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AnonymousPoliSciStudent

Worried about my first semester poli sci MA grades...

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I just received my final grades for my first semester in my political science MA. I go to a Canadian school uses letter grades and a 12 point scale, which I'm not used to as my undergrad institution used only percentages. I received A, A-, A, A+. I was happy with these grades until a professor told me that these may not be high enough for future PhD studies, with most applicants having all A or A+ with rarely any A-. Is this true? What grades do students in MA programs in political science/ social sciences typically receive? If you are in a poli sci PhD, were your grades also in this range? Thanks!

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I can't speak to poli science specifically, but an A- or two shouldn't tank your chances to get into a PhD program, unless Canada is just that wildly different from US institutions. 

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I am not in poli sci and I'm not very familiar with Canadian grading. However, grades are only a small part of your story when you apply to PhD programs. Ideally, yes, you want your grades and test scores (e.g., GRE) to be as high as possible so that you meet the (hard or soft) cut-off for admissions. But once you've overcome that hurdle, other aspects of your application will become more important, such as your research experience, letters of recommendation, research fit, etc.

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