Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Bosco

Profile Evaluation - American Politics

Recommended Posts

Hello every one! It may be a little bit too early to begin talking about PhD application but I am pretty anxious and stressed about it already.

I am an international applicant applying in the coming application cycle and my GRE score is for sure my biggest weakness.

Profile:

School: Top public R1 with top political science program

Subfield: American (mainly on behavior, but also a little on institution, public opinion and political psychology)

GRE: 155 V, 159 Q, AW (not yet received)

GPA: 3.71 overall with distinction and 3.86 in political science with honors

Letters of rec: 1 well-known prof who supervised my thesis and write good letters, 1 associate prof and 1 assistant prof (hopefully their letters would be good)

Research experience: RA on political communication (specifically in American politics), RA on sociology (inequality)

Other experience: One think tank internship where I had two nonacademic publications, one government internship (research on social policy), one NGO internship (policy research) and two other internships in NGOs

Probably it doesn't matter much, but I am also a "half" student athlete who have represented the school and won some awards from regional and national tournaments.

 

My target is to get into any of the top 25 programs but I am very concern about my below-average-GRE score, especially the verbal part, even though I am an international applicant. However, due to some time conflicts, I will not be able to retake my GRE again. Do you think that I would be competitive enough for the top 25 programs?

Does anyone know how competitive is the Stanford GSB PhD program compared to Stanford's political science program?

Thanks a lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Contingent on your letters of rec/SOP being in good shape, I think you should certainly have a shot at programs in the 15-25 range. However, I would suggest a slightly different approach: instead of applying to every program in the top 25, target the programs that are placing well in your subfield without placing a hard ceiling on ranking. In political behavior, for example, Stony Brook or UVA would probably be better choices than Northwestern or TAMU. I would also recommend checking out the results page on this forum - you can see some of the stats (gpa/gre) of past applicants to various programs that you're considering, and whether they were accepted or not. It is certainly a selected sample (accepted applicants much more likely to post results than rejected ones), but might be useful to see where you stand.

Regarding GSB v. poli sci at Stanford, I'd say that both are pretty insanely competitive. Another thing to note is that GSB has a laundry list of math prereqs, because you'll be expected to take the micro and econometrics sequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dagnabbit said:

Contingent on your letters of rec/SOP being in good shape, I think you should certainly have a shot at programs in the 15-25 range. However, I would suggest a slightly different approach: instead of applying to every program in the top 25, target the programs that are placing well in your subfield without placing a hard ceiling on ranking. In political behavior, for example, Stony Brook or UVA would probably be better choices than Northwestern or TAMU. I would also recommend checking out the results page on this forum - you can see some of the stats (gpa/gre) of past applicants to various programs that you're considering, and whether they were accepted or not. It is certainly a selected sample (accepted applicants much more likely to post results than rejected ones), but might be useful to see where you stand.

Regarding GSB v. poli sci at Stanford, I'd say that both are pretty insanely competitive. Another thing to note is that GSB has a laundry list of math prereqs, because you'll be expected to take the micro and econometrics sequences.

Thank you very much for your reply.

Do you think that the top 15 programs would be too far of a reach for me mainly due to the GRE score?

Maybe I wasn’t being clear enough. But I certainly am not applying to all do the top 25 programs. I think that “fit” matters a lot during the admission process. I have already started getting in touch with some professors and hopefully they would vouch for me later.

thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's within your means, I think you should definitely apply to any top program at which your interests could be accommodated; even if admission at said places is a long shot (my rejection e-mail from Michigan a couple of years ago informed me that they received ~500 applications), the benefits of attendance are worth rolling the dice. It is true that your GRE scores will count against you at the Stanfords and Princetons of the world, but that's just one piece of your file. If you feel that your quant score is not reflective of your quantitative abilities, consider asking one of your letter writers (who can vouch for your quant chops) to address this in their letter.

I should have phrased my first post better - I didn't mean to suggest that you weren't competitive at certain programs, or that you planned to blanket the top 25. My intention was merely to argue that, once you get past the handful of programs that everyone agrees are the best, there is a lot of noise in the rankings. Therefore, I would caution against arbitrarily imposing a cutoff at rank 25 when there are a number of lower-ranked programs that could offer you the same (or better) job prospects as many programs within the top 25.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, dagnabbit said:

If it's within your means, I think you should definitely apply to any top program at which your interests could be accommodated; even if admission at said places is a long shot (my rejection e-mail from Michigan a couple of years ago informed me that they received ~500 applications), the benefits of attendance are worth rolling the dice. It is true that your GRE scores will count against you at the Stanfords and Princetons of the world, but that's just one piece of your file. If you feel that your quant score is not reflective of your quantitative abilities, consider asking one of your letter writers (who can vouch for your quant chops) to address this in their letter.

I should have phrased my first post better - I didn't mean to suggest that you weren't competitive at certain programs, or that you planned to blanket the top 25. My intention was merely to argue that, once you get past the handful of programs that everyone agrees are the best, there is a lot of noise in the rankings. Therefore, I would caution against arbitrarily imposing a cutoff at rank 25 when there are a number of lower-ranked programs that could offer you the same (or better) job prospects as many programs within the top 25.

Thank you for your advice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I applied to programs in Fall 2017, I was wait-listed at UNC-Chapel Hill (#11) and interviewed at UW-Madison (#14 or something like that). My GRE Q score was substantially lower than yours. I had really strong LORs (one d my letter writers was a fairly well-known methodologist) research experience, and conference presentations. So, in other words, other aspects of your application can make up for weak GRE scores. 

 

Edited by deutsch1997bw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.