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  1. Hi everyone, I’m considering SUNY Binghamton, but the department doesn’t seem to be very strong on IR or have any Asia specialists. Is the website not updated, am I reading it wrong, or is my analysis correct? If so it’s really too bad, as Binghamton seems like a great school and the department has a stellar placement record. Would be great to get some feedback. Thanks!
  2. Thanks for the advice. I’ll be honest and hope that my experience is a good fit for the department.
  3. Thanks. I’m using Princeton now to review and seems to be going better. Cheers
  4. Great feedback, thanks a lot! I can also mention how I disagreed with the diplomat who was justifying the decision to file the case because the only country that can enforce a ruling (US) has not yet ratified UNCLOS. I’ll look into all the angles you have suggested to frame that part of my SOP.
  5. I'm trying to get my thesis published in a Wiley journal but will check out Monkey Cage. Thanks!
  6. Thank you for your comment. If I may ask, where were you accepted? Did you address your age in your SOP? I’m fine with a job at a smaller state university, as long as I’m interested in the subject matter. Right now I work at a big multilateral institution but I hate my job.
  7. Thanks for the advice. Maybe I didn’t express myself properly. I do have a very clear research interest (future balance of power in Asia) but I wanted to tweak it a bit to fit each department. Maybe it’s better, like you said, to come up with a good idea and hope they find it as interesting as I do.
  8. Thanks a lot, this is very encouraging. What do you think my “cool factor” could be? I was hoping to mention what I learned about how diplomacy really works from the whole political process of the Philippines taking China to court over the South China Sea in an off-the-record briefing with diplomats when I was covering that beat as a journalist.
  9. Thank you both for your comments. I have already decided to retake the test to improve my score. Regarding emailing profs, I would do so only to get a better idea of if my research interests are a good fit for the department or not. I do not expect any prof to weigh in on my application, especially if they don’t know me at all. Since I have several research interests and am quite flexible with the topic as long as it’s in IR and focused on Asia, I plan to tailor that part of my POS to each particular school. Thoughts?
  10. Thanks
  11. Hi Zereg, Thank you for your advice and encouragement. I will point that out in my SOP and tell my recommenders. I’ve already decided I’m retaking the test, probably in a couple of months after working harder on the math. I’m using the Princeton book now and it seems to work better for me than Magoosh. Do you think 160/155 will make the cutoff for UMD/UVA? Cheers
  12. Thank you for being brutally honest. I appreciate it. You're right, I need to work harder on this.
  13. Hi dagnabbit, Thank you for your feedback. I guess I should try again, and will check out Manhattan. It’s not what I want to write off quant completely, just keep it to a minimum. Cheers
  14. Hi everyone, I took the GRE on Friday and got a dismal (unofficial) score: 159 V 143 Q I studied for two months, signed up for Magoosh, and really tried my best, but I’m almost 38 and haven’t done any math since my last year of high school almost 20 years ago. My undergrad GPA is more or less 3.2, graduate GPA 3.92. I have over a decade of experience working as a foreign correspondent and editor in Asia, and waiting to publish a paper on conflict management in the South China Sea in a peer-reviewed journal. I am not planning to apply to any of the top schools, but do you think I still have a chance at any school at all? I’ve considered retaking the test but I really doubt I’ll be able to improve my quant score that much. Please be brutally honest with your advice. Thank you! P.S. Applying to PhD programs to focus on IR (geopolitics, not much quant analysis needed)
  15. Nice! So did you both have a good experience? Rutgers is my top pick along with UVA. I would like to get Simon Reich as my advisor to research China’s geopolitical grand strategy.