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Chances of getting into a phd program

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I would like to know if you could give my profile a review.


Bachelor: Major in economics at a top Mexican University. GPA: 3.8

Masters: Currently doing a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy in the same university. GPA: 3.9

Research: I worked as RA in college for 5 semesters, I have done research for 3 semesters in my masters.

GRE: Have done it, but I would expect high scores.

LOR: I will get one from Mexican doctor who did a phd in Harvard, another one from a doctor who did a phd in Duke, and finally someone who did a phd in Vanderbilt.

I would like to get into a top 40 program, what are my chances?

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I think it sounds like you should have a good chance, though it will make a difference how well you do on the GRE. Something often said about international students is that their recommenders sometimes struggle to write the endorsement in the style/format that American admissions committees are looking for; I think selecting folks with PhDs from the United States will likely alleviate this and is thus a good decision. It also sounds like you have a good bit of research experience, which is always a bonus. Good luck! 

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I am pursuing a post-graduate fellowship instead of pursuing a PhD, which I may never do now. Anyhow, when I was looking into it, the one piece of advice that I heard, without fail, from every single PhD I spoke to was, don't do your PhD outside the US. It just won't garner the same respect within the US academic community. 

Now, this is not speaking to the quality or value of those other programs, just the perceptions held by large swathes of the same academics who decide if you get in. 

This is essentially to second what was said above, LORs from people who earned their PhDs at US schools is going to help a great deal. If they did any post doc work in the US, even better. 

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