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About eponine997

  • Rank
    Double Shot

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  • Gender
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  • Application Season
    2013 Fall
  • Program
    Political Science

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  1. I'd highly advise against this. Websites, particularly if a graduate school has one deadline for ALL programs, can become overloaded, your internet might choose that night to be extra slow, etc. etc. Give yourself AT LEAST 1 business day before the deadline. Last year there was a program (very low on my list), I waited until the deadline and couldn't connect to the website, trying consistently for several hours - in the end I decided to save myself the $75. No regrets apart from having already sent them transcripts and GRE scores... but had it been my first choice I would have cried myself
  2. Your scanned transcripts are just as official as electronic transcripts you send - which is to say unofficial. As long as the electronic transcripts indicate that they are clearly from the school and have your coursework, grades and other relevant notes in a readable format, it shouldn't be a problem. Any school that admits you will require your official (signed and sealed) transcripts before you matriculate, so there is no advantage to lying/altering/forging transcripts. (I know that's not what you're doing, but it is the reason why they won't care if it appears as "modified")
  3. Also anecdotal, a friend of mine majored in philosophy and literature, after some RA work and professional (research related) experience, got into a number of good programs and then did very well on the job market. Similar, this friend also ended up with a strong focus on formal theory and methods. From what I gather (when coming from outside the discipline) you need to be able to tell a compelling story about how your previous experience led you to pursue a PS PhD, how that experience and background has shaped your research interests, and that you know enough about political science as a di
  4. I went through a similar thing as to whether to apply in my second year of grad school or wait until after my thesis and degree were completed and I heard strong arguments from both sides. I'd reiterate the points Adapt made in the previous post, but also note some other considerations that may or may not apply in your case. The first is financial: yes there is the cost of the applications, but there is also the potential end of student loan deferment if you wait a year to apply. Waiting a year means you will need a way to support yourself financially (including potentially making stud
  5. I honestly doubt most places would noticed. From what I've gathered some places weigh writing samples more heavily than others, some places weigh LoRs more heavily than others - and these are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Most important: Your letters should be written by people who know you well and can speak to your ability to succeed in grad school and contribute to the discipline (though in some cases your recommenders may come from outside the discipline). The "weight" of the recommender does come into play sometimes. For example if you are applying to program where one of
  6. At some point we really should just "pin" one of these threads... or someone needs to make a thread called "before asking 'what are my chances!?!?'" No one, I repeat, no one on this forum can tell you your chances at any school (other than that you have a non-zero probability) unless they are on the ad com at said school or they read you SoP and letters. Have a look at the "Profiles/Results" threads from 2013 and 2012. Here you will see that people with similar GPAs to you got into top 10 programs. You can look at the results board and see people with GPAs and scores higher than yours
  7. Have you considered talking directly with the programs? Particularly if you've already identified POIs at these particular schools (who may or may not be affiliated with both programs) and you have a clear idea of what you want to study. Why not send an email, "hi i am considering applying to your school/program, these are my interests, these are my long term goals, this is my background, however, I am unsure at which program I might be a better fit because after thoroughly research each program... blah blah blah" I would imagine no one can give you better advice on this than the people who
  8. the Jackson School at the University of Washington immediately comes to mind since you seem to favor an interdisciplinary approach with an area-studies focus (China in particular) Also, for PhD programs in the U.S. you are not expected to have your dissertation proposal written upon acceptance. For a (approximately) 5-year program, the proposal completed after the second year. For admission they expect you to have a clear idea of what you want to study and how it fits into the discipline/program to which you are applying.
  9. Yes. Assuming your life/family/financial situation allows you to do so. To be warned, depending on where you transfer, you may have to complete ALL the coursework/comps/etc again (hence my comment about what your life situation allows, might be a great idea if you are 24, but perhaps not so great at 34 - and part of that will come down to personal preference). That said, it would be impressive to defend your proposal by the end of your second year, and personally, I don't think I would if transferring was a strong possibility. There are good schools that don't necessarily place well (re
  10. I know of others who have struck out, despite publications. I've seen several rejections on the results board of people mentioning publications (and otherwise strong marks) in the comments. They are good subfield journals (easily falling within OP's description of "very reputable," but top journals would be APSR, AJPS, IO, Journal of Politics, World Politics. Don't misunderstand me, publishing in International Studies and/or Security Studies is a strong signal and pretty darn impressive for someone who has not yet attended grad school, but by no means would it make you a "sure thing" for
  11. To reiterate from previous comments: Apply to more than 5 schools (what Quigley said). Publications and prior experience with political science research (particularly if mentored by a poli sci professor) are generally positive signals. As for your professional experience, etc, you'll need to explain how it shaped your research interests and/or how it fits with the schools where you are applying (you'll want to have better reasons than "it's not worth getting a PhD unless I get one from a reputable institution" - and perhaps you do have reasons for those schools in particular, but you'll w
  12. Sounds like a good plan to me, though before settling on an application strategy, I would recommend talking to your current profs/advisors (the people who do know your work best, already have PhDs, and have probably advised other students in the admissions process before) (I'd also assume these are the people who will be writing your LoR so you'll want them to be familiar with your app strategy and your research interest). Also, identify professors you'd like to work with at the schools where you are applying, ask them what interests they might have in your topic if you are concerned. Some
  13. Hmmm, I feel it would be imprudent to go into more detail of my personal experience with this (as my situation is atypical). I would stress that your level of fit at each school MAY be evaluated based on your writing sample (that is to say that it also may not). This doesn't necessarily mean that you should (in overly simplistic terms) submit a writing sample based on a constructivist approach just because the faculty at the institution of interest tend to favor that approach. Instead, if you notice your methodology or approach differs considerably from the faculty at that institution recon
  14. Different programs have different length expectations. Some ask for 15-20 pages (or two shorter papers if you don't have anything that long), some ask for no more than 6 pages. For the programs with longer requirements, I used a seminar paper that was sort of okay in my opinion (good, not great) because it was the most recent, I didn't have enough of my thesis written to use chapters from that, and one of my recommenders encouraged me to use it. For programs with shorter requirements, I used my (then) crappy thesis introduction - funny enough this got me the best reaction (they specifically
  15. I don't exactly what your background is brandnewtothis, but I would caution you to be careful before condemning yourself to retail. Have you considered looking for a research job? You might just be looking at spreadsheets or running reg y x, but that doesn't mean it can't open the door for better things. A friend of mine (with a humanities degree) took a job in social science research for two years, while doing so she found a prof at nearby (and highly ranked) university who was doing research closely related to her 9-to-5 work, she contacted him, discussed the possibility of grad school a
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