Looking for a grad school is different than looking for an undergrad institution. With undergrad schools you have a good idea of what schools are good and where you want to go. But having a good undergrad program does not guarantee that that school is a good graduate school, let alone a good econ graduate program. Then to make matters even more difficult, a good econ program may not have the concentration you want, or if they do may not be very good at that concentration. So this is why my search has been slow, drawn out, and not very obvious to all of you who read this regularly (all 4 of you).
On my own I was able to find some schools that I am interested in and schools which have good labor economics programs (If I haven't mentioned it before, that's the area of concentration I intend of studying in grad school) and sometimes I was able to find some schools which were both. I accomplished this mainly by googling "econ grad school rankings." Through this I found that Northwestern, UC Santa Barbara, Georgetown, and Washington are all good schools. They even have good labor programs but that was more by coincidence when I first found these schools. But these schools might turn out to be too good.
The next problem I had was that I didn't know (still don't really know) what schools I can get into. Grad schools don't have a set minimum requirement that you have to meet in order to be accepted to the program (well they do but they don't like to tell you what it is. instead they prefer to say here are our averages but it all depends on the person). When I was applying for undergraduate schools I had a better idea of what grades I needed in school and what scores I needed on the SAT and what types of extracurriculars I need in order to be accepted. There aren't really as many guidelines out there for getting into grad schools.
Guidance is something that I have desperately been needing, so I made a trip back up to PLU during to talk to my capstone adviser. I asked him about what would be some schools that would be good for me. Specifically, what schools can I get into and find funding? We talked and said that the schools I was looking at were good and then he gave me a list of 8 schools to look at and which would be good for labor. He told me to look into Cornell, which apparently has a guy who anytime media people want to know something about the labor market they talk to him. UNC and Duke are also good schools but I have reservations about them because I don't know if I could go there due to my basketball prejudices. I was also told to look into Penn, Mississippi State, Oregon, USC, and SUNY Stony Brook. I then went home to research them further.
I can see myself at all of these schools. I have even come around to the idea of attending UNC despite how I feel about their athletics, and I might even set aside my prejudices and give Duke a serious look. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments.
To Do List
- Write personal statement
- Write my CV
- Apply to schools
A correlation VS causation comic