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BunniesInSpace last won the day on June 11

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  1. BunniesInSpace

    Help gauging competitiveness for PhD in IR/Poli Sci?

    Here's my two cents on everything here: 1. First, a 3.7 is ok. People on admissions committees are familiar enough with the UK grading system to not get their panties in twist when they see something like what I presume is upper second class honors. One chart I saw (from a different school) made it look like about 20% of students got a better grade, which is like, not the greatest but not the best. Clearly it means you're competent and stuff, but it doesn't scream "academic superstar". That being said, some of the smartest people I know don't have the best GPAs, and people are aware of that. It won't carry you, but maybe aside from Harvard or Stanford, won't sink you either, especially because it's in a different field. Plenty of ivy league near-4.0 types apply to top political science programs though, so the chances that a 3.7 will be seen as as a plus are very slim. 2. If you go to USC and get an MPA with a GPA over 3.8, that will probably be a good thing. Recs from economists or political scientists who teach in the program will be very very good. It's not the most efficient way to end up in a political science PhD program, but I don't think it's really the worst thing to do because you'll be exposed to a lot of a fair amount of government-related research. Also it's probably much better than doing nothing. 3. I wouldn't value an MA in Political science (or the UChicago cash cow MAs) over a top MPA/MPP. Most programs that offer political science MAs are either not that great of programs in general, or treat their MAs as cash cows (Duke, NYU, Chicago without scholarship), and committees know that. The bonus of an MPA/MPP is if you decide you like what's going on in it, you'll have employment prospects when you get the degree. 4. It is my opinion that if you go to USC and do well (3.8+ (but higher the better), very good recs, some kind of research experience), you can be in a good place to apply to PhD programs in the caliber that you want to get into. If your goal is Columbia/Stanford/NYU, will be better off doing this than directly applying without it. Bonus points if it makes you better at quantitative work and can write a quantitative writing sample. 5. To agree with someone who posted above, your internship probably will not matter very much unless there's a research component to your work. These internships might have some kind of "cool" factor but ultimately it won't make your application. 6. Your GRE scores, as-is, will get you rejected at all three programs you've mentioned. NYU and Stanford love high quant scorers. NYU loves to brag about being really hardcore with methods -- if you don't believe me read their FAQ. You need to get the quant score up. When I applied to these programs my goal was 165/165 but had decided I would settle for anything over 160/160. I recommend something similar. Is a 156 to 160 is not statistically a significant jump, but 160 seems to be some magical number that a lot of people just equate as "competent enough to read academic papers." The number used to be 700 on the old GRE, which is a much higher percentile. Are these numbers pretty much arbitrary and based off a a stupid "what is ten points beneath a perfect score" rule? Yes. Do people value these stupid magic numbers? Yes. Take a look here to see what kind of GRE/GPAs people who get into these programs have. That being said, GRE scores alone will not get you in. They'll get you rejected though.
  2. BunniesInSpace

    Profile Eval ! Not sure where to apply (PhD)

    Annotations below in bold
  3. The best advice anyone can give you is to do both of the following: 1. Look at departments where you'd like to end up working, look at the CVs of newly hired professors, and see what kind of places they got their PhDs from. 2. Have candid conversations with faculty that have served on hiring committees and get their opinion on it. Ask if it's reasonable to expect an Australian/NZ job if you graduate from your school's PhD program. See if you can find placement statistics on it. Does your professor think the value of an American PhD is that it opens up doors to academia in the US (which aside from a couple universities in Aus/NZ are largely more "prestigious")? Or because American PhDs are generally more sought-after even outside the US? (No idea if either of those two statements are true btw, that's for you to find out) FWIW I see more people from Oxbridge/LSE PhDs than Australian PhDs on American faculty. No idea if that means anything but it's just an observation.
  4. BunniesInSpace

    Searching For Fellow Students Interested In Collaborative Project

    You mean something like this? https://fivethirtyeight.com
  5. BunniesInSpace

    PhD and scholarship prospects

    I'm curious what schools you think it's clear that the GRE is a big deal towards and for what schools it isn't (over other important factors like letters, of course). Having gone through the application process and done the rounds at admitted students day, and having read pretty much every thread here (because of course I'm a neurotic gradcafe type) on admissions results, I haven't formed any opinions on schools that care more or care less about the GRE. I mean of course Stanford and stuff will have higher GRE averages but pretty much everything about the profiles of those getting into H/P/S are going to be superb, but I can't pinpoint any school where I'd tell someone who isn't all around fantastic but has a perfect GRE score "hey, you'd have a good chance here." Also not trying to be too antagonistic, but I think the entire "oh no! we have two candidates that are exactly the same amount of good except one has a higher GRE score and we can only choose one" really never happens. There are so many other factors that are likely more important to the department (such as fit with the department, whether the people you want to work with are retiring before you'd finish the dissertation, the amount of people admitted into each subsubsubfield, whether someone on the adcom owes one of the letter writers a favor, not to mention stuff like writing sample and the letters) that are going to take precedent before they start squinting at GRE scores again. I mean, yeah sure a 160/160 isn't completely ideal and by all means, score higher if possible. Just know that the difference between 160V and 166V actually isn't statistically significant at the 95% level and admissions teams know this My interpretation of the 160/160 is that those are the scores you should at least have to think you have an somewhat realistic chance at a top 6 and to not get cut in the first round because of GRE score. These scores alone are absolutely not sufficient for admission (but neither is a 170/170). 155/155 (but over 320 composite) for the top 15. What I'd personally aim for is 165+/165+ for CHYMPS and about 162+/162+ for other top 15s, but I got into more than one CHYMPS even though I slightly fell short of my personal goal of 165/165. I feel like this distinction between what's good enough vs. what's ideal is probably what the two of us are disagreeing about when we define adequate scores.
  6. BunniesInSpace

    PhD and scholarship prospects

    Lmao at the NYU 90th percentile comment on their website. There's very little reason to believe that they only admit people with Q166s or higher (or make very few exceptions for people with under 166s). Take a look at this data which was scraped from the gradcafe results section: https://imgur.com/a/EuNTB . Obviously not a perfect sample but I believe that gradcafe skews neurotic (by this I mean more people who are obsessive about controllable factors GRE scores and GPA and subsequently have higher GRE and GPA than the overall pool). In fact, there is very strong reason to believe that these statistics skew high: looking at the verbal scores there's pretty much no way that the median verbal score for an admitted applicant is in the 97th percentile. For NYU the reported median Q for admitted students is 164, meaning half (likely more because of aforementioned skewing) of all admitted students are scoring below the 90th. Of enrolled students, that number is probably going to be lower as NYU loses a lot of the top students to CHYMPS. Same deal with Columbia. Even if you're not a fan of my somewhat-corrected statistics, we can look at some real data too. Duke (ranked higher than NYU and similar to Columbia) has theirs here: https://gradschool.duke.edu/about/statistics/political-science-phd-admissions-and-enrollment-statistics Q GRE of entering student around 160 I'm not trying to advocate in favor of aiming for a 160/160 and then quitting. By all means, everyone should put in a decent amount of effort to get the best score they can get. But if someone has given it their all and is hitting a wall at something like 163/163 or 161/166 or whatever, trying to get over that wall is going to be a waste of time. No one gets admitted on GRE scores alone -- from what I've seen, it's mostly used as a competency threshold. Talking about the GREs this much probably makes it seem like a much bigger part of the application process than it really plays. I'm a firm believer in the idea that the best applicants tend to have high GRE scores, instead of the idea that high GRE scores are what make an applicant good. GRE scores will never get you into a program, they'll only disqualify you, and the bar for disqualification based on GRE scores is lower than we probably think. The most make-or-break factor is going to be the letters or the statement of purpose. Also the Stanford website never calls those numbers averages (nor does it call it any name denoting central tendency) and I don't believe it would be wise to treat them as such. The way they phrase it on the website makes it almost sound like those are minimums, which they absolutely are not, because literally all three of the people who reported accepted results on the gradcafe results page this year had at least one GRE aspect lower than what Stanford published. Anyways, in 2004-2006 the NRC collected GRE Q score data on political science programs. Here's the results: Institution Name Average GRE Scores, 2004-2006 Corresponding New GRE STANFORD UNIVERSITY 774.884 162 HARVARD UNIVERSITY 758.5 160 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY 757.576 160 YALE UNIVERSITY 753.208 159 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 739.4 158 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SAN DIEGO 738.71 158 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY 729.333 157 DUKE UNIVERSITY 728.936 157 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 725.806 157 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES 721.429 156 UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER 719.524 156 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS 719.5 156 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-ANN ARBOR 718.302 156 OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MAIN CAMPUS 718.116 156 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK 717.019 156 STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT STONY BROOK 713.462 155 CORNELL UNIVERSITY 711.029 155 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON 710.213 155 GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY 708.864 155 RICE UNIVERSITY 707.895 155 BOSTON COLLEGE 705.333 155 Have things shifted in the last 15 years? Of course. Everything is more quant-driven now. A lot of programs have made their cohorts smaller. Admissions might be a little more competitive. But at the heart of it, even if every school increased its average Q GRE by three points (like Duke did), a low 160s would make you pretty much average anywhere that's not Stanford.
  7. BunniesInSpace

    PhD Profile Eval-- Where should I look?

    Controversial opinion: Honestly if I see someone with an A in calculus or higher level stats (no, stats 101 doesn't count as real quantitative training) and a 152Q, I devalue their entire GPA because their college clearly wasn't rigorous enough. The handle on algebra that one should have to succeed in at the AP Calculus level will yield them a score in the 160s or high 150s at the very least. Top schools aren't looking for reasons to accept you. They're looking for reasons to reject you.
  8. BunniesInSpace

    Help with MA Course Selection/PhD Application Profile

    I don't think anyone can make this decision for you. It depends on how much you love PT. I hate PT so it's easy for me to say that the logical thing to do if you want to get an R1 TT job is to go into PE or IR, and do theory on the side, as like your secondary subfield. Any job in PT is hard enough to get, let alone an R1. I'd say take a good mix of courses at Chicago, and try hard in all of them. Let your best paper be your writing sample and just apply to whatever subfield that's in. You don't have to truly commit to a subfield yet, people change subfields all the time in grad school.
  9. BunniesInSpace

    PhD and scholarship prospects

    I mostly agree, especially about location, but think this guy's GRE recommendations are a little high. Anything 160/160 or higher is good enough to get into any program. Obviously the higher the better, but you're not going to get disqualified on the basis of GRE anywhere with a 160/160. 165 verbal is particularly high. I know multiple people who got into CHYMPS with less than a 165 verbal. NYU does really love high quant scores, though.
  10. BunniesInSpace

    PhD Profile Eval-- Where should I look?

    What are you aiming for? What are you hoping to do with a PhD? Your GRE score is going to hold you back from getting into places in the top 30. Depending on what you want to do with a PhD, it may be very inadvisable to go anywhere ranked lower.
  11. BunniesInSpace

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Finished applying to programs (mostly top 20) a few days ago in American/methods. Very anxious about results. Hope these next two months can fly by quickly
  12. BunniesInSpace

    The Most Underrepresented Group in the White House: The Youth

    Wow in addition to being sort of spam, it's crazy how lacking in understanding this petition is about any semblance of civic knowledge and in my opinion cannot possibly come from an American. Copying and pasting the text here to save everyone a click. First off, the the insinuation that congress=white house is hilarious, because the buildings are actually two miles apart from each other and encompass totally different branches of government. A lot of political science literature insinuates that Americans are dumb. But everyone knows white house=president. Secondly, it's trying to subvert the entire democratic process, which idk if you're trying to start that big a revolution, perhaps among the least effective things you can do is to start a petition on a federal government website. Also the entire "voice ourselves...communicatively" just lol " A mere six percent of present day congressional members are under the age of thirty-five, and even amongst these, the youngest is twenty-five years. The call to action through this communication is rather simple. The youth (18-25) are asking for the ability to represent themselves at White House congressional meetings. Among our numerous merited representatives in congressional bodies, youth officials between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five should be incorporated, as well. This will create a beautiful balance of experience and innovation in our political center. Every state in the United States of America has youth representatives who are willing to step up to the responsibility to voice ourselves collaboratively, and communicatively. However, we need the platform, and your support."
  13. BunniesInSpace

    What is an acceptable GPA for top 20 programs

    I have no evidence to back up my claim, but what I think is that a 3.6 is alright under a certain subset of circumstances. You probably need a few of these to compensate for at the top 5, a lot less so at #19 or #20. Come from a prestigious school, especially if it's known for deflating grades Rest of application is truly stellar. I'm talking high (overcompensating) GREs, good recs, good SOP. Be an underrepresented minority or have an otherwise compelling story High major GPA. Even better if the classes with lower grades are from classes thought of as hard for the average poli sci person and won't really be something you need to be competent in, ie physics, real analysis, organic chem, Literature in 14th Century Micronesia, etc. Strong upward trend in GPA. If you got Cs your entire freshman year and then got straight As after that, that probably won't hurt you too bad. What I do have evidence for is: GWU says average GPA is about a 3.8. They are not in the top 20. Washington University says 3.9, but I don't believe that because their combined GRE average is 323, which seems low for a 3.9. Ohio State is about 3.7. A 3.6 isn't going to get you explicitly automatically denied near #20, but it won't get you accepted either.
  14. BunniesInSpace

    Political theory PHD and Math GRE

    I could see it going both ways. There's two ways at looking at it. Either 1. Your GPA makes it clear that you are capable and just not great at standardized tests 2. Your GRE makes it clear your college was too easy and a 4.0 where you are would be a lot lower if you went to a different university. If you go somewhere very prestigious, it will probably be 1. Otherwise, probably 2.
  15. BunniesInSpace

    2017-2018 Application Cycle

    It depends, really. Location (higher COL=higher salary), prestige/competitiveness (Harvard would pay more than UMass-Boston), and funding levels (state vs. private) can all play a role. On a broad scale, you can probably expect 45-65k, but that is 1. highly variable, and more importantly 2. contingent on actually getting a job, which it in and of itself is tough to do.

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