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Theory007

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  1. Your points are taken; I certainly do not want this to be a space where people utter sexist, homophobic, racist, and like slurs. And I can see that my suggestion of juicy rumors could be used for that end. All I meant wanted was to encourage people to reveal insights about the department that are not publicly known and would be relevant to people considering the department. In my MA program for example, 3 out of 8 people left the department within the first semester. I think this is worth knowing for prospective students whom might otherwise never come to hear of it. My point is that all information, as SeriousDiver suggested, should be relevant (and not just bashing) but I agree that it should not be targeted at specific people. The ideal would be if people could write specifically enough to get the point across, but also vague enough not to target identifiable persons.
  2. When I was looking at political science departments to apply to last year, I found it difficult to gauge exactly what each department was like. Sure, the department websites will provide some information, but this is usually practical stuff that does not explain what the department is really like. I am interested in getting the inside scoop and I think that others are too. I have therefore created this thread where I wish to encourage present and former students/professors to write their completely honest and unfiltered insights/reviews about each department. While anyone will value anything someone can reveal in honesty about a department, I suggest that the post include at least the following things: 1. Name of department and university. 2. Overall feel/culture of the department. What is the general attitude? Is the faculty approachable and willing to work with students? Are students treated with respect? etc. 3. Academic quality and opportunities. What are classes like? Are they rigorous or not? What facilities are available to students? etc. 4. Department expectations of students. Do most students work as TAs? Is the burden manageable? etc. 5. Are grad students happy? Does a social life exist outside the department? Do people tend to collaborate or compete? What kind of students tend to go to the department? etc. 6. Job prospects after obtaining a degree in the department. etc. 7. What are some juicy rumors about the department as such or people in the department? Who got denied tenure? Who were treated unfairly? etc. And other relevant things (we can update the list). I encourage everyone to be as honest and objective and unbiased as possible about their experiences in their department, but it is also okay to express personal grievances if they exist. Just make sure to make clear when you talk about things specific to you and not to the department as such. If people take up my suggestion and provide a bunch of reviews of their departments, I will at some point organize all the reviews into a coherent document, available to all, such that people can easily see all reviews made about department X, Y, Z. Hope people will use this. I will write my own review in the coming days.
  3. Go check the results page. I reported the fake posts (maybe others did this too) and now they are all gone except for one.
  4. I am certain the Berkeley results are fake. 1. Like others, I followed the incoming results closely last year and I don't recall even a single time when results came out from a school and where no one subsequently claimed their acceptance in the forum. And since Berkeley is a big school it is even more unlikely that no one would tell us about it. These would also be the first results out this year, which leads me to believe that people really would be eager to share share their admittances with us. But no one has. 2. The results are also too early and there have barely ever been any confirmed acceptances seen around this time. 3. Many of you did apply to Berkeley and have noted that your application statuses have not changed. 4. On the results page, there is also a "wait-listed" post. This would be the first from Berkeley. 5. And finally, it really sounds like the same person speaking in all results posts. Given all these considerations, the posts must be fake. I suggest that you just forget about it all, don't stress, and don't lose hope if you applied to Berkeley.
  5. I do not envy you guys at all! I was in the same position as an applicant last year and ended up being one of the lucky few. It's the most nerve wracking 2-3 months that I can recall. For what it is worth, just trust me when I say that obsessing over forum entries and results posts will not make it all easier. On the contrary it makes the whole thing even more stressful. Good luck to you all! I genuinely hope it works out for you!
  6. European Masters are almost never funded. The only benefit I can see is that they may make you more competitive as a phd applicant to US programs. But this is true for only a very limited number of programs including Oxford, Cambridge, and LSE in particular. I struggle to think of any other program in all of Europe that serves a similar function. There are in other countries MA programs that do this very well such as SNU in Seoul, Korea, that has probably the most impressive record anywhere of placing students in US (top) phd programs.
  7. Good luck! I did see your posts last year and hoping it will work out for you this year.
  8. In my view, the only thing to say about this is that very much data supports the idea that higher GRE scores correlate with higher academic ability and success in graduate school. The GRE score is a proxy for ability. And the test is meant to "level the playing field" because it is hard to compare GPAs across high and low ranked American institutions as well as foreign institutions. That way a high GRE score gives persons who did not go to top 10 schools for undergrad an opportunity to prove that they are top notch and deserve a spot in a top program. Not having the GRE required can only work against persons without a stellar undergrad degree from a stellar institution, and in favor those with a stellar undergrad degree from a stellar institution (since they have nothing further to prove). And I assume that the admissions committee at OSU must view applicant who submit high GRE scores more favorably, and know that those who do not submit a GRE score likely did not perform well upon the test. This is especially true because virtually all phd applicants do the GRE test since it is required for all other programs (minus Hawaii?). So my guess is that it is, all else equal, a red flag if a GRE score does not accompany the application. Finally, it is probably not unreasonable to suspect that OSU will receive far more applications as a result of the new policy, which ups the competition. So I think it would be prudent to still do the GRE, struggle with it like most people do, and submit it with your application. I say this to encourage you; the GRE sucks but you can do it!! With sufficient study it is possible for anyone who is genuinely qualified to enter a phd program to get in the 90th + percentile on all sections.
  9. Wow a GRE half-block? That is so cool (it did not exist when I was there)! For sure you should enroll in it if you can! Yes it can only further your cause if you can explain lower grades as an extraordinary event that is unlikely to repeat when you enroll in grad school. I encourage you to be as honest as you can about what transpired. You will do very well I'm sure! Keep in touch about how it all goes!
  10. LOL absolutely! Hope you loved it there as much as I did. My advise: your GRE scores aren't bad (dont worry about the AW), but I agree that your GPA might hold you back. If you want a good shot at great programs, then get your GREs in the 165+ range for each section. It will be hard to measurably attain a stronger GPA, but certainly possible to get a higher GRA score. Also, and I cannot emphasize this enough, really try to figure out where your research will fit well. All schools reject more qualified applicants in favor of applicants that fit better. This also means that you should not apply to a top program because it is a top program. Apply to places where professors are actually interested in your research and in working with you.
  11. Which program are you considering? And what are you interested in studying within political theory?
  12. I heard Stephen White because emeritus, but the rest of the core faculty is there to stay. There were other rumors earlier but they all amounted to nothing.
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