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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Political Science (Comparative, LatAm)

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VMcJ's Achievements


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  1. No, I got into other four programs. Eventually I decided for Ohio State and will be there next week.
  2. I think you might have a strong chance in all of these programs. I was accepted at Austin with a decidedly less-impressive profile, but with a really strong fit. And fit matters more than almost anything combined when programs are on the fence.
  3. It is possible in some programs. OSU's program offers even Formal Theory as a second major, for example (although the minor route is probably way more common and the major route involves taking courses outside the department).
  4. First of all: don't freak out too much on GRE scores. Many people have been admitted even to Top10 programs with GRE scores not that great. Anything like 160 on both parts is good enough for almost everywhere. The same goes to your GPA: not stellar, but you don't need to be dragged by it. Second: although Georgetown is definitely a good program (I applied last cycle, unsuccessfully), I think you should consider applying to other programs related to your academic interests. It's not good to have only one option. Third and most importantly: focus on your SOP and your letters of recommendation. They are by far the best indicator you can provide and the things they will look for most of the time. Fit is important and you need to convey how good an addition you can be to a given department.
  5. Congratulations! To where are you going? I've been excited/anxious for some time now. Work keeps me kind of occupied, but I catch myself thinking about next August at least once every hour.
  6. VMcJ

    Columbus, OH

    Hello, everyone. I'm going to OSU next autumn! Bumping this thread to ask how things are in Columbus by now. No major changes, I guess? Is it possible to find affordable and safe housing or there will be some compromising? (I've been looking into rentals and the vicinity of Indianola Ave seems to be dangerous but cheaper -- while Clintonville and Grandview are nice but tend to be above my price range) And affordable places to eat, are there any or am I stuck with fast-food and cooking at home? (OSU's meal plans are definitely not attractive and restaurants do not seem to be an everyday solution)
  7. Well, for international applicants like myself it is usually easy -- we tend to study our own regions. But I'd think more in terms of research issues instead of regions if I was American.
  8. Today I decided for OSU. I hope this means somebody can get good news from the other programs that accepted me. Still have to hear definitively from Notre Dame, but to assume rejection at this point is better.
  9. I really hope to get gigs like those, but I really don't know how hard it will be to get them. You have to pursue them very actively, I think, and to find them may be more time consuming then effectively doing them, am I right?
  10. @polyscinoob, your graph is very interesting as we can see clearly four tiers: Top 6, Top 20, Top 50, and everyone else, give or take a few. Or "those with more fives than fours", "those with more fours than threes" and so forth.
  11. Here are the US News Rankings in 1995, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 for Political Science (p.13) for Top 20 and some other programs. ( http://web.mit.edu/ir/rankings/USNews_Grad_Rankings_1994-2016.pdf ) As you can notice, in two decades: - Harvard was always 1st; - Princeton worked its way to the Top 3, while Columbia did it to the Top 10 and NYU to the Top 15; - Chicago, as @Comparativist noted, dropped from Top 5 and now is Top 15; - MIT and Duke are very stable in their places as "Top-10-but-too-close-to-15"; - Wisconsin, Rochester and Minnesota have been falling for a while.
  12. Another Brazilian here, and my results are almost identical to @TheWalkingGrad's: eight rejections last cycle, five offers this time around. I'll try to answer point by point, but keep in mind I mostly agree with TheWalkingGrad's assessment and I'm trying to add to what s/he said. 1) It is more difficult, certainly, but not impossible. I studied at USP, but my undergrad was Language Studies and my Master's was Literary Theory, so it was a little more difficult than if I had a social sciences profile. My undergrad GPA was not stellar also. Strong letters of recommendation and focusing on my little, although significant, research experience in the field were vital to overcome this. Two of my recommenders studied in the US, and it certainly helped. 2) Age may be a problem, but you need to frame it as a bonus. For example, you're not likely to take a long time graduating and you are certainly more responsible than the average undergrad. 3) Again, you need to frame your experience as a bonus as well. If it involved research in any way, present it in that light. You need to make the admissions committee sure that you're going to enter the program knowing what is expected from PoliSci research and how to get there. 4) My first approach was in Political Theory and it wasn't a very good one. No wonder I got rejections. Additionally, it is difficult as hell to place theorists. To present your qualitative work is fine, but you need to show you're ready to take all quants and to eventually conduct quantitative research when/if needed. One way to do it is by having a strong GRE Q, another is to have quantitative research experience. I did both and it paid off well (at least two of my offers are from schools that relied on my potential quant skills when selecting me). I don't know about a MA or a MPP; it could be a good strategy for your career. I did not consider it, but I realize some people may get more from it than me. You should definitely consider, provided there's funding for it. On applying only to the tops: it was my thought as well the first time, and I tried some this cycle as well, without success. But I genuinely think the majority of Top 50 schools have more to offer in almost every way than the best in Brazil. And I heard similar thoughts from faculty on several of those best Brazilian programs. To be fair, I wouldn't trade any of my offers with USP (although, full disclosure, I failed to get into USP last year as well. Yeah, 2016 was not a good year for me). It is a very good program, but the center of PoliSci is the United States and the training (especially quantitative) is without comparison. So I think you should reconsider some schools between Top11 and Top50, especially if they have a history in selecting Brazilians and Latin Americans (something all my five offers have in common and most of my other tries have as well).
  13. I think it only makes a real difference if you're comparing Top10s. E.g. Stanford is better than Yale overall but inferior in PT. And speaking of Notre Dame, I'd like to wrap things up with them and Maryland, but apparently I'll need to write to get that.
  14. I'd be more skeptic even about a MPP or MPA. For political activism, especially in a non-developed country, the best to do is to get a law degree and do lots of community work. It will pay off way better than building a fancy theory on how the State functions, for example.
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