Jump to content
Leo9

2018-2019 Application Thread

Recommended Posts

Just now, eggsalad14 said:

It sounds like I'm getting rejected from Harvard too at this point, which hurts a little but is ok. Literally everyone but Harvard has emailed me today, which has caused a lot of heart racing. 

I hope everyone is seeing this exchange on the results page about the LSE econ student from Bath. It's a little funny. 

Is there a way to filter the search so that we don't see the LSE results? I feel like I know way too much the various departments at LSE than any other school on the planet lol.

There was another comment about how "uk grads" like to put that in the comment section. I thought that was funny too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, sandmoon said:

Is there a way to filter the search so that we don't see the LSE results? I feel like I know way too much the various departments at LSE than any other school on the planet lol.

There was another comment about how "uk grads" like to put that in the comment section. I thought that was funny too.

Do something like "-london" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so I have a question that I'm sure has come up before, in the context of the "uk grad" additions to results. I have a Canadian undergrad and a Canadian MA on the way - I know that that put me at an immediate disadvantage for my R1 applications. Are there any uk grads here who want to explain why they qualify all the results, and anyone at all who could explain the relationship between UK universities and prospects in the US? I'm familiar enough with the Canadian context, but I'm out to sea on this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After getting the rejection from Columbia just now, my application cycle was finalized. I applied to 13 out of the top 20 programs and got rejected from most of them (admitted by 2). Applying to PhD in political science has been more stressful than I have ever imagined. I made a lot of efforts for this dream and I was switching between sadness, frustration, disappointment, ecstasy (very rare tho) during the past two months. This could indeed be the least productive period of time since college. That being said, I  still learnt a lot from the process and got one admission that was really satisfying. 

I have two suggestions for future applicants that mainly target schools in the top 20. First, even though a lot of great ppl on this forum emphasized great fit,  personally I think the 'great fit' is defined by the committee rather than you. Applications are really arbitrary and there are a lot of factors that are unpredictable.  So I would still recommend future applicants to apply to all the top 10 schools. But for sure, conduct careful research of the school before you start!  Second, as MA programs in UCSD, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia have been flourishing, it's not difficult to find big names to be your letter writers. MAKE SURE THEY ARE WRITING YOU STRONG ONES RATHER THAN JUST GENERIC LETTERS.....

I guess that's it..... I am gonna have some cup noodles and get back to my miserable and poor academic life...

 

Edited by Mischief_Managed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, PBandMachiajelly said:

Ok so I have a question that I'm sure has come up before, in the context of the "uk grad" additions to results. I have a Canadian undergrad and a Canadian MA on the way - I know that that put me at an immediate disadvantage for my R1 applications. Are there any uk grads here who want to explain why they qualify all the results, and anyone at all who could explain the relationship between UK universities and prospects in the US? I'm familiar enough with the Canadian context, but I'm out to sea on this one.

 

26 minutes ago, sandmoon said:

Is there a way to filter the search so that we don't see the LSE results? I feel like I know way too much the various departments at LSE than any other school on the planet lol.

There was another comment about how "uk grads" like to put that in the comment section. I thought that was funny too.

Sorry, long time lurker here who just made an account, because I am one of those people who wrote 'uk grads'... 

It wasn't a long-pondered decision, I did so because I:

1.) saw many people wrote something along the lines of 'Canadian MA / LSE master's / Hong Kong top 3'

2.) genuinely thought this would be more helpful for future applicants to get an idea of the program make-up, however biased the sample may be, as we can then have more granular data than just 'A/U/I'

3.) thought it may encourage future undergraduates from the UK and beyond to directly apply for US programs. The level of information over here is even lower. Most faculty members and students here thought a master's is a necessary condition for entry.  I definitely wouldn't have even tried without some strong encouragement and reading this forum, which helped me to understand the American system in countless ways

Edited by GoodbyeLenin
typos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, GoodbyeLenin said:

 

Sorry, long time lurker here who just made an account, because I am one of those people who wrote 'uk grads'... 

It wasn't a long-pondered decision, I did so because I: 

1.) saw many people wrote something along the lines of 'Canadian MA / LSE master's / Hong Kong top 3'

2.) genuinely thought this would be more helpful for future applicants to get an idea, of the program make-up, however biased, as we can then have more granular data than just 'A/U/I'

3.) thought it may encourage future undergraduates from the UK and beyond to directly apply for US programs. The level of information over here is even lower. Most faculty members and students here thought a master's is a necessary condition for entry.  I definitely wouldn't have even tried without some strong encouragement and reading this forum, which helped me to understand the American system in countless ways 

Thanks for the reply! That makes perfect sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No offense to those who noted their country of origin on the results page, I just wanted to point out that at most of the top programs, at least half (?) of the students got their bachelor's degrees from non-US institutions, many from non-English-speaking places. Definitely possible to get into a top US program from foreign universities.

Share this post


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

Ok so I have a question that I'm sure has come up before, in the context of the "uk grad" additions to results. I have a Canadian undergrad and a Canadian MA on the way - I know that that put me at an immediate disadvantage for my R1 applications. Are there any uk grads here who want to explain why they qualify all the results, and anyone at all who could explain the relationship between UK universities and prospects in the US? I'm familiar enough with the Canadian context, but I'm out to sea on this one.

I'm from the US but did my undergrad in the UK. I wrote it on a few of my results. It was always helpful to see when I was looking at the results page, so thought I'd reciprocate. It is also pertinent to admissions committees, partially because they might not know how to evaluate results or they might think UK degrees aren't rigorous, etc, so seeing someone get in with a UK degree meant it was possible.

As far as how UK degrees are evaluated, who knows. Outside Oxbridge and maybe the big London schools, there's likely a name recognition gap. Schools like Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool are really great but even they would probably be looked down upon by admissions committees in ways comparable US schools would not be. There's also the distinction in the number of courses: I had 9 courses and a thesis over the entirety of my undergrad and they all sound like introductory courses (comparative politics, international relations, political theory, etc.). So that might not be great because it's hard to specialize and show a deep interest in something. On the research area I applied to study, I've had zero coursework or instruction.

That said I got into a couple t-10s, and there are Oxbridge grads at Princeton, Harvard and Stanford right now. Granted, most of them also did an MPhil or MSc, but it's certainly possible to get into top US programs coming from the UK and elsewhere. Lots of people at good programs did the LSE masters programs.

46 minutes ago, sandmoon said:

No offense to those who noted their country of origin on the results page, I just wanted to point out that at most of the top programs, at least half (?) of the students got their bachelor's degrees from non-US institutions, many from non-English-speaking places. Definitely possible to get into a top US program from foreign universities.

I guess it's a different question of whether it's harder to get into US programs coming from outside the US, but yeah, there are a decent number of people from Europe, Latin America and Asia these days. I'd say far less than half at most top programs but a fair few. I went to a top level international program and was advised by a professor who had her PhD from Berkeley that it's hard to come from Europe without a masters, even from well known schools. Most of the people coming from my school to the US needed Oxbridge/LSE masters to get in. For instance, I just scrolled through half of Stanford's grad students, and while only a couple people who went to US schools had masters before starting their PhDs, every non-US student I could find a CV/linkedin for had a masters. Part of that is certainly a culture, particularly in continental Europe, of doing a masters anyway, but I would also bet there's some devaluation of the quality of non-US BAs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, pscwpv said:

I'm from the US but did my undergrad in the UK. I wrote it on a few of my results. It was always helpful to see when I was looking at the results page, so thought I'd reciprocate. It is also pertinent to admissions committees, partially because they might not know how to evaluate results or they might think UK degrees aren't rigorous, etc, so seeing someone get in with a UK degree meant it was possible.

As far as how UK degrees are evaluated, who knows. Outside Oxbridge and maybe the big London schools, there's likely a name recognition gap. Schools like Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool are really great but even they would probably be looked down upon by admissions committees in ways comparable US schools would not be. There's also the distinction in the number of courses: I had 9 courses and a thesis over the entirety of my undergrad and they all sound like introductory courses (comparative politics, international relations, political theory, etc.). So that might not be great because it's hard to specialize and show a deep interest in something. On the research area I applied to study, I've had zero coursework or instruction.

That said I got into a couple t-10s, and there are Oxbridge grads at Princeton, Harvard and Stanford right now. Granted, most of them also did an MPhil or MSc, but it's certainly possible to get into top US programs coming from the UK and elsewhere. Lots of people at good programs did the LSE masters programs.

I guess it's a different question of whether it's harder to get into US programs coming from outside the US, but yeah, there are a decent number of people from Europe, Latin America and Asia these days. I'd say far less than half at most top programs but a fair few. I went to a top level international program and was advised by a professor who had her PhD from Berkeley that it's hard to come from Europe without a masters, even from well known schools. Most of the people coming from my school to the US needed Oxbridge/LSE masters to get in. For instance, I just scrolled through half of Stanford's grad students, and while only a couple people who went to US schools had masters before starting their PhDs, every non-US student I could find a CV/linkedin for had a masters. Part of that is certainly a culture, particularly in continental Europe, of doing a masters anyway, but I would also bet there's some devaluation of the quality of non-US BAs. 

Congrats! Yeah some schools are definitely more reluctant to admit international students with no U.S. degree. I think MIT and NYU have a much higher percentage though. Maybe I only looked at those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, sandmoon said:

Congrats! Yeah some schools are definitely more reluctant to admit international students with no U.S. degree. I think MIT and NYU have a much higher percentage though. Maybe I only looked at those.

Congrats to you, too! Ya, I've heard NYU has lots international students. I definitely faced no disadvantages with applications, that's for sure :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, pscwpv said:

Congrats to you, too! Ya, I've heard NYU has lots international students. I definitely faced no disadvantages with applications, that's for sure :D

I feel you! I don't come from a prestigious US university, and we have massive grade deflation (relative to the Ivies). It's probably hard for Ivy professors to understand how B+'s are actually good grades (top 30%). Not downplaying your achievement in anyway -- you worked hard and earned every bit of it!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, pscwpv said:

I'm from the US but did my undergrad in the UK. I wrote it on a few of my results. It was always helpful to see when I was looking at the results page, so thought I'd reciprocate. It is also pertinent to admissions committees, partially because they might not know how to evaluate results or they might think UK degrees aren't rigorous, etc, so seeing someone get in with a UK degree meant it was possible.

As far as how UK degrees are evaluated, who knows. Outside Oxbridge and maybe the big London schools, there's likely a name recognition gap. Schools like Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool are really great but even they would probably be looked down upon by admissions committees in ways comparable US schools would not be. There's also the distinction in the number of courses: I had 9 courses and a thesis over the entirety of my undergrad and they all sound like introductory courses (comparative politics, international relations, political theory, etc.). So that might not be great because it's hard to specialize and show a deep interest in something. On the research area I applied to study, I've had zero coursework or instruction.

That said I got into a couple t-10s, and there are Oxbridge grads at Princeton, Harvard and Stanford right now. Granted, most of them also did an MPhil or MSc, but it's certainly possible to get into top US programs coming from the UK and elsewhere. Lots of people at good programs did the LSE masters programs.

I guess it's a different question of whether it's harder to get into US programs coming from outside the US, but yeah, there are a decent number of people from Europe, Latin America and Asia these days. I'd say far less than half at most top programs but a fair few. I went to a top level international program and was advised by a professor who had her PhD from Berkeley that it's hard to come from Europe without a masters, even from well known schools. Most of the people coming from my school to the US needed Oxbridge/LSE masters to get in. For instance, I just scrolled through half of Stanford's grad students, and while only a couple people who went to US schools had masters before starting their PhDs, every non-US student I could find a CV/linkedin for had a masters. Part of that is certainly a culture, particularly in continental Europe, of doing a masters anyway, but I would also bet there's some devaluation of the quality of non-US BAs. 

Out of curiosity - what would you say helped you the most as a non-US student? I have a couple of friends applying from overseas universities, and they said research opportunities are hard to come by, and when they are available, they are typically not of the kind that people do in the US. Is it sufficient to have good grades at university and write a good personal statement that shows your passion and knowledge? Do your recommenders have to have US connections to make things work? They asked me for advice but I feel unqualified to give any as a US grad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of people reported getting emails from UNC Chapel Hill to check their portals, but I haven't received anything and my portal hasn't been updated. Should I just wait it out? Anyone have any thoughts? I'm assuming a rejection at this point since I didn't receive an unofficial offer as some others have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, humanpinata said:

A lot of people reported getting emails from UNC Chapel Hill to check their portals, but I haven't received anything and my portal hasn't been updated. Should I just wait it out? Anyone have any thoughts? I'm assuming a rejection at this point since I didn't receive an unofficial offer as some others have.

Be sure to check your spam and other folders. I use Gmail and I think it went into "promotions" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, eggsalad14 said:

Be sure to check your spam and other folders. I use Gmail and I think it went into "promotions" 

Interesting. My portal isn't updated though, so maybe it's coming soon?

Share this post


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

Has anyone heard back from UC Irvine yet? That's the only school outside the top 10 (besides Harvard and UChicago) that I haven't heard back from yet. 

I think a few people were admitted, but they still have some pending (including mine).  I would say we are on some sort of unofficial waitlist.

Share this post


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

Has anyone heard back from UC Irvine yet? That's the only school outside the top 10 (besides Harvard and UChicago) that I haven't heard back from yet. 

I happen to personally know one of the professors at UCI (this person is currently advising me on a research project), and when I spoke to them last week, this person told me they already sent out their decisions a couple weeks ago. 

Share this post


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

Has anyone heard back from UC Irvine yet? That's the only school outside the top 10 (besides Harvard and UChicago) that I haven't heard back from yet. 

Luka, you're making millions in the NBA, what do you need to go to UCI for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sandmoon said:

Out of curiosity - what would you say helped you the most as a non-US student? I have a couple of friends applying from overseas universities, and they said research opportunities are hard to come by, and when they are available, they are typically not of the kind that people do in the US. Is it sufficient to have good grades at university and write a good personal statement that shows your passion and knowledge? Do your recommenders have to have US connections to make things work? They asked me for advice but I feel unqualified to give any as a US grad.

 

International student here, luckily got into some top-10 programs this cycle. From a non-English speaking country.

My two cents for international students who want to get into top PhD programs in the US but lacking the financial resources to invest in a foreign MA:

1) Go heavy on stats, math, econ, and programming. Do some graduate-level statistics/econometrics and calc 2. Take a few courses that require using Stata, R, Python etc. If you don't have recommenders with good connections in the US to credibly bat for your research potential, taking quantitative courses is a much easier path to signal your skill sets.

2) If there are such opportunities in your school, do a study abroad program (exchange student program). Pick an R1 university in the US (even better, a school you want to get into in the future). Work exceptionally hard in all courses, develop good relationships with professors, and do some research projects there if possible. Ask for recommendations from these professors after the semester. Most R1 professors graduate from top programs, and I assume they have better connections with committees of the programs you are aiming for. Their recommendations help demonstrate your English ability and compare your academic achievement with other students in the US. Admissions committees will get a better sense of what kind of student you are.

3) Be really careful when drafting research plan in your SoP. Read political science journals widely, especially APSR, AJPS, and JOP. What topics are people working on? Which methods do they use? Topics (and methods) the mainstream US scholars care about nowadays may be very different from the paradigm in your home country. Definitely don't write on a topic you are completely unexcited about, but you are going to be expected to do this kind of research when you start graduate school. If this is not for you, a PhD in the US might not be a good idea.

On top of everything, keep in mind that the admission process is a signaling game. We all need credible proofs for our abilities (and fitness with the program).

I got a lot of helpful advice from this forum, so I really hope my experience can help!

Edited by cafeoverdose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Neo_Institutionalist said:

I happen to personally know one of the professors at UCI (this person is currently advising me on a research project), and when I spoke to them last week, this person told me they already sent out their decisions a couple weeks ago. 

I'll probably list them as a rejection at this point then. Thanks for the inside scoop

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

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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