I am looking to apply to PhD programs in political science (Subfields: Comparative, IR)and want to start in the fall of 2011. I graduated in May 2010 from a Tier 1 liberal arts college with a 4.02 overall GPA in Political Science and German. I studied abroad for the duration of my junior year at the University of Heidelberg on scholarship. All of my classes there (including econ--eek!) were in German and my placement test placed me at "near native-speaker" level. I had an internship for a presidential library there, where I did research work and translation. I've also studied French and gotten as far as 300-level literature courses. I've been a poli sci research assistant since my sophomore year, worked as a literary translator (the translation was published), and a TA for German classes. This summer I've been working as a research assistant for two profs and translating a book for another. For the duration of the next year I will be teaching/TA-ing at a women's university in the developing world (and picking up a new language, too, I hope!) through WorldTeach and I have a LOT of volunteer experience. I should have good, if not excellent LORs--although not from anyone terribly well-known I guess.
I think I can write a pretty mean personal statement, and have my honors thesis as a writing sample.
My main research interests are globalization, international migration, and poverty/inequality. I would like to apply to top 25 schools. Princeton is at the top of my list because of their dual degree in Politics and Social Policy, but I'm not really after a big name, just somewhere that fits my interests and want to be able to land a teaching job when I graduate. Most of my list is comprised of the so-called "public-ivies," but I have plenty of back up options on the table too.
And.....I took the GRE today. I didn't have much time to prepare since I am leaving so soon and won't be able to take it again in the country I am going to be living in. So I studied for about 3 weeks, mostly doing math--for the first time in 5 years. My score was 660 V and 620 Q. I think I did quite well on the AW, but who knows. So...a 1280. Which I am not exactly thrilled about.
So tell me, will my low GRE hold me back? Could I get into a school like Columbia or Princeton or should I not even waste my time? Also, I will need to be funded...I really cannot afford it otherwise ...so there's that too.
Sorry this is so long!!! THANKS!