went stright from Undergrad.

Joey, you might know the answer to this question: if a person has repugnant grades at the undergraduate level and 5+ years of strong work experience in finance/economics, does he/she have a shot at getting into a good economics PhD program? If yes, will those undergraduate grades pretty much nullify his/her chance to ever get a teaching gig at a university, even with a PhD from a good program? (Ok, talking about me… :confused: )

Work experience doesn’t tend to matter for Econ graduate programs - for a PhD you will need very strong math skills - especially in calculus, optimization, differential/difference equations, linear algebra and mathematical stats/probability. I’d say your chances of getting into a good PhD program with lousy undegraduate grades is pretty slim - unless you were in a really difficult quantitative program like engineering or physics. Why would undergrad grades matter if you had a PhD?

buddyglass, my finance professor senior year told me that becoming a professor at top 100 universities was so competitive that they (at least at my school) will hold your undergraduate grades against you even if you were 45 years old with 2 PhDs and 20 years work experience. The job is extremely disireable for a large number of people. Makes me sad that my screwing up in my teens will prevent me from ever studying economics/finance at a graduate level or from ever teaching at a good university. Definitely sad. But it’s a great lesson in consequences. If I ever have kids, I’m definitely going to stress consequences.

Desirable* (hate misspellings!)

kent you can still study at the graduate level. Maybe not a top Phd program, but surely a solid masters degree program. I’d bet you could get into a Phd program also if you had good grades in a solid masters program. Maybe not top 10, but somewhere. On becoming a professor at a top university I can’t speak. Still, if your doing the Phd for the love of the subject, that shouldn’t matter all that much. You could teach at a lower tier school, or even a junior college.

Guys, were any of the posts intended to answer my question ? :wink: If yes, I didn’t realize…You all sem to be talking about lousy grades, but I think my grades were pretty good. Just wondering whether I should get a master’s and then apply or go straight to phh applications.

My post was intended to answer your question. Job experience is at best irrelevant for applying to a Ph.D. program (unless you are working for some research kinda place - a job at Bell Labs or something). Take your GRE’s, and start applying. kkent - Those repugnant grades will be a problem.

a good econ program will only take the top 5%. normally, candidates are requested to apply to the PHD program because what will get you in is your profs recommendations. the marks can be overlooked if your profs believe you have talent. job experience is irrelevant, at least for the Canadian schools, not sure about Harvard and yale in the US. if you got repugnant marks but you’re very smart and a prof knows this, you will have a shot. but most people that do econ PHD or masters are academics from my experience.

YeahYeah, I think you have a chance. Just start applying and see what happens. kkent, what if you go back to school (part-time) and take a few heavy-duty quant courses and do REALLY well? I’d think that would at least partially exculpate your previous mediocre performance. JMO.

i would recommend speaking with some of your professors. you will need profs to write you a recommendation in any case, and they’re in the best position to get you in anyways.

Thanks for all your answers guys. I am going to contact my professors and talk to them about my plan. I’ll keep you posted if you’re interested. YY

Dumb question. You can get a Ph.D. without your masters?

I’m a little late to this thread, but I seem to remember when researching this about a year ago that for business-related phd programs standardized test scores are much more important than most other phd programs - ie in order to get into a top-25 school you really, really need to have excellent standardized test scores.