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Found 132 results

  1. Am I doomed?

    Hey all So I'm applying to phd programs in political science and generally think my profile is pretty good, my only concern is with one letter of recommendation. I've been out of school for nearly a decade and kept in touch with and have fabulous letters from two professors but my third LOR is from my employer. I know it's also a great, and very supportive, letter but am concerned that because it isn't from a university faculty member that I will be at a disadvantage. Does anyone have any insight into this? Thanks!
  2. Cutting out the literature review?

    Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum. I'm currently in the process of applying for PhD programs in political science. I'm in my senior year. My senior honors thesis will not be complete by the time I have graduate applications due. Howeer, I do have a paper that was published in an undergraduate politics journal that is pretty good. I have polished it up, and I think it will communicate my ability to write well and carry out research in the field. However, it's about 5-7 pages too long for most programs. So, I'm thinking I will have to cut it down. I was thinking of taking out the literature review section (4 pages), in addition to overall cutting. My thinking is that such a section's function is to provide context for the research. I imagine most graduate committee members will be just fine reading the paper without the literature review. Any thoughts on this? Advice? Thank you for the help!
  3. Word/page count guidelines - SOP, Writing Sample

    Hello, I have a question regarding word and page count guidelines. Some Statement of Purpose guidelines say to keep it under 500 words, but people on this forum have indicated that it is not necessary to strictly adhere to these restrictions. Some program websites have also gone out of their way to say it is not a strict cutoff, while others don't specify. The same applies for word/page counts on writing samples. If this is the case, what would you say the limit is? For example, for a 500 limit, is 600 too far over the threshold? 700? 800? I typically follow the rules provided, so I automatically don't feel extremely comfortable submitting anything over 500 in this case. My current letter as stands is ~700 words and I am not eager to cut any of it down any further, but I am also hesitant to submit something ~40% larger than requested. Thanks!
  4. Hi all - After earning an interdisciplinary MA, 30 credits of on-campus graduate work in IR at a European school, and 2 years of experience doing research under a federal grant at a Top 10 university, I have decided that it's time to pursue a PhD. But I'm having a very hard time deciding between Political Science and Public Policy programs, and this is causing me a lot of anxiety since application deadlines are about a month away. Since I'm almost 30 and have ample research experience under my belt, my questions of interest are, well, more concrete than a lot of the applicants' would. Having said that, I constructed my SoP based on the areas I'm interested in, the questions I hope to answer, how my personal and professional expereince prepared me to study these on a doctoral level, and how I anticipate my research to contribute to the existing literature. I recently met with a Political Science professor at a DC university and had a rude awakening. He basically said that my research sounded significant but it wasn't "theoretical enough" to be a Political Science project. Rather, he said in a condescending way, I should pursue Public Policy and/or International Relations programs. In all honesty, I'm more interested in theory based applied research to evaluate existing policies and programs and offer ways to improve them, anyway. I currently have about 10-12 schools on my list: 5 Public Policy, 3 IR, 4 PoliSci. Based on my interactions with the faculty members and the information on program websites, PubPol and IR programs are ideal places. But, these 4 PoliSci programs I'm considering applying have Public Policy/IR tracks and encourage applied research. Should I not apply to PoliSci programs at all? What do y'all think?
  5. Hi everyone- quick question regarding LOR requests. Upon filling out my applications, I realized I sent one of my requests to an erroneous email (for simplicity sake, let's say I used .com instead of .edu when typing it in). The program does not allow me to change the email after a request has been sent, so I had to "exclude" that recommendation and subsequently resend a different, correct one. The correct one is now successfully submitted. My question is - will this "excluded" request be visible by those reviewing the application and could it possibly be viewed negatively -- indicating carelessness? If this is the case, should I contact the school and see if there is a way they can manually remove the excluded request from my application package? Or am I being silly and this is nothing to worry about? Thanks for the help!
  6. I graduated with a degree in healthcare management from a top 20 public university. I completely was too narrow-minded in finding a job and did not focus on what I really liked. I have a great GPA (3.9/4.0), some research experience in psychology, some volunteer experience with service trips, and a lot of professional experience in healthcare through internships. Eventually I would like to teach at a university or even just be a higher up administrative person. My old boss told me that in order to go through the ranks of higher ed administration you need a phd as most of his colleagues with one were getting promoted faster than those without. Has anyone with a completely different degree gotten a PhD in political science from somewhere competitive (top 20)? what did you do? I sadly got talked out of applying to the honors program (I transferred and wanted to do it as a junior) and have no thesis or real writing samples. knowing this, I feel I should pursue a masters, but thats SO expensive and time consuming. I can't find funded political science MA's nonetheless. I have thought about getting an MPP or MPA but all I have heard is that it is more application focused and less research focused. I'm completely lost but I feel some success stories or advice would be incredibly appreciated.
  7. Hi everyone, For some of the programs I'm applying to, a "diversity statement" or "personal statement" is required in addition to the standard Statement of Purpose. However, for schools that only ask for the Statement of Purpose, there is a field where I can attach additional documents. Would it be wise to provide a diversity statement to a school that isn't asking for it? Similarly, if a school is not asking for a writing sample, what are your opinions on providing one in the space to upload supplemental files? Basically, long question short is: to what extent should you/should you not upload supplemental files not specifically requested? Could it ever hurt to provide more? Thanks!
  8. Applying to a methodologically divided department

    Hi everyone: I was hoping to get some opinions on the best strategy when applying to methodologically divided departments. After speaking with a current PhD student, he seemed to imply that the department is split and a lot of your research will depend on the professors you get grouped in with from the beginning (this is a top program). He went as far as to suggest there was an underlying resentment/hostility between faculty, which makes me second guess whether or not that's the place I want to be -- but I plan to apply regardless and I've also heard that other programs may have similar atmospheres. (I guess you don't truly know until you're there) With that said, as an applicant, how important is it to be aware of these methodological splits? Can some of you help me navigate what types of splits there frequently are in programs and how that may influence the way an admissions committee views my application? If it matters, I'll be applying to IR subfield. Thanks for your help.
  9. Hi everyone. I look for some good school matching my academic interest. I hope you help me figure it out. I have studied Giorgio Agamben and Pollitical Theology. It is really hard to find professors sharing the interest. In addition, I am planning to apply for Phd program political philosophy.
  10. Should I retake the GRE?

    Hi, I'm applying this cycle for grad schools in Political Science and wanted to know what you guys thought about my GRE scores and potentially my profile more generally. I just graduated from a top 10 LAC and am currently doing a 1 year masters program in Political Science in the UK (okay school, top 10 in politics. I received a full scholarship though). I took the GRE this summer and was hoping for 160+ on the Quant but fell short. Do you guys have any advice? GPA (Top 10 LAC in the US): 3.6 overall, 3.87 in Political Science/IR GRE: 170 Verbal (99th Percentile) / 159 Quantitative (73rd Percentile) / 4.5 AW (82nd Percentile) LOR: 3 very strong letters. One from professor who truly adores me, one from undergrad thesis adviser and one from professor I did research with in addition to taking courses with. Research Experience: Senior Thesis (received distinction), Summer spent as RA for prof, Seminar papers, will finish Dissertation over the course of Masters program here. Topic of Interest: IR, specifically looking at norms regulating the use of force and state behaviors within those normative regimes Schools of interest (Probably will end up being a smaller list): Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Columbia, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Cornell, Wisconsin, U Chicago, George Washington
  11. Hello everyone! I'm just gearing up to finalize a list of schools to apply to, and just wanted some guidance on that, given my profile. I just want to make sure I'm being realistic. I'm set on applying to an MA program, and not a PhD, even though I will graduate with an MA in a few month in a different area- simply because I'm not sure if I'm ready to put in the commitment of PhD level research just yet, but still want to kind of dip my toes in the political science field. I'd just really appreciate knowing what I can expect, or where I should be applying realistically, and how competitive my profile is. Thanks! Undergraduate +Graduate Institution: Number 1 ranked (or within top three, depending on the ranking list checked) University in India by Ministry of Human Resource Development. Undergraduate + Graduate Degree: 5 year Integrated MA in Development Studies, minor in Economics (i.e. you do a BA and an MA coursework in the five year period, but you graduate with an MA) GPA: 8.57/10.0 (apparently converts to around 3.6 on a 4 point scale, roughly)- I'll improve it, but the 8.57 is what will go in applications GRE: verbal- 163, quant-160, analytical writing- 5.5 TOEFL- 119/120 on the internet based test internships/work- I'm a founding member of a small NGO that works in my country, i've interned at a tech start up, and at the World Bank. Teaching experience: TA for my thesis guide Research Experience: My MA thesis is just currently underway, and that won't get done till the end of the year. Letters of Recommendation: Will get from tenured faculty members- most of whom have their PhDs from top universities in India, or in the US. Research Interests- American politics/ elections Just a note on the TOEFL- I've only taken it just in case. I'm an American studying abroad in an institution where the medium of instruction is english. So most schools seem to say it's unnecessary but it's also very unclear to me. So, just in case. I'm looking at applying to terminal MA programs in the US- preferably around Washington DC/New York, and preferably top 20-30 programs. Is that at all realistic? Thanks a bunch! Any advice at all will really help me decide how to go about this!
  12. Hi all, I am looking for insight into how application readers for PhD in Political Science weight the GRE verbal versus GRE quant scores. So far, I've read mixed thoughts on the two. I've taken the GRE and have gotten a score of 165V/160Q (95th/76th percentiles) and 160V/164Q (85th/87th percentiles). Which do you think would be better to send to schools as part of my application? I also have no intention of retaking the exam again. Thank you so much for your insight and help!
  13. IR PhD profile evaluation

    Hi everyone I am an International Student (India) applying to several political science PhD for Fall 2018. I am looking to get some opinion on the probability of getting into the colleges selected Here is my profile: Undergrad GPA: 6.64 (around 3.9 after conversion) Grad GPA: 3.67 Research Experience: MA these , not published Research Interests: IR sub-field, International Political Economy TOEFL: 100 GRE: v 155 q 159 awa 4 Colleges UC Santa Barbara Princeton MIT NYU Indiana University Syracuse Cornell
  14. MA then PhD, or just PhD?

    I am currently researching the the prospect of getting a PhD in Political Science. My research interests are in american and comparative politics, specifically institutions and institutional analysis. My research interests align most with scholars such as Barry Weingast, Gary Cox, Douglas North, Elinor Ostrom, and Robert H Bates. Obviously, I would want to get into a top 10-20 PhD program. However, I have a checkered educational past. I went to undergrad at a top research university, majored in history and minored in political science, and got a 3.4. I then went to get a dual degree JD/MBA. I hated law school and did poorly, and got a 2.7. In business school I did better and got a 3.5. It wasn't until after graduating law school that I realized I truly didn't want to be an attorney, and that my passions were in political science, research, ideas, and teaching. I have almost no math experience, as I took no math in undergrad. The only math experience I have is in business school, where I took a single stats course and a corporate accounting course. I still have yet to take my GRE. I have read in these forums that you need to have taken quite a bit of quant classes in order to be competitive in top schools. Currently working as a research assistant for a scholar at a right leaning think tank (not sure if this would hurt me advertising this on my resume) Based on the above info: 1) Should I pursue a terminal masters program in political science or a public policy degree in order to make up for my deficiency in math courses, lower GPA, as well as to try and get research experience with political science professors so I can get good letters of rec? 2) The only people I could get a letter of rec from are the dean of my business school, an econ professor from my business school, and one of my law professors who I'm very close with. Are these sufficient, or should I pursue a masters so I can build relationships with professors in poli sci to get letters of rec from them? 3) If getting a masters is not a good idea, is there anything else I can do to bolster my resume (besides the obvious getting high GRE scores)? I spoke to a current PhD poli sci student at UCLA and he told me he didn't think it was necessary to get a masters. Thoughts?
  15. Dear all, My specialism is political thought and intellectual history. At top US institutions like Princeton and Harvard, would I have a greater chance of admission if I apply for PhD programs in history, or in political science? Which field is less competitive in top research universities? Thanks, Dem
  16. Hey guys, I'm going to be starting my application for my Master's program soon. My first choice is Carleton's NPSIA. I thought I'd start a thread this year so if anyone else is going to apply as well, we can go on this tumultuous journey together. I'm an international student, so the processes and such may be different and requirements more extensive, but I'm sure we can all find some commonality. And also benefit from discussion.
  17. Hey everyone. I'm really sorry if you've seen this sort of thread a billion times and have gotten sick of it, but I had trouble locating a thread like this that actually applies directly to me. I graduated this year with a BA from University College London, and am set to begin a master's course at LSE this fall. For my undergraduate education, I had to write a 10000 word dissertation based on my original research, and will have to write a 15000 for my master's course. After I am done at LSE, I hope to undertake a PhD in political science (focusing on political philosophy and theory) at an institution like Harvard, Columbia, or Georgetown. My question is, do I have a chance considering I have no real research experience in the sense that my name has not appeared on any peer reviewed or published academic journals? Or do my undergraduate/graduate dissertations count as research experience? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Gretchen
  18. Am I A Good MPP Candidate?

    I've recently been thinking about getting an MPP degree. I was initially looking into law school but soon came to realize that public policy (specifically educational policy) is where my passion ultimately lies. However, I worry that my background will not be enough to gain admittance into most MPP programs. Fast Facts: Senior History Major from Creighton University (minors in political science and digital humanities) 3.6 major gpa, 3.38 total gpa No GRE scores yet but practice tests indicate I will be above the minimum threshold Limited Math and Econ Expierence B+ in Micro junior year Virtually no math experience since high school Soft Skills Leadership Position in Fraternity Volunteered for local mayoral campaign College Democrats I realize this list is barebones, but I'm simply wondering if MPP programs will even show interest in me given my hard liberal arts focus and relatively weak econ/stats/math background. Any information you can provide would be extremely helpful as most of the departments and faculty here are clueless as to what MPP programs typically look for.
  19. Hello all! I am applying to PhD programs in political science/government and was wondering if you could take a look at my profile to see if I would be a competitive candidate: undergrad GPA: 3.5 at a top 25 public research university major GPA: 3.7 grad GPA: 3.6 at a top 75 (private) research university GRE: V- 165, Q- 168 LOR: 2 from faculty I worked closely with in my masters program, 1 school assistant principal where I work, 1 US congressman with whom I worked work experience: 4 years teaching at an urban Title 1 school, 1 year working on an inaugural US congressional campaign I'm thinking of applying to top 20 programs in political science. Do you guys think it would be realistic for me to get in? I know my GPA is on the low side (I took "hard science" classes - physics, chemistry, biology, calculus - which dropped it a bit) but am hoping that my GRE scores, strong letters of recommendation, good personal statement, and (hopefully) interesting and successful work experience will work in my favor. What do you think?
  20. Graduated in 2013 and was planning on attending law school, but decided that I ultimately do not want to practice law. Instead, I'd like to work in congressional politics. What MPA (or similar) programs would be recommended for someone with: 3.7 GPA Years of teaching experience abroad Interest in working on the Hill My top choice so far is GWU's MPA. I'm also considering taking the GRE to expand my options, but after months of studying for the LSAT the thought of studying for an entirely new test is daunting. Thanks!
  21. Hi everyone, I'm spending days and nights trying to decide which programs to apply to and whether I even should apply to PhD programs. My profile is below, and my burning questions follows. Undergraduate Institution: Top 25 liberal arts college (depending on which list you look at) Major: Policy Studies, Economics (Minor in Philosophy) Cumulative GPA: 3.94 GRE: Shooting for around 162Q, 166V Letters of Recommendation: My options are - my thesis advisor who I have known since my first semester (tenure track/international politics), a professor I did research with for a year (tenure track/international politics), professor whom I have a great relationship with (tenured/philosophy), professor who I TA'ed for (tenure/economics), thesis advisor whom I'm fairly close to (tenure/economics). I have good relationships with all of them and most have offered to write me LORs. I don't know how well-respected they are in their fields though. Research Experience: Did a year's worth of research with a professor whose research interests are only loosely tied to mine. I am also writing a thesis. Work Experience: Production assistant at a news channel for 6 months, internship in a municipal business development bureau in China, in charge of a running a book club volunteer program at the local women's prison Teaching Experience: Was a TA for Econometrics for one semester and is a writing tutor for two years now. Additional Skills: Fluent Mandarin, Intermediate Arabic, Python, STATA Research Interests: Energy security and development policy in East Asia (mostly China) Choices for MA: Cambridge, LSE, John Hopkins, Chicago, Princeton, Harvard Choices for PhD: UCSD, UC Berkeley, Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, Yale Burning questions: 1) Not a question, but please be brutally honest. I've had enough people being very nice to me about grad school applications just so my dreams don't get shot down. My dreams will get shot down by the admissions committee anyway so you'd be doing me a favor by shooting down my dreams before I pay that $100 application fee. 2) As you can tell, I'm only applying to Top 20 schools. It's a bit of pride, and a bit of practicality because those schools are the best choice for my research interests. However, do you think I will get in? Or am I shooting too high? 3) With my profile, do you think I should do a MA before I apply to PhD programs so I can strength my application and actually get into a top 20 school? 4) Everyone seems to have a publication, so do you think it is necessary to have one to get into these programs? My professors have said that it is actually better to wait until you are a grad student to publish the work you've done in undergrad because those journals are more well-regarded. 5) Lastly, if there are any other schools you think I should look at, please do suggest them! Thank you so much for your time and may you receive brownie points and actual brownies for helping an anxious undergrad!
  22. Program recommendations

    Applying to polsci PhD programs this Fall and am looking for some recommendations on where to apply. I'm interested in a few topics within sub-Saharan Africa: elections and party formation, political violence and corruption. Can be more specific if needed. Thanks!
  23. Which discipline fits?

    All, Bottom line up front, I am trying to decide on exactly which side I fall of a particular line. My deepest interests lie in International Political Economy and Economic history, specifically sanctions, conflict in the context of the liberal world order (military, diplomatic and economic), American Grand Strategy, deterrence, foreign aid and the weaponization of second world countries by first world countries through investment, proxy players and their effects on the global economy, formation and break up of supernational government organizations and the reactions of G20 governments to global economic developments. I know there's a lot there but I promise it's very thought out and I believe I can make a life out of developing questions from this and pursuing answers to those questions. My academic background is as follows: Undergrad: Top 50 State school, Tier 1 Research, BS Business Management, 3.55 GPA, sufficient math Grad: Unranked program but decent institution (T40-60), currently pursuing MA Economics, expect to graduate 3.9-4.0 GRE: 164V/154Q/4.5 AW (will retake for quant, feeling confident) Research Experience: 1 semester paid RA with Insurance Professor working on government project, no publication (project got scrapped because of political unpopularity during election season) Professional Data: At time of application will have 4 years commissioned military experience LOR: It's a ways off but for this purpose let's assume I'll get 3 glowing recommendations from professors from my current program, well known Misc: No publications yet (hope to change by end of MA), graduated undergrad in 3 years, grad program is heterodox and applied My real concern is whether this is strictly a Political Science dream or whether Economics is a possible path forward. The question exists for 2 reasons: Economists like Michael Munger have made a name for themselves in Political Science contexts, but it seems harder for a PoliSci type to seriously break into Economics circles. Second, with my academic profile, getting into a top 40 PoliSci program seems iffy, but getting into a top 100 Economics program seems quite plausible assuming I perform well on the GRE retake and in my masters... and the current consensus seems to be that a top 100 economics PhD is more employable than a PoliSci phd outside the top 40. As an economist I would develop skills in quant areas and could use that to push the narrative of my research and as a PoliSci I might have more clout in the IR world at the kind of think tanks I'd love to work at. I'd also consider working in research for Congress or other parts of the government but ultimately this is an academic question. Perhaps the question can best be summed up as: Which field would professionally enable me to pursue the 'most' of my interests, with respect to my current qualifications and employability of the degree? -tanker12
  24. Hi everyone. I've been looking around this forum for awhile as I've been researching Ph.D. programs in political science, and I have a few questions regarding admissions. First, let me give you some background information on myself. I attend a decently ranked regional liberal arts college in the Northeast, and I have a 3.8 GPA. I'm majoring in history (3.93 GPA) and minoring in political science (4.0 GPA). I have not taken the GREs yet. I have, however, taken a practice test without studying to see where I need the most improvement, scoring a 152 V / 153 Q. I understand these scores are not great as I am not a strong standardized test taker. After a few months of preparation, I hope to score between 157 and 160 on both sections. I have zero publication experience and minimal research experience. I've presented research at two regional conferences and recently applied to present poli sci research at a third this November. Also, I've written a 40-page thesis paper (although it was a history paper). As for work experience, I've interned for political nonprofits and legislative offices and done archival work. I've heard that work experience doesn't matter much to admissions committees, though. I plan to apply to programs with exceptionally strong political behavior programs this fall. That being said, I have a few questions. 1. I'm worried about my GRE scores. Even though I haven't taken the official test yet, I can't see my score being above 315/320. I know various admissions websites claimed to look at the application as a whole, but I'm nervous that my application will be immediately scrapped. How influential are GRE scores in the overall decision? 2. What are some strong political behavior programs? As of right now, my list of schools include Duke, Columbia, UC San Diego, OSU, UC Davis, Minnesota, Northwestern, UVA, UFL, and UC Irvine. 3. While my current undergraduate institution is a decently ranked regional liberal arts college, I'm worried that it won't be prestigious enough to get into any of the schools listed above. Is this justified? 4. Because I go to a liberal arts college, it's difficult to find open research assistant positions. Is my minimal research and publication experience a large issue? 5. Like I said, I've heard that work experience doesn't count for much when applying to Ph.D. programs. Is this assumption correct? If my GRE scores exceed my expectations, I think I could be considered a strong candidate. Regardless, I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!