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2018-2019 Application Thread

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8 hours 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.

Haha sandmoon thanks! It was me. I still don't know why. "UK Grad, bla bla..." "UK Grad, good fit, bla bla." I mean, WHO CARES?? What makes you this special dear Brits? No wonder why they're exiting the EU. [Note: German Grad - Bad letters, bad fit. I am looking for a department where I can attack the tradition of western metaphysics and overcome nihilism.]

Edited by nietzsche's moustache

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8 hours 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.

Why does that put you in immediate disadvantage, if I may ask?

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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.

 

1 hour ago, cafeoverdose said:

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!

^this is all super interesting and probably better points than any advice I have for them.

I'm from the US and wanted to study here, so applied, but none of my letter writers were from the US and only one was actually a political scientist. They did however constitute like 70% of the teaching I got. Part of my degree was quantitative research training (big 'Q-Step' thing across lots of UK universities) but that didn't show up on my transcript and I actually didn't mention it in my SOP (might've been a poor choice on my part, but none of the methods we used are things I plan to use for my research). I also haven't taken any math since high school, but had solid quant score. My course options were limited purely to things in my degree area: no pre-reqs, no electives, no languages, etc and there were no research methods options.

I think a common choice is to try to prove you can succeed at a top national program, so a masters at LSE/Oxbridge in the UK or Sciences Po in France or Amsterdam/Utrecht in the Netherlands or Juan March/UC3M in Spain, etc. Outside the UK, lots are cheap for EU nationals and have decent scholarships for living expenses through both the institutions and the EU. I know far less about Latin America/Asia.

I'd definitely agree with 3 above. The divide between US and non-US social science can  be bigger than you think and getting a firm grasp on what people are studying is useful. Anyway, I think it's probably hard to offer advice. I got lucky mostly and had a good fit methodologically for a couple programs, which with my lack of quant methods training was helpful!

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8 hours 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.

Totally agree. It's not that US academia is a closed guild system. PhD admission offers are based on academic merit, research fit, and future potential as a scholar. What makes you guys think that "UK Grads" cannot have these. If you check some "grad students" section of big programs, you can easily see that there are "French Grads, Tunisian Grads, Chinese Grads" etc. too. 

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1 hour ago, lukadoncic said:

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

UCI had their unofficial grad mixer tonight. Tomorrow is their official prospectives' day. 

Got my unofficial acceptance on January 25. Official offer came on 2/5

Subfield: American/theory. 

Edited by thephaeron
Update

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8 hours ago, GiornoGiovanna said:

Does anyone know what's happening at Chicago Harris... 

I emailed the AA for the program, and she told me folks should hear back no later than Monday. My portal's changed and an additional application for MPP was added¬†ūüė¨¬†meaning I probably didn't get into the PhD program but was pity admitted me to MPP.¬†

Edited by nerokoala

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20 minutes ago, TheBunny said:

Does anyone get their rejection letter from Harvard? I had a dream about it last night but my mailbox is empty

They sent out acceptance emails yesterday afternoon (generic email), so other info would hopefully be out soon.

Edited by upsy

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Anyone have recommendation between accepting a MAPPS offer or taking a second tier Ph. D?

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3 minutes ago, Corsette said:

Anyone have recommendation between accepting a MAPPS offer or taking a second tier Ph. D?

My personal opinion is that if you can afford it do MAPPS because you should be able to get into a T10 after. I would even speculate that the applications referred to MAPPS from PhD are people they think might be good PhD candidates at the school after a little more preparation.

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7 minutes ago, Corsette said:

Anyone have recommendation between accepting a MAPPS offer or taking a second tier Ph. D?

Depends on what you mean by second-tier? If you refer to schools like Madison, Cornell, Rochester, then definitely go for the PhD.

If you have a scholarship from MAPSS or still have second thoughts about doin a PhD, then go for MAPSS?

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1 minute ago, OmniscienceQuest said:

My personal opinion is that if you can afford it do MAPPS because you should be able to get into a T10 after. I would even speculate that the applications referred to MAPPS from PhD are people they think might be good PhD candidates at the school after a little more preparation.

I’ve been offered full scholarship to MAPSS, acceptances at University of Maryland and Syracuse. Thank you for your recommendation. 

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2 minutes ago, Corsette said:

I’ve been offered full scholarship to MAPSS, acceptances at University of Maryland and Syracuse. Thank you for your recommendation. 

I'd do some hard thinking about what you want out of your career. If you want to be a professor at an R1, your chances are going to be much higher with a top 15 ish degree, which MAPSS will help you get. If you want to work for an NGO, it's probably not necessary and Maryland would be a great option given it's good faculty and prime location. 

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7 minutes ago, eggsalad14 said:

Define second-tier. 

University of Maryland at College Park and Syracuse. 

Sorry you responded while I was typing, thank you for the recommendation. 

Edited by Corsette

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9 hours ago, thephaeron said:

UCI had their unofficial grad mixer tonight. Tomorrow is their official prospectives' day. 

Got my unofficial acceptance on January 25. Official offer came on 2/5

Subfield: American/theory. 

Hahaha damn, they didn't even send me a rejection email or let me know I'm on the waiting list. Oh well, thanks for the info, I'll list them as a rejection at this point. 

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3 hours ago, nerokoala said:

I emailed the AA for the program, and she told me folks should hear back no later than Monday. My portal's changed and an additional application for MPP was added¬†ūüė¨¬†meaning I probably didn't get into the PhD program but was pity admitted me to MPP.¬†ÔĽŅ

Sorry to hear that. no changes to my portal yet but I declined consideration for other programs so thats that. 

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27 minutes ago, Corsette said:

I’ve been offered full scholarship to MAPSS, acceptances at University of Maryland and Syracuse. Thank you for your recommendation. 

I'd agree with what has already been said, it depends on the type of career you want. With that being said though, a full scholarship at MAPSS definitely will lead to great things. it'll allow you to better develop your skills for an eventual PhD program, and it'll make your application stronger as you will be able to develop relationships with new professors for LOR and possibly even write a new writing sample. 

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1 hour ago, Corsette said:

I’ve been offered full scholarship to MAPSS, acceptances at University of Maryland and Syracuse. Thank you for your recommendation. 

I'd ask very specific placement questions from the MAPSS coordinator. See where their grads have actually gone for PhDs and how often. I feel like someone on here in the past was highly critical of their experience of MAPSS as a PhD prep tool, claiming their placement record into PhDs was not very strong compared to CIR. I could of course be imagining that complaint as I really can't remember where I read it. It's still worth asking just to get a complete picture. 

Maryland has lots of strong academics in particular fields, too, so depending on what you're studying, it can be a very strong program.

Edited by pscwpv

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32 minutes ago, pscwpv said:

I'd ask very specific placement questions from the MAPSS coordinator. See where their grads have actually gone for PhDs and how often. I feel like someone on here in the past was highly critical of their experience of MAPSS as a PhD prep tool, claiming their placement record into PhDs was not very strong compared to CIR. I could of course be imagining that complaint as I really can't remember where I read it. It's still worth asking just to get a complete picture. 

Maryland has lots of strong academics in particular fields, too, so depending on what you're studying, it can be a very strong program.

Good catch, I assumed and skim read that it was MAPPS, it was actually CIR, which I can be transparent and admit I had no clue about.

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13 minutes ago, Chronicoverthinker said:

Thoughts on CIR full tuition aid package vs Vanderbilt? (CP and IR)

Are you going to do the CIR visit day? 

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39 minutes ago, Corsette said:

Good catch, I assumed and skim read that it was MAPPS, it was actually CIR, which I can be transparent and admit I had no clue about.

I do think CIR has a great rep for placing students and has smaller cohorts, so gives more attention to individual students. I've also heard it can be a bit competitive/cut-throat from some Chicago IR PhDs who find the CIR attitude a little weird.

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