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I'm hoping next week will be a big week for us all! 😊

so is my email 🙄

Hello everyone! I am conducting a research study for my doctoral program on adult military dependents (current or previous) and would love for any dependents in here to take part! It’s a short survey

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27 minutes ago, WhoaThereWombat said:

One $ is generally equivalent to 25% of tuition. 

Gotcha! Thanks.

Can you also tell me how I can edit my post when I receive acceptances/rejections from these schools? 

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On 2/17/2021 at 6:55 AM, scholarloading said:

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MPA/MPP/MIA
Schools Applied To: Columbia SIPA, Tufts Fletcher, HKS, Yale Jackson, Princeton SPIA, Georgetown SFS, Johns Hopkins SAIS, GWU Elliott, American SIS
Schools Admitted To: Columbia SIPA ($$), Tufts Fletcher (waiting on funding), American SIS (waiting on funding), 
Schools Rejected From:  None yet
Still Waiting:  
GWU Elliott, Georgetown SFS, HKS, Yale Jackson, Princeton SPIA, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Undergraduate Institution: Private top-ranked Liberal Arts College
Undergraduate GPA:  4.0
Undergraduate Major: IR/Development
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  162/162/4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  1
Years of Work Experience:  1
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Think tank
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I think it was decent...
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  One professional, two academic. Worked extensively with all 3. Fairly confident in my recs.

@scholarloadingI'm curious about your SIPA funding because I thought they didn't give out award letters until March. Can you give some additional info on how it was provided? Did they send out your funding letter with the early action acceptance back in December?

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1 minute ago, Shantaram said:

@scholarloadingI'm curious about your SIPA funding because I thought they didn't give out award letters until March. Can you give some additional info on how it was provided? Did they send out your funding letter with the early action acceptance back in December?

Hi! Yep they sent out a fellowship letter to me with the early acceptance letter. I few people got fellowships early.

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6 minutes ago, scholarloading said:

Hi! Yep they sent out a fellowship letter to me with the early acceptance letter. I few people got fellowships early.

Good to know! Congratulations and thanks for responding quickly. I was accepted to SIPA in December but no fellowships. Still have my fingers crossed for something in the coming weeks. Best of luck to you on your outstanding applications.

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Now that we are in results season, I imagine there are going to be a lot of digital 'accepted student' events. I know American SIS has quite a few events, together with 'SIS Grad Day' on 3/20. 

Hopefully we all get into a few different programs! With that in mind, obviously there is brand name and funding, but I think it is going to be quite hard to work out which school has the right 'fit', remotely. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the events will be like? I imagine a few schools will be pouring resources into these events to attract students, I just can't see myself getting the warm fuzzies over something online... I shall keep hoping, though! 

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Program Applied To: MPA
Schools Applied To:  Columbia SIPA, Syracuse Maxwell, GWU Trachtenberg, American SPA, UW Evans
Schools Admitted To:  Syracuse Maxwell (funding determined in March), American SPA (funding determined in March)
Schools Rejected From:  
Still Waiting:  All the rest
Undergraduate Institution:  Midwestern state school
Undergraduate GPA:  3.1 (raised over three years from below 3.0 with last few semesters over 3.8)
Undergraduate Major:  English, International Studies, Journalism minor
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  166 V | 150 Q | 5.0 AW
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  8
Years of Work Experience:  7
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Most work experience has been in corporate tech, but four years of political volunteer work with steady increase of leadership/responsibility. 
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Very happy with it -- had multiple people in higher ed and public sector review.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Strong: two managers from old job at a well-known tech company and the chair of an executive board I serve on for my state Democratic party. 

Edited by mjmcflurry
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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MSCAPP
Schools Applied To:  U Chicago Harris 
Schools Admitted To:  U Chicago Harris (15k funding)
Schools Rejected From:  N/A
Still Waiting:  N/A
Undergraduate Institution:  Top 5 Public Uni
Undergraduate GPA: 3.84  
Undergraduate Major: Political Science 
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  N/A
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  3
Years of Work Experience:  1.5
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Program evaluation and development/research analyst at local economic development agency. 
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  7/10 mentioned my mission, future goals, and how attending the school I applied to is a necessary step. Quite straight forward, nothing out of the ordinary. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): 9/10. Stayed in touch with professors that can speak to my quantitative ability and research skills. Had my supervisor at my previous job write me an LOR as well, we worked closely on many projects. 
Other:

Edited by Forumname
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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MPP/M.Ed Policy
Schools Applied To:  Vanderbilt Peabody, HGSE, Sanford, Ford, GW Trachtenberg, UVA Batten
Schools Admitted To:  Peabody ($$)
Schools Rejected From:   
Still Waiting:  
Sanford, HGSE, Ford, GW, Batten
Undergraduate Institution: State flagship
Undergraduate GPA:   3.94
Undergraduate Major: Political science
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  Not submitted
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  1
Years of Work Experience:  3 -- paid policy work in undergrad
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Two terms as Student Body President at large SEC university, policy work with State Council on Postsecondary Education, currently working at my undergrad alma mater as a student life coordinator and contact tracer
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Maybe 8.5/10 I had all of my recommenders read it and they each said it was very strong. A lot about personal ties to impact of education policy and goals of serving rural low-income communities through policy work.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  A 9/10 Each from a reputable faculty member who know me personally and respect the work I have done. One was from a professor and faculty advisor for a lobbying/advocacy project I did. The second was from another professor who I had twice for policy/civil rights related courses, but he was also heavily involved with uni admin, so we worked closely during my time as SBP. The final letter was from our faculty senate chair, and we had a great working relationship.
Other: My main dilemma is choosing between an education-specific MPP at Vanderbilt or a general MPP but with a focus on education policy. All of the MPP programs I have applied to have strong education colleges/research, so I think they would be well equipped to serve my research and curricular interests. I'm sure I want to work in the realm of education policy, but I'm not dead set on a particular path. Ideally I would like to work with a think tank for a while and then take my expertise either to federal or state government work. Consulting is also really intriguing to me but I don't know much about how to navigate that world. This may be a better question for the education forum, but I know ed policy is a popular focus for many MPP students. 

Also, I was wondering about the waiving of GRE score requirement for all of these programs. I did not take it, and I feel like the rest of my application is pretty strong, but I'm wondering if that will hurt me. I don't have much post-grad work experience in policy, but COVID knocked me out of a policy job I had lined up. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! 

Edited by maham
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Schools Applied To:  Harriman Institute @ Columbia and Georgetown SFS
Schools Admitted To:  Columbia
Schools Rejected From:  none yet
Still Waiting:  SFS
Undergraduate Institution:  BigTen school
Undergraduate GPA:   3.4
Undergraduate Major:  Comparative Politics and Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  Didn't take the GRE 
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  0
Years of Work Experience:  0, unless you count fellowships
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Athletic scholarship, FLAS fellowship, Boren scholarship
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I had my SOP looked over by 3 professors and my grandfather who was a prof for 30 yrs.. They helped me a lot. I also included professors I'd like to work with along with specific classes I'd like to take. I don't think there was anything that stood out too much. However, I think that majoring in REEEC in my undergrad helped me a lot.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I had 3 LOR's. One from my program director, one from my minor's director, and another from the prof helping me with my honors thesis. 2 of them had helped me previously with fellowship/scholarship LOR's, so they already knew what my interests were, what I want to do with my career, and they had seen my academic growth over the past few years.
Other: Although I have 0 work experience, no internships or jobs, I've received a few scholarships and awards for papers I've written. I haven't received any funding from Columbia, but their website says they usually give them out in mid-April, so I'm really hoping I get something. 

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56 minutes ago, x26558 said:

Current first year at Harris. Can answer any questions for those interested.

Also accepted to Batten, CIPA, Colorado, and McCourt in the last admissions so can speak to that experience and why I chose Harris.

Got into Harris and waiting on Batten. Batten's program looks really strong and their tuition is much cheaper than Harris'. Why did you go with Harris?

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1 hour ago, undergoat88 said:

Got into Harris and waiting on Batten. Batten's program looks really strong and their tuition is much cheaper than Harris'. Why did you go with Harris?

Batten has an amazingly cohesive program and strong community. However, the reality is that Batten is relatively newer to the MPP game (although they have soared given their relative newness) and simply don't have as much brand recognition or historical career pathways as U. Chicago Harris. The career coaching at U. Chicago Harris is unparalleled as well as the broad range of research + connections going on.

Assuming you get similar funding, I think it is about what you value more - better community experience - Batten or top notch career / research opportunities - Harris

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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): CIPA (MPA), SIA (MIA), MGA, GHD
Schools Applied To:  Cornell CIPA, Penn State SIA, Notre Dame MGA, Georgetown GHD
Schools Admitted To:  Cornell (50%), Penn State (50%) 
Schools Rejected From:  None at the moment 
Still Waiting:  Georgetown, Notre Dame
Undergraduate Institution: nationally ranked private liberal arts school  
Undergraduate GPA:   3.54
Undergraduate Major:  Environmental Studies, Political Science
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  2
Years of Work Experience:  2
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Peace Corps (Evacuated), AmeriCorps 
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I think strong. I used my Peace Corps and AmeriCorps experiences to compare & contrast the international/domestic development fields and how these experiences have helped shape my intended career path. I also made sure to talk about how the particular school's values relate to mine. I also had two college professors (English professor, Political Science professor) review them. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Very strong. One was from the executive director of a non-profit I helped to develop/run. One was from a Peace Corps prep director who I also had in two classes with. Last was from a professor I took multiple classes throughout my collegiate journey, really knows my academic ability. 
Other:
  I want to go into international development, with a focus on food security  in West Africa. My biggest academic weakness is lack of quant. I did take calc and economics in undergrad. I am currently taking a statistics course and have let all the schools know. My thought process being it shows I recognize the weakness and taking pro-active steps. 

Edited by Panda27
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40 minutes ago, Panda27 said:

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): CIPA (MPA), SIA (MIA), MGA, GHD
Schools Applied To:  Cornell CIPA, Penn State SIA, Notre Dame MGA, Georgetown GHD
Schools Admitted To:  Cornell (50%), Penn State (50%) 
Schools Rejected From:  None at the moment 
Still Waiting:  Georgetown, Notre Dame
Undergraduate Institution: nationally ranked private liberal arts school  
Undergraduate GPA:   3.54
Undergraduate Major:  Environmental Studies, Political Science
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  2
Years of Work Experience:  2
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Peace Corps (Evacuated), AmeriCorps 
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I think strong. I used my Peace Corps and AmeriCorps experiences to compare & contrast the international/domestic development fields and how these experiences have helped shape my intended career path. I also made sure to talk about how the particular school's values relate to mine. I also had two college professors (English professor, Political Science professor) review them. 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Very strong. One was from the executive director of a non-profit I helped to develop/run. One was from a Peace Corps prep director who I also had in two classes with. Last was from a professor I took multiple classes throughout my collegiate journey, really knows my academic ability. 
Other:
  I want to go into international development, with a focus on food security  in West Africa. My biggest academic weakness is lack of quant. I did take calc and economics in undergrad. I am currently taking a statistics course and have let all the schools know. My thought process being it shows I recognize the weakness and taking pro-active steps. 

Cornell, Penn State, and Notre Dame are all schools not located near major institutions / programs / non-profits tied to international development. You are basically handicapping yourself by going to those schools by not being in close proximity to experiential learning / networking centers. I am not a die hard Georgetown fan (people who been on this forum know how much I have highlighted Georgetown MPP's problems), but I will tell you GHD is a solid IDEV program and everyone I worked with from that program have been well supported and have had amazing careers afterwards (much of it thanks to Georgetown Brand + alumni + DC supported career opportunity). 

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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MPA/MPP/MIA/MALD
Schools Applied To: Columbia SIPA, Tufts Fletcher, HKS, Princeton SPIA, Georgetown SFS, Johns Hopkins SAIS, NYU Wagner, LSE
Schools Admitted To: None yet
Schools Rejected From:  None yet
Still Waiting: 
All
Undergraduate Institution: #1 public university
Undergraduate GPA:  3.78
Undergraduate Major: Economics, Peace and Conflict Studies minor
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  165/168/4.5
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  2
Years of Work Experience:  2 full-time, 3 if count internships
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Global development research center at top research university
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  I think it was decent, covered how my current work experience influences what I would like to do in the future-- had a clear path outlined.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  One professional, one academic, one who is the faculty director of research center and was my professor. Fairly confident.

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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MPP/MPA
Schools Applied To:  HKS, Harris, Wagner, SPIA
Schools Admitted To:  Harris ($$)
Schools Rejected From:   
Still Waiting:  
HKS, Wagner, SPIA
Undergraduate Institution: Top 2 private university
Undergraduate GPA:   3.60
Undergraduate Major: Public Policy
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  166V / 164Q / 5.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  4.5
Years of Work Experience:  4.5
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  2 years in philanthropy, remaining in impact investing in emerging markets
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Maybe 8.5/10 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  8/10 
Other: 

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1 hour ago, rnk said:

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MPP/MPA
Schools Applied To:  HKS, Harris, Wagner, SPIA
Schools Admitted To:  Harris ($$)
Schools Rejected From:   
Still Waiting:  
HKS, Wagner, SPIA
Undergraduate Institution: Top 2 private university
Undergraduate GPA:   3.60
Undergraduate Major: Public Policy
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  166V / 164Q / 5.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  4.5
Years of Work Experience:  4.5
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  2 years in philanthropy, remaining in impact investing in emerging markets
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Maybe 8.5/10 
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  8/10 
Other: 

hey i am also interested in philanthropy and impact investing. can i dm you to ask you more about your experiences and the factors you took into account while applying?

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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.): MA/MPA International Development
Schools Applied To:  Georgetown GHD, GWU Elliott, American SIS, Fordham IPED, Columbia SIPA
Schools Admitted To:  American SIS
Schools Rejected From:  N/A
Still Waiting:  Georgetown GHD, GWU Elliott, Fordham IPED, Columbia SIPA
Undergraduate Institution:  Top 100 mid-sized liberal arts school in the midwest
Undergraduate GPA:  3.83
Undergraduate Major:  Global and International Studies & Political Science
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  160/159/4.0
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  3
Years of Work Experience:  3 
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  Two years internationally post-grad with an organization similar to Peace Corps, internship with a prominent DC think tank, currently working for a major humanitarian aid organization.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Not the most ground-breaking probably, but I drew upon and connected my different international experiences and how those shaped my interests and what I want to do in the future. Made it personal. Gave specific examples of what I want to do post-grad.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  Pretty generic one from a professor, two from supervisors while I was working abroad that I think are pretty strong.
Other: Lots of contact with GHD, SIS, and SIPA (info sessions, chatted with current students/alumni, went to online classes/open houses). Did the bare minimum in terms of connecting with Elliott and IPED honestly (just went to online info sessions about the schools).

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Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MA in Security Studies - Technology and Security Concentration
Schools Applied To:  Georgetown SFS
Schools Admitted To:  None yet.
Schools Rejected From: None yet.
Still Waiting:  Georgetown
Undergraduate Institution: GWU
Undergraduate GPA:   4.0
Undergraduate Major: Cybersecurity
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  n/a
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  n/a
Years of Work Experience:  1
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  1 year working in cybersecurity policy and risk management for a government contractor.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  9.5/10 - Had about 3 completely different copies initially, final draft was revised by multiple people including 2 PhDs (one of which served on HKS admissions) and alumni of the program I applied to. Really identified niche areas of the program I felt I could contribute to, strong interest in research thats directly based on work done by the concentration head.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  10/10 (President of the Company I work for, Director of my undergraduate program who knows my academic strengths and leadership skills very well, and a Professor with over 30 years in the intelligence community who's written LORs for students who successfully were admitted into the program.)
Other: President of a student org in undergrad, balanced full-time work and full-time school for multiple semesters while maintaining a 4.0, strong national competitor in cyber competitions, niche technical internship experience.

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4 hours ago, Rheana Gray said:

Program Applied To (MPA, MPP, IR, etc.):  MA in Security Studies - Technology and Security Concentration
Schools Applied To:  Georgetown SFS
Schools Admitted To:  None yet.
Schools Rejected From: None yet.
Still Waiting:  Georgetown
Undergraduate Institution: GWU
Undergraduate GPA:   4.0
Undergraduate Major: Cybersecurity
GRE Quantitative/Verbal/AW Scores:  n/a
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable):  n/a
Years of Work Experience:  1
Describe Relevant Work Experience:  1 year working in cybersecurity policy and risk management for a government contractor.
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc):  9.5/10 - Had about 3 completely different copies initially, final draft was revised by multiple people including 2 PhDs (one of which served on HKS admissions) and alumni of the program I applied to. Really identified niche areas of the program I felt I could contribute to, strong interest in research thats directly based on work done by the concentration head.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc):  10/10 (President of the Company I work for, Director of my undergraduate program who knows my academic strengths and leadership skills very well, and a Professor with over 30 years in the intelligence community who's written LORs for students who successfully were admitted into the program.)
Other: President of a student org in undergrad, balanced full-time work and full-time school for multiple semesters while maintaining a 4.0, strong national competitor in cyber competitions, niche technical internship experience.

I’m also in the Cybersecurity grad school boat. May I ask why you focused your efforts on Georgetown? I’m assuming location/proximity was a big factor in your decision? I cast out a relatively wide net for Cybersecurity masters programs, but I didn’t think to apply to Georgetown!

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13 minutes ago, Ax1om said:

I’m also in the Cybersecurity grad school boat. May I ask why you focused your efforts on Georgetown? I’m assuming location/proximity was a big factor in your decision? I cast out a relatively wide net for Cybersecurity masters programs, but I didn’t think to apply to Georgetown!

So it was mainly reputation. Having a technical undergrad, SSP seemed to present an ideal opportunity to bridge technical cybersecurity knowledge and policy. I actually learned about SSP after stumbling upon the Georgetown Security Studies Review while doing research for an undergraduate research paper on Huawei and cyber economic espionage. From there i started recognizing that a lot of people I admire in the field graduated from SSP (e.g. Katie Nickels, formerly of Mitre ATT&CK), and after reading Dr. Ben Buchanan's books on the intersection of cybersecurity and statecraft, i really started to get excited about how much SSP seemed to be investing into their technology and security concentration. 

I'd looked at Carnegie Mellon's MSISPM program but that seemed pretty redundant for me given that I already work in the field and have an undergrad in the subject. The other program I was considering was George Mason for Digital Forensics, but in the end i only ended up applying to Georgetown because I really want to better understand international relations and how geopolitical conflicts influence state sponsored cyber operations. Also the use of emerging technologies such as AI really drew my interest from an ethical standpoint and that's something I decided Georgetown would provide the best opportunity to explore that.

Point is, I've been at Cybersecurity in a technical capacity since Junior year of HS, attending NSA/NSF funded residential camps, being an active member of my cyber club, doing a malware internship, and working in cyber risk management, so I didn't feel like there was much to be offered from the more technical masters programs that I couldn't otherwise obtain through job experience.

Georgetown also has a Master's in Cybersecurity Risk Management that seems to be growing.

Edited by Rheana Gray
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