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About dvxyzijil

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    PhD in Political Science

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  1. Hope this helps someone as much as posts from previous years helped me! PROFILE: Type of Undergrad Institution: Large public school on the West Coast Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science and Anthropology Undergrad GPA: 3.75ish, and a 3.9ish major GPA Type of Grad: N/A Grad GPA: N/A GRE: 160Q, 170V, 5.5 Writing Any Special Courses: If you count anthropology courses, plus two independent studies. Letters of Recommendation: One from a professor at my undergraduate institution who is well-known in my subfield. He's been a great mentor to me, so I assume the letter was good. One from a respected scholar who was my boss at a think tank internship. And one from the professor who supervised my capstone undergraduate thesis. Research Experience: 2 independent studies in undergrad, both research-extensive. Think ethnography. Teaching Experience: If you count summer camps and volunteer trips. I did include them on my CV. Subfield/Research Interests: Distributive politics (Comparative) Other: I took math classes (single variable calc, multivariable, and linear algebra) but got straight C's in all of them. I think this was at best a wash as far as my applications were concerned. Maybe I got points for persistence in some places. RESULTS: Acceptances($$ or no $$): Ohio State $$, University of Maryland (UMD) $$, George Washington $$ Waitlists: UNC Chapel Hill, Duke Rejections: A host of Ivies, MIT, Michigan Going to: University of Maryland, College Park LESSONS LEARNED: Two things, basically. One was that math can badly hurt your chances. This is obviously a guess, but I assume that my straight C's in math were not a hit with admissions committees, especially at quant-oriented school. The second thing is about rankings. I think Maryland is a great school, and I was very proud to get in. But I did think long and hard about going because of its 29th place ranking, since I heard so many warnings about the importance of attending a "Top 10" schools. If anyone is facing this same dilemma, feel free to contact me! (I do feel confident in my decision now.) SOP: PM me! I was happy with it. I think that focusing on quite a niche topic worked well for me, and several professors at my accepted schools commented favorably on it.
  2. I scrolled back through your posts, and while I’m the blind leading the blind here, I think your quant score may be below the first round cutoff for many schools. If you’re hesitant about the program, don’t do it. If your dream is to be in academia, a low-ranked program makes that difficult to achieve. Your application otherwise seems stellar. I think you may be the classic case of someone who by waiting another cycle will get significantly better results. Don’t feel like you “aimed too high” or whatever by applying to top schools this round, because I don’t see any reason you wouldn’t qualify. I feel like you’re a victim of the crapshoot. On the other hand, if you decide to go into policy or industry, I think you’ll do great with your Cambridge MA and end up sitting pretty with no regrets while all of us here are still on starvation wages. You probably already know all of this, but I just want to stand in solidarity with you. I can imagine how rough it would be not getting in this cycle (I also have a serious weakness in my app and was preparing for that outcome). But it looks like GRE quant score was the main thing holding you back, and we all know that’s a function of test prep and your knack for standardized testing. It says nothing about who you are and what you’ll accomplish in whatever your dream career is.
  3. UCLA (undergrad) alumnus here. If you still need questions answered, feel free to message me.
  4. Anthropology lite Fake area studies Plus some poorly run regressions on patchwork large-n datasets But, hey, we get paid to travel 😂
  5. I really agree with this. @TheBunny, I remember you saying that you have to stay in the Northeast. That might mean you just couldn’t get enough lottery tickets. I applied to 15 schools ranged T10-40, because I’m lucky enough to have time on my hands and no geographical restraints. I’ve been rejected up and down the ladder at schools with good fit. My acceptances seem more or less random. I think that besides maybe for exceptional candidates who stand out everywhere, the admissions process really is a crapshoot. Obviously I don’t know you, but for what it’s worth, you seem like a really passionate scholar who works hard and plans carefully. I’m sure you’ll be great in whatever program you decide to attend. And if sociology isn’t being as welcoming to you as political science, their loss, our gain 😛
  6. Another Maryland admit over here! Comparative. Got a personalized email from the DGS.
  7. Good to know that some departments really do have a strong norm of using titles. I had thought that might be the case, and it’s nice to get confirmation. Play it by ear, everyone.
  8. Your experience is a good counterexample. My West Coast instincts might be proving a little maladaptive here. But my experience has been that colleagues (who work together regularly) call each other by their first names. That’s coming from think tanks, development NGO’s, and my undergrad institution. I would say to keep an open mind about dropping titles, especially if you’re headed out west. Using titles in a more casual department might be seen as overly formal and even obsequious.
  9. Also claiming both an MIT and a Michigan rejection. Telling myself that it’s a good thing the process is finally wrapping up. Glad they released acceptances and rejections at the same time.
  10. I vote for first name only. The first piece of advice I’ve been hearing from professors is that we should now think of ourselves as (very junior) colleagues. The one time I’ve responded to one of these friendly emails with “Professor,” the professor actually immediately shot back with “Please call me FirstName!” In my experience, undergrads uniformly use “Professor” while the vast majority of graduate students use first names. I’m from the West Coast and a state school, though. New Englanders, Southerners, and private school folks can weigh in – I always think of you guys as more formal. And congratulations on your acceptances! That’s so exciting!
  11. Hahahahaha, I love this take. I did just the thing that @eggsalad14 rightly warned against: I actively signaled that I'm terrible at math with a string of C's in introductory calculus courses and a just-ok GRE quant score. (And no, I'm not a theorist.) I thought I had completely disqualified myself from top schools, but I applied on the advice of my advisor and now have an acceptance to OSU and a waitlist spot from Duke. Maybe it was all of the persistence I signaled. (For any future applicants, let me be clear that I do not recommend you what I did. I was told by one mentor in no uncertain terms that I had badly sabotaged my chances. On the other hand, if you have a serious weakness, don't give up hope!)
  12. Claiming a Duke waitlist. Does anyone happen to have information on how long the list is? In other words, on how likely it is to actually get off the waitlist? This is basically my top choice even if I make it into one of the CHYMPS, so I'll campaign hard no matter what my odds are. But it would be great to hear from someone who knows how the process works.
  13. My POI at OSU emailed me and mentioned all of their admits have now been contacted. They emphasized how difficult the application pool was this year.
  14. Thanks for the info, @YourScruffiness. Congratulations!
  15. Woooooooo, claiming an admit to OSU! I'm so pleased, I love the work of my POI, and of course it's a great department overall. I'm not completely sure how I got in, actually (fit?), but I'm running with it!
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