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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 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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3 minutes ago, polisci21 said:

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.

Here's hoping! Fingers crossed!

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Hi, everyone! Guess I found this topic quite late lol

So, this was my first cycle, and I ended up applying only to 3 depts (mostly because of the pandemics, couldn’t retake GRE and so on) and I just received the last rejection from NW. I was already preparing to try again this year (2021/2022 cycle), but somehow I am feeling very unsure of my plans rn, especially after reading your thoughts about cutting funding/classes and so on. So I would like to hear from the ones that were admitted this cycle if it was your first time applying and/or experiences about going on a second cycle. I guess I just need some perspective, because I am feeling quite lost on what to do next. Thought I was prepared to receive these rejections, but it does not seem to be the case. Thank you all :)

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5 hours 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?

4 hours 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.

I wouldn't say truly permanent. I think the brunt of the pain is on this year. Like, Columbia and UNC aren't closed shop forever, and the schools that are temporarily offering extra paid years for phd students due to covid will have that money back in the department ready to have normal cohort sizes within a couple of years. Departments don't want to get smaller and most will resist long-term downsizing if at all possible. 

That being said, it's quite normal to get shut out completely one year, and then get into a super top program the next year. It's not abnormal to apply to every top 10 program and only get into Harvard or something. 

 

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19 minutes ago, StudyofLilia said:

Hi, everyone! Guess I found this topic quite late lol

So, this was my first cycle, and I ended up applying only to 3 depts (mostly because of the pandemics, couldn’t retake GRE and so on) and I just received the last rejection from NW. I was already preparing to try again this year (2021/2022 cycle), but somehow I am feeling very unsure of my plans rn, especially after reading your thoughts about cutting funding/classes and so on. So I would like to hear from the ones that were admitted this cycle if it was your first time applying and/or experiences about going on a second cycle. I guess I just need some perspective, because I am feeling quite lost on what to do next. Thought I was prepared to receive these rejections, but it does not seem to be the case. Thank you all :)

Hi @StudyofLilia! I believe there is another room created by @BrownSugar for sharing our experience and lessons from this cycle. Here is the link https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/127325-202021-cycle-profileresultslessons/

Here is my take from this year's cycle (it's my first time btw)

  • Fit is of utmost important. Of course that isn't to say GPA and all that don't matter but a perfect GPA and GRE won't get you anywhere if your research doesn't fit with the research of the faculty. 
  • Think broadly in terms of your interest. Don't fixate on regional interests alone. I learned that thematic fit was equally if not more important. Else, you may just have one or two professors who study the region you want to study. 
  • Polish your SOP as much as you can. Get as many friends, colleagues, etc as possible to read it. (I did that. Had more than 8 people read my SOP). 
  • Reach out to POI in time. Contacting professors right before or after submitting your application doesn't really work.

disclaimer: I am no expert. This is just from my personal experience. 

 

Edited by rash_sulganni
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5 hours 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?

This pandemic is certainly going to permanently restructure graduate programs. Cohorts will continue to stay small, if not smaller. This was, as one person said earlier, just the perfect time to do that. So I think it's just going to get worse.

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1 hour 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?

 

1 hour ago, 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?

When did you get notified for the funding waitlist?

Also + on Cornell rejection.

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16 hours ago, Miss Evidence said:

Same here!

Waiting for MIT. Were any of you invited to an interview? I was not. 

No interview at Yale, I don't remember seeing anyone invited but I could be wrong.

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6 minutes ago, Habermas said:

No interview at Yale, I don't remember seeing anyone invited but I could be wrong.

Thank you! No interviews invitation from MIT either? I wasn't invited to any interview from anywhere. I am mostly applying to Public Policy or Government related programs and a few PoliSci ones. Only heard from Yale so far, rejection. Congratulations on your acceptances and good luck on your Harvard pending application!

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4 minutes ago, BrownSugar said:

Also got a rejection from Cornell! I also added my stats etc. to the thread I created for results :)

Hey @BrownSugar, congrats on this cycle. I know this has been litigated already, but I just wanted to add in case one more push could change your calculus. I think turning UChicago for USC is objectively not be the best move. It doesn't matter if you were to teach in the U.S or not, UChicago is arguably a better program and its brand is widely recognized than USC. It will open doors both in academia and industry. Secondly, yes, CA is nice and sunny and all, but this is a decision that will impact your long term career; I will rather go to freezing Chicago if it means I will be able to teach at any of the UC schools and enjoy that weather for the remainder of my career. Also, think about the cost of living in LA, I think Chicago is definitely cheaper which means your stipend will probably go a long way. Anyways, just some points here. If you have truly made your mind, congrats and I wish you the best!

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5 minutes ago, PolNerd said:

Hey @BrownSugar, congrats on this cycle. I know this has been litigated already, but I just wanted to add in case one more push could change your calculus. I think turning UChicago for USC is objectively not be the best move. It doesn't matter if you were to teach in the U.S or not, UChicago is arguably a better program and its brand is widely recognized than USC. It will open doors both in academia and industry. Secondly, yes, CA is nice and sunny and all, but this is a decision that will impact your long term career; I will rather go to freezing Chicago if it means I will be able to teach at any of the UC schools and enjoy that weather for the remainder of my career. Also, think about the cost of living in LA, I think Chicago is definitely cheaper which means your stipend will probably go a long way. Anyways, just some points here. If you have truly made your mind, congrats and I wish you the best!

Thank you! I truly appreciate you all taking my best interests into account! I have indeed made up my mind about USC based largely on my experience with its faculty, which seems much more collaborative and supportive which is of utmost importance to me. 

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8 minutes ago, BrownSugar said:

Thank you! I truly appreciate you all taking my best interests into account! I have indeed made up my mind about USC based largely on my experience with its faculty, which seems much more collaborative and supportive which is of utmost importance to me. 

Congrats! Both Chicago and USC a great programs. From what I learn from my prof USC's a great place.

Btw did you receive the USC offer long ago? I applied to USC as well but received nothing so far. Would this means I should assume rejection? Thanks. 

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Just now, natpvh72 said:

Congrats! Both Chicago and USC a great programs. From what I learn from my prof USC's a great place.

Btw did you receive the USC offer long ago? I applied to USC as well but received nothing so far. Would this means I should assume rejection? Thanks. 

Thank you! They said decisions would come throughout February so I can't say what to expect honestly. I received my decision weeks ago, informally from my POI. 

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1 minute ago, China_IR said:

Sorry to ask again.... But did anyone besides sugar claim the USC acceptance in the result page?

I can't remember if someone claimed it on here. I feel like I saw one. But I know someone else who got his offer just a few days ago (informally). 

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