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The 'Am I competitive' thread - READ ME BEFORE POSTING

competitiveness gpa gre requirements experience profile application

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503 replies to this topic

#501 AllanR



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  • Application Season:2013 Spring

Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:28 AM

Note: I'm not sure how to edit my previous post, and I wanted to add some more information.


Programs Considering: HKS, WWS, Georgetown, Columbia, GW, Chicago, LBJ


Undergraduate Institution: Midwest private school. A top Catholic institution


Undergraduate Major:  History, Education. Minor in Political Science


Undergraduate GPA: 3.7


Study Abroad: 2 months in South Africa


GRE: Verbal: 162 Quant: 162


Work Experience:  

Currently finishing up a Fulbright grant in Southeast Asia (1 year grant)

Worked for Burmese Refugee Project for 6 months

Languages: Thai (conversational)


LORs: Should be really strong. One from a political science professor and the other from a history professor of mine


Coursework:  Micro and Macro economics. Received A's in both classes. Comparative politics, International Politics, and Statistics.


I want to focus on IR and policy development. I'd love to potentially work a FSO or even for the World Bank.


Concerns: My main concern is my work experience. I graduated in 2013 and have been working internationally since I graduated, but I'm not sure if it is enough to be competitive at the top schools or not. 

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#502 matt123



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  • Application Season:2013 Spring

Posted 05 September 2014 - 11:45 PM

Schools: University of Toronto (MPP), Simon Fraser U (MPP), LSE (MPA), Sciences Po (MPA), Hertie School of Governance (MPP)


Career goals: Public service/TBC


Institution: Decent Canadian university


Major: Political Science

GPA: Converted to 4.0 scale, about a 3.6

GRE score: N/A - not planning to apply to any American schools or schools that require it

Work experience: Almost two years in various roles within the Canadian federal government, work with a Member of Parliament


Language skills: Decent French


Overseas experience (work, study and teaching): Worked abroad for several months in Turkey

Statement of Purpose: WIP - not too worried


Letters of Recommendation: Still to confirm, but two from profs and one or two (depending on requirement from school) from former supervisors


Concern: My grades and and that my academic letter of recommendations won't be anything special




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#503 MJA87



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  • Application Season:2015 Fall
  • Program:MPP/MPA

Posted 09 September 2014 - 02:34 PM

Schools: UW Evans (MPA), USC Price (MPP), UTexas LBJ (MPA or MGPS), UChicago Harris (MPP), CMU Heinz (MSPPM), Cornell CIPA(MPA), Hertie School of Governance (MPP), IHEID (Development Studies)


Career goals: National or global NGOs focusing on energy/environment


Institution: Okay state school


Major: Political Science

GPA: 3.3 cumulative (poor grades highschool dual enrollement program). 3.41 at undergrad institution and 3.58 in last 60 hours

GRE score: Working on that now. Assuming somethinig like 160v/153q

Work experience: ~1 year as legislative aide in State House of Representatives of a large state. 3.5+ years in State Energy Office managing energy grants at first, doing policy analysis and program admin. for last 2 years. Also, currently a Natural Resource Leadership Institute fellow (program run by respected university)


Coursework:  Took Micro and Macro economics this summer and received A's in both. I have a B in college stastics from years and years ago (I don't know if AdComs would still count it). Also have several IR classes from undergrad (that was my minor).


Language skills: Basically just English (took French in highschool and 1 class in undergrad)


Overseas experience (work, study and teaching): n/a

Statement of Purpose: WIP - not too worried


Letters of Recommendation: One from prof. and two from current office (both executive director and direct supervisor, both will be above average)


Concerns: I know my GPA isn't stellar and I don't know how good the letter of recommendation my professor wrote will be because I haven't talked to him in 4+ years. I'm hoping my experience will carry me; just want to get into a decent program :(

Edited by MJA87, 09 September 2014 - 03:23 PM.

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#504 Wozezeka



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Posted 10 September 2014 - 11:59 PM

Programs Considering:  Indiana SPEA (MSES and MPP), Ford (MPP), UT LBJ (MPaff), UC Berkeley (MPP)


Career Goals: Work for the Gov or a NGO. My dream job, working on the Farm Bill, Ag and Environmental Policy, or working to green a city.


Undergraduate Institution: Texas Public Uni


Undergraduate Major:  Animal Science, Minor: Education


Undergraduate GPA: 3.8


Study Abroad: Peace Corps Zambia (2 Years)


GRE: No Official Test. But Practice puts me at Q;155 and V:160, I'm focusing on the Quant


Work Experience:  

Peace Corps

Currently teaching High School Ag


Languages: Chewa - Very useful in Zambia, not so useful in America = ) But I am working on my Spanish.


LORs: Work in Progress. My profs love me and we are still in touch, I've got a good LOR from Peace Corps that I need them to tailor a tiny bit for school


Coursework:  6 Hours Agriculture Economics, American Government, American Public Policy, College Statistics


Concerns: The GRE. I can understand the mathematical concepts, but I will invert the numbers (67 becomes 76) or 3x3 but I calculate 3+3. So I have to be extra careful on the test and triple check my work. Also, finding a safety school. Any suggestions?

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