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  1. Hi @encyclopediabrown, thank you so much for your encouragement and advice! It really opens up my mind about my research interest. I will definitely look into the schools and scholars you have mentioned! (I also went through your previous posts and they were extremely helpful as well, thank you!) Thank you for your kind offer, I will DM you shortly!
  2. @Dwar Thank you so much! I really feel more confident now. I will definitely research more thoroughly about POIs!
  3. @Mixedmethodsisa4letterword Hi !! It's good to know I'm not alone hahaha I will PM you shortly! Thank you for your words of encourgement! I totally agree with you that adcomm would take into account the fact that I'm just an undergrad, this is also why I intended to write in my SoP more about my potential than what I have already achieved. Thank you for pointing out how niche my research interest is, I will definitely try researching the two scholars you mentioned. O'Brien is one of my favourite scholars, he's the major reason I wanted to try applying for UCB! (It would be too sad if he no longer supervises, but I heard from my supervisor that UCB is still a good choice for me since there's a cluster of people are doing the kind of research I'm interested in).
  4. @BunniesInSpace Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I think I did stressed about the writing sample too much. What I worried most was about the quality of my research papers being uncomparable to a well-conducted senior thesis, because if you write specifically for a standard poli sci course, then the scope and academic rigor will be very limited. And you are absolutely right that I could combine papers as writing sample, thank you for your advices!
  5. Hi everyone, I have been lurking this forum since I decided to apply in this cycle (nonstop), I know a lot of people have already posted profile evaluation questions but I still feel extremely insecure about my chances of admission at decent US PhD programs (maybe top 20-40), any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you! Type of Undergrad Institution: Top 3 Canadian University Major(s)/Minor(s): Honors in Political Science, minor in economics (another minor in management, if this is relevant?) Undergrad GPA: 3.85 (as of now, upward trend, not sure if I can keep it though) MA: none GRE: 165 V, 167 Q, 5.5 Languages: Chinese (native) Teaching: none LOR: I have one strong letter almost guaranteed (a very relevant professor for whom I worked closely as RA for more than a year now) ; a quant focused professor I took seminar course with; a qual focused professor who has seen my work and nominated it to a departmental award (best writing in poli sci); or alternatively I could ask a course instructor (now works as a post-doc) who also has reviewed and thought highly of my research paper (said it was publishable). SoP: I aim to apply in the area of comparative politics with a regional focus in China, and a substantial focus in social movements/civil society. I have a fairly narrowed research interest, but I do not have a clear answer or approach to my proposed questions. I plan to emphasize more on my potential and flexibility, as I am good at both quantitative methods and poli theories. Research Experience: undergraduate summer research award; said RA work, from the very basics such as transcription to more advanced quantitative analysis such as regression analysis Quant Experience: econometrics and statistics. My issue is, since I am straight out of undergrad, and I don't have much experience with writing a thesis just yet (by the time of graduation, I will; but by the time of application deadline, I won't), I would be severely lacking in providing a good writing sample. Although I have written many research papers for higher level poli sci classes, none of them would be comparable to a MA or honors thesis. In other words, while I am applying, I'm still in the process of producing writing-sample-worth papers and getting closer contact with my professors, would that heavily impede my chances at admission? Of course I could use the next 3 months and write a good paper, but I feel it is too rushed that might pose a problem. If I wait and apply next cycle, that is after I graduate from undergrad degree, I think my chances of being admitted will improve significantly, as I will have major research papers done in my last two semesters. Am I wrong in believing this? If I'm right, will I still benefit from attending a US terminal master degree, such as the one offered in UChicago? Or am I better off staying in Canada for a master degree? Should I apply to PhD programs at all this cycle? I also welcome any school reccomendations, etc. Please say anything you feel relevant and I appreciate your input! Thank you again and good luck to your academic endeavors!
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