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2020-2021 Application Thread


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1 minute ago, kestrel18 said:


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

I believe a few people on here claimed them... NW is probably my dream school atm.

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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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1 hour ago, kestrel18 said:


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

I think it's interesting that many of the acceptances here (whether Northwestern or some other school) have been in Comparative or International. There have been very few American, Theory, or even Methods acceptances so far.

I wonder if that's due to differences in candidate pool size for these different sub-fields. If the Comparative or International applicants are far fewer in number it would make sense that their decisions are made faster.

I'm not saying I think the claimed acceptances are false though. I find the decision pacing interesting, and there are a lot of different factors to take into account for this "adventure" of an admissions cycle.

Edited by NeedaMormon
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1 hour ago, kestrel18 said:


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

It kind of annoys me when people think that because x program released results on y date in the past z year, that they will undoubtedly release them at the exact time the next year(s).

Northwestern released results last year on Jan. 20th. In what world is it it 'too early?'

You know how I know you are wrong though? Because of the acceptance in my inbox.

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13 minutes ago, mypolisciguy said:

It kind of annoys me when people think that because x program released results on y date in the past z year, that they will undoubtedly release them at the exact time the next year(s).

Northwestern released results last year on Jan. 20th. In what world is it it 'too early?'

You know how I know you are wrong though? Because of the acceptance in my inbox.

Well...What can I say? - Congrats! I wish you success in your studies in such a great program!
 

22 minutes ago, mypolisciguy said:

You know how I know you are wrong though? Because of the acceptance in my inbox.

 This part is quite arrogant. I'd recommend you to be less condescending towards future colleagues, though.

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1 hour ago, nivy25 said:

I believe a few people on here claimed them... NW is probably my dream school atm.

NW is one of the favorite targets among habitual trolls on this forum. So, at least at this point, do not be disheartened regarding your chances to get into NW! :)

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34 minutes ago, NeedaMormon said:

I think it's interesting that many of the acceptances here (whether Northwestern or some other school) have been in Comparative or International. There have been very few American, Theory, or even Methods acceptances so far.

I wonder if that's due to differences in candidate pool size for these different sub-fields. If the Comparative or International applicants are far fewer in number it would make sense that their decisions are made faster.

I'm not saying I think the claimed acceptances are false though. I find the decision pacing interesting, and there are a lot of different factors to take into account for this "adventure" of an admissions cycle.

The whole admission process depends on many variables: the structure and size of the Admission Committee, the size of the applicants' pool, specifics of bureaucratic procedures, etc.
I do not exclude that some applicants might have already received offers from NW. Though, in my (subjective!) opinion, this probability is relatively low.

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44 minutes ago, kestrel18 said:

NW is one of the favorite targets among habitual trolls on this forum. So, at least at this point, do not be disheartened regarding your chances to get into NW! :)

Yeah, there are a small selection of schools which are suspect every year. Last year, a favorite target was Columbia, with weekly supposed "acceptances." In my experience, most schools, particularly the top programs, tend to release larger batches for initial acceptances. Therefore, if you see at least four or five results, it is a pretty good indication they are real. There are exceptions, particularly when it concerns informal acceptances.

 

37 minutes ago, kestrel18 said:

The whole admission process depends on many variables: the structure and size of the Admission Committee, the size of the applicants' pool, specifics of bureaucratic procedures, etc.
I do not exclude that some applicants might have already received offers from NW. Though, in my (subjective!) opinion, this probability is relatively low.

Concerning when acceptances will be released, universities are generally consistent in their release window. If you consider everything that has to be done by the committee and the supporting staff, it is a large time commitment for everyone involved. Therefore, it is easier to just to keep the review process and acceptance period constant so people can plan their schedules accordingly. COVID and its subsequent effects are the unknown factor, of course, but I would not be surprised if it does not change the release window. At the very least, Ohio State's recent release provides some evidence that admission committee are maintaining the prior schedule.

Edited by HobbesianKant
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3 hours ago, NeedaMormon said:

I think it's interesting that many of the acceptances here (whether Northwestern or some other school) have been in Comparative or International. There have been very few American, Theory, or even Methods acceptances so far.

I wonder if that's due to differences in candidate pool size for these different sub-fields. If the Comparative or International applicants are far fewer in number it would make sense that their decisions are made faster.

I'm not saying I think the claimed acceptances are false though. I find the decision pacing interesting, and there are a lot of different factors to take into account for this "adventure" of an admissions cycle.

i would be surprised if theory and method subfield has more applicants than others. On the contrary, I think it is precisely the heavily empircial and popular American, Comparative and International Relations that have the greatest number of applicants. Hence greater degree of attention afforded and  greater number of potential slots for admission, which explain the early turn-out

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14 hours ago, ir_guy said:

Hello everyone. I have discovered this forum a couple of weeks ago and said enough to just lurk around and decided to share my views with grad aspirants like me. 

Although some of you are hesitant with the authenticity of the posts in the results page I am on the pessimistic side and consider them to be true as an applicant who did not get any response up to now. I am seeing 4 Princeton and 6 Northwestern admits. Do you think it is logical to think people who did not get a response from these two most probably are gonna rejected. I am coming to this decision on the basis of the claims that many schools are gonna admit less students this cycle. As much as I can see, there were 11 admits for Northwestern and 8 for Princeton last year based on the Gradcafe results. What do you think? By the way is there anyone who contacted with those universities to learn whether they are done with the notification of admits or not?

In all honesty, I am far from being pessimistic about my other applications, I am just trying to understand the dynamics of this cycle. I hope everyone of us get what we wish for.

Despite your disclaimer, i think the anxiety of waiting is indeed getting the better over you. I see a lot of posts here making claims with an overwheliming of sense of defeatism and ennui that trumps over cool-headed analyticc evaluation of the situation. The questions are posed in such a fashion that are not even worth answering (sorry to be harsh) First of all, programs like NW normally does have 12-15 people enrolled each year. But if they enroll this many, this almost mean they need to admit at least the double the number of applicants. Of course, between the top programs these selected applicants overlap. Not everyone admitted would bother themselves entering the data on Gradcafe. Hell, they probably won't even visit Gradcafe...I for one would not enter data on Gradcafe if i get admitted 

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13 hours ago, Indeed said:

Well, I have some bad news. I have contacted Northwestern pol sci before the application deadline and  they told me that it will be an extremely competitive year for admissions since they will accept 1-2% of the applications instead of the regular 10%. So I suppose we all got rejected if they did not decide to admit more people.

indeed, that's what I heard haha. The guy told me they will admit only 1 percent. But more likely than not that's a strategically overblown claim on the part of the adminstrative assistants to discourage more people from applying since they have higher number of applicants this year, so they want to reduce more application inflowing. unless we get information that confirm that they are admitting 1/3 or 1/4 of the size of previous cohort, I would dismiss it as bad arthmetic on the part of the person telling you this

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2 hours ago, thescienceoflogic said:

Despite your disclaimer, i think the anxiety of waiting is indeed getting the better over you. I see a lot of posts here making claims with an overwheliming of sense of defeatism and ennui that trumps over cool-headed analyticc evaluation of the situation. The questions are posed in such a fashion that are not even worth answering (sorry to be harsh) First of all, programs like NW normally does have 12-15 people enrolled each year. But if they enroll this many, this almost mean they need to admit at least the double the number of applicants. Of course, between the top programs these selected applicants overlap. Not everyone admitted would bother themselves entering the data on Gradcafe. Hell, they probably won't even visit Gradcafe...I for one would not enter data on Gradcafe if i get admitted 

Well, if you have a courage to make such arrogant and prejudiced claims you should also read well first what you are replying to. I do not see any disclaimer about my anxiety level in my writing.

If I made anyone of you upset and nervous because of what I wrote I am so sorry. I am just trying to understand the situation here. I was honest in asking my questions and as much as I see there were very constructive answers as well. Many of you replied by saying actual acceptance rates are higher and they do not appear here. But while not being a very credible source of information Gradcafe is successful in giving us a pattern. If 20 people entered their results last year but there is a real decrease in the entered data this year, no matter how many people universities take, this is a bad sign for us. I admit that I may be mistaken for Princeton since they may really be trolls. And I sincerely hope I am wrong about NW. Thanks for your insights. 

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17 hours ago, gradpumpkin said:

Does anyone have any insights into Emory? I know they usually come out around this time. I'm curious as to whether GRE-required schools will see greater, equal, or even decreased applicant pools because of the overall trend with GRE this year. Is the massive increase in applicants mostly people who are only applying to GRE-optional schools? Will score averages at GRE-required schools be lower this year? Just wondering if anyone has thoughts since everything is so ambiguous right now. 

Still haven't heard anything from Emory, fingers crossed! It's honestly hard to know how much of the increase in applications is due to the GRE, but I expect it to play a pretty big role, particularly when it comes to the best-known programs like Yale and MIT. However I would be surprised if even the GRE-required programs didn't see a slight increase in applications. As to score averages, I would expect them to be much higher in GRE-optional programs (selection effect), and pretty much the same in GRE-required ones (assuming no significant effect of the at-home exam on average scores).

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I am afraid it is not too far-fetched to infer that you saying "I am far from being pessimistic" counts as some kind of expression of disclaimer of anxiety, unless you want to be painstakingly obsessed over the psychoanalytic criss-crossing or the ontological independent meaning of these two terms. And there weren't 20 people entering their results last year; and i doubt there were ever this many people entering results for any given top programs in a given year. the fact that you casually made such a claim is perhaps indicative of your unfamiliarity with the result section on grad cafe. No matter how sincere and honest, there are a few asking questions implicitly knowing that the hypothetical scenarios in their question is apparently unrealistic--a miniscule amount of intellectual labor would reveal it. They were just unwilling to confront it since the act of asking the questions, however empty, seem to be a venue of anxiety-reduction. Hence the almost self-impulsive drive to repeat the same kind of questions. It's called the looop of self-deception. Bad sign or good sign. The exceptionality of the nature of this year's application is universal knowledge with minor individuations for each case. You either get rejected or admitted. Period. There isn't much to be speculated about. Just wait

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1 hour ago, ir_guy said:

Well, if you have a courage to make such arrogant and prejudiced claims you should also read well first what you are replying to. I do not see any disclaimer about my anxiety level in my writing.

If I made anyone of you upset and nervous because of what I wrote I am so sorry. I am just trying to understand the situation here. I was honest in asking my questions and as much as I see there were very constructive answers as well. Many of you replied by saying actual acceptance rates are higher and they do not appear here. But while not being a very credible source of information Gradcafe is successful in giving us a pattern. If 20 people entered their results last year but there is a real decrease in the entered data this year, no matter how many people universities take, this is a bad sign for us. I admit that I may be mistaken for Princeton since they may really be trolls. And I sincerely hope I am wrong about NW. Thanks for your insights. 

I am afraid it is not too far-fetched to infer that you saying "I am far from being pessimistic" counts as some kind of expression of disclaimer of anxiety, unless you want to be painstakingly obsessed over the psychoanalytic criss-crossing or the ontological independent meaning of these two terms. And there weren't 20 people entering their results last year; and i doubt there were ever this many people entering results for any given top programs in a given year. the fact that you casually made such a claim is perhaps indicative of your unfamiliarity with the result section on grad cafe. No matter how sincere and honest, there are a few asking questions implicitly knowing that the hypothetical scenarios in their question is apparently unrealistic--a miniscule amount of intellectual labor would reveal it. They were just unwilling to confront it since the act of asking the questions, however empty, seem to be a venue of anxiety-reduction. Hence the almost self-impulsive drive to repeat the same kind of questions. It's called the looop of self-deception. Bad sign or good sign. The exceptionality of the nature of this year's application is universal knowledge with minor individuations for each case. You either get rejected or admitted. Period. There isn't much to be speculated about. Just wait

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I know emotions run high when important stuff is on the line, but I would advise everyone to take it down a notch with the mutual accusations.

I (and I bet many others) would really appreciate a space to just wait it out and comment things as they happen, rather than to read through unpleasant comments (I do not wish to name anyone in particular).

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14 hours 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!

Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your insight as a past applicant. I had read this on some of the old forums, so I'm trying not to be overly optimistic about my admission.

Would you be willing to share approximately the time of year that you did hear about your funding package (or lack thereof)? I've been trying to dig into the old forums for a better picture of the timeline but haven't found anything extremely helpful.

Thanks again for your help! Always grateful for the help of those who have already gone through all of this :)

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1 hour ago, thescienceoflogic said:

I am afraid it is not too far-fetched to infer that you saying "I am far from being pessimistic" counts as some kind of expression of disclaimer of anxiety, unless you want to be painstakingly obsessed over the psychoanalytic criss-crossing or the ontological independent meaning of these two terms. And there weren't 20 people entering their results last year; and i doubt there were ever this many people entering results for any given top programs in a given year. the fact that you casually made such a claim is perhaps indicative of your unfamiliarity with the result section on grad cafe. No matter how sincere and honest, there are a few asking questions implicitly knowing that the hypothetical scenarios in their question is apparently unrealistic--a miniscule amount of intellectual labor would reveal it. They were just unwilling to confront it since the act of asking the questions, however empty, seem to be a venue of anxiety-reduction. Hence the almost self-impulsive drive to repeat the same kind of questions. It's called the looop of self-deception. Bad sign or good sign. The exceptionality of the nature of this year's application is universal knowledge with minor individuations for each case. You either get rejected or admitted. Period. There isn't much to be speculated about. Just wait

To be fair to the other poster, the whole reason I go on here is because its scary to just wait and nice to see other people in the same boat. This may be the "loop of self deception" but it makes total sense to me. We worry about things that are important to us, even when they are not in our control. 

The fact that you understand or believe that people are  "just unwilling to confront it since the act of asking the questions, however empty, seem to be a venue of anxiety-reduction" should also effect your approach when answering or engaging with such questions. You should ideally respond, if at all, empathetically, while still making your point, but in a way that avoids the current tone of superiority in your post. 

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28 minutes ago, gingerantelope said:

Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your insight as a past applicant. I had read this on some of the old forums, so I'm trying not to be overly optimistic about my admission.

Would you be willing to share approximately the time of year that you did hear about your funding package (or lack thereof)? I've been trying to dig into the old forums for a better picture of the timeline but haven't found anything extremely helpful.

Thanks again for your help! Always grateful for the help of those who have already gone through all of this :)

From what I gather, it seems that OSU usually sends the official letter (w/ funding) mid-to-late February. I also read that they sometimes invite their admits to the open house with some of them still waitlisted for funding (I would appreciate it if someone in the know would correct me if I'm wrong), which sounds kinda bad. So I guess it's a matter of waiting.

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Hi there,

Quick q - Does anyone know when decisions are usually released for most schools? I’ve applied for History and Political Science/Government PhDs. Is the first couple weeks of Feb this year the best bet? Thanks in advance. 

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3 minutes ago, scarletwitch said:

Does anyone know when decisions are usually released for most schools?

Martin Devaux's app is the best reference for that (https://martindevaux.com/2020/11/political-science-phd-admission-decisions/). While there may be some variation this year because of the pandemic, it seems that several programs are following their usual schedule. 

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