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2020-2021 Application Thread


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30 minutes ago, aaaaaaaaaa said:

Another plus for UT Austin @nivy25: if you decide to go industry route, the tech startup scene in Austin would mean you a) are less likely to have to move afterwards assuming you get a job in data analytics/science/tech public policy - all of which are common routes post poli sci grad school - and b) are likely to be in that small proportion earning 6 figures as @BunniesInSpace implied. [Another way to get into that group is to go a top school (generally like Princeton or quant methods wise like NYU) or otherwise get outstanding methods skills in some other program.]

Definitely! That would be great as a sort of backup perhaps, because at the moment I would still like to see myself pursue academic jobs! 

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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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4 minutes ago, The Converse said:

Thank you.  I appreciate the encouragement.  I realize I should be grateful for the two admissions and I am.  However, I have presented a lot over the past few years on my research and to be passed over by top programs makes it seem like it is less about fit and more about research viability.  I have been humbled and pleasantly surprised by everyone on this forum.  I already have a graduate degree and it is really time for me to read the writing on the wall.  There are so many great people on here and I wouldn't want to take someone's spot.  It has been great going through this process with each of you.

I don't know. I think you should talk with people more knowledgeable about your work (LOR writers, POIs at the schools that have accepted you) before making any decisions. Don't get me wrong, there's a million and one reasons not to go to a phd program right now, and if you can imagine yourself being happy doing something else, I would say do that. BUT, as one stranger on the internet to another, I would say that you're letting this get to you more than it should (and I understand the feeling, trust me). Happy to talk about this more in dms if you want. 

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7 minutes ago, nivy25 said:

I appreciate all your inputs! I am aware that rankings aren't the only thing that matter, and my goal will be to get a feel of both the programs' environments through talks with my POIs and maybe even current graduate students. 

I'm just afraid of not getting a TT job at a R1. I know how horrible the job market is, and I am not being naive. I just want to try my best to maximize my chances and not make decisions that would jeopardize them, which is why I asked for advice in the first place! 

Your input on the way I should frame my question is super helpful. I'll probably ask something on similar lines and see what they think about it. 

I get you! The job market just sucks.

Thankfully I'm an international student and I'm open to getting academic jobs outside the US, where there're a lot more opportunities. The US market feels crowded nowadays, esp. for R1s. Maybe you should consider goin abroad as well. From what I know a lot of globally-ranked schools would welcome people with US degrees.

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2 hours ago, The Converse said:

Claiming a Yale rejection as well.  I was admitted to two programs this cycle, but I have had enough rejections to conclude my research interests are not worth pursuing.  Best of luck to those starting programs in the fall!  

I would also like to point out that most of the top US programs are VERY orthodox and VERY narrow-minded in what constitutes "worth pursuing." To the point that there are many good (and scholarly articles) out there about how political science is writing itself out of relevancy. I didn't apply to any top 10 programs this time for that reason, because I am passionate about my research and much life and professional experience has convinced me of its relevance. I was specifically told by a political science professor this year to keep in mind that, "just because it is a compelling real-world political problem, doesn't make it an interesting political science question." While I can see how that might theoretically be the case, there is still a huge problem with the privileged ivory tower getting to decide which random and often irrelevant political science questions deserve attention this decade. I have no idea what your specific research focuses on, but if you are passionate it, don't give up. Don't let a very small portion of the profession that has made up the rules on what is worth pursuing or not tell you otherwise. The rules are constantly rewritten and the more scholars that are out there pursuing interesting, relevant, cutting edge work, the more that becomes the norm. I'd urge you to seek out other scholars who are interested in similar questions, and worry less about the rankings of the programs they are at (not that you didn't do that this time - I don't want to assume!). But I do know that a lot of amazing academics who wrote the book on something didn't come from top ten or top twenty programs, but wound up redefining how those programs taught. 

I'll get off of my soap box now! Sorry for the ramble, I know I don't know you, but you've been a good influence on this forum and I hate to see great potential scholars disheartened by a system that isn't designed to create innovation and advancement but rather to replicate itself over and over again. I hope the future sees an army of political science renegades constantly redefining the profession we are all so passionate about!

(To be clear, I'm not putting down anyone who goes to or got into a top 10 program - that is amazing, and if your research interests fit go get it! I'm just advocating that there are other very relevant areas of research outside of what some of those programs are willing to consider.)

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34 minutes ago, natpvh72 said:

I get you! The job market just sucks.

Thankfully I'm an international student and I'm open to getting academic jobs outside the US, where there're a lot more opportunities. The US market feels crowded nowadays, esp. for R1s. Maybe you should consider goin abroad as well. From what I know a lot of globally-ranked schools would welcome people with US degrees.

Haha it really does.

That being said, even the admissions process is equally competitive and I am GRATEFUL to even have been waitlisted by 2 great schools.

On a side note:

This is just another reminder/request to everyone who got accepted to UT Austin or Rice and is not planning to go there to decline as soon as they feel comfortable doing so. The anxiety is real, and the uncertainty makes it worse. Every day that I spend waiting for UT Austin/Rice to get back to me regarding my waitlist is filled with extreme uncertainty, and also a lot of hopes that something might work out after all. 

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Hello everyone. Claiming Duke and Yale rejection as well.

As this cycle draws to a close, would any of you here have an idea about what the long term effect (if any) was of the 2008-09 economic downturn on grad school admissions? A prof (my recommender) told me that he couldn't get in any program when he applied for the first time that year but managed to get into Princeton the next. Would this economic downturn lead to permanent reduction in cohort sizes or do people think it is a temporary blip?

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1 hour ago, SanC said:

Hello everyone. Claiming Duke and Yale rejection as well.

As this cycle draws to a close, would any of you here have an idea about what the long term effect (if any) was of the 2008-09 economic downturn on grad school admissions? A prof (my recommender) told me that he couldn't get in any program when he applied for the first time that year but managed to get into Princeton the next. Would this economic downturn lead to permanent reduction in cohort sizes or do people think it is a temporary blip?

Quick response: I think it's permanent, especially if universities/departments believe they can operate with less grad students and manage the same teaching loads. I think the reduction in cohort sizes was long overdue because of the abysmal job market, the pandemic was just the "perfect" time to make it official.

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5 minutes ago, icemanyeo said:

Quick response: I think it's permanent, especially if universities/departments believe they can operate with less grad students and manage the same teaching loads. I think the reduction in cohort sizes was long overdue because of the abysmal job market, the pandemic was just the "perfect" time to make it official.

Agree, and considering the gossip I keep hearing (it looks like they tend to turn into self-fulfilling prophecies) from various universities, everyone thinks we are not going to enjoy old numbers of available spots. The timing sucks, speaking of our poor, nasty, brutal, and relatively short cycle. 

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12 hours ago, icemanyeo said:

I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone on this forum for being such a supportive group this year. This cycle has effectively ended for me, pending my MA application responses. 

I will be taking a break from this forum and come back around April to post my final results as I'm in the last leg of my master's (thesis defense soon 😱) and would like to focus on finishing on a strong note.

If you would like to keep in touch beyond this forum, I'm pretty active on Twitter! DM me and I'll send my handle to you. 

Congratulations again to all those who have received offers in such a difficult cycle -- if you are planning to apply in another cycle, you'll probably see me on this forum again. 

Best wishes to all! ☺️❤️

All the best, @icemanyeo
Btw, did you hear from Concordia?

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Cornell rejection here, also just heard back that OSU put me on their funding wait list. Bummer. Was thinking I was safe with the OSU acceptance. Anybody know when we can expect to hear back from MIT?

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2 minutes ago, jjiffy said:

Cornell rejection here, also just heard back that OSU put me on their funding wait list. Bummer. Was thinking I was safe with the OSU acceptance. Anybody know when we can expect to hear back from MIT?

What's ur subfield?

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3 minutes ago, jjiffy said:

Cornell rejection here, also just heard back that OSU put me on their funding wait list. Bummer. Was thinking I was safe with the OSU acceptance. Anybody know when we can expect to hear back from MIT?

Waitlisted for funding at OSU too. CP subfield. I was wondering something... the departmental virtual visit is next week, are we supposed to attend it now? I was excited to go, but now I don't know. Any thoughts on what do you think is the best to do?

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Just now, polisci21 said:

Waitlisted for funding at OSU too. CP subfield. I was wondering something... the departmental virtual visit is next week, are we supposed to attend it now? I was excited to go, but now I don't know. Any thoughts on what do you think is the best to do?

Yeah I'm not totally sure. I think I'll still go just in case I get funding even though I doubt its coming. I had also been really looking forwards to it but this sure throws some cold water onto it. 

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Just now, jjiffy said:

Yeah I'm not totally sure. I think I'll still go just in case I get funding even though I doubt its coming. I had also been really looking forwards to it but this sure throws some cold water onto it. 

Yeah, same here, I understand. Maybe if someone rejects the offer, we can still get in. Good luck! See you in the virtual visit if we end up going.

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