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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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6 hours ago, BrownSugar said:

Actually, I prefer USC over Chicago (controversial, I’m sure haha, but it’s for a few reasons). Depending on the remaining ones, I think I’ll actually be confirming USC in the end.

I do hope one of you on the forum here can get my place at Chicago :) 

Hey, congrats to your admits! I just read some of your posts and want to give you some information as a Chicago alumni. If you feel you are creative, intelligent, and hardworking enough, then Chicago would definitely provide you with a lot of resources. They have a great platform for you to succeed. But the downside is that few professors would care about you. They are toooooo busy and most of time just focus on their own research and job. I don't know what your subfield is. Just take a look at their placement website and you will find many students end up in a place that looks unmatched with the prestige of the university. Also look at the CV of the current grad students and you will find some of the fifth, sixth, seventh year students even do not have a publication. Also, it is not easy to graduate in five years. As I know, graduating in six years is relatively fast. Professors there are great, but they are just too busy to teach and discuss with you unless you are coauthoring a paper. But as I see, most of the professors there like to work individually or with professors at other institutions. I don't know about UCS. Just give you some information and you might need to think about the tradeoff if you choose Chicago. I didn't apply to Chicago as I just don't want to stay in a cold place without any help for at least six years.

Edited by nightowlll
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5 hours ago, irinmn said:

@BrownSugar I'll probably get trolled pretty bad on here for saying this but I think you should go to USC. Based on your stated goals, you don't really plan on trying for a TT job in the USA anyway, so ranking and networking/connections aren't nearly as important as it might otherwise be. Yes, Chicago is higher ranked by everyone in just about every metric. With that said, USC is no slouch. It's not like it's a bad school. You know what else? This is 5 years of your life that you'll never get back. It's a huge investment in time. Quality of life is so important. Chicago is a beautiful, great city, but it can't match the quality of life of Southern California. You'll never have to shovel snow in the winter or worry about slipping on ice covered streets, you can spend your Christmas break a few miles from the USC campus at the beach in Santa Monica or Malibu, and you'll be able to see palm trees from your classroom. You'll be living in a place where you can go skiing/snowboarding and surfing in the same day this time of year. You can't do either in a day anywhere near Chicago most of the time. 

I'm not trying to take away from what everyone else is saying on here because they're right. Chicago is the best choice if you plan on staying here and going into academia. If you don't, choose the place you want to spend 5 years of your life in the most. 

Can't agree anymore. Life is very important!!!!!!! I am not ambitious and studying at Chicago just made me feel tortured lol

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9 minutes ago, nightowlll said:

Hey, congrats to your admits! I just read some of your posts and want to give you some information as a Chicago alumni. If you feel you are creative, intelligent, and hardworking enough, then Chicago would definitely provide you with a lot of resources. They have a great platform for you to succeed. But the downside is that few professors would care about you. They are toooooo busy and most of time just focus on their own research and job. I don't know what your subfield is. Just take a look at their placement website and you will find many students end up in a place that looks unmatched with the prestige of the university. Also look at the CV of the current grad students and you will find some of the fifth, sixth, seventh year students even do not have a publication. Also, it is not easy to graduate in five years. As I know, graduating in six years is relatively fast. Professors there are great, but they are just too busy to teach and discuss with you unless you are coauthoring a paper. But as I see, most of the professors there like to work individually or with professors at other institutions. I don't know about UCS. Just give you some information and you might need to think about the tradeoff if you choose Chicago. I didn't apply to Chicago as I just don't want to stay in a cold place without any help for at least six years.

I think you're in a rude awakening at any department if you expect tons of help from professors all the time. IDK.. Grad students are adults, they need to manage their own publications, timeline, etc. It's not like professors at USC are likely to be any more available than UChicago... I think BrownSugar should just wait and see what the admit days are like.

Edited by timeseries
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4 hours ago, BunniesInSpace said:

A T10. Not trying to doxx myself here lol. 

Harder to say on OSU (assuming Ohio and not Oregon lol) vs. Rice. My immediate reaction is OSU but largely because I know very little about Rice/their faculty. For AP it's for sure Ohio State. Other subfields may be less clear idk I'm not an expert there. Again, the ceiling for jobs you can get from OSU is higher than the ceiling for jobs you can get from Rice. Plus (assuming you get funded), Ohio State pays well enough unlike say UNC. I'd highly recommend looking at placement and comparing the kinds of jobs (like especially the median job, not the one time OSU placed someone at Harvard kind of job) that people are getting from each program. 

Yeah, valid points. Actually Ohio's IR program is a top 10 program, ranked higher (8th) than its AP (14th). 

Its just difficult going by placements cause it seems over the past three years most school are mostly reporting post-doc placements, so not sure it helps with the decision.

Edited by PolNerd
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2 hours ago, kestrel18 said:

After reading the previous discussion, guys, here my 5 cents: Academia is not about money. No. It is about love-love to science, to the breathtaking feeling of discoveries and understanding that one is developing, doing something noble. It is about a fit between an inner (often innate) avid desire to learn and accumulating something that will always be with you. It is about a permanent journey and the spirit of the eternal youth. 
I'm not preaching, do not get me wrong: While having challenging stats classes, I'm asking myself quite often: " should I have swapped my highly paid job and quite relaxed way of life for the sleepless nights of a Ph.D. program?..." - But, when "that" paper is finally done, the semester is over, and I'm drinking a cup of coffee with a few sips of cognac, I feel fabulous. I feel I was right when I made a decision. And I understand that otherwise, I would be self-flagellating until the rest of the life if I did not try the taste of Academia.
Academia is tough, transformative, and quite often painful, but the majority of you, I believe, will love it too. :)
And yes, money...- In short: Be a good scholar, and you will have a well-paid job.

We gotta eat. 

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4 minutes ago, timeseries said:

I think you're in a rude awakening at any department if you expect tons of help from professors all the time. IDK.. Grad students are adults, they need to manage their own publications, timeline, etc. It's not like professors at USC are likely to be any more available than UChicago... I think BrownSugar should just wait and see what the admit days are like.

Right... USC professors should also focus a lot on their own research. Just share my own experience, and I do have cohorts who enjoyed studying and living there. Maybe it depends more on where you want to stay and what you want in the future

Edited by nightowlll
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37 minutes ago, nightowlll said:

Hey, congrats to your admits! I just read some of your posts and want to give you some information as a Chicago alumni. If you feel you are creative, intelligent, and hardworking enough, then Chicago would definitely provide you with a lot of resources. They have a great platform for you to succeed. But the downside is that few professors would care about you. They are toooooo busy and most of time just focus on their own research and job. I don't know what your subfield is. Just take a look at their placement website and you will find many students end up in a place that looks unmatched with the prestige of the university. Also look at the CV of the current grad students and you will find some of the fifth, sixth, seventh year students even do not have a publication. Also, it is not easy to graduate in five years. As I know, graduating in six years is relatively fast. Professors there are great, but they are just too busy to teach and discuss with you unless you are coauthoring a paper. But as I see, most of the professors there like to work individually or with professors at other institutions. I don't know about UCS. Just give you some information and you might need to think about the tradeoff if you choose Chicago. I didn't apply to Chicago as I just don't want to stay in a cold place without any help for at least six years.

I can’t thank you enough for this insider perspective. The point you raise about the environment is extremely important to me. My last 4 years in university have involved a very high quality of life (I’ve already been a grad student as well), so it is important for me to keep that. 

Edited by BrownSugar
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1 minute ago, hamzasaiger said:

Hi altruists,

I am not getting any interview calls from potential advisors whom I contacted over email or any update from the universities. Is it a bad sign mid-February for Fall 2021? Was I too ambitious with my profile? 

I think you're in the wrong forum, this one is for the political science program

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6 minutes ago, hamzasaiger said:

Hi altruists,

I am not getting any interview calls from potential advisors whom I contacted over email or any update from the universities. Is it a bad sign mid-February for Fall 2021? Was I too ambitious with my profile? 

OP, seems like you're in the wrong thread? (says you're mech engineering but this is political science)

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Just now, peculiarindividual said:

 

Overpriced garbage town, stipend probably doesn’t even pay rent anyway😪 

 

Congrats to everyone who got in though, send em my regards ✊🏽 

Respectfully, it is overpriced but Berkeley is anything but a "garbage town". I've got family that went to Cal and I grew up near there. It's a great city/area. The food, the bars, the nightlife, the proximity to everything else the Bay Area has to offer, the great public transportation, the redwood covered hills directly behind the campus. It's not Palo Alto but it sure is a beautiful place, and on most days from most of the eastern part of the campus, you've got a panoramic view of the Bay Area including downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a beautiful place. I'm sorry for the folks that didn't get in, but no need to denigrate a great city. 

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7 hours ago, BrownSugar said:

Actually, I prefer USC over Chicago (controversial, I’m sure haha, but it’s for a few reasons). Depending on the remaining ones, I think I’ll actually be confirming USC in the end.

I do hope one of you on the forum here can get my place at Chicago :) 

I haven’t gotten any acceptances yet so I might not be the most “qualified” here to present my opinion. You can read it or fully ignore it but I just thought I might as well throw in my two cents.

 

I agree with everyone else on here who said that Chicago will definitely improve your future job prospects. It’s just the “brand” associated with its degree. At the same time, it’s not completely impossible to get the same job after going to USC especially if you work hard and succeed. As someone mentioned previously, you could win an award and be published a couple times, as compared to a Chicago grad who’s done less than half of what you have but still be considered less than them or equal. 
 

However, it really depends. I personally regret not applying to USC because I went on rankings whereas they’re a great program and they’re trying to move up the rankings and they’ve improved a lot. I’ve worked with a professor in my current college who got his PhD from USC about 10 years ago. I get that 10 years is a long time and things change, but he also worked at Columbia University which is R1, top tier after getting a PhD from USC in IR. This is obviously not the norm and it’s easier to get a better job with the Chicago degree but it’s not impossible. Some of my other professors also gave me the same advice. There’s no point spending 5 years or more at a school if you don’t gain the most you can from this experience. 
 

Some people are cut out for the competitive and super busy top tier environment, but some prefer a better quality of life in terms of living and working in cooperative environment. I personally do know now that if I do apply next year, I’m not going to make the mistake of skipping USC, and I’m also going to consider lesser ranked schools because my happiness matters more. 
 

I would suggest choosing a school based on your personal goals and ambitions. 

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8 minutes ago, irinmn said:

Respectfully, it is overpriced but Berkeley is anything but a "garbage town". I've got family that went to Cal and I grew up near there. It's a great city/area. The food, the bars, the nightlife, the proximity to everything else the Bay Area has to offer, the great public transportation, the redwood covered hills directly behind the campus. It's not Palo Alto but it sure is a beautiful place, and on most days from most of the eastern part of the campus, you've got a panoramic view of the Bay Area including downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a beautiful place. I'm sorry for the folks that didn't get in, but no need to denigrate a great city. 

No disrespect taken! I was mostly saying that in jest friend but I’m glad you love your city. Personally not for me and I have nothing but respect for my mentors many of whom are alumni. That said, it’s definitely not for me. I think — being Black —I’m just sick of the west coast. It’s lonely as hell here, whenever people talk about diversity out here they mean “except for black people”, which has just been rough.

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3 minutes ago, nivy25 said:

I haven’t gotten any acceptances yet so I might not be the most “qualified” here to present my opinion. You can read it or fully ignore it but I just thought I might as well throw in my two cents.

 

I agree with everyone else on here who said that Chicago will definitely improve your future job prospects. It’s just the “brand” associated with its degree. At the same time, it’s not completely impossible to get the same job after going to USC especially if you work hard and succeed. As someone mentioned previously, you could win an award and be published a couple times, as compared to a Chicago grad who’s done less than half of what you have but still be considered less than them or equal. 
 

However, it really depends. I personally regret not applying to USC because I went on rankings whereas they’re a great program and they’re trying to move up the rankings and they’ve improved a lot. I’ve worked with a professor in my current college who got his PhD from USC about 10 years ago. I get that 10 years is a long time and things change, but he also worked at Columbia University which is R1, top tier after getting a PhD from USC in IR. This is obviously not the norm and it’s easier to get a better job with the Chicago degree but it’s not impossible. Some of my other professors also gave me the same advice. There’s no point spending 5 years or more at a school if you don’t gain the most you can from this experience. 
 

Some people are cut out for the competitive and super busy top tier environment, but some prefer a better quality of life in terms of living and working in cooperative environment. I personally do know now that if I do apply next year, I’m not going to make the mistake of skipping USC, and I’m also going to consider lesser ranked schools because my happiness matters more. 
 

I would suggest choosing a school based on your personal goals and ambitions. 

I definitely get how you feel. When I was looking for schools to apply, my advisors basically suggested two pools: ultra-competitive environments where you have at least a general fit and probably better chances of an R1 job; and a 2nd pool of more relaxed environments where you'll be competitive for teaching colleges but probably not R1. As an applicant, you can mix and match or go all in on one side or another, it's up to you. 5-7 years is a long time and you need to be happy/healthy both physically and mentally.

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Just now, peculiarindividual said:

No disrespect taken! I was mostly saying that in jest friend but I’m glad you love your city. Personally not for me and I have nothing but respect for my mentors many of whom are alumni. That said, it’s definitely not for me. I think — being Black —I’m just sick of the west coast. It’s lonely as hell here, whenever people talk about diversity out here they mean “except for black people”, which has just been rough.

I understand, no worries! Where are you on the west coast? I'm Asian and I guess I don't really feel that but if you're somewhere like eastern Oregon then I understand. I'm surprised though to hear you say that given that LA and the East Bay have large black populations. 

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Just now, icemanyeo said:

I definitely get how you feel. When I was looking for schools to apply, my advisors basically suggested two pools: ultra-competitive environments where you have at least a general fit and probably better chances of an R1 job; and a 2nd pool of more relaxed environments where you'll be competitive for teaching colleges but probably not R1. As an applicant, you can mix and match or go all in on one side or another, it's up to you. 5-7 years is a long time and you need to be happy/healthy both physically and mentally.

To add to this discussion for anyone else thinking of places to apply for next year etc: if you're an international student, that also really complicates matters. For example, I know I need an R1 job if I want to stay in academia in the US. Teaching colleges aren't going to sponsor my visas and stuff. Needing an R1 job means applying to an R1 program, which is all I did this year and plan to do next year.

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1 minute ago, comradecommissar said:

To add to this discussion for anyone else thinking of places to apply for next year etc: if you're an international student, that also really complicates matters. For example, I know I need an R1 job if I want to stay in academia in the US. Teaching colleges aren't going to sponsor my visas and stuff. Needing an R1 job means applying to an R1 program, which is all I did this year and plan to do next year.

Exactly -- knew international faculty that had to leave the US after working at teaching colleges because they were on H1-B and not sponsored for an EB-1 or EB-2.

Edited by icemanyeo
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14 minutes ago, icemanyeo said:

I definitely get how you feel. When I was looking for schools to apply, my advisors basically suggested two pools: ultra-competitive environments where you have at least a general fit and probably better chances of an R1 job; and a 2nd pool of more relaxed environments where you'll be competitive for teaching colleges but probably not R1. As an applicant, you can mix and match or go all in on one side or another, it's up to you. 5-7 years is a long time and you need to be happy/healthy both physically and mentally.

You're right about everything you are saying. Just curious, why apply to Concordia? I don't think it's ranked better than in the 600's in world rankings. It's not even in the top 5 polisci PhD programs in Canada in rankings.

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7 minutes ago, irinmn said:

I understand, no worries! Where are you on the west coast? I'm Asian and I guess I don't really feel that but if you're somewhere like eastern Oregon then I understand. I'm surprised though to hear you say that given that LA and the East Bay have large black populations. 

No definitely that’s true compared to where I’m at (NorCal/Valley), it kind of varies and admittedly there’s segregation everywhere (I’m from the South, believe me they are great at gerrymandering there and don’t attempt to hide it). I think culturally it’s just been far more different than I expected it to be when I moved out here. Like I’ve appreciated seeing a greater diversity of other minorities (we had like 5 Asians at my high school for instance), that’s definitely made me a better and more educated person as far as understanding different people better. But for instance the city I was born in is 40% Black. While we have more overt racism down there IME, the subtle racism out here (some of it possibly due to less exposure to Black people) has been tougher for me. In any case, it’s also more liberal out here which, generally speaking, makes it a lot easier to comfortably be yourself as a Black person (e.g. hair discrimination is more unacceptable here than back home). It’s a mixed bag; I think maybe if I’d spent my time here in the Bay instead of the Valley I might have liked the former more. Great music tho!

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1 minute ago, peculiarindividual said:

No definitely that’s true compared to where I’m at (NorCal/Valley), it kind of varies and admittedly there’s segregation everywhere (I’m from the South, believe me they are great at gerrymandering there and don’t attempt to hide it). I think culturally it’s just been far more different than I expected it to be when I moved out here. Like I’ve appreciated seeing a greater diversity of other minorities (we had like 5 Asians at my high school for instance), that’s definitely made me a better and more educated person as far as understanding different people better. But for instance the city I was born in is 40% Black. While we have more overt racism down there IME, the subtle racism out here (some of it possibly due to less exposure to Black people) has been tougher for me. In any case, it’s also more liberal out here which, generally speaking, makes it a lot easier to comfortably be yourself as a Black person (e.g. hair discrimination is more unacceptable here than back home). It’s a mixed bag; I think maybe if I’d spent my time here in the Bay instead of the Valley I might have liked the former more. Great music tho!

Understand completely. I have an old undergrad classmate from a small farm town in the middle of the valley that was something like 86% Hispanic. I went home with him one weekend and there were people in his town who had never met an Asian in person. I only lived in LA and the Bay Area, which really are very diverse. There are towns in both areas where African Americans are the majority of the population. Rev. King actually spoke on the Berkeley campus about a year after the Black Panther Party was formed in neighboring Oakland. Even the Black Panther movie had Oakland Easter eggs all over the place! I'm sure you already know all of this so I don't mean this in a daft way, I'm just saying, give the Bay Area a chance again if you can :)

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