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2018-2019 Application Thread

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On 3/11/2019 at 8:12 PM, OmniscienceQuest said:

My personal opinion is that if this is how you’re feeling after visiting the schools, you should seriously consider the CIR program at Chicago and hold off on starting a PhD until you’re in a better position to get into a program you’re going to be more enthusiastic about.

Wasn't an issue with the program. I was much better the next day after being around the department. I just didn't realize how initially isolating it would be. I hadn't expected that, but I'm over it. Emotional reaction understood and processed, back to "rational decision making". I also have a distrust of the word pioneer. 

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On 3/10/2019 at 9:30 PM, Theory007 said:

How so?

The isolation. I traveled alone though to go. I hadn't anticipated how impactful it could be. But all is well, back to being overly tenacious and annoying. 

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On 3/12/2019 at 10:23 AM, Dwar said:

While I definitely agree that you should only apply to schools that you would actually want to and enjoy attending, I would caution against only applying to one or two highly ranked programs. IMO admissions into the top 10 or even top 20 programs is really a crapshoot, you could have a 4.0 GPA, a 340 GRE, and a few publications and still get rejected from a top 20. It often seems like admissions to them are so random and nonsensical, so I would urge you to not put all of your eggs into one or two highly ranked schools. Many many schools not ranked in the top 20 have wonderful programs and great placements, and while I do totally urge you to apply to top 20 schools if you think you have a shot at them, look outside of those programs too. It never hurts to have a backup plan or two.  

I agree with this 100%. From the way my primary advisor commented about being on admission committees, there is so much that goes on beyond just traditional measurements. It also needs to be considered which subfield has dominance on the committee, one year will be one way, the next it could be entirely different. There is also the problem with potential backroom trading--I take your student, you take mine.  

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Why can't DPIR send all their decisions on the same day? I am dying over here...

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Is anyone else still waiting to hear from Vanderbilt? I'm worried something may have gone wrong with my submission if I still haven't heard anything.

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14 hours ago, humanpinata said:

Is anyone else still waiting to hear from Vanderbilt? I'm worried something may have gone wrong with my submission if I still haven't heard anything.

Did you do an interview? If not, it most likely will be a rejection...

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7 hours ago, yubs89 said:

Did you do an interview? If not, it most likely will be a rejection...

Oh I know. I just thought I would hear by this point especially since interviews were sent out so long ago, so it would make sense that they already know the rejections. Part of me is hoping I am on some unofficial waitlist.

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Just got my final rejection from SAIS. 0a/8r... brutal af. All the best to all those who got through this cycle.... and all the best to those who didn’t.

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What can possibly be the reason that Davis has not sent out rejections after now 5 weeks? People have been accepted and rejected at roughly the same time all previous years... Is there still hope that people may be waitlisted if they have not heard anything yet? Apparently the visiting days were 3 weeks ago so it seems odd imo.

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There hasn't been much posting recently! I'm new to the site, and I'm wondering what forums people move to now that the application process is mostly over. How can I prepare for where I'm going? (most likely Wisconsin-Madison)

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On 3/15/2019 at 5:03 PM, HanZero said:

Just got my final rejection from SAIS. 0a/8r... brutal af. All the best to all those who got through this cycle.... and all the best to those who didn’t.

Quick reminder that there are many people in your situation - myself included (0/5). This forum can skew perception in a lot of ways, but if Cornell had 325 applicants (per the rejection letter) there are >300 people on the sideline at that school. Sometimes it just goes that way, friend, and whatever happens, happens. Best of luck figuring out a way forward :)

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4 hours ago, humanpinata said:

There hasn't been much posting recently! I'm new to the site, and I'm wondering what forums people move to now that the application process is mostly over. How can I prepare for where I'm going? (most likely Wisconsin-Madison)

Well, I’m moving over to Reddit (even though most of the content is generated by bots these days). You should check out Poli Sci Rumors website next 

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2 hours ago, OmniscienceQuest said:

You should check out Poli Sci Rumors website next 

If anyone does go over to PoliSciRumors, just know that like a good 99% of the posts are trolls. When I first went over there I kinda started loosing faith in humanity. 

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How much weight should I give to a very unofficial acceptance email? The department emailed me saying that they intend to offer me a place and nominate me for a scholarship, without specifying a timeline or the conditions of the offer. Am I in? Or could it be a mistake? I swear the anxiety never ends.

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1 hour ago, smug-face said:

How much weight should I give to a very unofficial acceptance email? The department emailed me saying that they intend to offer me a place and nominate me for a scholarship, without specifying a timeline or the conditions of the offer. Am I in? Or could it be a mistake? I swear the anxiety never ends.

That means you're in for Oxford. Wouldn't think twice about it. If it's a Clarendon, you'll probably know in the next couple weeks; if it's ESRC (if you're European), who knows but probably sooner; otherwise, it'll be a University-based scholarship.

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On 3/13/2019 at 8:20 PM, Corsette said:

The isolation. I traveled alone though to go. I hadn't anticipated how impactful it could be. But all is well, back to being overly tenacious and annoying. 

As an aside, it's worth thinking about how isolating a PhD is overall - no matter where you attend. While your first year or two is quite busy with coursework, once you're ABD you are for all intents and purposes a researcher. You dive into your work, and it's all on you to be productive. Most advisors won't impose deadlines on you, which means it's entirely on you to hit targets and be independently motivated. The idea is to see how well you can do as an academic - since being a junior faculty member means you won't have any deadlines beyond those imposed on yourself.

I didn't quite appreciate this on the outset of my degree, and it's been a challenge to grapple with as I move beyond coursework. It's the biggest difference between the standalone MA I did before, and my PhD.  Some people thrive with the independence, but for many it's a serious adjustment. I think it's worth it to consider placements where you can build up a community and establish a positive work life balance. For some people that means picking a program closer to family, or at the very least a new city where it's easy to build a network beyond the program. I'm lucky to have colleagues that are incredible friends, and family who make the effort to travel to see me when I don't have the time to travel myself but if there's something I would do differently, it would be to consider applying to some programs closer to home. At the very least, I know I will be aiming for jobs closer to family when I finish.

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23 hours ago, OmniscienceQuest said:

Well, I’m moving over to Reddit (even though most of the content is generated by bots these days). You should check out Poli Sci Rumors website next 

Which subs on Reddit have you been looking at?

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22 hours ago, Dwar said:

If anyone does go over to PoliSciRumors, just know that like a good 99% of the posts are trolls. When I first went over there I kinda started loosing faith in humanity. 

oh god.. i remember i was stuck in poliscirumors rut in the summer while i was studying to retake the GRE. gradcafé can be depressing as well, especially if you're going through a rough patch and forget to take everything said here with a grain of salt. i was crippled with self-doubt and people at poliscirumors made it even worse... dark, dark times! i'm happy i didn't let it bring me down too much and banned myself from ever touching that shit since around september. 

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On 3/18/2019 at 6:48 PM, pscwpv said:

That means you're in for Oxford. Wouldn't think twice about it. If it's a Clarendon, you'll probably know in the next couple weeks; if it's ESRC (if you're European), who knows but probably sooner; otherwise, it'll be a University-based scholarship.

Thank you - you were right. I just received the official offer from the department, as well as a fat L from Nuffield. Oh well. Crossing my fingers for other sources of funding.

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31 minutes ago, smug-face said:

Thank you - you were right. I just received the official offer from the department, as well as a fat L from Nuffield. Oh well. Crossing my fingers for other sources of funding.

Ya they rarely accept any masters students straight up. They'll take some DPhils, but mostly the masters students they end up with are on funding grants. So if you're successful with ESRC/Clarendon they'll be the college most likely to take you, but St Antony's is also likely, as are the wealthy colleges like Magdalen, Univ, Merton, etc.

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Is anyone headed to UVA for the visit? I am not able to make it myself and was hoping people - and especially theorists - could tell me about the experience there.

 

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6 hours ago, pscwpv said:

Ya they rarely accept any masters students straight up. They'll take some DPhils, but mostly the masters students they end up with are on funding grants. So if you're successful with ESRC/Clarendon they'll be the college most likely to take you, but St Antony's is also likely, as are the wealthy colleges like Magdalen, Univ, Merton, etc.

Interesting. I doubt that their decision was based on ESRC funding because I know that they're still processing my application...

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1 hour ago, smug-face said:

Interesting. I doubt that their decision was based on ESRC funding because I know that they're still processing my application...

Oh ya, I don't mean it's cause you've been denied from ESRC at all! Just that Nuffield takes very few non-ESRC, non-Clarendon students at the masters level, so if you're successful with ESRC, you might still end up there.  Though, you could just get randomly allocated to some other college. I think Nuffield just turns almost every masters student down at the start, then when the list of people with scholarships is decided they'll take a few of them.

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22 hours ago, pscwpv said:

Oh ya, I don't mean it's cause you've been denied from ESRC at all! Just that Nuffield takes very few non-ESRC, non-Clarendon students at the masters level, so if you're successful with ESRC, you might still end up there.  Though, you could just get randomly allocated to some other college. I think Nuffield just turns almost every masters student down at the start, then when the list of people with scholarships is decided they'll take a few of them.

Given that Nuffield funds its students, why do they purposely choose applicants who already secured funding? 

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