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Everything posted by slacktivist

  1. Washington's funding situation is horrible. If you have outside funding or help from your family, then it's doable. When I applied to PhD programs out of undergrad, one of my letter writers was a UW PhD and he recommended against applying, even though my research fit well with the department.
  2. Yes! I just got into Michigan with your profile. Undergraduate GPA was slightly higher, but I didn't have a publication. The GRE will be important, but if you can get good scores and communicate your research agenda well in your statement of purpose, you should be competitive. The publication and references should make your application stick out. EDITED TO ADD: Also, research fit matters a lot!
  3. PROFILE Type of Undergrad Institution: Community college, M.A.-granting university ranked around 60th in its region by U.S. News Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science Undergrad GPA: 3.3 Type of Grad: M.A. from a U.S. News top-50 Ph.D. program Grad GPA: 3.6 GRE: V: 169 Q: 160 AW: 4.0 Letters of Recommendation: Two from undergraduate advisors, one from M.A. professor Research Experience: One semester as undergraduate R.A. Teaching Experience: One semester as T.A., one semester as grader Subfield/Research Interests: American politics Other: Multiple conference presentations, undergraduate schola
  4. Awesome! Look forward to consulting your methods chops to improve my research.
  5. I'll be attending Michigan this fall! Unbelievable.
  6. I've declined my Illinois offer. I hope that helps out someone here!
  7. Well, there's your decision, mate. The stipend might be tough, but that's an outstanding program.
  8. This discussion indicates one of the hidden costs of going to a lower-ranked program: they tend to have fewer people to work with. If one faculty member leaves or you can't work with someone for whatever reason, it makes the dissertation that much harder to write.
  9. I can't be any more specific than this, but don't expect McDermott to stay past next year.
  10. This is unnecessarily harsh and condescending. Darth has a case of the nerves about this offer, understandably so since it's his dream school. If fellow applicants aren't allowed to express their hopes/dreams/fears/etc. with each other on this anonymous message board, then what the hell good is it? I also think you're reading too much into Darth's posts to assume he's dissatisfied with his offer in hand. If anything, I wouldn't want to work with someone who is openly judgmental of others because they expressed feelings that do not harm anyone else.
  11. Email the programs you applied to and ask why they rejected you. Though they are legally barred from sharing what is in your letters of recommendation, they should be able to give you a good idea of how to improve your application file. Also, given how competitive graduate admissions are, you could simply reapply the next year and have more success. There is little to separate those who are admitted and those who are rejected. Sometimes, the line between admission and rejection is a matter of luck.
  12. I negotiated my funding offer when I started grad school and can speak to this point from Prof. Nooruddin. Programs are not inclined to move on the base stipend amount. Also, if you've signaled that a program is your top choice, they will not consider it a credible "threat" for you to choose a lesser program over a small sum of money. However, you can request something like summer funding or a semester of fellowship. I even managed to negotiate the latter at a place where I got in off the wait list. If you're thinking about negotiating, you could ask current and recent grad students abou
  13. I hear you. I'm also on the wait list at Michigan for American politics. What I heard from UM is that they should know more at the end of the month, which will be a week after their admitted students visit. I'm pretty relaxed, though. If it doesn't pan out, I'm lucky to have a good offer from an established top-25 program that is best known for my specific research area. This would be a nice clearinghouse thread for wait list changes.
  14. Another thing to consider about rankings: with very few exceptions, they are incredibly sticky. I didn't have much of an idea why until I spoke with a senior professor at another university about my possible options. He was concerned about a program due to its recent losses. The main person he brought up left in 2004. A lot of senior faculty—faculty who serve on search committees—simply aren't plugged into what's happening on the personnel side of the discipline. If a school promises X new hires in the next few years you are in their program, it will take a long time before the program is
  15. "Wasting your time" seems like a strong statement, but if you're looking to be employed in academia after graduate school, you're really limiting your options about where you can go and what kind of jobs you could get by ruling out using quantitative tools to study politics. For instance, a program like the politics department at New School seems like a good fit for your stated approach to studying politics. However, they have only placed one PhD in the last five years in a tenure-track position at an American research university. (To put that in greater perspective, the department also li
  16. Withdrew from the Texas wait list and declined my Merced offer. Hope that helps someone out!
  17. I'm just happy when academics remember to wear pants.
  18. I haven't committed anywhere, but I've become sure I wouldn't choose Pittsburgh over Illinois (EDITED — brain fart).
  19. Withdrew from the Pittsburgh wait list. Hopefully, that helps someone out.
  20. Pitt emailed me about two weeks ago. I'll be withdrawing from the waitlist, though. Are you visiting Texas or Merced?
  21. Still waiting on Northwestern (informal waitlist?) and Penn (waitlist/rejection). Penn grad coordinator said that decisions would be out by Friday. Georgetown might not have even looked at my application because I missed one semester of my transcripts, and it turns out my main professor of interest is moving next year.
  22. UCLA is about the only top program I can think of that doesn't offer funding to all admitted students.
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