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Everything posted by rwillh11

  1. I would think you would have a shot at all of those higher ranked places you listed, as long as the faculty fit is good. There is obviously a tradeoff when applying to higher ranked schools, in that you are less likely to get in, but if you want to get a job at the end you really want to go to the best place you can get into. Look at the placement pages for BU and Brown...as I recall BU doesn't even list placements?
  2. Any reason you aren't applying to Oxbridge-is it a bad fit, or just a don't want to? At the MSc level, I would think you would have a very good chance at Oxbridge/LSE. MSc admissions standards are substantially lower than both PhD and undergrad standards. I would disagree with the above that university prestige is less of a thing at post grad level..at least in the social sciences/politics world, where jobs are scare, it really does help to have the right name on your CV. Beyond that, if you do want to do a PhD eventually, it will look great to have gone to a top school for the master's, and y
  3. I don't think it is particularly selective. The big question I would ask, if you are thinking about getting a PhD there, is what do you hope to get out of it? What do you want to do with the degree? The academic job market is super competitive-and there isn't a ton that you can do with a poli sci PhD outside of academia-and the few interesting jobs for PhDs that don't go into academia are likely to go to people from top schools. Fwiw, they don't even have a section detailing job placement after completion, which is standard at pretty much every school. Not saying you shouldn't do a PhD, or sho
  4. your profile is pretty similar to mine, and I ended up getting into my top two choices, and am attending a "top-5". I actually regret not applying to more "top" schools-I think I would have ended up where I ended up even if I had applied and been accepted to all the top schools, but I definitely undersold myself when I was applying. The only thing I had that you don't was a 170/170 on the GRE, but I have no idea how much that matters. My advice would be, sure apply to a few top 50, but if you are going to apply to 10 programs, maybe 3-5 top 10, 3-4 10-25, and a few "safety" if need be. Fit rea
  5. Usually these fund too, because you can establish residency after 1 year. It is more of an issue for international students. Maybe not all the UC Schools do, but the 'good' ones do.
  6. Brendan O'Leary at UPenn might be someone to look at. Sumantra Bose at the LSE is another one if you would look outside of the US.
  7. This. I got a master's, did the above, and got into all of my top choices. Pretty certain I wouldn't have gotten into those schools w/o the master's.
  8. to second what the last poster said, you should shoot high, and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you only apply to McGill and UT, those are good Canadian schools but the fact of the matter is any top-20 (maybe even 25-30?) US school is probably going to be a better bet for job market in the future.
  9. Pending GRE, you should be reasonably competitive anywhere. I wouldn't say any of those "special" courses are special, but IQMR could help if its relevant to what you want to reserach. What will determine where you should apply is what you are interested in researching, as if you are a strong fit at a department, you should have a good shot at admission.
  10. From your post its not clear if you want to do the Political Theory subfield, or if instead you plan on carrying out empirical research that is less quantitatively oriented. If it is the former, I can't imagine that your quant matters much, but if it is the latter then I think to get into a top program you would need to send some kind of signal that you can do math, either by finding a way to take math classes (some of my calc was done at a community college, it was ~$600 a course) or by acing the quant GRE.
  11. Can...but even to get a non-adjunct position at a community college, don't use usually need a PhD? Or at least, won't most applicants have one?
  12. What is your goal for doing an MA? What kind of career do you envision yourself having after you do one. I am sure that there is an MA program somewhere that will take you with that kind of GPA, but I doubt too many people here know very much about the specifics of getting one in Ontario. I think the most important question is what is your motivation for pursuing an MA
  13. If you have a compelling research interest and SOP, do well on the GRE and really do have good letters, I don't think those GPAs are poor enough to make it impossible. As far as doing one in the UK-are you an EU citizen? If not, funding is almost impossible to get (The LSE funds, and sometimes you can get scholarships at Oxbridge). I'm fairly confident (not 100%) that there is little to no funding for foreigners at the SOAS or Aberswyth. You should really weight the pros and cons of going after a PhD from a decent, but not top-tier program. What do you see yourself doing with a PhD?
  14. PROFILE: Type of Undergrad Institution: Mid-Tier Private Major(s)/Minor(s):Political Science Undergrad GPA:3.9 Type of Grad: Master's in Poli Sci from Top-3 UK Grad GPA: Distinction (4.0?), Won prize for top overall grades in program GRE:170 V/ 170 Q/ 5.5 W Any Special Courses: Game Theory, 1 grad Quant Class (mostly regression techniques) Letters of Recommendation: 3 Political Scientists-1 from UG 2 from Master's Research Experience: RA as UG, Won award for Best Master's Thesis Teaching Experience: a TFA type thing for a year Subfield/Research Interests: Comparative, Europe, Par
  15. Oh right....you should be naming faculty (at least 2 I would say) who you would like to work with. But it seems less important to have a specific POI who you will work with, due to the nature of the discipline (you won't be working in someone's lab or generally jumping right on a research project). I would always name people whose work interests me, and meshes with mine-but I think in general decisions are not made by one person, and it is more about showing a general departmental fit, not targeting one person to work with.
  16. Seconding this. Especially the bold...its not fair, but it is what it is. There are far fewer spots than there are qualified candidates.
  17. I would say Top-10 is just out. IF you can bring your GRE way up, and have excellent letters, writing sample and a compelling statement of purpose, then maybe you have a chance at something top 25...its certainly worth applying. I think professional master's programs are viewed as super easy, and a 4.0 would be viewed as the norm, rather than exceptional. That said, if you do really good work, and write a great thesis maybe it makes a difference. Right now you have two glaring red flags...the GPA and the GRE. You cant fix the GPA-it probably disqualifies you from top 10-15 programs. The GRE i
  18. Since you laid out 4 questions, I will give answers to each. Keep in mind that I am by no means an expert-I've just gone through this process and so hopefully I have some insight, but don't take my word as the truth....its biased from my own experience. 1. Very concerned. For some schools, your UG GPA will be below the funding threshold, which will make it hard to admit you. It is also low enough that I would imagine it disqualifies you, by itself, from many "top-top" programs. For some programs, you may be able to explain it away by highlighting your MA + your general improvement as an under
  19. Oh-a final thought. You seem to have the kind of profile that could apply from undergrad, if you have a good idea what you want to study and who you want to study it with. If you don't-then definitely do the master's. I'm super glad I did mine, it made me a much better candidate. But it does add an extra hurdlle-and with the schools you are aiming for, you will want to make sure to be one of, if not the, top student(s) in your program. Make sure your thesis is awesome. Especially in London, there will be a ton of temptation to slack off, but make sure you put the effort in. If you end up in t
  20. Curious why you are going the UCL route? Is your undergrad from the UK? A master's in public policy is interesting, but if you want to do that, make sure you take some quant methods courses. If you happen to gain acceptance to the LSE (which I would think you should with that GPA, but maybe the political economy stream is more competitive than the stream I was in *comparative*), I would strongly recommend you do LSE over UCL, both for name recognition and also because PE is going to look better than public policy, and should get you some really solid methods training and exposure to literature
  21. What do you want to study? At this tier, schools are pretty specialized, so for example, are there particular professors you are interested in at each program?
  22. If you haven't done calc before, the courses from Ohio State on Coursera are pretty good, and then the UPenn one on the same site is good for a bit more of a challenge.
  23. A few things from my experience applying this year: 1-You don't need a "POI" for political science-but you do need to make clear how you fit into a department. Since this is social science-you are not going to be working in someone's lab, you are going to be doing your own research. At the top programs I was accepted at (which includes Princeton), I didn't have a specific faculty member I targeted, but I did mention how my work would fit in with the work of several different faculty members, as well as with any other specific factors about the department. 2-I came from a low ranked undergra
  24. I don't think doing stats will matter much, there aren't a ton of stats questions, and the few that are on the exam are very basic. It's mostly going back and reviewing algebra and geometry that you haven't seen in years. I took it twice, and the second time I got a book, studied, and took it very seriously and my quant went up 10 points.
  25. If you don't get funding-don't go. Not worth taking out debt, especially from a lower ranked school. If you do get funding, maybe go. It depends what your goals are. If you would be OK working at a lower-ranked, non research university, or even a community college, you can go for it. Or if you have some other plan that seems achievable. However, if you are doing this because you really want to work as a TT professor doing research at a PhD granting institution after you graduate, no, it is not worth it. Every once in a while, a school from that tier will place a TT professor at a research univ
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