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  1. Found this forum very helpful when applying, so figured I'd contribute. Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MPP (or Equivalent), IAPA at American Schools Applied To: UT Austin , Carnegie Mellon, Michigan, Georgetown, American, George Washington Schools Admitted To: UT Austin (in-state) , Carnegie Mellon ($$$), Georgetown, American ($$), George Washington Schools Rejected From: Michigan Still Waiting: Undergraduate Institution: Large public commuter school (US News ranking 150-200) Undergraduate GPA: 3.25 (Upper division GPA was 3.85, not sure how helpful this was) Undergraduate Major: History GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores: 155/164/4.0 Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 4 upon matriculation Years of Work Experience: 3ish Describe Relevant Work Experience: Peace Corps, a couple semi relevant internships (Public Health) Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Tied in work experience pretty well and showed specific interests. Had professors I know look over it, and it was relatively solid. However, I don't think it was incredibly compelling or anything. Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): 2 Peace Corps staff members including Country director and 1 History professor. Didn't read them, but frankly I wasn't particularly close with any of the recommenders. Other: I did terribly in my quant classes in college (first 2 years of school went poorly), and my GRE quant score isn't great, but these seemed to not handicap me too much. I was in the Peace Corps while applying and had very limited opportunities to travel to the capital to take the tests - had I been in America I would've retaken. I've decided on Carnegie Mellon.
  2. Schools Applying to: GWU Elliot, American SIS, Cornell CIPA, Heinz, UT LBJ, Duke Sanford?, Fletcher?Undergraduate institution: Big commuter school between 150-200Undergraduate GPA: 3.25 (3.85 last 60 hours)Undergraduate Major: HistoryGRE Quantitative Score: 155GRE Verbal Score: 164GRE AW Score: 4.0Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3 (4 upon enrolment)Years of Work Experience: 3Describe Relevant Work Experience: 2 years Peace Corps as a health volunteer, 3 months Peace Corps in a different country that was ended early, 3 months Global Health Internship, 2 months temping for a well known US NGOStrength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Still writing, but am relatively confident it will be strongStrength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): Should have a strong one from Peace Corps supervisor and from the country director. I'm a bit worried about one from a professor, as I'm a few years out of school and never developed strong relationships with any to begin with. My 2 primary concerns are my lack of a strong quantitative background (coupled with a mediocre GRE quant), and my low GPA. I'm currently in Peace Corps, and don't expect to have another opportunity to take the GRE, and won't be able to take any math or Econ classes until June-ish (so after this admissions cycle). I haven't been able to find info as to whether these programs take improvement and upper division grades heavily into account? Will dramatically improved grades my junior and senior year make-up for the not great GPA if coupled with an explanatory addendum? Is it worth applying to Fletcher/Duke/Heinz? I should also note that the schools I'm applying to are heavily informed by which ones offer returned Peace Corps volunteers fellowships.
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