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adaptations

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adaptations last won the day on November 9 2010

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    Political Science Ph.D.

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  1. Expanding on choachrjc's theme, don't be a jerk to your hosts. If you're going to a visit where you'll be staying with current students, you should make sure to communicate with them when you plan on arriving/departing and remember that they are probably busy studying for comps, preparing lesson plans, or getting ready for the next conference. I'm sure they're excited to host and they have a wealth of information to share, so try to start off on the right foot with them.
  2. There is nothing wrong with doing the calculation yourself, and some schools will specifically ask for it, in which case you are expected to calculate it (if your school didn't). It's beside the point, but in my opinion you should be proud of your GPA - a 3.5 with a double major in econ. is quite respectable. That said, I would not add anything to your transcript. If you are compelled to include this information, I would add it elsewhere in your application, but I wouldn't do anything that could appear to be tampering with a transcript. Good luck. -adapt
  3. Don't worry about this at all. Schools are used to seeing GRE reports where percentiles shift. As long as you're reporting the percentiles ETS gave you (either the old or current ones), you're doing the best you can to honestly report, and there won't be any issues.
  4. Assuming you are committed to going into a PhD program, then my recommendation would be to apply now. The biggest reason is that your application won't change drastically in the next year, and since your application has a notable weakness (undergrad grades) you're probably better off having two cycles to apply (this year, and then if it doesn't go well you can apply again in a year). More specifically,the addition of the article published in your school's journal will have a marginal effect on the strength of your application and time away from academia after your MPP will not change your application. The additional semester of grades may help convince a committee that you're a strong student, but your first year of courses should do a reasonable job of signaling that. Your application will probably hinge on LORs and SOP, so as long as those are strong, there isn't much draw back in applying now (other than the cost of applications). Best of luck, adapt
  5. Hi MyUsername123, With your GPA and experience there is no question that you will be a strong candidate for Masters programs. While it is true that some programs place a higher value on work experience than others, you'll be in the running for most of them. As you know, there are a variety of places where you can complete a masters in IR and, I don't mean to be rude, but it's probably best for you to just research them and see what sounds appealing to your specific interests, financial constraints, etc. Good luck,
  6. From the administrators I've talked to, my perception is that when a department knows you'll be applying, which is assumed when they receive your score reports, LORs, application, etc, then they will start your file (either manually, or they have an electronic system that does it). You are always allowed to email and ask if your scores or materials were received, but that doesn't mean you'll get a response. Some schools are better about updating information online and responding to student inquiries, other school don't do much of either.
  7. Administrators will not forget that you submitted a score report. All of this is managed on a pretty large scale, and as soon as the score report comes in your file will be started (if it isn't already active). Once you have your list of schools, it doesn't hurt to send the reports early. Good luck!
  8. There is really no use stressing over your GPA, given that you have the GPA you have and you can't change it. I would not go out of your way to use space in your SOP to explain your graduate GPA (which isn't bad, it's just not as good as your undergrad GPA). Instead, focus on your SOP and writing sample, and make sure the faculty who you select for LORs will write truly great letters. You should have at least one or two of your letters from your graduate program and then you could reuse one or two letters from undergrad (If possible I think it would be better to have at least two letters from your graduate profs, but most importantly, make sure those faculty will write great letters). Assuming the letters are truly great and you've improved your SOP and writing sample, I would expect that you'll be competitive and can hopefully have better results than two years ago. Good luck!
  9. I think you'll be competitive, so long as the faculty who write your letters write truly strong letters (don't just ask them because they are tenured, pick them because they are the professors who know you best and can write great letters). Your verbal score is still in the 90th percentile, so that will be fine, and if the letters and writing sample are strong most departments will overlook a 4.0 AW score. That being said, given the extremely competitive (and somewhat random) nature of the process, I would recommend adding more schools to your list if you can afford to apply to them and you would be interested in attending them. Given the list of schools you provided, I have a strong suspicion there are more schools with faculty in your research area that could be added to your list (both top-ranked and middle/lower ranked schools). Best of luck, adapt
  10. Greetings visgiven. I understand you're trying to get a better sense of your chances, but posting one or two pieces of information doesn't really help much in predicting your chances. Your GPA is only one component of the application process. There are people admitted to top 20 departments with 3.5 GPAs and there are people who get rejected from departments ranked 50-70 with the same GPA. Your letters of recommendation, SOP, GRE scores, and writing sample will be very important. If the other components of your application are very strong, you could get in anywhere. If other components of your application are good, but not great, or just mediocre, then you'll have a hard time getting in to top programs and probably some that are lower ranked as well. I'm sorry to say that given what info you've provided, there is just too little information to help predict your chances. Best of luck.
  11. pacifists, Given your credentials, you will be a strong candidate for PhD programs. Coming from Chicago, your GPA will be viewed as very strong and you will presumably have letters from well known faculty, so you should be in good shape. If you reach the decision and are certain that a PhD is right for you, then I would apply directly. That said, if you are unsure about whether you want to earn a PhD, it can be very valuable to get experience outside of academia. The huge investment in a PhD is probably not worth it unless you are certain that it is exactly what you want to be doing. Working outside of academia can help give you a sense of what the outside options are. For some people, this affirms their desire to earn a PhD and for others it opens their eyes to a world of other opportunities that may be more appealing than academia. Another option that you might consider (if it's not too late) is doing the joint CIR MA with your undergrad work at Chicago. I know a few people did this when I was there, and it allowed them to participate in more graduate level courses and seminars (PISP, PIPES, etc). If you take advantage of these opportunities, you will have a pretty good idea of what a graduate program will be like, which should help you make your decision. Best of luck, adapt
  12. A point of advice for future applicants. One thing I would recommend is that you don't eliminate schools due to a lack of contact prior to applying/being admitted. While MarketMan is correct in pointing out that a pre-established relationship with faculty might be an advantage(this is likely to depend on the school and their admissions process), it certainly isn't required. At some schools the DGS may not be on the admissions committee, faculty may be overwhelmed with immediate work or on leave and so you might not hear back from them (you might be surprised how many hopeful students email before/during applying and it doesn't necessarily mean anything bad if the faculty doesn't respond), or for a multitude of other reasons early contact might not help. (I am not saying early contact cannot help you, just that I don't think a lack of it is a good reason to eliminate applying somewhere where you otherwise would like to apply).
  13. Congratulations to everyone who has, or will have, options from which to choose. I'm sure there will be lots of suggestions regarding the best questions to ask, things to look for, etc during your visits, but I'd like to add an additional piece of advice. I don't think the value of visits can be overstated, so my recommendation is to visit quite a few places (if you're lucky enough to be invited). It is easy to jump to the conclusion that you will go to school XXXXX (your dream school), and indeed that might be the end result. But visiting schools YYYYYY, ZZZZZ,....., will not only help you be more confident in your decision, but will also allow you to meet and network with faculty in your field, hear different perspectives on the process, and meet your future colleagues. So, even if you're very excited about school XXXXX, I think there is much to be gained by visiting other programs. (If you do this, it's important to keep an open mind and be genuinely interested in and considering the school you're visiting. Nobody appreciates the obnoxious prospective student who isn't actually interested in the school they are visiting and advertises to everyone that they are probably going to school XXXXX instead).
  14. It's been a long time coming. I don't think any post this cycle has made me smile more. CONGRATULATIONS - very much deserved!
  15. Please calm yourself down and breath deeply. This happens all the time and is NOT a problem. As you said, you already have confirmation from the school they received the letter so you're fine (Also, your file will still be reviewed even if it was missing one letter). Of course, it doesn't hurt to follow up with the graduate office (as I am sure you won't fully relax until they say everything is fine), but don't worry about this, it's not a big deal, and certainly not a deal breaker (even if the letter were to be missing). Cheers,
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