Econ PhD- What's the next step?

<p>I am looking into obtaining an Econ PhD down the road. I am unsure of my next step(s).</p>

<p>profile:</p>

<p>white male, public university
Overall GPA: 3.5</p>

<p>Math/Stat Courses: Calc I (B), Calc II (B), Set Theory (B), Diff Eq (B), Linear Alg (A), Stat and Probability (A), Business Statistics (A)
Econ Courses: Micro Principles (A), Macro Principles (A), Micro Theory (A)</p>

<p>My biggest obstacle is clearly a late start- I coasted through school until sophomore year of college, didn't hurt in high school but cost me big freshman year (2.6 gpa 1st semester, 4.0 gpa of filler gen eds second semester). Now that I have settled on a major, I am on the right track, but I feel as though I have a lot of ground to make up. I am slated to take Prob Theory, Abstract Algebra, and Multivariate Calc next semester, and (somehow) on track to graduate on time with Math major/Econ minor. The overall and Math GPA is trending up (MIT's open courseware is a godsend), it would not be unrealistic to finish the last 2 years with a 4.0 in both. </p>

<p>Where do I go from here? I am not opposed to broad, general answers, but, I specifically am concerned about:
-Should I consider a master's in math / econ before PhD?
-other classes I should take? analysis, topology, advanced linear
-research? undergrad econ opportunities are scarce- likely, i will be able to get an opportunity but probably not in a field of particularly strong interest- and faculty does not have great connections,
-can good math recs compensate for lower grades in earlier/mid math classes (particularly if i display a strong upward trend)?</p>

<p>Anything else that can be of help, is much appreciated.
Thanks</p>

<p>I'm no expert, but here are my thoughts:</p>

<p>Masters unnecessary. Analysis good, linear algebra good, topology not so sure, math in general always good. Research experience good - talk to profs (not just to research, but also advice on how to get research). Good recs and upward trend will help compensate for early low grades.</p>

<p>If you want to get into a top 25 school you'll need another semester of calculus, real analysis, another mathematics stat course, and intro to econometrics.</p>

<p>To the OP,</p>

<p>I am an entering econ PhD student next year and had an undergrad experience similar to yours. I did not decide to pursue econ grad school until beginning of my junior year so I had to cover a lot of ground in short time. Anyways, the conventional wisdom is to take as much math as possible: multivariable calculus is an absolute must, real analysis. and calculus based probability and stats is also important. I would recommend taking an econometrics class in addition to any grad econ classes your university offers.</p>

<p>Beyond the class schedule there are a few other important issues. First, make sure you score reasonably high on the quantitative portion of the GRE. For a top 50 school, >=770 is expected and for other schools the cutoff varies, but is certainly no lower than 700. Make sure you have three solid letters of recommendation to go- with one preferably coming from a math professor. Finally, research and teaching experience are good tie breakers. </p>

<p>I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have follow up questions.</p>