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High GRE Q/V, Lowish GPA, Sort of a criminal


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Hey everyone, I probably should have looked harder for similar posting, but I was lazy.

My stats:

-165 Q, 165 V, pretty abysmal 4.0 writing (49%)

-3.24 GPA Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech, 3.35 last 2 years

-A's and B's in math - Calc 1,2, Multivar, DiffEQ, Statistics

NO Econ classes

-Some research, a year work experience in IT field

My Questions:

-Do you guys think, with good recs or a good S.O.P I would be able to squeeze into a top 15? I specifically want to look at UW Madison and NWern.

-I have some misdemeanors for being a drunk, luckily UW and NW don't require you to report misdemeanors. Does anyone know if they do criminal background checks?

-Does anyone know of econ PhD programs that weigh GRE highly, or seem to?

-Is there a forum for seeing stats/decisions side by side?

All answers really appreciated, even if the news is bad

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OK, econ certainly isn't my field, but your "almost a criminal" title caught my eye, so here I am.

Is it possible for you to take some postbac coursework in econ? Seems like a year of intro and intermediate micro and macro (all A's!) would improve your app.

And I think if those schools don't require you to report misdemeanors, I assume they aren't going to care if they do find out about them (and I doubt they do background checks). A violent felony or the like would be another story, but I assume they require self-reporting of those.

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Unfortunately, I don't know if your GRE and GPA are strong enough to get into a Tier I school, your criminal history notwithstanding.  Like you I made some mistakes as an undergrad, and I did have to provide some documentation to one school but I got in with funding anyway.  From the way it sounded, I don't think the Department saw the documentation, just the University administration.  If I were you, I would look at MA programs.  Spend a year really demonstrating a grasp of mathematical economics then apply to PhD programs as you finish the research phase of the MA.

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