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sandmoon

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About sandmoon

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  1. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Depends on what you mean by second-tier? If you refer to schools like Madison, Cornell, Rochester, then definitely go for the PhD. If you have a scholarship from MAPSS or still have second thoughts about doin a PhD, then go for MAPSS?
  2. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Out of curiosity - what would you say helped you the most as a non-US student? I have a couple of friends applying from overseas universities, and they said research opportunities are hard to come by, and when they are available, they are typically not of the kind that people do in the US. Is it sufficient to have good grades at university and write a good personal statement that shows your passion and knowledge? Do your recommenders have to have US connections to make things work? They asked me for advice but I feel unqualified to give any as a US grad.
  3. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    I feel you! I don't come from a prestigious US university, and we have massive grade deflation (relative to the Ivies). It's probably hard for Ivy professors to understand how B+'s are actually good grades (top 30%). Not downplaying your achievement in anyway -- you worked hard and earned every bit of it!!
  4. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Congrats! Yeah some schools are definitely more reluctant to admit international students with no U.S. degree. I think MIT and NYU have a much higher percentage though. Maybe I only looked at those.
  5. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    No offense to those who noted their country of origin on the results page, I just wanted to point out that at most of the top programs, at least half (?) of the students got their bachelor's degrees from non-US institutions, many from non-English-speaking places. Definitely possible to get into a top US program from foreign universities.
  6. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Amazing! wish I knew this earlier...
  7. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Is there a way to filter the search so that we don't see the LSE results? I feel like I know way too much the various departments at LSE than any other school on the planet lol. There was another comment about how "uk grads" like to put that in the comment section. I thought that was funny too.
  8. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Thank you!! Hope the rejection letter comes soon...
  9. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    I'm really curious why departments drag out the process for over a month. Is it just so that they can budget better while maintaining the lowest acceptance rate possible? It doesn't make sense to me to worry about acceptance rates, because unlike undergrad admissions, the U.S. News ranking doesn't take into account the acceptance rate. So why not accept the people you like all at once?
  10. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Congrats -- it must be really hard to pull this off as an international applicant! Just curious, did your letter writer get his PhD from the U.S.? I'm affiliated with a top university outside of North America, and although I'm sure the students there are bright and capable, their training seems different from the kind we get in the U.S. and the professors there aren't familiar with U.S. academia (in terms of research methodology and in terms of personal connections).
  11. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    We have nearly identical GREs and GPAs! I wouldn't worry about the GRE at all if you scored 90% on the quant section. Again, I'm shocked and disappointed that you didn't hear better news. I know Econ programs are even harder to get into than similarly-ranked political science programs, but maybe that's worth a try? Your recommenders probably have better connections there? I recommended the Chicago MA and the econ RA routes only because I know people who did those things and got into good programs. But now I'm starting to think that there's so much arbitrariness in the process that it's impossible to give any meaningful prescriptions. At the end of the day it probably all comes down to what you do with your time and whether those on the admissions committee that year happen to appreciate what you do?
  12. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    I'm so sorry things didn't work out for you! I would've thought Poli sci and Econ are very similar disciplines (same methodologies, different substantive focus), and if you excel in econ and get a good letter from someone who does empirical research, you'd be a super star in Poli sci! I'm curious to hear if you have any reflections on your experience this cycle. Do you plan on applying next year?
  13. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    I didn't personally do this, but if you want to check out economics RA positions, lot of jobs are posted on NBER, the @econ_ra twitter, and the Yale (?) economics page for example. Academics also post jobs on their own Twitter, but you kinda have to be on twitter all the time to see it, which you really shouldn't. The skills required are probably some knowledge of Stata/R and statistics, as well as some knowledge of the substantive area. I assume these positions become available throughout the year, so there might be ones you could be applying to right now! If your undergrad major is political science, you probably have to come up with a convincing motivation for applying, etc. I've never done this before, so I'll leave this part to more experienced applicants. If you do any type of theory (political theory or formal models), I'm not sure whether there are RA positions in those areas. Will let others chime in..
  14. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    To get into the Chicago MA program or to get a full-time RA-ship, it also helps to have one or more of the following things: - research skills - connections - money (if you can’t get a scholarship) I understand that this isn’t ideal but from the people I’ve talked to it seems like those of us from non-prestigious undergrad institutions have only a few options if we want to have a shot at the most competitive programs.
  15. sandmoon

    2018-2019 Application Thread

    Second the comment on connections. If you’re not from a prestigious university, perhaps consider doing an MA at Chicago or working as an RA for a social scientist. There are lots of economists hiring full-time RAs fresh out of undergrad. I would also add that how much your connections are willing to vouch for you is a function of your own ability as well. They’re putting their reputation on the line, so you have to be good enough to make them go that extra mile. Fit didn’t really matter in my case. Two out of the three schools whose fit paragraphs I spent 30 seconds writing (because I knew the professors’ work by heart) rejected me. Two schools with the worst fit both accepted me. And these are all equally competitive programs where my recommenders had equally weak connections, so I don’t know what worked or didn’t work in those cases.
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