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I've seen some comments that results are rolling in, so let's start a 2019 thread! Please use the format below. Links to previous years versions of this thread: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014.

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.)  
Schools Applied To:  
Schools Admitted To:  
Schools Rejected From:  
Still Waiting:  
Undergraduate institution:  
Undergraduate GPA:  
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable):  
Undergraduate Major:  
GRE Quantitative Score:  
GRE Verbal Score:  
GRE AW Score:  
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  
Years of Work Experience:  
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  
Other:

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I agree with your sentiment about underestimating yourself for top tier programs! I wish I had found this site before I began the application process, because I would have digested how differently the

Got funding decision from GWU Trachtenberg! Selected as a Trachtenberg scholar, 2 year partial tuition (22k and 18k) .

Totally! It wasn't until after I posted that I realized submission dates would've been helpful. I applied prior to 11/30. It's my understanding (based on prior McCourt threads) that this November 30th

Thanks for getting this started! Here are my responses, best of luck to everyone as decisions start coming in

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.) : MPP or MPA (depending on school) 
Schools Applied To:  Chicago-Harris (MPP), Georgetown-McCourt (MPP), Texas-LBJ (MPAff), USC-Price (MPP), Duke-Sanford (MPP), HKS (MPP)
Schools Admitted To:  Chicago-Harris ($$), Georgetown-McCourt ($$)
Schools Rejected From:  
Still Waiting:  
Texas-LBJ (MPAff), USC-Price (MPP), Duke-Sanford (MPP), HKS (MPP)
Undergraduate institution:  Small public-liberal arts college in New England
Undergraduate GPA:  3.54 (Grad: May 2013)
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable):  N/A
Undergraduate Major:  Secondary Education- Chemistry (Biology Minor)
GRE Quantitative Score:  159
GRE Verbal Score:  165
GRE AW Score:  5.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  6
Years of Work Experience:  6
Describe Relevant Work Experience: I have been a high school science teacher and coach since graduating from undergrad so any work in Government/Public Affairs will be a significant shift.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  My SOP focused on how the skills I gained as a science teacher could be applied toward work in Energy/Environmental Policy. I made sure to reference specific deficiencies in my background that I felt could be addressed through the pursuit of graduate studies at their school. I would say it was a solid, if unremarkable, SOP that gave the admissions committees a clear sense of why I want to pursue a degree at their school and what I hope to accomplish after graduation.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): All three LORs were professional given how much time has passed since I finished undergrad. I tried to pick a diverse group of recommenders who had seen me work in a variety of capacities (high-level admin, direct supervisor, colleague) and could discuss my intellectual capabilities as well as my leadership potential. I have worked closely with each individual for the past 3-5 years.
Other: My undergraduate studies were pretty heavy on quantitative courses (Calculus, Statistics, Organic Chemistry (I & II), Biochemistry, Calc-based Physics, Microeconomics, along with several other science electives). I'm not sure if this matters but I felt that some level of quantitative history helped my application (no way of knowing if this is true).

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On 1/17/2019 at 9:29 AM, SciGuy720 said:

Thanks for getting this started! Here are my responses, best of luck to everyone as decisions start coming in

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.) : MPP or MPA (depending on school) 
Schools Applied To:  Chicago-Harris (MPP), Georgetown-McCourt (MPP), Texas-LBJ (MPAff), USC-Price (MPP), Duke-Sanford (MPP), HKS (MPP)
Schools Admitted To:  Chicago-Harris ($$), Georgetown-McCourt ($$)
Schools Rejected From:  
Still Waiting:  
Texas-LBJ (MPAff), USC-Price (MPP), Duke-Sanford (MPP), HKS (MPP)
Undergraduate institution:  Small public-liberal arts college in New England
Undergraduate GPA:  3.54 (Grad: May 2013)
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable):  N/A
Undergraduate Major:  Secondary Education- Chemistry (Biology Minor)
GRE Quantitative Score:  159
GRE Verbal Score:  165
GRE AW Score:  5.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  6
Years of Work Experience:  6
Describe Relevant Work Experience: I have been a high school science teacher and coach since graduating from undergrad so any work in Government/Public Affairs will be a significant shift.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  My SOP focused on how the skills I gained as a science teacher could be applied toward work in Energy/Environmental Policy. I made sure to reference specific deficiencies in my background that I felt could be addressed through the pursuit of graduate studies at their school. I would say it was a solid, if unremarkable, SOP that gave the admissions committees a clear sense of why I want to pursue a degree at their school and what I hope to accomplish after graduation.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): All three LORs were professional given how much time has passed since I finished undergrad. I tried to pick a diverse group of recommenders who had seen me work in a variety of capacities (high-level admin, direct supervisor, colleague) and could discuss my intellectual capabilities as well as my leadership potential. I have worked closely with each individual for the past 3-5 years.
Other: My undergraduate studies were pretty heavy on quantitative courses (Calculus, Statistics, Organic Chemistry (I & II), Biochemistry, Calc-based Physics, Microeconomics, along with several other science electives). I'm not sure if this matters but I felt that some level of quantitative history helped my application (no way of knowing if this is true).

Congrats! visit the schools if you're able to. I ultimately decided on LBJ; mostly because it was way cheaper and people were down to earth.

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2 hours ago, kjasmin310 said:

Congrats on your acceptance @SciGuy720!

Do you mind me asking when you submitted your georgetown app and when the got back to you with a decision? Seems like they got to you with a response pretty quickly.

Totally! It wasn't until after I posted that I realized submission dates would've been helpful. I applied prior to 11/30. It's my understanding (based on prior McCourt threads) that this November 30th "deadline" is new for them but it did mean they were announcing some decisions in mid January.

I have been trying to piece together reasonable decision timelines based on the respective program threads from prior years so I'll include my application dates below.

Chicago-Harris- Applied: Early Action (11/26/18) Decision: 1/7/19 (Phone call from admissions representative, phone calls began on 1/3. Official letter posted to portal 1/9 w/ funding info)

Georgetown-McCourt- Applied: 11/29 Decision: 1/15 (Letter w/ funding info on portal. Alerted of portal update via email.)

Texas-LBJ- Applied: 12/15 (Round 1) Decision: TBA (Based on prior threads, it seems that R1 decisions are typically released the week of Valentine's Day w/ funding info 2(ish) weeks after)

USC-Price- Applied: 12/15 (Scholarship Deadline) Decision: TBA (Based on prior threads, it seems that R1 decisions are typically released the week of Valentine's Day)

Duke-Sanford- Applied: 1/5 Decision: TBA

HKS- Applied 12/3 Decision: Early March (according to HKS website)

Best of luck to everyone as decisions start to come in!

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Program Applied To: MPP, MPAff (LBJ), MIA (UCSD)
Schools Applied To: UMichigan (Ford), UChicago (Harris), UT Austin (LBJ), Georgetown (McCourt), USC (Sol), UCLA (Luskin), GWU (Trachtenberg), UCSD (GPS)
Schools Admitted To: UChicago (Harris) $$, UT Austin (LBJ) with $$$, Georgetown (McCourt) $

Schools Rejected From:  N/A

Still Waiting: UMichigan, USC, UCLA, GWU, UCSD 
Undergraduate institution:  University of Michigan
Undergraduate GPA:  3.73 
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable):  3.62 
Undergraduate Major:  Public Policy BA 157
GRE Quantitative Score:  157
GRE Verbal Score:  161 5.5
GRE AW Score: 5.5 
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 0 (graduating in May!)
Years of Work Experience:  0  
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  3.5 years of research experience specializing in how political leaders use Twitter -- I've been a co-author on three publications, and just got a first-authorship comparing the tweets of Trump, Modi, Wilders, and Farage in a peer-reviewed journal last year. Two four month internships with the Mayor of a major city, freshman summer and junior summer, in addition to a policy internship at that city's Regional Chamber of Commerce completed sophomore summer. 

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I sought to talk about what my BA program in Public Policy was missing, primarily as it concerned to quantitative analytical skills. I sought to also discuss my academic curriculum and my research to an extent, and how the interests motivating those two have led me to pursue an MPP, as I seek to expand my skillset. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I had four letters of recommendation. The first was from my research advisor, who oversaw the four publications (including the first-authorship) I was part of, and for whom I've worked since October of my freshman year. The second was a professor, with whom I took a class both first semester freshman year, and second semester junior year (this second class was mixed with a lot of Master's/PhD students on urban development in South Asia). The third was an intern advisor from the Mayor's Office (both times), who I worked exclusively for the second go-around on policy issues. The fourth was a professor whose class I took last year in the PP curriculum. I think the strength of the first three were that they've all seen me grow throughout my undergraduate years, given the timespans that I interacted with them in. 
Other: Straight out of Undergrad! Shocked by some of the funding offers though (the fact that I got funding!).

Edited by andreg97
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Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.) IR programs with a variety of names (MA, MIA, MALD, MPP, etc)

Schools Applied To: Johns Hopkins SAIS, Columbia SIPA, Tufts Fletcher, Georgetown SFS, Harvard Kennedy, Princeton WWS, GW Elliott, American SIS, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Schools Admitted To: SAIS ($$$), SIPA ($$$), Middlebury ($$), Fletcher (funding TBA), American SIS (funding TBA) 

Schools Rejected From: None so far!

Still Waiting: Georgetown SFS, Harvard Kennedy, Princeton WWS, GW Elliott

Undergraduate institution: University of Maryland

Undergraduate GPA: 3.99 (a beginner's art class ruined my 4.0 😂)

Undergraduate Major: Government & Arabic Studies

GRE Scores: 168/168/5.0

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3

Years of Work Experience: 2 (did a post-grad year in the Middle East)

Describe Relevant Work Experience: entry-level nonprofit work (on nuclear policy, though my role is more administrative) and a bunch of relevant internships in undergrad (terrorism research, language and cultural education, social service work with refugee communities)

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): I think they were all solid - I started each at least a month ahead of time and tailored each one, reusing a paragraph here and there when I was talking about a specific experience, like writing my undergrad thesis. I also had a few friends look the essays over and give suggestions.

Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): Probably pretty good, though I didn't read them. Had my current supervisor, my thesis advisor, and a language professor, so I think they spoke to a broad range of skills/experiences. 

Other: I was worried that a comparative lack of work experience was going to hold me back, but so far I've gotten good results! I think having good academic stats, writing and defending a thesis, and learning a critical language all helped make up for the fact that my post-grad work experience wasn't as extensive as some other applicants.

Edited by somewhatslightlydazed
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Program Applied To: Public policy/affairs/administration
Schools Applied To:  Wisconsin La Follette (MPA), Washington Evans (MPA), George Washington Trachtenberg (MPP), Carnegie Mellon Heinz (MSPPM), Michigan Ford (MPP), Chicago Harris (MPP)
Schools Admitted To:  Heinz (with scholarship)
Schools Rejected From: None yet
Still Waiting:  La Follette, Evans, Trachtenberg, Ford, Harris
Undergraduate institution:  
Undergraduate GPA:  3.95
Undergraduate Major:  Journalism, philosophy (double major)
GRE Quantitative Score:  161
GRE Verbal Score:  167
GRE AW Score:  5.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  0
Years of Work Experience:  0
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Some experience covering politics as a journalist, though it wasn’t my main beat; research about media coverage of climate change. Extensive experience in the tangentially related fields of writing and research, including a publication and a conference paper.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): My pitch: I have writing and research skills, I want to become a policy analyst, and I want to attend grad school to brush up on my quantitative skills.

Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Pretty good, I think. 2 research advisors, 1 faculty member who I’ve taken 3 classes with including 2 project-based courses
Other: I think I’m a bit of an unusual applicant, coming straight out of undergrad with no true policy experience. Even with my raw numbers, I think that will set me back at some schools. However, I think my LORs and SOPs are as good as they could be, considering. I’m really excited about Heinz! If anyone knows more about that program, especially in terms of career outcomes, please let me know.

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Program Applied To: MSPPM-DA
Schools Applied To:  Carnegie Mellon Heinz (MSPPM - Data Analytics)
Schools Admitted To:  Heinz (65%)
Schools Rejected From: None
Undergraduate institution:  Midwest State Flagship
Undergraduate GPA:  3.77
Undergraduate Major:  Chemistry Education
GRE Quantitative Score:  163
GRE Verbal Score:  166
GRE AW Score:  5.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  2
Years of Work Experience:  2
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Work for a consulting firm that does economic development and growth consulting for organizations and businesses.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Like everyone else, hopefully strong. Talked a lot about my passion for economic development, how it shifted me from education, and how although I'm very happy at my job, I feel limited in my impact due to my position and skill set. Talked about how I thought Heinz would give me those skills and help get me into a position to maximize what I can do. I've done a lot of research into Heinz (obviously, as it was the only school I applied to) and so I was able to weave that into the essay effectively and describe exactly why Heinz is the place for me.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Very strong. Extremely fortunate to have two supervisors at my work who have seen me grow first as a student and then as an employee. Would've liked an academic one, but I wouldn't dream of not asking the two that I did.
Other: Applying to only one school is a bit unconventional and probably not the best course of action. I'm not 100% on going back to grad school, so I only bothered applying to the one that I really wanted because of the combination of the hard skills offered by the DA track + reasonably confident about financial aid offered at Heinz. Generally leaning towards accepting and attending Heinz, but will decide for sure after seeing other potential job offers and how I feel about my visit at admitted students weekend.

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18 hours ago, main2015 said:

I’m really excited about Heinz! If anyone knows more about that program, especially in terms of career outcomes, please let me know.

Glad to see you're in at Heinz! I'm excited about it too. They're actually really good at cataloging career outcomes by year and by program, which is one of the main reasons I decided to apply. You can find that data here: https://www.heinz.cmu.edu/current-students/career-services/employment-information-salary-statistics

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4 hours ago, woolscarves said:

Glad to see you're in at Heinz! I'm excited about it too. They're actually really good at cataloging career outcomes by year and by program, which is one of the main reasons I decided to apply. You can find that data here: https://www.heinz.cmu.edu/current-students/career-services/employment-information-salary-statistics

Thanks for sending that along. I didn't realize how close Pittsburgh is to DC—closer than it is to Philadelphia, somehow—but I am a little dismayed at the relatively low number of students who end up in Chicago, NYC, Boston, Philly etc compared to DC and Pittsburgh. I guess DC is where policy jobs are, though, and Heinz seems to have somewhat of a pipeline there.

Edited by ke7312
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Program Applied To:  MSPPM, MPP, MPA
Schools Applied To:  La Follette (MPA), Heinz (MSPPM), Ford (MPP), Harris (MPP), Woodrow Wilson (MPA), Rutgers Bloustein (MPP)
Schools Admitted ToLa Follette (100%), Heinz (100%) 
Schools Rejected From:  
Still Waiting: 
Ford (MPP), Harris (MPP), Woodrow Wilson (MPA), Rutgers Bloustein (MPP)
Undergraduate institution:  Columbia College Chicago
Undergraduate GPA:  3.6
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable): idk
Undergraduate Major:  Cultural Studies
GRE Quantitative Score:  126
GRE Verbal Score:  162
GRE AW Score:  4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  4
Years of Work Experience:  5
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  5


Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I spoke to my desire to investigate the relationship of economic development and housing instability among low income communities of color in metropolitan areas. This was accomplished by relaying my personal experiences with poverty, as well as how those came to connect me people in similar positions during my years in the non-profit field. I relayed specific outcomes of my work (e.g. the number of people served, the type of initiatives, the quality of my involvement), as well as presented professional goals tied into the schools' focus (e.g. systems change, application of data analytics to public program evaluation, interdisciplinary research centers). The essay was reviewed over the course of two months by alumni or students from several of the schools I applied to

Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  My letters varied in terms of content! Three of ones I used were from former supervisors and two professors with whom I completed several classes over the course of 3 years. One of them I did not review, but I trust was a very quantitative evaluation of my performance in the fundraising/development field. Another was a very personal comment on my commitment to program evaluation and program planning as a young (23 year old) program manager in the education field. The last of these was a very succinct, but I thought solid letter from my former executive director. The academic ones restated my overall work experience and then posited that, given the complexity of my undergraduate program's theoretical curriculum (e.g. Marx, Frankfurt School, Gramsci) and the quality of my capstone thesis, I was prepared for independent research. There...... was also a letter that I turned in to one school that I know was probably did not align well with what they were asking for. Oh well. 

Other:  I am a Public Policy & International Affairs Fellow. I have 5 years of part time and full time experience in the non-profit sector, working a number of roles (e.g. outreach, development, curriculum development, program management) to advance racial equity in education and community development. I spent the past year connecting with each schools' admissions people, speaking with professors and research center directors, as well as current students/alumni -- something I am still doing. These interviews had a great influence on my approach. If there was space for optional essays, I also explicitly addressed that my academic performance (particularly in terms of quant) was significantly hindered by extreme financial strain throughout my undergraduate education and early professional life. To this end, I expect to have to complete Math Camp if accepted by a lot of the schools (this is already the case with Heinz). 

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This feels like therapy. Here goes (and I'll edit as they keep coming in):

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.) MPP; MPAff.
Schools Applied To:  Harvard (Kennedy, MPP); UC Berkeley (Goldman, MPP); USC (Price, MPP); UT-Austin (LBJ, MPAff); UCLA (Luskin, MPP); George Washington (Trachtenberg, MPP); The New School (Milano, MPP).
Schools Admitted To:  USC (with half-tuition); UT-Austin.
Schools Rejected From:  None yet.
Still Waiting:  Harvard (Kennedy, MPP); UC Berkeley (Goldman, MPP); UCLA (Luskin, MPP); George Washington (Trachtenberg, MPP); The New School (Milano, MPP).
Undergraduate institution:  The New School.
Undergraduate GPA:  3.96
Undergraduate Major:  Liberal Arts.
GRE Quantitative Score:  148
GRE Verbal Score:  161
GRE AW Score:  4.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): None, I graduate in May.
Years of Work Experience:  10
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Worked in state and federal politics and government in Australia from 2006-2013; worked in U.S. union movement 2015-2017.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Very strong, I feel this and my LORs really anchored my applications. Good personal narrative regarding my difficult upbringing which I was able to link to the work I've done professionally and my future policy ambitions. I think being able to articulate how the school your applying to is the missing link in the chain between what you've done and what you want to do is the #1 goal of a SOP, and was my top priority.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Very strong. Current Australian member of the House of Representatives and former Attorney-General who I worked closely for as an aide for a few years; two professors who I got As with in graduate level classes when I returned to finish my undergrad.
Other: I'm probably not a traditional applicant, which has its advantages and disadvantages. I did poorly when I first went to university back in Australia (Journalism, RMIT) in the mid-2000s, but had a successful career and have crushed my studies since going back to finish my undergrad - mostly doing grad level classes.

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On 2/12/2019 at 7:53 PM, andreg97 said:

Program Applied To: MPP, MPAff (LBJ), MIA (UCSD)
Schools Applied To: UMichigan (Ford), UChicago (Harris), UT Austin (LBJ), Georgetown (McCourt), USC (Sol), UCLA (Luskin), GWU (Trachtenberg), UCSD (GPS)
Schools Admitted To: UChicago (Harris) $$, UT Austin (LBJ) with $$$, Georgetown (McCourt) $

Schools Rejected From:  N/A

Still Waiting: UMichigan, USC, UCLA, GWU, UCSD 
Undergraduate institution:  University of Michigan
Undergraduate GPA:  3.73 
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable):  3.62 
Undergraduate Major:  Public Policy BA 157
GRE Quantitative Score:  157
GRE Verbal Score:  161 5.5
GRE AW Score: 5.5 
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 0 (graduating in May!)
Years of Work Experience:  0  
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  3.5 years of research experience specializing in how political leaders use Twitter -- I've been a co-author on three publications, and just got a first-authorship comparing the tweets of Trump, Modi, Wilders, and Farage in a peer-reviewed journal last year. Two four month internships with the Mayor of a major city, freshman summer and junior summer, in addition to a policy internship at that city's Regional Chamber of Commerce completed sophomore summer. 

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I sought to talk about what my BA program in Public Policy was missing, primarily as it concerned to quantitative analytical skills. I sought to also discuss my academic curriculum and my research to an extent, and how the interests motivating those two have led me to pursue an MPP, as I seek to expand my skillset. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I had four letters of recommendation. The first was from my research advisor, who oversaw the four publications (including the first-authorship) I was part of, and for whom I've worked since October of my freshman year. The second was a professor, with whom I took a class both first semester freshman year, and second semester junior year (this second class was mixed with a lot of Master's/PhD students on urban development in South Asia). The third was an intern advisor from the Mayor's Office (both times), who I worked exclusively for the second go-around on policy issues. The fourth was a professor whose class I took last year in the PP curriculum. I think the strength of the first three were that they've all seen me grow throughout my undergraduate years, given the timespans that I interacted with them in. 
Other: Straight out of Undergrad! Shocked by some of the funding offers though (the fact that I got funding!).

UPDATE: In at USC Price with a full scholarship! A bit shocked, to say the least.

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On 1/17/2019 at 9:29 AM, SciGuy720 said:

Thanks for getting this started! Here are my responses, best of luck to everyone as decisions start coming in

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.) : MPP or MPA (depending on school) 
Schools Applied To:  Chicago-Harris (MPP), Georgetown-McCourt (MPP), Texas-LBJ (MPAff), USC-Price (MPP), Duke-Sanford (MPP), HKS (MPP)
Schools Admitted To:  Chicago-Harris ($$), Georgetown-McCourt ($$)
Schools Rejected From:  
Still Waiting:  
Texas-LBJ (MPAff), USC-Price (MPP), Duke-Sanford (MPP), HKS (MPP)
Undergraduate institution:  Small public-liberal arts college in New England
Undergraduate GPA:  3.54 (Grad: May 2013)
Last 60 hours of Undergraduate GPA (if applicable):  N/A
Undergraduate Major:  Secondary Education- Chemistry (Biology Minor)
GRE Quantitative Score:  159
GRE Verbal Score:  165
GRE AW Score:  5.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  6
Years of Work Experience:  6
Describe Relevant Work Experience: I have been a high school science teacher and coach since graduating from undergrad so any work in Government/Public Affairs will be a significant shift.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  My SOP focused on how the skills I gained as a science teacher could be applied toward work in Energy/Environmental Policy. I made sure to reference specific deficiencies in my background that I felt could be addressed through the pursuit of graduate studies at their school. I would say it was a solid, if unremarkable, SOP that gave the admissions committees a clear sense of why I want to pursue a degree at their school and what I hope to accomplish after graduation.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): All three LORs were professional given how much time has passed since I finished undergrad. I tried to pick a diverse group of recommenders who had seen me work in a variety of capacities (high-level admin, direct supervisor, colleague) and could discuss my intellectual capabilities as well as my leadership potential. I have worked closely with each individual for the past 3-5 years.
Other: My undergraduate studies were pretty heavy on quantitative courses (Calculus, Statistics, Organic Chemistry (I & II), Biochemistry, Calc-based Physics, Microeconomics, along with several other science electives). I'm not sure if this matters but I felt that some level of quantitative history helped my application (no way of knowing if this is true).

Congrats @andreg97! I also got a full Dean's Scholarship to USC-Price! Almost fell over when I opened the package. Still haven't heard anything from LBJ despite applying before the 12/15 deadline. I emailed the program coordinator and they just said that everyone would hear back "soon". Just gotta keep waiting I suppose!

As always, best of luck to all!

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Program Applied To: MPP/MBA
Schools Applied To: Harvard, Chicago, Stanford, Columbia (numerous joint MPP/MBA programs)
Schools Admitted To: Harris (I am receiving full sponsorship and a stipend from the government)
Rejected: HBS (So I will not accept HKS if offered)

Undergraduate institution:  Small state university 
Undergraduate GPA:  3.36                                                                                                                                                                                

Undergraduate Majors:  Public Administration
GRE Quantitative Score:  150
GRE Verbal Score:  155
GRE AW Score:  4.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  8
Years of Work Experience:  12 years working in the Intelligence Community; I am currently an intelligence officer in the military.

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Wide range of experience in the Intelligence Community. Director of Policy and Advocacy for a nonprofit focused on policy issues that impact veterans with mental health conditions.

Schools Admitted To: (Just listing MPP programs and not MBA) Harris
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Strong. Even though I am very much a nontraditional applicant, my experience lines up well with a MPP/MBA program.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  This was probably the strongest part of my application. My LORs writers are all very supportive and have known me for a long time. My strengths are not with my academic background but with my leadership experience in the military. I asked my mentor/commanding officer to highlight my leadership accomplishments, a well-respected senior analyst I worked with to highlight my abilities as an analyst, and one of my military instructors to discuss my academic abilities. All three of my letter writers went above and beyond and even worked with each other to make sure they didn’t duplicate my accomplishments. I didn’t personally read them, but I am confident they were very strong.

Other: I took the GRE in 2011 and scored 162V, 163Q, and a 4.0 AWA. My most recent GRE scores were obviously my biggest weakness. I had multiple scheduling conflicts to re-take the GRE before the cut-off dates. I have been studying for the GRE and have been scoring in the 157-160 range on V and Q… in case I have to re-take the test. If I get into Booth (U of Chicago’s Business School) I will not take the GRE again.   

Decision: I am choosing the University of Chicago. I visited HKS/HBS and Harris/Booth. I loved them both. There were definitely pros and cons with both. I really liked the staff at Harris which surprised me because on this forum I read some negative things about the administration at Harris. I think in the last 2-3 years, Harris made some amazing improvements to the program. The staff really impressed me. HKS was much different than I anticipated. Maybe it was just because of the group of current students I talked to, but students at Harris seemed like they were having a much better time than the students at HKS. Overall, Harris was my number one choice for a MPP program. Keep in mind, my thoughts are likely different than most people on this thread because I evaluated programs based on the combination of MBA and MPP programs. If I would have received an offer from HBS in round one, I would have likely accepted the offer without consideration of the results of Harris or HKS. That being said, the curriculum at Harvard was very rigid. I am attracted to Chicago because of the flexibility in choosing a path that best fits your goals. I am excited to go to Harris!

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Hi everyone,  just joined the forum. I applied back in January, and I expect to hear from all of my schools from now until around March 15.

Program Applied To: (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MIA/IR/MPP
Schools Applied
To: Georgetown University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins SAIS, Columbia University, New York University, Tufts University, University of Tokyo
Schools Admitted To:  George Washington University (M.A. International Affairs), New York University (M.A. International Relations)
Schools Rejected From:  None yet, but it's still very early. I don't expect to get into the MSFS program at Georgetown and the MIA program at Columbia SIPA given a lack of professional experience in the IR field. The rest are probably 50/50 odds if I had to guess.
Still Waiting: Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins SAIS, Columbia University, Tufts University (Fletcher School), University of Tokyo
Undergraduate institution: Medium-sized New England liberal arts school, well-known (I think, at least in academia)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.79/4.0
Undergraduate Major: Political Science and Asian Studies
GRE Quantitative Score: 162
GRE Verbal Score: 167
GRE AW Score: 6.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 1 year
Years of Work Experience: 1 year since graduation, about 3 years cumulative since my first year of college
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Legal industry and ESL teaching

Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Took a while to get it right, but with the help of professors and advisors, I think I did the best I could in spite of a lack of relevant work experience. Still, I think I got the point across in my statement: identified academic background and goals, how my professional experience tangentially relates to the field of international policy, reasons for studying at University XYZ, and career goals in public service.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): Most programs required 3 letters. 2 of my references were from professors still teaching at my undergrad, who I was particularly close with, one being my academic advisor. The third was a former professor who went on to work in academic administration, but her and I are also very close. They've recommended me in the past for other opportunities, and I think they've done a good job for these grad schools, given the positive results so far. One professor was particularly hard to manage, I really had to stay on top of him to make sure he got letters in on time.

Other: I also applied to a Fulbright grant. I'm a current semi-finalist, and if I get that, I'll absolutely do that before grad school. Not only would it be a great life experience, but it would also enhance my application the next time around and possibly make me more desirable to tougher programs at Columbia SIPA or Georgetown's School of Foreign Service.

Edited by homesicksub
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7 minutes ago, worldleader2018 said:

Thanks for sharing! Did you hear back from NYU recently? My assumption was results go out on March 1?

 

No problem! Yes, I heard surprisingly early, I believe it was February 13th. I was really shocked that the results came so early, but I also submitted the application about 2 weeks before the deadline. This was for their M.A. International Relations program, by the way. I should have specialized that in my original post.

 

Good luck with your applications @worldleader2018 !

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