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  1. Thats a great option! For more info on those types of programs I would suggest you check out the "government affairs" page. They have more info and discuss those sorts of programs much more then we do here.
  2. Your profile looks amazing! honestly you can probably get into some schools higher then the 20-40 range. Just make sure that you fit in with the department. With a profile like that you can probably get in anywhere that you fit. So I'd really focus on that aspect. don't just apply to schools because they are good schools, make sure that you and your research actually fit in with the department.
  3. Yaaaaaaaa, of course there are those cases. Thats why I would encourage someone, regardless of their GRE scores, to apply to at least one reach. You never know? But of course only if there is excellent fit and all that. For me my GRE scores are fairly poor at 309, so I am mostly applying to schools in the 50-80 range, but I am applying to two schools in the 30-50 range simply because there is excellent fit and why not? While I obviously don't think that I'll get in to the 30-50 schools, you never know. But that's why I'm also applying to four schools in the 50-80 range, as that is far more likely for my profile.
  4. Generally I'd agree with you and say that a 160+ for quant is required for the 10-20 range, but I was thinking that with a Verbal score of 170, it can make up some of the difference. Obviously I could be wrong, but that was my thinking. Now for the top 10 thing, I'd say that on the USNWR list they extend to the top 15, essentially everything before OSU. Thats not to say that OSU isn't an amazing school, but I would say that CHYMPS, Columbia, UNC, UCSD, and the like are in another slightly higher field. For the OSU onward schools i'd say that you can get by with a 155 Q coupled with a 170 V as long as the rest of your profile is killer. But TBH you need a complete killer profile regardless of your GRE scores. A lot of schools simply use it to check a box, and then disregard it from the admissions decision.
  5. First off, congrats on the 170! that's super impressive. Second, I'd say that as long as your quant is above the 155 mark, you should be good for all but the top 10 of schools in terms of GRE. If you are looking to break into the top 10 then I'd say that the quant should be in the 160 range. With a verbal score of 170 I'm sure they will be impressed. Third, I would say that it is not a good idea to retake it and not do the verbal test. I see what you're trying to do, but I'm not sure how that would work with the adcoms. They may only look at one of your scores, or they may look at both. But honestly it'll be a crapshoot as to whether or not that actually works.
  6. I agree with the previous poster, if they offer you the extra space you should use it. But I also will expand on that, if they offer you that space it means they want you to use the full 1000 words. It means that they expect an essay around 1000 words and don't think you can accurately express what you want to say in less than that. I would follow the advice above and create two versions, one shorter and one longer, for the two different lengths. Thats what I've done for writing them. My longer one just has more stuff from me and about myself, while the shorter one just has the highlights or the most important stuff.
  7. I took it twice, the first time last summer, and after a failed cycle I took it a second time this past summer. Did so much worse the second time. Honestly I think my decent score the first time was a fluke or a miracle, regardless I realized that it is mostly likely the one thing from my profile that I cannot change. To compensate i've made changes on other aspects, selected new/better LOR writers, completely rewrote my SOP, and selected a new set of five schools that have much better fit, as well as schools that are for the most part much more realistic given my GRE score. Although, I am including a one reach school just for the hell of it. My advice for you is to take it once and see how you do, then go from there. No point in speculating on needing to take it a second time. I would also suggest you look at the schools you want to get into and then set your target GRE scores based on that. ALSO, fun fact, when you buy the test with ETS they give you two free practice exams that you can use to study.
  8. Sure thing! One of the professors on here once said that rank ultimately doesn't matter, what matters is outcome. If you find a department/school that you like, then you should take a look at their student outcomes, can you see yourself in that type of outcome, working that type of job? if you can then go for it! If you can't, then regardless of rank, it may not be the school for you.
  9. So looking at your profile I would say that in order to get into a top 20 program you really need to increase your GRE. A minimum of 160+ Verbal and 157+ Q is probably a safe bet for top 20. But I would also heavily recommend looking outside of the top 20. Check random universities in the 20-65 range and see if you can work with any professors. if a PhD is really your goal then you may have to apply to schools lower on the ranks. Another note, admissions to many of the top 20 schools, and even some of the more well known top 30 ones, can be really random and arbitrary. Sometimes an applicant with amazing scores gets rejected, while another time a candidate with average scores gets in. Many times it can come down to things that us as applicants have no control over. So I would recommend that you apply to multiple schools both within and outside of the top 20. There are some really great schools with decent placements in the 20-65 range.
  10. I would recommend applying to around 5 schools, assuming that you can find great fit with them. I would also advise you to maybe expand your search perimeters to the top 30 or so? Often times those schools have similar placements and great professors.
  11. The programs that you mentioned are professional policy MA programs geared at getting students into the industry and working. They are not meant to send students to PhD or JD programs, or academia. So yes, they would help you and are often times a requirement for getting a good paying government or industry job. But that isn't what the OP is asking. They are asking about Political Science MA programs from schools which are known for being cash cows. a public policy MA and a political science MA are two different things. One (Public Policy) is meant to prepare students for work, while the other (political science) is generally meant to prepare students for a PhD or academia. With that being said, most of the time a political science MA is generally not worth the money one puts into it. As most political science PhD programs offer MA degrees to their students along the way (and are hopefully funded) going into massive debt for a political science MA in order to boost a PhD application is simply not a good investment. Now obviously if one gets a lot of scholarship or funding (which while rare isn't unheard of for a political science MA) then it might be worth the time. But I would strongly caution against anyone going into debt for a MA in political science. there simply isn't money in this line of work that will pay off the debt in the long run.
  12. Hey! Congrats on getting into those schools! I personally don't know a-lot about Columbias MA program specifically, but I would just caution you against going to an unfunded MA program in this field. Unless offered significant scholarships I would discourage anyone from going to them. I have heard, on this forum and elsewhere, that the humanities/social science MA programs are really just cash cows for schools like Columbia and Chicago meant to support the funded PhD programs. Now that's not saying that they aren't good programs where someone can thrive and become a better scholar/policy maker, but they are super expensive and in this field we simply do not make enough to support the loans that would come out of it. Now i'm not sure how law school would play into it, in theory a lawyer would be making more than people in the political science field, but even so I think that the above thinking still holds true. That unless offered significant funding they aren't really worth the debt.
  13. First off, congrats! those are some amazing schools! Also, you might want to check out the "government affairs" sub-forum, they are more equipped to answer these types of questions, with many posters going through similar situations. But to try and answer your question, I would say that the rule of thumb is to not go into debt for an MA degree, especially in the IR/government affairs field. Unfortunately those types of careers do not pull in the six figures that are required to pay off significant debt early on, so while you could eventually end up making that much, it won't happen during the early part of your career. A large amount of debt hanging over you can stop you from getting a car or home loan, not allow you to build up savings, and can limit the cities you can move to. Now to answer your GW v American debate, those schools are pretty similar in both location and prestige, while I am personally more into GW, thats only because of a positive personal experience with the Elliot school over there, while a more negative/neutral experience with the SIS over at AU. But ultimately you'll have to make that decision yourself. I suggest visiting and talking to faculty or students, also, looking at the specific degrees. I know that the Elliot school offers a wide variety of degrees, some regionally specific and some more general to IR, I am sure that AU offers something similar. Were you admitted to just the general IR programs? or more regional/career specific? Hope this helps! but congrats again on some amazing admissions!
  14. If anyone does go over to PoliSciRumors, just know that like a good 99% of the posts are trolls. When I first went over there I kinda started loosing faith in humanity.
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