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2018-2019 Application Thread

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1 minute ago, PBandMachiajelly said:

Hey gang. Sitting in the middle of a snowstorm atm plugging away on school stuff and trying unsuccessfully to distract myself from my inbox. I'm reading some of the comments above and it's making my heart full. Everyone here is a smart, capable scholar who will find success no matter the result of this application cycle, and I hope everyone's managing to keep it level, regardless of the # of acceptances. Keep on digging through!

digging your username! (and I totally read "sitting in the middle of a snow ATM" lol)

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Just now, sandmoon said:

digging your username! (and I totally read "sitting in the middle of a snow ATM" lol)

If it's a snow ATM somebody waived the withdrawal fee... it hasn't stopped since yesterday afternoon.

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10 minutes ago, ICanRead said:

I wouldn't stress a ton about BC in particular. It's a boutique program. Not many admits, and very heavily theory focused. Even going beyond theory, their second biggest thing is American stuff, which is itself pretty APT heavy. The extent to which they have been branching out into IR with faculty picks may take a while to affect the kinds of students they're taking. If you're a good showing in IR, they may simply not want IR students this run.

So would you discourage IR or Comparative people from applying to BC?

I'm looking at schools to apply for next cycle, and two out of the three IR faculty have really cool research and it connects to my area of interest, but I don't really want to waste the application if IR students have no shot in hell of getting in. 

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14 minutes ago, Dwar said:

So would you discourage IR or Comparative people from applying to BC?

I'm looking at schools to apply for next cycle, and two out of the three IR faculty have really cool research and it connects to my area of interest, but I don't really want to waste the application if IR students have no shot in hell of getting in. 

I wouldn't discourage anything. I'm not an insider. I am just speculating here. If you're really interested in their IR people, then you might send one of those people an email and have a chat with them about the program. They will certainly have more insight than I do, and I don't want to potentially ruin a good thing by telling you not to apply somewhere. However, if you want my honest opinion, an IR student might need to shine a little brighter to attract the attention of a BC committee. I want to stress again, though, that I'm just an undergrad you've never met. Do not take my word at face value. Maybe I'm an IR student with my eyes on Boston looking to thin out next year's competition in some elaborate ruse. Get your info from the horse's mouth. Profs don't bite.

Edited by ICanRead
typo

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7 minutes ago, PBandMachiajelly said:

If it's a snow ATM somebody waived the withdrawal fee... it hasn't stopped since yesterday afternoon.

Snowing where I am too. My sibling's school has been cancelled twice this week for ice and snow. Unfortunately I still have to go to stats class 😩

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Just now, trinityshot said:

Snowing where I am too. My sibling's school has been cancelled twice this week for ice and snow. Unfortunately I still have to go to stats class 😩

Snow AND Stats? My thoughts are with you in these trying times.

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5 minutes ago, ICanRead said:

I wouldn't discourage anything. I'm not an insider. I am just speculating here. If you're really interested in their IR people, then you might send one of those people an email and have a chat with them about the program. They will certainly have more insight than I do, and I don't want to potentially ruin a good thing by telling you not to apply somewhere. However, if you want my honest opinion, an IR student might need to shine a little brighter to attract the attention of a BC committee. I want to stress again, though, that I'm just an undergrad you've never met. Do not take my word at face value. Maybe I'm an IR student with my eyes on Boston looking to thin out next year's competition in some elaborate rule. Get your info from the horse's mouth. Profs don't bite.

Thank you so much for the reply and the suggestion!

As the cycle dies down and the semester ends, i'll be sure to shoot one of the IR professors an email and ask about the program in general and the chance of an IR admit. 

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8 minutes ago, ICanRead said:

Snow AND Stats? My thoughts are with you in these trying times.

Eh it's not THAT bad... stats is fun y'all! What's not fun is trying to walk up the hill on State St. and sliding backwards despite walking forwards

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Just now, trinityshot said:

Eh it's not THAT bad... stats is fun y'all! What's not fun is trying to walk up the hill on State St. and sliding backwards despite walking forwards

Stats is fun? Sorry, you've lost my tiny theorist brain. On the other hand, by your description it seems that you've discovered the secret of the Moonwalk.

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28 minutes ago, Dwar said:

So would you discourage IR or Comparative people from applying to BC?

I'm looking at schools to apply for next cycle, and two out of the three IR faculty have really cool research and it connects to my area of interest, but I don't really want to waste the application if IR students have no shot in hell of getting in. 

Professors at BC are really nice, and they generally answer your e-mails about the program and their research. I spoke to them before the application deadlines, and they were really nice. I also do not know which IR topics that you are interested in but I can say that Boston University has great people who work on IR. 

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6 minutes ago, TheBunny said:

Professors at BC are really nice, and they generally answer your e-mails about the program and their research. I spoke to them before the application deadlines, and they were really nice. I also do not know which IR topics that you are interested in but I can say that Boston University has great people who work on IR. 

Thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to shoot them an email in the next coming months. 

And I did actually look into BU, but they only have one professor that I would want to work with, while BC has two different professors that I would love to work with. 

I thought it was really interesting that out of the 3 IR faculty at BC two of them are researching what I am interested in!

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1 minute ago, Dwar said:

Thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to shoot them an email in the next coming months. 

And I did actually look into BU, but they only have one professor that I would want to work with, while BC has two different professors that I would love to work with. 

I thought it was really interesting that out of the 3 IR faculty at BC two of them are researching what I am interested in!

From what I can tell, BC has 4 IR profs. I'm not particularly well versed in the field though, so it's possible I'm missing something like one of them being emeritus or retired.

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1 minute ago, ICanRead said:

From what I can tell, BC has 4 IR profs. I'm not particularly well versed in the field though, so it's possible I'm missing something like one of them being emeritus or retired.

My bad, you're right. there are 4 IR professors. 

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57 minutes ago, ICanRead said:

Snow AND Stats? My thoughts are with you in these trying times.

I see the acronym "APT" a lot -- what's APT? (non-theorist here)

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46 minutes ago, sandmoon said:

I see the acronym "APT" a lot -- what's APT? (non-theorist here)

American Political Thought. It's basically a field that is a grey area, since it relates to American politics and Political theory, both of which are common Subfields.

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I see a lot of talk about top 10, top 20 etc schools. Which index is the most common one here? USNews? Times? QS? And do you refer to the whole world or just the U.S? Thank you.

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2 minutes ago, devotee said:

I see a lot of talk about top 10, top 20 etc schools. Which index is the most common one here? USNews? Times? QS? And do you refer to the whole world or just the U.S? Thank you.

I think it generally refers to the US and USNews is the one which is generally used but I also like using THE. I have some problems with the methodology of USNews and QS

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7 minutes ago, devotee said:

I see a lot of talk about top 10, top 20 etc schools. Which index is the most common one here? USNews? Times? QS? And do you refer to the whole world or just the U.S? Thank you.

Depends. For the most part, USNews is pretty roughly accurate as far as I've heard. Re: theory, though, it's more complicated. For one, there's the question of whether you're doing History of Political Thought or Contemporary theory. In HPT, if people think you're a Straussian (doesn't matter if you actually are or not), they may not take you. Many institutions are very very against it (there was a whole scandal with Yale and Thomas Pangle a while back, though Yale in particular is much more sympathetic these days). So if you're a Strauss-like HPT applicant, you're really only looking at certain places anyway, which kind of nullifies the top 10 consideration. Re: international, it largely depends on where you want to work. If you want to work at an American University, go to one. Even UToronto, which has the largest political science faculty I've ever seen and is Canadian, has some trouble securing American placement. Hope it helps.

Edited by ICanRead
Typo

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1 hour ago, ICanRead said:

Depends. For the most part, USNews is pretty roughly accurate as far as I've heard. Re: theory, though, it's more complicated. For one, there's the question of whether you're doing History of Political Thought or Contemporary theory. In HPT, if people think you're a Straussian (doesn't matter if you actually are or not), they may not take you. Many institutions are very very against it (there was a whole scandal with Yale and Thomas Pangle a while back, though Yale in particular is much more sympathetic these days). So if you're a Strauss-like HPT applicant, you're really only looking at certain places anyway, which kind of nullifies the top 10 consideration. Re: international, it largely depends on where you want to work. If you want to work at an American University, go to one. Even UToronto, which has the largest political science faculty I've ever seen and is Canadian, has some trouble securing American placement. Hope it helps.

Is it correct that USNews is based strictly on reputation score, as gathered from the opinions of professors at the 120 or so PhD granting institutions? If this is true, it makes sense that the rankings would seem, on average, pretty "accurate" to most. It would also make sense that rankings are very hard to move, or that they might move quite a lot all of a sudden for some school, due to small shocks, then remain artificially low if redemptive information is slow to disseminate.

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5 minutes ago, Nickleby said:

Is it correct that USNews is based strictly on reputation score, as gathered from the opinions of professors at the 120 or so PhD granting institutions? If this is true, it makes sense that the rankings would seem, on average, pretty "accurate" to most. It would also make sense that rankings are very hard to move, or that they might move quite a lot all of a sudden for some school, due to small shocks, then remain artificially low if redemptive information is slow to disseminate.

As I understand it, they ask professors and deans to rank schools on a scale of 1-5. That's it. One question. Yet that score still seems to matter more than the professors you work with for success on the market. So it may be 'accurate' to a degree for placement, but I would be skeptical if it corresponded to quality of instruction, scholarship, and so on.

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29 minutes ago, nerokoala said:

Any discipline straddlers here applying to Caltech SS?

Hi fellow discipline-straddler, I applied to Caltech SS and got the official decision (acceptance) on February 11. There have been some more informal communications (visit day info and such) in the days since. 

Edited by blueoctober
grammar

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3 minutes ago, blueoctober said:

Hi fellow discipline-straddler, I applied to Caltech SS and got the official decision (acceptance) on February 11. There have been some more informal communications (visit day info and such) in the days since. 

Hey, I didn't apply to Caltech because honestly their previous math coursework recommendations were intimidating, among other reasons. I'm wondering if you've previously fulfilled all of them (presumably with stellar grades)? 

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