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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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With silence from Harvard, I think its safe to presume my cycle is over. A big thank you to everyone on this forum that made this community such a great place for support and info over these past few months. Best of luck to those still waiting on results. Congratulations to everyone, we should be proud of our efforts regardless of the outcomes as this was a crazy ride.

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Emailed Maryland asking for when decisions will come out and they told me I was waitlisted!

If anybody here is AP and got an acceptance and not planning on going please decline!

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22 minutes ago, spotted said:

Emailed Maryland asking for when decisions will come out and they told me I was waitlisted!

If anybody here is AP and got an acceptance and not planning on going please decline!

Literally in the exact same boat but for CP- if you got accepted and have better options  please please let them know as soon as you're confident in your choice 🙂 

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@smug-face Congratulations! When did you receive the phone call (or the email asking for your number)? I'm wondering if they're calling one by one or if the ship has sailed. And do you by any chance know anything on how many people ate admitted this year? :)

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10 minutes ago, antiq said:

@smug-face Congratulations! When did you receive the phone call (or the email asking for your number)? I'm wondering if they're calling one by one or if the ship has sailed. And do you by any chance know anything on how many people ate admitted this year? :)

Thank you! It was about noon ET when I got the email. No mention of how many were admitted, sorry!

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On 2/26/2021 at 1:06 AM, smug-face said:

Got into Chicago Harris! I'm over the moon -- such a great way to end the cycle

 

9 minutes ago, smug-face said:

Thank you! It was about noon ET when I got the email. No mention of how many were admitted, sorry!

Thanks for the info! Such a relief it must be. Well, then, I guess, do you have any tips for the applicants next year?:) Did you contact any faculty before applying? Or did you do anything else that you think carried you up in the ranking?

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1 minute ago, nivy25 said:

+1 for the CIR offer! Same as the person above, more information will follow later! 
 

At least I have a solid back up if the waitlists don’t work out :)

My feelings exactly. Such a relief to have this.

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1 hour ago, antiq said:

Thanks for the info! Such a relief it must be. Well, then, I guess, do you have any tips for the applicants next year?:) Did you contact any faculty before applying? Or did you do anything else that you think carried you up in the ranking?

I think a few things I did right were:

  1. Not be content with my first (mid-160) quant GRE score. I wanted to do quant work, I knew that I needed exceptional scores, and I knew that this year especially, "good enough" was not gonna be good enough. So I took the GRE again and I think that really helped, especially because my math background was pretty good but not stellar (e.g., only took some undergrad calc, no real analysis). I also did this because I was applying to several GRE-mandatory programs, which I thought would place a ton of weight on my scores, and because I assumed that GRE-optional ones would mostly receive very good scores because of selection effects (only high-score applicants would send in their scores).
  2. Apply to places with a good fit. I didn't apply to stellar places like Harvard or Stanford polisci because there's just no one there that does what I want to do. Incidentally, the places that I got rejected from were all places where I struggled to find more than 2 faculty members with whom I thought I had a good fit beyond broadly similar research agendas (e.g. democratization, institutions, development). What I mean by "fit" is, has this professor recently written a paper that made you think, huh, that's pretty close to what I'd like my dissertation to look like? 
  3. Not contact faculty. Not that it would have hurt necessarily, it's just that it's unlikely to help in any way. Better invest the time and energy reading faculty's work and seeing how it fits with your interests. There's nothing they can tell you that you can't already find online.
Edited by smug-face
grammar
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10 minutes ago, smug-face said:

I think a few things I did right were:

  1. Not be content with my first (mid-160) quant GRE score. I wanted to do quant work, I knew that I needed exceptional scores, and I knew that this year especially, "good enough" was not gonna be good enough. So I took the GRE again and I think that really helped, especially because my math background was pretty good but not stellar (e.g., only took some undergrad calc, no real analysis). I also did this because I was applying to several GRE-mandatory programs, which I thought would place a ton of weight on my scores, and because I assumed that GRE-optional ones would mostly receive very good scores because of selection effects (only high-score applicants would send in their scores).
  2. Apply to places with a good fit. I didn't apply to stellar places like Harvard or Stanford polisci because there's just no one there that does what I want to do. Incidentally, the places that I got rejected from were all places where I struggled to find more than 2 faculty members with whom I thought I had a good fit beyond broadly similar research agendas (e.g. democratization, institutions, development). What I mean by "fit" is, has this professor recently written a paper that made you think, huh, that's pretty close to what I'd like my dissertation to look like? 
  3. Not contact faculty. Not that it would have hurt necessarily, it's just that it's unlikely to help in any way. Better invest the time and energy reading faculty's work and seeing how it fits with your interests. There's nothing they can tell you that you can't already find online.

Thanks for this! A question I have for the group regards point 3: to contact faculty or not to contact faculty? 

I am not from the US so am not sure about the customs there regarding reaching out to faculty during the applications process. I'd be grateful if people could share their thoughts and experiences of this. It has struck me that a lot of admits on this forum and the results page have first heard about it from their 'POIs'. To those who reached out: did you find this made a difference? How so? When did you reach out? To those who didn't: I'd also be very grateful to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks in advance everyone! 

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1 hour ago, Luxlux said:

Someone else still with no communication from Vanderbilt?

I haven’t heard anything back. I imagine with the acceptances and waitlists posted here a while ago - and that we’re well behind the timeline they gave us for admissions - we’re waiting for rejections.

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Just now, ps10 said:

Thanks for this! A question I have for the group regards point 3: to contact faculty or not to contact faculty? 

I am not from the US so am not sure about the customs there regarding reaching out to faculty during the applications process. I'd be grateful if people could share their thoughts and experiences of this. It has struck me that a lot of admits on this forum and the results page have first heard about it from their 'POIs'. To those who reached out: did you find this made a difference? How so? When did you reach out? To those who didn't: I'd also be very grateful to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks in advance everyone! 

did not reach out to faculty. Most blog posts from professors I've read also recommended not reaching out in advance (e.g. Cyrus Samii's at NYU, Chris Blattman's at Harris). As to people talking about PoI, I was also surprised -- though I have to say, in most (all?) of the programs I was admitted to, the DGS who emailed me with the good news was also one of the people I mentioned in my SoP...

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6 hours ago, iamlia said:

Congrats!! Did you apply to the Master's or to the Ph.D. as well? Did you have an interview?
CUNY is such a great school! I don't know where you're located, but if you're outside of NYC, welcome to the city!!! 

Thank you! I applied for the Master's program. No interview! Thanks! I'm in Philly now but I'll be moving up in June. So stoked!

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39 minutes ago, hannahbananapie said:

Would you mind sharing who the email was from and if your Uchicago portal has updated?

The email was signed by the Interim Director of CIR, Michael Albertus, and is mainly about a virtual session of the CIR program.

The Uchicago portal does not reflect the admissions to the MA, only creates a referral form. 

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12 minutes ago, uname_suggests_rdumb said:

The email was signed by the Interim Director of CIR, Michael Albertus, and is mainly about a virtual session of the CIR program.

The Uchicago portal does not reflect the admissions to the MA, only creates a referral form. 

Thanks a lot! Congrats to you too :)

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On 2/27/2021 at 12:56 AM, smug-face said:

did not reach out to faculty. Most blog posts from professors I've read also recommended not reaching out in advance (e.g. Cyrus Samii's at NYU, Chris Blattman's at Harris). As to people talking about PoI, I was also surprised -- though I have to say, in most (all?) of the programs I was admitted to, the DGS who emailed me with the good news was also one of the people I mentioned in my SoP...

agree with this BUT if you are totally sure about your top preferences AND you know some of your recommenders is closed connected to faculty there you COULD ask them to signal your application. If they are good recommenders they should have done this without being asked to. If they care about your placement they will surely do it--even if they are not so convinced about the effectiveness of that strategy

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On 2/26/2021 at 6:52 PM, ps10 said:

Thanks for this! A question I have for the group regards point 3: to contact faculty or not to contact faculty? 

I am not from the US so am not sure about the customs there regarding reaching out to faculty during the applications process. I'd be grateful if people could share their thoughts and experiences of this. It has struck me that a lot of admits on this forum and the results page have first heard about it from their 'POIs'. To those who reached out: did you find this made a difference? How so? When did you reach out? To those who didn't: I'd also be very grateful to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks in advance everyone! 

It seems like it depends on the situation.  As the other posters noted, many people argue not to contact the faculty.  I had a graduate program representative tell me outright not to email anyone from that department.  However, for one of the schools I was accepted at, a faculty member posted on a professional list serve and indicated that any interested students should feel free to contact him.  My interests with aligned with his and we spoke for well over an hour.  My SOPs were horrid and I really believe that having the opportunity to outline my research interests and history in our call is what got me into the program.

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