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Everything posted by PoliSwede

  1. Top 100? I don't feel like that should be a problem. I'll say two additional things. First, I don't know much about British GPAs (nothing at all really). I'm not sure how they look at those in the applications process. But yes, the general idea is that low GPAs hurt your application and that it doesn't work to your advantage. Second, what you should remember is that your GPA is only part of your application. You have other pieces like your personal statement, GRE, research ideas/proposals, letters of recommendations and so on. As a general advice, you should attempt to make up for
  2. I believe we had one faculty member last year who stated that he could use the signature blocks (where some users put the programs they applied to) and identify some of the posters. I might be remembering it wrong though.
  3. The hardest thing for international students, I believe, is that we don't have any credit history in the US when we initially go. In order to build up credit in the US I got a secured card with Capital One and then I graduated to another card.
  4. I finished my MA and got a new I-20 from my PhD institution. I understand that it works exactly as you explained. I guess we'll see in the fall when I try to enter the US again!
  5. I was going to come here and make this point. While this isn't the case for everyone (there is that occasional star that probably can get a US-job with a PhD from Asia) it does make it harder for you to market yourself in the US (and I assume Europe). Studying in Europe or the US, learning methods and how the discipline works, coupled with extensive field research in Asia might be a better option.
  6. You're talking about a program that you would apply to, right? In the scenario you describe, I'd look for other programs.
  7. I'm of a slightly different perspective than the previous posters (or maybe i misunderstood what they were saying). For your research interest, and your SOP, the most important thing is that you send clear signals to the AdComs regarding your goal with the PhD. They want to see that you have thought through a particular subject, that you're able to critique current research and/or pose original ideas that can be part of your research agenda. In my own case, I believe that I was too vague with specifying exactly what I wanted to do research on and what type of questions that interest me. Be
  8. It is my understanding that in general people who have been in graduate school (either a PhD-program or a MA) should highlight that that in their application to a PhD program. It signals that the student knows what graduate school is about, that they've (hopefully!) started to develop a research agenda, know that they actually want a PhD, etc. As a transfer student I'd point out that you have experience from graduate school, but I would also say something about why you are applying to this other program. Is it because of fit and research interests? Job prospects? Personal issues? And so fo
  9. It is my understanding that theory is the subfield in which there are fewer and fewer job openings. Most departments seem to keep very few theorists on the faculty (simply having one is not uncommon). From this perspective it makes sense that few theorists are admitted.
  10. In addition to reading books, I suggest that you look up some of the big names in a database like ISI, Proquest or Jstor. Find their most cited works, read them, and snowball from there if you find them interesting. This is a great way to collect articles/literature on topics that you find interesting. Pay attention to the number of cites since that gives you a hint of how much of an impact a specific work has had.
  11. What happened to your font? Quantum Buckyball (even though he might be a chemist!) is also right about applying to more than one program. As for your application as whole, your GRE scores aren't bad at all. They should make you very competitive. That one part of your application might be lacking is something that you easily should be able to overcome and shouldn't discourage your from applying to a broad range of programs. Put time into your personal statement, get good letter writers, and select programs with a good fit and you'll have all the chances in the world to get in. Best of l
  12. Have you looked into if the programs cooperate with other programs? For example, some programs will join together and have faculty at the different schools teach students at all of them. This way all the students at these programs are able to get training from really, really good people in the field who are experts at what they do.
  13. I think that the advice from NBM is largely right. However, from my interaction with AdCom's I have the impression that it is better to be more specific than not. That's because they'll want to see that you've actually thought about the subject, can pose questions/problems, and know what you're getting yourself into. And while I guess that it is obvious, you definitely should make a different SOP for each program that you apply to.
  14. This is in Canada? Are cohorts smaller there?
  15. Ugh, didn't see this until now. Will be returning to the states in the fall but I should have all the necessary documents (and more) with me. Hopefully there won't be any issues.
  16. My incoming cohort has 10 people. It is my impression that somewhere between 8-15 tends to be the norm for most programs. Although there are some, like Emory, who take even fewer.
  17. Oh, and most (all?) PhD programs will also have you complete a MA along the way. I don't know if there are any exceptions to it but maybe someone else does.
  18. It depends a bit on where you think you would be able to get in without doing the MA. Personally the MA helped me tremendously in preparing for academia and figuring out exactly what it's all about. I also made connections with my professors, who then became letter writers, that I never was able to achieve as an undergraduate. If you can do the MA without having to take out any more loans (or a very minimal amount) and you think that it will strengthen your application significantly, I'd go for that option. On the other hand, if you think that you already can get admission to a good P
  19. I'm not sure this is a question on which other people are going to be able to help you out a lot. First, if you're a current applicant I wouldn't worry about C. That's not going to be one of your immediate concerns. You might have an idea about what your dissertation is going to be on when you apply and you might not. If you do, it's likely to change. Don't worry about it. For the other two parts you really need to sit down and think for yourself about what subjects that interest you the most and on which you believe that you will be able to make a contribution in the field. Sometimes
  20. Anything is! Seriously though. I've been to Helsingfors three times and it rained on me every single time.
  21. I received the advice that if you have two schools/programs that are comparable, pick the one that offers more funding.
  22. A few programs that you might want to look into when it comes to war (Note, I do not know how good these programs/scholars are at formal modeling): University of Iowa might be at the upper end of the "50-70" spectrum. However, I think that they have a decent group of people specializing in IR and conflict. I've only heard good things about Sarah Mitchell, Kelly Kadera and Cameron Thies (Although I think Thies is moving in the summer/fall). University of South Carolina boasts Katherine Barbieri, one of the most vocal critics against the liberal peace through trade argument. They also
  23. Forget possible. I'd say that it's more likely. But GPA isn't that relevant in grad school. You only need to be good enough!
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