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Hello, all, I'm a recent grad in political science, and want to earn my PhD, but don't know if I'm competitive enough for a T20 program. Here are my basic stats first with explanation and other details after: Alma mater: University of Wyoming GPA: 3.47 cumulative/3.95 major Major: Political science with a focus on comparative government GRE: 167 V, 165 Q, 6 W I realize my cumulative GPA is lower than it should be, but I started out as a pre-med student and didn't do so well (two D's, an F, and three W's), but my transcript shows a very strong upward trend after switching into political science, and my letter writers are all aware of my academic history to discuss in their letters as well. I served as a research assistant in the department for a masters student, and my name is on her thesis that we have submitted to several journals for publication. We are also looking at several conferences to speak at as well. I have my department head, my adviser, and the professor who was the chair on the project I worked on writing my letters, so I know I can count on strong recommendations. As a whole package, am I competitive for T20 programs in political science? Should I do a MA first to compensate for my lower than average GPA?