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2020-2021 Application Thread


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Thank you all so much for your kind words yesterday after I got my first, and likely only acceptance! It was quite an overwhelming day so I was logged off the forum for most of the day after I got the call.

Congrats to everyone who has gotten good news in the meantime, and good luck to everyone still waiting it out! I have gotten literally only rejections until getting into my dream program, so don't lose hope!

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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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Harvard has just responded to my email of inquiry! It is a generic rejection, of course, but a very polite one. The email says that "notifications are being sent just now by the Graduate School" (but I haven't received any tho) and that "there were 588 applications under consideration for an incoming class of eight." 

588... for a class of 8 ...that is INSANE. 

For those who got in: a very, very big congrats!! This finally marks the end of this cycle for me!   

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Just now, pspr said:

Harvard has just responded to my email of inquiry! It is a generic rejection, of course, but a very polite one. The email says that "notifications are being sent just now by the Graduate School" (but I haven't received any tho) and that "there were 588 applications under consideration for an incoming class of eight." 

588... for a class of 8 ...that is INSANE. 

For those who got in: a very, very big congrats!! This finally marks the end of this cycle for me!   

There is something to be said about putting in a little effort on the rejections.  MIT, Michigan, and Stony Brook (waitlist) at least had some class.  They sent the rejections from the department head.  Yale and Berkeley were a joke.  Even though they don't owe us anything, Yale could at least come up with more than three sentences to every graduate applicant from the grad school head for a $120 fee.  That's just pure BS in my book.

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Lurker here ! Got my first official rejection from MIT in PE this morning. Tough pill to swallow as my fit for the MIT was very, very strong. On the other hand, had real issues with some administrative documents (their dep. was not particularly helpful, in fact they never answered to anything), so there is a STRONG chance my application was not even considered. This is in fact very frustrating but, in terms of ego and belief in my capacities, more of a status-quo kind of thing than a damning one. I will try for sure next year. Other than that, I only applied at Georgetown in IR and fully expect a rejection. Fit was strong, but competition seemed unreal.

Truth be told, really not a bright idea to apply to only two programs, but truth is I was obsessed with a MsC program at Oxford which, coupled with the insecurity regarding political climate in the States (during Fall), took my attention away from an American PhD possibility. I found out in mid November that some schools did not require GRE scores, got in contact with a Pr. at MIT through a research partner in McGill a week later and brushed up a SOP with the help of said Pr. Thought I had a good shot, but made mistakes along the way which probably really cost me.

This whole thing is a learning process and I am glad I went through it, even though I am unsuccessful. I think I have a  strong profile but, at the end of the day, still am originating from a small francophone Canadian university.  I embrace the challenge, I am only 24 years old (which I understand is fairly older than many of my compatriots on this forum, but still young in the general scheme of things),  will come back next year with way more options and hopefully with better sample and a good GRE scores. 

Do not let this cycle, which has been affected by COVID in more ways that I think we can comprehend, dictate how you see yourself as an academic. Life has that weird tendency, a frustrating one to say the least, to  create paths for yourself that will seem non-linear, filled with obstacles ; a zigzagging journey that will test everything you have. You do have to believe in this process and understand that Life has a plan for you and that you need to trust it. This cycle is one small event in a career that will, one day,  bring you cherished friendships, discoveries and experiences. Do not give up.

See you next year ! Peace.

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53 minutes ago, rash_sulganni said:

Claiming MIT rejection. End of the cycle for me. 

I wonder if this is a correct use of the downvote on the original post? I mean one can disapprove of the rejection but still support the person rejected.

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56 minutes ago, rash_sulganni said:

Claiming MIT rejection. End of the cycle for me. 

I'm sorry to hear that, but congratulations on all your acceptances. This cycle was actually brutal, and obviously the programs you got accepted into are no ivy leagues, but they're still awesome! I heard about UF kind of coming up in the ranks recently with its placements! Also, my current professor spoke very highly of UMass. 

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8 minutes ago, cber9604 said:

Lurker here ! Got my first official rejection from MIT in PE this morning. Tough pill to swallow as my fit for the MIT was very, very strong. On the other hand, had real issues with some administrative documents (their dep. was not particularly helpful, in fact they never answered to anything), so there is a STRONG chance my application was not even considered. This is in fact very frustrating but, in terms of ego and belief in my capacities, more of a status-quo kind of thing than a damning one. I will try for sure next year. Other than that, I only applied at Georgetown in IR and fully expect a rejection. Fit was strong, but competition seemed unreal.

Truth be told, really not a bright idea to apply to only two programs, but truth is I was obsessed with a MsC program at Oxford which, coupled with the insecurity regarding political climate in the States (during Fall), took my attention away from an American PhD possibility. I found out in mid November that some schools did not require GRE scores, got in contact with a Pr. at MIT through a research partner in McGill a week later and brushed up a SOP with the help of said Pr. Thought I had a good shot, but made mistakes along the way which probably really cost me.

This whole thing is a learning process and I am glad I went through it, even though I am unsuccessful. I think I have a  strong profile but, at the end of the day, still am originating from a small francophone Canadian university.  I embrace the challenge, I am only 24 years old (which I understand is fairly older than many of my compatriots on this forum, but still young in the general scheme of things),  will come back next year with way more options and hopefully with better sample and a good GRE scores. 

Do not let this cycle, which has been affected by COVID in more ways that I think we can comprehend, dictate how you see yourself as an academic. Life has that weird tendency, a frustrating one to say the least, to  create paths for yourself that will seem non-linear, filled with obstacles ; a zigzagging journey that will test everything you have. You do have to believe in this process and understand that Life has a plan for you and that you need to trust it. This cycle is one small event in a career that will, one day,  bring you cherished friendships, discoveries and experiences. Do not give up.

See you next year ! Peace.

I'll just emphasize that the application process is truly messy. It's possible you did nothing wrong at all and simply was rejected. Even the most qualified applicants should count themselves lucky to get into MIT and many do not get in. That's unsatisfying of course but if you apply to more programs next year you'll increase your odds. I understand your apprehension about coming to the US but, despite all the difficulties, things are great her. In my opinion at least.

What do you all think?

Yes there is division these days and many things I don't like, but at least it's true that in any phd program you'll find like-minded, curious, intelligent, and brilliant people. I also find that the division is exaggerated - most normal people get along just fine in spite of political differences. Everything is blown up on the news but you could really come here and make a great life for yourself (I think).

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1 hour ago, pspr said:

Harvard has just responded to my email of inquiry! It is a generic rejection, of course, but a very polite one. The email says that "notifications are being sent just now by the Graduate School" (but I haven't received any tho) and that "there were 588 applications under consideration for an incoming class of eight." 

588... for a class of 8 ...that is INSANE. 

For those who got in: a very, very big congrats!! This finally marks the end of this cycle for me!   

Hey! Sorry to hear that. Was that for the Government program, or which one? And sorry for asking, but did you get the email because you asked, or you just received a notification? My portal hasn't updated and I'm not getting any emails whatsoever, so I'm really nervous.
The numbers are really crazy. Hope you got into a program you liked!

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34 minutes ago, Theory007 said:

I'll just emphasize that the application process is truly messy. It's possible you did nothing wrong at all and simply was rejected. Even the most qualified applicants should count themselves lucky to get into MIT and many do not get in. That's unsatisfying of course but if you apply to more programs next year you'll increase your odds. I understand your apprehension about coming to the US but, despite all the difficulties, things are great her. In my opinion at least.

What do you all think?

Yes there is division these days and many things I don't like, but at least it's true that in any phd program you'll find like-minded, curious, intelligent, and brilliant people. I also find that the division is exaggerated - most normal people get along just fine in spite of political differences. Everything is blown up on the news but you could really come here and make a great life for yourself (I think).

Thanks for the insights ! Yup could be a straight rejection and that'd be fine as well... my transcripts came in really, really late so it probably did not help. Reality is that's a rejection, and I have to prepare for next year more properly.

Oh, I have been thinking about going to the US for study for a long, long time ; I am sure starting my adult life over there would be fulfilling and eye opening. It was not really a question of politics or values, more a comparison with the quality of life here in Montréal. I do not think there is a better student city in the world than MTL from the cost of living to the sheer diversity in people that can be met and things that can be done, experienced. I have ambitions as a researcher so obviously I think a Ph.D from the US is necessary, but with COVID and the political divisions in the US, Montréal had an appeal that made me reconsider If I should apply for 2021. I applied but not fully committed, so I am eager to try again next year with 15+ schools.

 

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9 minutes ago, iamlia said:

Hey! Sorry to hear that. Was that for the Government program, or which one? And sorry for asking, but did you get the email because you asked, or you just received a notification? My portal hasn't updated and I'm not getting any emails whatsoever, so I'm really nervous.
The numbers are really crazy. Hope you got into a program you liked!

Yup it is for PhD in Government. I emailed to ask yesterday morning, and got this reply today! I guess the batch of rejections are coming soon (my portal remains the same at the moment). I guess it’s because I asked the coordinator, so he got back with the decision! 
 

This could also very well mean that the methods and theory acceptances on the result page are real. 

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1 minute ago, OttoTheOrange said:

Hey everyone- did anyone else apply to UConn? I haven't heard a thing- from them or on here- and they're the last school I'm realistically waiting on. Has anyone heard anything?

I just broke down and emailed the department, because I was wondering the same thing! I will let you know what I hear back from them. 

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26 minutes ago, pspr said:

Yup it is for PhD in Government. I emailed to ask yesterday morning, and got this reply today! I guess the batch of rejections are coming soon (my portal remains the same at the moment). I guess it’s because I asked the coordinator, so he got back with the decision! 
 

This could also very well mean that the methods and theory acceptances on the result page are real. 

Thank you! I’m actually waiting on the Social Policy + Government program but someone on here was accepted yesterday so I guess it’s the same as you say and the rejection is taking longer to arrive... thanks though!

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Now that it seems that the CHYMPS offers are all or mostly out, I'm wondering how many people got offers at multiple tip-top schools. Some posters have clearly claimed acceptances at top schools amidst many other rejections, so now I'm wondering if anyone here has "swept." 

Also, if you don't want to out yourself, feel free to dm me because I'd love to know about your experience and what drove your success :)

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10 minutes ago, plus said:

Perhaps in other years. I doubt many had something like 4 or 5 CHYMPS offers.

yeah i've read every damn page of this thread and i can't think of anyone. people who i seriously thought would sweep this year (here and irl) have like 1 CHYMPS offer. unforunately i'm not very hopeful for waitlist offers, if there aren't a ton of cross-admits, yield is going to be insane everywhere. 

Edited by BunniesInSpace
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22 hours ago, The Converse said:

As my pursuit of a PhD comes to an end, I still feel like I owe my recommenders a bit of gratitude.  Did anyone on the forum provide gifts to their recommenders and, if so, what did you send?  It is a little bit more difficult with most faculty and coworkers operating from home.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.

I sent mine virtual gift cards from Starbucks. Just $5 each to show my appreciation  

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