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About amyvt98

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  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Political Science

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  1. I live in the DC area, too, and have a somewhat nontraditional background (I'm an older student switching careers). There are quite a few programs in our area that might find your military background interesting. Several of the schools I considered have students who come from the military, and it's my perception that they had positive experiences with these students. The first poster is correct that your undergrad GPA is not going to help you, but there are some good schools in the DC area that fall outside of the top 30-50 that are worth considering.
  2. I wanted to provide another perspective re: relocating. I went through the application process this past cycle and had similar geographic constraints. I'm in the DC area and only applied to schools that would allow me to commute from where I live. While not ideal, it's totally doable. You're lucky to live in a place that has several good options, so that's good news. The good thing about having geographic constraints is that you can get to know the area schools really well so that you can get a feel for whether doing a PhD locally is realistic. So if you're serious about applying to local schools, take the opportunity now to meet local professors who do research in your area of interest, learn each school's strengths and weaknesses, visit the campus, talk to other grad students, etc. You might also consider stretching your geographic area to consider schools outside of Manhattan (for example, does is Rutgers a fit?). That might give you more options when it comes down to applying and acceptances. Good luck!
  3. Hi there - sounds like you'll have a strong application, assuming you get good GRE scores and have a strong personal statement. If there's one thing I've learned through this process, it's that admissions are unpredictable and appear to be arbitrary at times. I suggest applying to schools in a variety of different tiers (a few Top 10, some 10-30, maybe a few 30-50) and see what happens. As for specific schools, research fit is going to be the primary determining factor there. Think about what you want to study, then spend a lot of time figuring out which of the programs have faculty with similar research areas by reading faculty bios/CVs on university websites. Your faculty contacts can help identify good matches as well - I got a lot of good advice from my friends who are already in academia.
  4. Word on the street is that Sabato is pretty close to retirement. I don't know about the others.
  5. PROFILE: Type of Undergrad Institution: R1 with an unremarkable political science department Major(s)/Minor(s): Political science, Communications Undergrad GPA: 3.66 Type of Grad: Applied Politics Grad GPA: 3.8 GRE: 170V, 161 Q Any Special Courses: None Letters of Recommendation: 3 professors from my grad school (I graduated over a decade ago, but currently teach there, so I have strong relationships with all of my recommenders) Research Experience: None Teaching Experience: Adjunct faculty at an R1 school for the past four years Subfield/Research Interests: American/Behavior/Political Psychology Other: I have 20 years of professional experience working in politics (on Capitol Hill and as a political consultant), and my work in the field directly relates to my research interests. RESULTS: Acceptances($$ or no $$): Maryland ($$), American University ($$) Waitlists: GW, Georgetown Rejections: None Pending: None Going to: Maryland LESSONS LEARNED: Meeting faculty with similar research interests at each school helped me understand fit and write strong personal statements tailored to each program. It also gave me a good feel for the schools that would likely accept me. Demonstrating fit in the personal statement is crucial.
  6. Nothing like that - just a short letter that said they weren't able to accept me and that I was on the wait list. Good luck! Hope you get better news! I applied in the American subfield, BTW.
  7. Just got a wait list notification from Georgetown.
  8. You're right! I've been searching political science this whole time, and since some 2018 acceptances came up, I didn't think to switch the search terms. Thanks!
  9. Has anybody gotten accepted into Georgetown yet? I keep checking the results board, but I haven't seen anything from 2019 yet.
  10. I received an acceptance via the portal in the early morning and an automated email a few hours later.
  11. Does anyone have any idea what's going on with Georgetown?
  12. Hi there! I'm in a somewhat similar situation (not an attorney, but I'm an older student with a lot of career experience making a career change). I did a lot of due diligence before applying, including taking a bunch of professors out to coffee and picking their brains, meeting with grad directors, and talking to friends who have been through the process and now have tenure. and have been accepted at a few places and I thought it would be helpful if I passed along my experiences. Feel free to DM me if you have any specific questions. I'm going to preface this by telling you that I didn't apply to any Top 10 programs - all of my schools are in the 20-50 range, and even those schools had different reactions to an older student seeking to make a career change. So if you're looking to go to Princeton, I don't have anything for you. But on the whole, the best advice I can give you is to think about your entire application package (your work experience, your research interests, your writing samples) as a story that you are trying to tell the admissions committee. Are you seeking to study something related to your work as an attorney? Has something you've dealt with in your career sparked a question that you want to answer? All of that can build a compelling narrative that can turn something that could be seen as a downside into a huge upside for you. Spend a lot of time thinking about how you want to package yourself, and each of the elements in your application package should support that narrative. In real world terms, you are writing a proposal to a potential client - you are trying to sell them on you. To address your questions specifically: Re the writing sample: Do folks dust off and revise UG papers, or spend time researching and writing a new paper altogether? I'm not remotely opposed to the latter, but would welcome any suggestions you all can offer. If you have something that you can stand behind that you wrote over 10 years ago, then you might be okay. I ended up writing something new. If you decide to write something new, think back to the work you've done as an attorney - is any of that work at all relevant to your research topic? If so, use that as a starting point and write something related to that. Then, in your personal statement, reference your writing sample, why you chose to submit it, and why it's relevant to your application. How does work experience factor in (if at all) to an AdCom's decision making process? I don't see how someone with my background can compete with a candidate of the same age range but who got a MA in PS or worked in a similar field. I am wondering if the JD/years spent as a lawyer has any appreciable merit. (I do not harbor any illusion about how much a law degree is worth outside of, you know, the law). This is where your research interests can help. Ideally, your research subject is related in some way to your work as an attorney. You should use this to your advantage and talk about it in your personal statement. For example, talking bout how working as an attorney led you to ask questions X, Y, and Z, and now you're applying to graduate school so that you can answer those questions. OR something like that. I can tell you that two of the schools I applied to were really interested in my work experience and two of the schools didn't care. So it'll probably vary for you. Is it self-sabotage to state in one's SOP that one does not want to be an academic? Does the desire to pursue a non-academic career post-doc make someone with my background more or less desirable? Probably. Schools want to educate future scholars. They are going to be less likely to give funding to someone who doesn't plan to use their degree to do research. That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to seek a tenure track job after you finish - maybe you want to go work for a think tank or something. Based on my experience talking to different schools, some places are more okay with this than others. In the end, it would help if you asked yourself this question - why do I want to get a PhD? Based on all of the advice I've received, if the answer isn't related to wanting to do research for a living after you finish school, then you might want to reconsider applying. I'm leaning towards American or theory, but I've read horror stories about theory candidates having fewer options after their degrees are conferred than a HS drop out. If not pursuing a teaching pos, does the subfield matter as much? I can't speak to this question, but am curious if others have something to add. Any suggestions on programs for someone with my background? I don't feel the need to pay too much attention to the rankings. I'm open to the DC, Baltimore, PA, NJ, NY areas. DM me
  13. If you applied to AU's School of Public Affairs, check your portal. I was surprised to see a acceptance letter there this morning (no email, just randomly checked and it was there).
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