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Which field should be focused if I want to go to graduate school for economics

  1. Jun 23, 2012 #1


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    Hi all,

    I am majoring in electrical engineering as an undergrad student and minoring in economics. I want to go to graduate school to study economics. During my undergrads shall I write papers/do research in economics or will that in engineering be fine too considering graduate admissions in UK/USA universities?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2012 #2
    I'd say lean more towards economics if you want to go to graduate school in that subject.
  4. Jun 23, 2012 #3
    Why wouldn't you major in economics if you want to study it in grad school?

    I have no idea what the grad school prereqs are like, other than what my econ major friend told me when she was looking at grad schools. Apparently the schools she looked at suggested coming in with a lot of math experience, in some cases through linear algebra or even real analysis.
  5. Jun 23, 2012 #4
    It depends on a lot of things.

    Firstly, they don't care what major you are but what courses you have taken is more important. I don't know how math heavy electrical engineering is, but for doing Economics Masters you should have Calculus I - III, Linear Algebra (proof-based), Probability Theory, Statistics (something more than an introductory course).

    For PhD Economics, however, you would *need* some additional courses *depending on where you want to go*.

    If you are aiming for top 10 then try to take courses like Topology, Real Analysis, Measure Theory - these courses are by no means required, but, they can help you great deal!

    Most importantly, try to take graduate courses in Micro & Metrics and see if you can get your professors write good letters for you.

    But, to answer your question, research experience in any area will be good, but, if you have a minor in economics and if you have not done any first hand research (thesis, term papers, research assistant works...) then that would definitely ruin your chances in the top places.
  6. Jun 25, 2012 #5


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    Thank you all.

    I really appreciate your comments.
  7. Jun 25, 2012 #6
    Electrical Engineering majors normally have Calculus 1, 2, 3, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations and Statistics For Engineers. Engineers don't have a need for Real Analysis or Topology.
  8. Jun 25, 2012 #7


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    Hi Windowmaker,

    So do you suggest I take courses like Real Analysis and Topology in addition to my major if I want to go to graduate school to study economics?

    Thank you.
  9. Jun 25, 2012 #8
    If you want to study economics in graduate school, I think you should major in Economics. I've had 5 econ classes so far, and was an econ major until i switched to Engineering. Economics has a few different fields in it, if you want to go into Quantitative Economics, then yes those math classes are good. But if you plan to just research the effectiveness of certain fiscal and monetary policies, I personally don't see a point in Topology and Real Analysis. It really depends on what you want to do. If you can pass those classes with a good grade, I'd say go for it. They can only help you later on because you can have both options instead of just one of them.
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