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2020-2021 Application Thread


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JUST GOT A FULLY FUNDED OFFER FROM CONCORDIA!!!!!

I just got a call from the program director for Government & Social Policy at Harvard letting me know I've been accepted! Really can't believe it, I had completely given up hope for this cycl

I JUST GOT AN OFFER FROM USC WITH FELLOWSHIP AAAAH (still have to put it in the survey) 

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3 hours ago, Theory007 said:

It does not seem slower to me. The only two programs you can really count on to release decisions in January is Madison and OSU and several others are beginning to come out now as well. It is quicker than usual actually. Try not to check your email every 5 min. Many programs will not release decisions for another month or two.

I think it feels slower because we're all stuck inside with very little to do due to pandemic.

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Just now, timeseries said:

How do these admissions square with the interviews and the supposed 3 week timeline? Does OSU stagger admissions? If not, it's a cruel thing to do on OSU's part.

I didn't have an interview with OSU! I'd emailed a few profs prior to the application cycle, but I never received an interview invite.

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Just now, gingerantelope said:

I didn't have an interview with OSU! I'd emailed a few profs prior to the application cycle, but I never received an interview invite.

Damn I just removed that post, oh well LOL.

Someone posted a few pages back about getting an interview at OSU and they were told they'd hear in 3 weeks, which is why I was wondering.

I didn't apply to OSU, so I don't really have a stake in this and probably should speculate too much which is why I deleted it ha.

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As the days pass on, I’m trying to plan out some back up options in case I don’t get in anywhere.

A masters degree in political science from which universities improve your chances significantly of getting into a good Poli Sci PhD program? 
 

apart from this, what else can a person do to build their profile to increase their chances? 

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Chicago, Columbia (QMSS not political science)...

But...

1) Don't count yourself out yet!

2) If you do find yourself in  that situation, I'd strongly encourage working first - you earn money instead of spending it on tuition, which is key. Look at places like Pew, Brennan Center, Wilson Center, Urban Institute. Or look at journalism (data journalism? The Economist is hiring a trainee data journalist which would be a GREAT gig for a potential political scientist. They already have a brilliant one on staff.). Alternatively consulting, data science, data analytics. Or things like JPAL. Anything quantitive would likely be a bonus, given that political science is 90% quant at this point.

There is also nothing wrong with getting a normal job that doesn't relate to political science or data at all.

Edited by timeseries
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34 minutes ago, nivy25 said:

As the days pass on, I’m trying to plan out some back up options in case I don’t get in anywhere.

A masters degree in political science from which universities improve your chances significantly of getting into a good Poli Sci PhD program? 
 

apart from this, what else can a person do to build their profile to increase their chances? 

I also think that doing a two-year master's at a (probably public) continental European university would be nice in terms of saving money, since tuition rates are extremely low compared to America. In some cases it is also not so difficult to adapt to your visa situation (varies by country, it seems) and find a decent side job to keep oneself afloat, especially if you choose a country with a low cost of living and get a remote job in the US. That is actually a fantastic deal, I believe. The catch is usually the language of instruction which can actually turn into a small plus if related to your area of interest (in the Nordic countries, though, you can even find something in English without much difficulty). Many schools will also allow you to write your dissertation in English. You also get to write a master's thesis which you could chop into writing samples by having different chapters sent to different schools according to program profile. There are some excellent options everywhere on the continent! And some of the application deadlines are SUPER late in the year. Feel free to PM me if you are interested. PS: the other catch is that PoliSci in continental Europe generally has a very different feel from its anglophone counterpart, but you'd be surprised at how many exceptions there are and how flexible some departments can be in terms of student topic choices!

 

EDIT: but that's just my two cents. I would like to hear what our friends here think of this idea. I've been thinking about it myself and know some people who have taken that route

Edited by sjetp
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20 minutes ago, sjetp said:

I also think that doing a two-year master's at a (probably public) continental European university would be nice in terms of saving money, since tuition rates are extremely low compared to America. In some cases it is also not so difficult to adapt to your visa situation (varies by country, it seems) and find a decent side job to keep oneself afloat, especially if you choose a country with a low cost of living and get a remote job in the US. That is actually a fantastic deal, I believe. The catch is usually the language of instruction which can actually turn into a small plus if related to your area of interest (in the Nordic countries, though, you can even find something in English without much difficulty). Many schools will also allow you to write your dissertation in English. You also get to write a master's thesis which you could chop into writing samples by having different chapters sent to different schools according to program profile. There are some excellent options everywhere on the continent! And some of the application deadlines are SUPER late in the year. Feel free to PM me if you are interested. PS: the other catch is that PoliSci in continental Europe generally has a very different feel from its anglophone counterpart, but you'd be surprised at how many exceptions there are and how flexible some departments can be in terms of student topic choices!

 

EDIT: but that's just my two cents. I would like to hear what our friends here think of this idea. I've been thinking about it myself and know some people who have taken that route

I did a two year MA in Budapest. It's hard to say whether it helps significantly for PhD apps in the US, but if you already have an MA, you are able to apply to PhD programs in the UK and continental Europe. Of course, there are other benefits too, like networking, research experience, international experience, etc. that will help you on any application. I think it all depends on your goals, your research, and your funds. For me, I was switching fields, so I felt that it was important to do a master's before applying for PhD programs, and between a great scholarship and low cost of living, it just made sense to go to school over in Europe.

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Hello Everyone

I was a lurking applicant to this website last year who managed to get into a great program. I decided to actually post after seeing the recent Ohio State acceptance just to provide some forewarning for that particular school's acceptance process. Of course, if you were accepted, congratulations! Getting the first acceptance is a massive relief and hopefully is only the start of a successful application season. For those who were not, do not worry! OSU is consistently the first to release a large batch of acceptances and it likely will not be until mid February for most schools to release their first acceptance letters.

Now, the reason I wanted to post is to provide a bit of a warning from my experience last year after being accepted to OSU. It goes without saying that it is a great program for a lot of fields, but the way in which they allocate funding to their graduates is abnormal relative to every other school. Specifically, from what I was told, the funding is not directly allocated from the political science department upon the admissions decision. Instead, the program has to wait until after the admissions decision to submit each admit to a grad school-wide review which then allocates the funds. Therefore, while most programs will present the stipend offer in the admissions decision, OSU waits for sometime to inform applicants as to if they have been funded.

It is possible that they have since updated this system, but it appears, at least thus far, that the acceptance process is the same in that, akin to last year, the portal is updated before the program sends a email. I do not know why OSU is one of the only schools who allocates funding through this process, but I can attest to it being frustrating trying to figure out if you received the funding needed to attend the school. Once again, if you got accepted, that is fantastic and it indicates that you are a competitive applicant for other programs. With that said, I did not want to see the same conversation, and subsequent stress, replicated in the forum last year where a bunch of accepted applicants are asking if anyone received funding with their OSU acceptances.

Best of luck with the remaining application season!

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43 minutes ago, macska said:

 I think it all depends on your goals, your research, and your funds. For me, I was switching fields, so I felt that it was important to do a master's before applying for PhD programs, and between a great scholarship and low cost of living, it just made sense to go to school over in Europe.

For me, it was the same. I also switched fields, specifically from law to policy, and did a one year MSc in the UK. It was useful for me in that way and also getting a lot more research experience in the field and writing a dissertation etc. I would heartily recommend it as an affordable back-up choice, or an additional stage before starting a PhD (particularly if you can get funding, though it is difficult to get). I don’t think I would feel as competent had I not done my master. Therefore, I would say the personal advantage is significant, but I can’t say what difference it would make when actually applying to PhDs (apart from more research experience). 

Edited by BrownSugar
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1 hour ago, HobbesianKant said:

Hello Everyone

I was a lurking applicant to this website last year who managed to get into a great program. I decided to actually post after seeing the recent Ohio State acceptance just to provide some forewarning for that particular school's acceptance process. Of course, if you were accepted, congratulations! Getting the first acceptance is a massive relief and hopefully is only the start of a successful application season. For those who were not, do not worry! OSU is consistently the first to release a large batch of acceptances and it likely will not be until mid February for most schools to release their first acceptance letters.

Now, the reason I wanted to post is to provide a bit of a warning from my experience last year after being accepted to OSU. It goes without saying that it is a great program for a lot of fields, but the way in which they allocate funding to their graduates is abnormal relative to every other school. Specifically, from what I was told, the funding is not directly allocated from the political science department upon the admissions decision. Instead, the program has to wait until after the admissions decision to submit each admit to a grad school-wide review which then allocates the funds. Therefore, while most programs will present the stipend offer in the admissions decision, OSU waits for sometime to inform applicants as to if they have been funded.

It is possible that they have since updated this system, but it appears, at least thus far, that the acceptance process is the same in that, akin to last year, the portal is updated before the program sends a email. I do not know why OSU is one of the only schools who allocates funding through this process, but I can attest to it being frustrating trying to figure out if you received the funding needed to attend the school. Once again, if you got accepted, that is fantastic and it indicates that you are a competitive applicant for other programs. With that said, I did not want to see the same conversation, and subsequent stress, replicated in the forum last year where a bunch of accepted applicants are asking if anyone received funding with their OSU acceptances.

Best of luck with the remaining application season!

Wow, that is super helpful to know! I just checked my portal and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had been accepted (Comparative). It seems like I was the only one that had an interview hahahah, and I was super off with my perception that decisions were still ways off. Oh well, it is what it is.

Congratulations to everyone else that got accepted, and good luck to all that haven't received any update yet!

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And yes, regarding MA, I would strongly suggest considering Canadian schools for these purposes: they provide excellent funding, in most cases completely covering tuition, and provide excellent training.  

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Just now, kestrel18 said:

And yes, regarding MA, I would strongly suggest considering Canadian schools for these purposes: they provide excellent funding, in most cases completely covering tuition, and provide excellent training.  

Any specific suggestions?

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2 minutes ago, kestrel18 said:

Some of you, guys, have started thinking about an MA already...- It is way too early to panic! 

I guess I am panicking a little bit because NW and OSU were my top "fits" and if I don't hear from them probably by this week then it is safe to assume my chances are a little dim...

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2 hours ago, BrownSugar said:

For me, it was the same. I also switched fields, specifically from law to policy, and did a one year MSc in the UK. It was useful for me in that way and also getting a lot more research experience in the field and writing a dissertation etc. I would heartily recommend it as an affordable back-up choice, or an additional stage before starting a PhD (particularly if you can get funding, though it is difficult to get). I don’t think I would feel as competent had I not done my master. Therefore, I would say the personal advantage is significant, but I can’t say what difference it would make when actually applying to PhDs (apart from more research experience). 

I understand. I am currently exploring LSE as a potential option.

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4 hours ago, timeseries said:

Chicago, Columbia (QMSS not political science)...

But...

1) Don't count yourself out yet!

2) If you do find yourself in  that situation, I'd strongly encourage working first - you earn money instead of spending it on tuition, which is key. Look at places like Pew, Brennan Center, Wilson Center, Urban Institute. Or look at journalism (data journalism? The Economist is hiring a trainee data journalist which would be a GREAT gig for a potential political scientist. They already have a brilliant one on staff.). Alternatively consulting, data science, data analytics. Or things like JPAL. Anything quantitive would likely be a bonus, given that political science is 90% quant at this point.

There is also nothing wrong with getting a normal job that doesn't relate to political science or data at all.

Thank you, this is incredibly helpful. The job search becomes harder for me cause I'm an international student and a lot of places don't hire us or sponsor our visas 😕 

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Just now, nivy25 said:

Any specific suggestions?

U of T, McGill, UBC, Queens, McMaster, Western Ontario, Calgary...-the most prominent. But I'd say that any out of the top-20 Canadian Universities will make you a very competitive applicant. For instance, I graduated from U of Guelph (somewhere top-15), and now, in hindsight, I can say our MA program was simply excellent! (well, I may be slightly biased, consider it :)) 
But there is an important caveat regarding Canadian MA programs: some of them can kill your GPA, notably those located in Ontario.

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13 minutes ago, nivy25 said:

I guess I am panicking a little bit because NW and OSU were my top "fits" and if I don't hear from them probably by this week then it is safe to assume my chances are a little dim...


I highly doubt those Northwestern acceptances were real. I may be mistaken, of course. But it is too early for them.

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