Math Camp in August gives you a nice, gentle introduction to the program. For those of you who find it easy, don't get overconfident, because you will be challenged in time. For those of you who struggle, take it as a signal of things you need to work on. Just because some of the material covered in Math Camp may be difficult or new to you, it doesn't mean that you can't handle the program — but it does mean that you may have to put in extra time over the next few months ensuring that you understand the mathematical tools that you will need to know this is part of what ECON is about.
Fall semester is as much about picking up tools and mathematical skills as it is about learning economics which is more of the focus in spring semester. While the first week or two of classes are usually quite gentle, you will quickly hit the first wave of exams. At Cornell, almost every first-year Econ Ph. The Econ Ph. Be prepared, and don't underestimate the classes based on the first couple of weeks.
In second semester the schedule changes a little, and the focus shifts in the final run-up to qualifying exams aka. There are two weeks of intense studying between finals in May and the Qs in June.
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There are re- takes of the qualifying exams that are given at the beginning of August. As mentioned above, the first semester courses focus a lot on building up tools and problem-solving skills. Many would say that the most important course during this semester is Econ Microeconomics I, which lays much of the foundation for what you do in later classes.
It teaches you the basic structure of graduate-level economics, and also how to do fundamental things like solve an optimization problem, do comparative statics, or think about economic uncertainty in a rigorous way. Your macroeconomics sequence Econ in the fall and Econ in the spring is basically an introduction to dynamic modeling and a presentation of some of the key static and dynamic models in the field.
Your Mathematics for Economists class Econ is mainly focused on mathematical problem solving, though the material it conveys is also very important in other classes and for all economists to know. Your Econometrics I class Econ is mainly focused on conveying the essential things you "need to know" in probability and statistics, both for later work in econometrics, and also for other theory courses. In second semester, the focus shifts a little, with more emphasis on materials that can be mapped into real economic modeling and analysis.
The microeconomics course in general equilibrium theory Econ , builds off of Microeconomics I, and in the end provide you with a broad look at much of the foundational material in microeconomics that is used by researchers in every imaginable area of economics. Your Econometrics II course gives a broad and very fast overview of many of the important topics in econometric theory i. You may be asked to come up with, work on and present both orally and in written form a small empirical project, to demonstrate that you are capable of finding, organizing and analyzing economic data.
Most students take all eight of these core courses three in micro, two each in macro and econometrics, and one in mathematical economics during the first year. The exceptions are usually 1 students who pass out of the math course or the first econometrics course, 2 students who have TA teaching assistant or RA research assistant duties.
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All course planning advice should come from the faculty, and especially our graduate director, Prof. Tapan Mitra. Please talk to Prof. Remember, the department wants you to succeed. If you are taking all four courses in you first semester, you will have two lectures per day of one hour and fifteen minutes each from Monday through Thursday. Lectures are taught by one of the faculty. On top of this, you will have four sections on Friday, again one hour and fifteen minutes each, which are taught by TAs usually upper-years Econ Ph.
Fridays give you an opportunity to look at material again from a different often more directly applied and exam-relevant perspective. But the biggest drain on your time will be problem sets, which are assigned on roughly a weekly basis in each class. Once you start having four problem sets a week, you may occasionally need to sacrifice a lot to get through these. Do get through them though — give each problem set the attention it deserves because solving problem sets is the primary way to learn graduate-level material.
One other thing you might not expect is the number of students in your classes.
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Beyond your core group of twenty-or-so first-year economics Ph. The next biggest group will be students from the Applied Economics and Management AEM department, who are required to pass our microeconomics qualifying exam, and also pass a semester of macro. There will also be small bunches of students from other Ph.
There are also students who are re-taking some of the first-year classes for various reasons.
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And finally, you'll usually see a couple of ambitious undergrads taking the Ph. You're here, right? So you must know something about how to study. Yet sometimes the techniques that got you here may not necessarily be the ones that will carry you through successfully. Remember, Ph.
It means the ability not just to understand material, or even to respond to specific familiar questions, but to compare, contrast and criticize various theories and arguments, and to be able to contribute to that knowledge and convey one's insights to others. Acquiring such mastery, especially within the mathematical framework of mainstream economics, requires time, practice and hard work, and you will need to develop a system that works best for you in your first year.
Here are some things that have worked well for others:. There are three qualifying exams or Qs, qualifying exams, quals, etc.
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They are usually given in the second week of June and again in early August. The exams are four hours long, and consist of graduate-level economic problem solving. They will be chosen roughly from the areas of study you have covered in your core micro and macro classes, though you will usually also see stuff you "haven't seen before. If you want to make normal progress in the program, you need to pass them by the end of your first year, and this is your primary responsibility in the first year. However, most people pass them, and you should not let yourself be overwhelmed by the thought of them.
Don't worry too much about Qs right now. The upper-years graduate students in the department will probably provide you with more information and advice on Qs specifically, in the spring. Hopefully, you will enjoy life in the department, and find your place. You will find that the grad students and faculty at Cornell are generally a friendly, though socially diverse, group. GSAFE is traditionally made up of second-year students, who take on social and academic responsibilities like organizing departmental parties and grad student gatherings, representing the department on graduate student committees in the university, and acting as a liaison between the grad students and the faculty in the department.
The "graduate student union" at Cornell is the Big Red Barn, which is conveniently located within a 1-minute walk from Uris Hall. There are various grad student-oriented events held there, and the Friday afternoon T. Oftentimes upper-year students won't get to know you unless you get involved or introduce yourselves. But they do enjoy the chance to talk, so make use of their presence. Unlike some programs, economics has quite a structured and focused first-year.
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Most, if not all, of your first-year courses are explicitly mapped out, and there is a specific target to focus on — passing qualifying exams. For this reason, the interaction between grad students and professors is usually not as extensive in the first year as in other doctoral programs. Sure, you may interact with your professors in regards to the courses, but serious discussions about research and advisement usually happen after the first year. So don't be disappointed about this, but still take the chance to get to know who's doing work in areas you're interested in, and what field courses you might like to take in subsequent years.
If you are empirical, talk to empirical professors once in a while too. They'll provide comforting and great advice for people heading towards that direction even what you should look to gain from first year classes. Finally, one of the department's big gifts to its graduate students is an awesome seminar program. Seminars are scheduled throughout the week, usually at pm, and for the most part classes are timed so as not to conflict with seminars.
Attendance at a weekly seminar is only required as of third year, but you should not view them as a chore. In first year you will not generally have the time to go to a presentation regularly, but you are certainly welcome to attend them and we would encourage you to go to at least one or two presentations in each semester. Remember that there is life after the Qs and you will ultimately be judged on your ability to make the transition from student to researcher — getting a feel for the research done by top-name economists in your area of interest is an integral part of this process.
Do not take this point too lightly. While some of you may have Herculean visions of prolific studying exploits, in reality you do need to rest, as hard as that may seem at times. First of all, from the standpoint of a simple cost-benefit analysis, you are human, and therefore to perform at your peak you need to have reasonable amounts of sleep and rest. While it is true that you can push yourself for periods of time and this is certainly necessary at certain times , you also need to listen to your body.
Secondly, some of you may come here with families, significant others, etc. You may have a religious affiliation, and it can be nice to stay connected to that community during a trying year. And finally, rest time gives your brain time to subconsciously absorb and digest material. So if you find yourself studying 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, you probably need to think twice about your study habits and how efficiently you are using your time.
Making new friends at Cornell is also important. However, while socializing is important, partying is not. Use your Cornell friends for human contact and social support, but make sure that your social life does not take energy away from studying. Going through a Ph.
It is perfectly normal if sometime in the next few months you find yourself questioning your abilities, your decision to come here, why in the world anyone would care about the stuff you're learning, or any other common feeling. CFA Institute has a policy of not releasing either the minimum passing score or individual candidate scores. Consequently, CFA Institute does not release specific information about the ethics adjustment or the candidates who were affected. The adjustment has had a net positive effect on candidate scores and thus pass rates in most exam sessions.
The published pass rates always take into account the ethics adjustment for borderline candidates. Get the latest career advice and insight from eFinancialCareers straight to your inbox. Please click the verification link in your email to activate your newsletter subscription.
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