How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

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junkman
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How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby junkman » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:44 pm

Is it easier to get into the PhD part of the program after your first year of law school? I only have two math courses and one economics course undergrad but I was wondering if say I happened to get really lucky (hypothetical long shots I know...just trying to get a feel here) and get into Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Duke or Northwestern law (good law/econ PhD combo schools), but don't have the undergrad pre-req courses do I have any chance of being able to do the JD/PhD? Like if I get a really good GRE score and completed the first year of law school at one of these schools would that make up for the lack of pre-reqs? I doubt it but I'm hoping somebody will say yes. Thanks.

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kay2016
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Re: How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby kay2016 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:12 pm

The pre-reqs (especially the calc classes) are going to be essential to your doing well in an Econ PhD program... I have no idea if it's easier to get accepted after you've been in law school, but those classes are pretty important for upper level Econ classes. The other econ classes as pre-reqs are probably equally as important. Even if you could get in, going in without the foundation will likely disadvantage you greatly.


GL!

Kimikho
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Re: How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby Kimikho » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 pm

junkman wrote:Is it easier to get into the PhD part of the program after your first year of law school? I only have two math courses and one economics course undergrad but I was wondering if say I happened to get really lucky (hypothetical long shots I know...just trying to get a feel here) and get into Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Duke or Northwestern law (good law/econ PhD combo schools), but don't have the undergrad pre-req courses do I have any chance of being able to do the JD/PhD? Like if I get a really good GRE score and completed the first year of law school at one of these schools would that make up for the lack of pre-reqs? I doubt it but I'm hoping somebody will say yes. Thanks.


You cannot go to an economics program without a full year of calc, stats, econometrics, linear algebra, and usually some real analysis and computer programming. There might be a few programs that allow you to fill the prereqs once you are in, but those are going to be the absolutely most competitive. Chicago, one of the best econ programs in the country (and the better programs tend, at least I've noticed, to have looser admissions qualifications) says:

The Department looks for evidence that the applicant will be able to master the quantitative analytical methods of modern economics and will be able to do high-quality independent research.


I'd suspect they would treat you the same, whether you've had a year of law school or not.

prestoy
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Re: How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby prestoy » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:19 am

As an undergrad econ who considered PhD in economics before ultimately choosing law school, I can tell you those top programs will require some quantitative background. I took up to multivar calc and linear alegbra. I am pretty sure those were recommended bare minimum in pure mathematics. Classes in econometrics (basically applied stat with economic theories - notorious for being the hardest econ class an undergrad can take) and statistics will be needed as well. Unless you take quantitative classes during law school, I can't imagine one year of law school will be a huge plus. I have some friends who went to Chicago undergrad for economics and even at undergrad, I was seeing integrals being used in regular econ classes.

tachikara
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Re: How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby tachikara » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:26 am

junkman wrote:I only have two math courses and one economics course undergrad


Sorry man, but like other posters have said, you're expected to conduct independent research. Furthermore, these good econ programs are well funded and have relatively small class sizes, making it very competitive. Without a solid academic background (e.g., akin to a major in math and/or econ), and killer recs, it's going to be a real long shot.

I can't see how a JD would help you at all in solving any of those problems. Learning the law (especially the 1L black letter law) isn't going to help you conduct better economic research.

Why would you want to get an econ PhD anyway? The PhD isn't going to be useful in most legal capacities, and is a huge opportunity cost. The students I know that are JD/PhDs seem like they'll almost certainly enter academia (both are extremely brilliant).

Kimikho
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Re: How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby Kimikho » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:35 am

prestoy wrote:As an undergrad econ who considered PhD in economics before ultimately choosing law school, I can tell you those top programs will require some quantitative background. I took up to multivar calc and linear alegbra. I am pretty sure those were recommended bare minimum in pure mathematics. Classes in econometrics (basically applied stat with economic theories - notorious for being the hardest econ class an undergrad can take) and statistics will be needed as well. Unless you take quantitative classes during law school, I can't imagine one year of law school will be a huge plus. I have some friends who went to Chicago undergrad for economics and even at undergrad, I was seeing integrals being used in regular econ classes.


if you haven't taken econometrics you just aren't getting a phd in econ. there's really no such thing as "econ." That's like, sociology. It's math and econometrics and stats.

Painful slap in the face for the stats-hating among us.

EliPedDH
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Re: How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby EliPedDH » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:28 pm

A top economics PhD program (especially at MIT, Harvard, Stanford) is really hard to get into even for people with top academic qualifications. I graduated as the top economics student at an Ivy UG that has a very mathematically rigorous economics undergraduate program (where microeconomics is essentially taught through calculus proofs, not graphs), and I've been told during my senior year of college that I should take more mathematics courses (even though I had already taken multivar calc, linear, algebra, and differential equations) to improve my chances and to blanket all the top economics PhD programs (including Chicago, Princeton, etc.). I heard that undergraduate economics programs outside of the top ten or so schools (e.g. HYP, MIT, Stanford, Dartmouth, Columbia, Penn, etc.) are less math-based, in which case taking more mathematics courses would be needed. I chose to attend law school instead.

prestoy
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Re: How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby prestoy » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:46 pm

+1 scoobers on econometrics being essential.
Pretty much any economic research will require econometrics and... a PhD will require your original research.
I actually enjoyed my econometrics class but I think that had a lot to do with my instructor. I didn't enjoy my stat classes though. Very dry

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jbagelboy
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Re: How competitive are top JD/PhD Econ programs?

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:09 pm

EliPedDH wrote:A top economics PhD program (especially at MIT, Harvard, Stanford) is really hard to get into even for people with top academic qualifications. I graduated as the top economics student at an Ivy UG that has a very mathematically rigorous economics undergraduate program (where microeconomics is essentially taught through calculus proofs, not graphs), and I've been told during my senior year of college that I should take more mathematics courses (even though I had already taken multivar calc, linear, algebra, and differential equations) to improve my chances and to blanket all the top economics PhD programs (including Chicago, Princeton, etc.). I heard that undergraduate economics programs outside of the top ten or so schools (e.g. HYP, MIT, Stanford, Dartmouth, Columbia, Penn, etc.) are less math-based, in which case taking more mathematics courses would be needed. I chose to attend law school instead.


I was an applied mathematics major with an econ emphasis at a top undergrad - and I should mention that williams, pomona, swarthmore ect also have rigorous mathematical econ departments, often moreso than HYPSCC ect. - and my credentials would be average for an economics ph.d. My only friend who did an ph.d in econ (now at Harvard) straight out of undergrad was a pure math and mathematical econ double major.

They will look for having taken courses in Real Analysis, which is several steps up the food chain from linear algebra or vector calc. Econometrics isnt hard if you have a strong math background, and really only requires a few semesters of calculus, but it wuld be a prerequisite.

If you really want econ phd, you'll have to do an MA first




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