I am thinking about applying to graduate school for international relations in the coming year. I'm interested in IR programs relating to China Studies. My goal schools are SAIS, Georgetown, Stanford (East Asian Studies) and UCSD (IR-PS.) I saw the sticky but have a problem specifically as it relates to my quantitative score on the GRE. It's low, and I want to know if it's a big problem for top IR programs given my background in econ and work experience.
I graduated in 2009 from a state school with a 3.74 in Global Studies (focus on international political economy) and PoliSci, magna cum laude and phi beta kappa, with a senior thesis on Sino-African trade relations. For two years during college I worked year-round almost full time (30-35 hrs a week) with a full credit course load at the US Department of Justice; prior to that I interned as an aide to a lobbyist in state government. I received a State Dept. Critical Language Scholarship to study in China in the summer of 08. After I graduated I worked at a law firm for a year. I applied and received a Fulbright scholarship to study economic development and regional planning in China. I just finished that and will go back to teach English in China at the university level for at least a year. I'd say my Mandarin Chinese is at an advanced level and will improve with another year.
Here's the problem. I took the GRE after I graduated and got the following: 660V, 650Q, 6.0 AW. The verbal score and AW I think are ok, but my quant score is what makes me nervous. I took intermediate econ courses as part of my major in college and also took statistics, getting decent grades and given my thesis' focus on trade and my Fulbright work I think I can handle any math they throw at me, even if my GRE score says otherwise. I'm wondering if a score like this necessitates retaking the GRE given that it's a component that's not weighted as heavily in the application, or if it disqualifies me entirely from those schools I listed. Letters of rec and statement of purpose shouldn't be a problem for me. I can't retake the GRE in time in China for me to apply for this cycle. Should I retake it or take my chances with the score I got and go for this cycle?
Edited by mnboy, 24 August 2011 - 11:54 AM.