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polisci12345

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polisci12345 last won the day on June 23 2013

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About polisci12345

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  1. Quite a few departments (such as my own) have no TA or RA requirements, but if you don't do either, you won't get paid. If you are funded from something outside (such as the military), you can forgo the department money and not have to spend time doing any TA or RA work.
  2. If you want to work in a think tank or NGO, work in a think tank or NGO. You don't need a PhD to do that and 5+ years in a PhD program is probably not worth the opportunity cost given your ambitions. My general grad school advice is: grad school is not the time to find yourself. Figure out what you want to do. Its way better to take an extra year or two off and figure it out than to go to finish graduate school and realize you went to the wrong one which is a really expensive mistake to make. If what you want to do requires a graduate degree to do it, then pick the best type of program (th
  3. Your numbers look fine. Don't sweat the GPA. Keep doing research and take as much math/stats/computer science/econometrics/whatever-technical-thing-you-find-the-most-compelling as you can. Whatever you want to do, calculus, linear algebra and probability theory are going to be foundational. American politics is getting pretty methods-heavy. Even the least methodsy Americanists have to at least be fluent enough to know what their colleagues are doing. Your substantive interests are nice and mainstream, so you should have people to work with in almost any top department. Not everywhere is go
  4. I'd say advisor is probably more important than prestige of program but they can be hard to disentangle at some point because a program that is rich with well connected advisors who place well will also have a high ranking.
  5. I frequently beat this drum but academic calendars. Stanford is on quarters and is back in session in early January. Harvard has a long interterm and doesn't fire up until the tail end of January. Many faculty use the 6 weeks to do work that requires travel. The month head start pretty much explains the gap. Yale starts middle of the month. It's not a scheme, it's just logistics of committee work that can't start until everyone is there.
  6. I recommend a pair of these to go with the tuxedo t-shirt to show that your groin is just as classy as the rest of you
  7. I recommend a tuxedo t-shirt because it says "I'm taking this seriously and am a classy individual" but it also says "I'm here to party"
  8. This sounds almost identical to my experience. I got off the phone (also with Cindy Kam) and knew I had blown it. A couple of years later, and everything basically worked out as well as it could so its fun(ny) to look back on just how badly I screwed that one up. Comedy = Tragedy + Time. My advice would be mostly similar to B1G's. The one thing I'd add is to spend some time thinking about that program and why you really want to be there. I am pretty sure I got dinged for not being convincing enough on that. I was told about their strong yields and managed not to take the hint that this was
  9. My guess is that everyone will roll in Wednesday night and there will be a happy hour and a dinner either with the faculty or grad students. The guts of Thursday will be 1-on-1 meetings with faculty you might be interested in working with. They will try to get everyone scheduled for 3 or 4 of those, plus there will be some other things like a campus tour or presentations by different research centers to show off the resources of the department with another dinner with either faculty or grad students (whomever you didn't have dinner with the night before). Friday morning there will be some coff
  10. If you want some idea about when you can expect to hear, my first tip would be to check the school's academic calendar. If the semester hasn't started, it is unlikely that committees are meeting. For places with a longer winter break, that is one of the peak times for productivity because of the lack of class and administrative work. I have no special information, but I would be astonished if Columbia was making offers by the end of January. They don't start their spring term until the 21st and and offers come through GSAS which means they have to get from the admissions committee through any
  11. That looks a lot better. I wouldn't worry too much about 500 being a hard limit, but I also don't mind taking liberties with rules that I think are arbitrary, ymmv. Though I don't know if you've hit your application deadlines yet or not, but if you want to continue to work on it there are still a few loose thoughts I'd think about cleaning up. Much stronger opening. Though I would still change the end a bit. You are talking about studying what goes on in social media, not making a pitch for why you should be participating in it. I would end it with something more like: "...America
  12. With the caveat that I am a grad student who has only limited idea of what goes on inside admissions committees, this seems like at best an extremely high variance message to convey in an SOP. The people you are writing this for have made a career out of publishing in political science journals and are looking for the next generation of scholars. Some may read this the way you intend, but a lot will definitely read this and go "She has no idea what academia is about" My biggest problem in general is a lack of specificity about political science. Every time you approached the parts that I w
  13. I'll add that once admitted, social policy students are basically indistinguishable from other government students. There are a couple of required classes (taken with the sociology and social policy students) and some minor differences about generals and funding sources but thats pretty much it. The placements have been successful with obvious small sample size caveats http://www.hks.harvard.edu/socialpol/students/alumni.htm
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